growing in grace

https://growingingrace.blog/2020/01/20/gods-unstoppable-plan/

5 Spiritual Dangers of Skipping Church

By Nathan Rose

I read recently that my denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, has a total of 16 million members, but on a typical Sunday, only 6 million of those members attend their local church’s corporate worship gathering. Considering the importance and necessity of corporate worship for the Christian, this is a very discouraging statistic. Not only is it disheartening, but it is also spiritually dangerous for those who profess Christ, but regularly ends up skipping church.

Dangers of Regularly Skipping Church

Below, I want to list some reasons and explain why skipping church is a really bad idea. [1]

1. You will miss out on God’s primary design for your spiritual growth and well-being.

The central aspect of corporate worship is the preaching of God’s Word. The proclamation of Scriptures is God’s primary means for a disciple of Jesus to grow in spiritual maturity. When a professing Christian misses church they are missing God’s prescribed process for spiritual growth.

2. You disobey God.

Corporate worship is not optional for the Christian, according to the Bible. Hebrews 10:24-25 makes this clear:

“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…”

Author and pastor, Greg Gilbert comments on this passage, “At the very least, therefore, we have to say that, for every Christian, attendance at church gatherings is not optional. The author of Hebrews—and therefore the Holy Spirit himself—commands Christians to be present when the believers to whom he or she belongs gather.”

At my church, we reflect this biblical command in our church covenant, which states:

“We commit, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to…continue meeting together regularly [and] work together for the continuance of a faithful evangelical ministry in this church, as we sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines.”

God’s people ought to strive to keep God’s commands. One of his commands is meeting together regularly for corporate worship.

There is more: https://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/317705-5-spiritual-dangers-skipping-church-nathan-rose.html

If You Go to Church to Be Ministered to You’re Missing the Point

Are you going to church just to be ministered to? Church hopping, church skipping and church judging is all too common these days. It seems that many people are struggling to find the “right” church with the “right” pastor who has the “right preaching style.” Maybe you struggle with this in a less overt way. Perhaps you go to church and feel bored or disillusioned. Or maybe going to church is just a part of your Sunday routine that you don’t think about when Monday comes along.

Be challenged by the rest: https://churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-articles/324710-if-you-go-to-church-to-be-ministered-to-youre-missing-the-point.html

What Comes Between You and God?

“Money often comes between men and God,” wrote A. W. Tozer.

“Someone has said that you can take two small ten-cent pieces, just two dimes,” Tozer observed, “and shut out the view of a panoramic landscape. Go to the mountains and just hold two coins closely in front of your eyes–the mountains are still there, but you cannot see them at all because there is a dime shutting off the vision in each eye.”

“It doesn’t take large quantities of money to come between us and God; just a little, placed in the wrong position, will effectively obscure our view.”

In today’s Bible reading, Mark 10, we read about a man coming to Jesus with a good question. “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I might inherit eternal life?”

This narrative is found in all three synoptic gospels–Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Together we learn that he was young. He was rich. And he was a ruler. Seemingly he was sincere. There’s nothing to suggest that he was trying to trap Jesus.

It has often been observed that He came to the right person with the right question. Too often people go to the wrong people for advice. If you have a religious question, come to Jesus. Erroneously, some ask irrelevant or frivolous questions. The ruler’s iniquity was worthy of serious consideration.

When Jesus reiterated six of the Ten Commandments, the young man felt good about himself. “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth,” he responded. (v. 18-20)

“One thing you lack,” Jesus replied, “Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” (V. 21)

Read more: https://thepreachersword.com/2020/01/17/what-comes-between-you-and-god/

11 Things I’ve Learned From Missionaries

If you know me at all, you know I love missionaries. One reason I do is because they always teach me something. Here are some of the things I’ve learned from them over the years:

  1. The world is still lost. I know that truth, of course, but missionaries who weep over non-believers remind me that I sometimes take that truth for granted. I don’t care about the lost like I should.
  2. The gospel is costly. I know that, too, in my head, but I don’t live among people who face persecution and death every day because they follow Jesus. Many missionaries do.
  3. I’m not nearly as important as I think I am. I’m just one person in over 7 billion people in the world.
  4. God works miracles outside my worldview. I don’t often see healings and exorcisms. Some missionaries I trust do speak of these kinds of experiences.
  5. Prayer support really matters. I often call for prayer only when I most need it. Many missionaries survive daily on the wings of prayer.

The rest are at: http://chucklawless.com/2020/01/11-things-ive-learned-from-missionaries/

Why Knowing God and Loving Others Go Hand in Hand

I wish it were true that everyone you find in church will be a loving person. But that would be so far from the truth. Actually, one of the meanest persons I have ever met is a regular churchgoer who claims to know the Lord.

But knowing God and loving others are mutually inclusive. That is, one can’t exist without the other.

So how do we come to know God? It is not an intellectual process. Simply put, we come to know Him through repenting of our sins and believing on His Son.

Of course, anyone can claim to have accepted Christ as her Savior. Anyone can claim to know the Lord. But one thing that separates true believers from those who are not is that true believers walk in love.

This profound difference between the former and the latter is not happenstance. Rather, it is the result of what happens when true believers place their faith in Christ. Through an operation of the Holy Spirit, they become born again.

Why We Can’t Separate Knowing God from Loving Others

Read the rest at: https://frankking.net/2020/01/why-knowing-god-and-loving-others-go-hand-in-hand/

Spiritual Maturity: 5 Signs You DON’T Have It

https://churchleaders.com/smallgroups/small-group-articles/253823-spiritual-maturity-5-signs-dont.html