Are You Listening? ~Attendance~
The wise man wrote God’s instruction, “But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil” (Prov. 1:33). To listen to God is to pay heed, to obey His teachings and instructions. That obedience is tied to the spiritual safety and security of the individual who so “listens.” Are you living a lifestyle in which you can be confident of your spiritual safety and security?
Faithfulness is key; “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10). Many people claim to have strong faith while living unfaithfully. But the two go hand in hand. Strong faith will produce faithfulness, and faithfulness will strengthen faith. Therefore, an unfaithful lifestyle does not exhibit strong faith.
One of the most fundamental indicators of strong faith is faithful attendance at the worship services of the church. At the same time, one of the most basic ways to strengthen one’s faith is through faithful attendance at the services of the church. A Christian with truly strong faith does not look for excuses to not be in attendance when the church meets to worship God. It’s automatic; unless hindered in some way beyond his control, he’s there! One reason it is so important to be at church services is to build strong faith.
Another reason attendance at church services is important is because those are prime times to learn the teachings of God’s word. Faith comes by hearing God’s word (Rom. 10:17). Many people have difficulty finding time on a consistent basis to study the Bible. By being at church services they put themselves in a natural setting wherein the Bible is taught. Consistently receiving that instruction will help them understand, and be able to correctly apply, the teachings of God’s word (2 Tim. 2:15).
A third reason attendance is so important is that it provides valuable fellowship time with one’s brothers and sisters in Christ. There’s much truth in the old saying, “There’s strength in numbers.” It will naturally strengthen a Christian’s faith to be with other Christians, his spiritual family, as they worship God and study His word together. When God’s family meets together in a worship and study setting, they strengthen one another (Heb. 10:23-25).
One extra special reason that regular, faithful church attendance is vital is the effect it has on the spiritual development of children. Parents have the responsibility to raise their children in the instruction and discipline of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). Bible classes, in particular, provide one of the best opportunities to develop children’s faith on their level. Also, parents bringing them to worship services and Bible classes on a consistent basis instills faith, and the importance of faithfulness, within their children during those crucial, formative years. Too many parents handicap their children spiritually by being negligent in leading them to be in church services regularly.
Church attendance is crucial to the development of strong faith and subsequent faithfulness. Are you listening???
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Gary L. Hutchens