Everyone has questions that they want to have answered. As a pastor, I’ve had my share of questions, but I’ve also had people come and ask me questions. Most of them have to do with faith issues or “what does the Bible say about this” kinds of questions. They are important and are in need of an answer.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you didn’t have anyone to ask these questions? What would it be like to be pressed into a situation in your life where you needed to make a decision or take a stand but had no one to help you through this decision making process? I oftentimes ponder these thoughts when someone comes to me and makes the statement “I love Jesus, but I just don’t need the church.” This is such a gross misunderstanding of what God really intends for us, His Children, to have in our lives.
The writer of the book of Hebrews tackles this issue in chapter 10. In verses 19-22, the writer points out that since Jesus has paid our way to enter the holy presence of God, we are urged to draw near to Him with complete assurance that God longs for us to be there and that Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient enough to get us there.
But the writer goes on in v. 24-25 to discuss a very important point, where he says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” We find in this passage a very important point—we were never meant to live a life of faith alone. Christ calls us to community—to sharing our life’s struggles and successes with each other and encouraging one another to grow to know Jesus more and more.
Scripture shows us that our lives are missing something if we don’t live in community with the church. We have been extremely blessed as a congregation to see God growing our church. This excites me greatly. But I also know that some in our midst are missing out on a great blessing because of a fear of getting too close to others.
I want to challenge each of you to take the risk and introduce yourself to someone you might not know, or speak a word of encouragement to someone who looks lost or pray for someone who needs the touch of God or wisdom in a particular situation. It might be a good idea even to share a meal with this person. Whatever God directs you to do, be faithful to do it. Let’s be a church that is interested in stirring each other up to love and good works.