God's Exquisite Garden
(NOT FORSAKING THE ASSEMBLY)
The definition of the word attend means to be present at, to be present and ready to give service. Another definition is to pay attention, listen, watch attentively, or give support.
The definition of the word support is a person or thing that gives aid. It also means to endure especially with patience or submission; Another meaning is to sustain ( a person - the mind, spirits, courage ,etc.) under trial of affliction.
" Come now, and let us reason together,"Says the Lord, " Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool."
We are commanded to partake of the Lord's Supper as a memorial to Christ on the first day of the week. Each week has a first day. Unless a sickness or an emergency arises, we are to meet with those brethren who are likeminded. We read of this in 2 Corinthians 13.
Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort,
be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
2 Corinthians 13:11
The word brethren refers to more than one person, it can be a relative. The apostles and Christ gave the name brother to all Christians.
All believers are not equal in their knowledge of the Lord and His Word. While some are good comforters and great encouragers, there are those who are more knowledgeable as to what the Scriptures say on varying issues. God knew this and He tells us to encourage one another. We cannot encourage one another if we are not together with our fellow Christians as they meet to worship our Lord.
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,
that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us;
and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:3
God desires us to edify one another. This can be done through study and song, The definition of the word edify is to build, construct, or to establish. The definition of the word build is to establish, increase or strengthen and to mold, form, or create. We are unable to edify other Christians if we are not among them. There is a wonderful song that we sing entitled We Gather Together .
A Christian should desire to be with other Christians whenever they assemble. Congregations will give the times they meet and make people aware of all meeting times. There will be special events such as gospel meetings, Vacation Bible Schools, and other activities.
We should tell the younger believers of the strength which dwells in God, of the sureness of His promise, of the delightfulness of Christian fellowship with Christ, and of the amazing wonders found in the fellowship with fellow Christians.
And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, " See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant,
and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God!
For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren.
If we love God, we will keep His commandments. We as parents want our children to do all that we tell them, not just a portion. God commands us to meet with other Christians.
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some,
but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
The Greek word transliterated for the word brother is adelphos, it means a relative or a brother connected because of religious ties. The Greek word transliterated for the word sister in verse 50 is adelphe, it means a native or ecclesiastical sister. Both are persons united by a common calling and are found in Matthew 12:49-50
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs—
heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
For the life of me, I can't understand why someone would WANT to miss out on an opportunity to be with fellow Christians! Just think – an opportunity to worship with people who think along the same lines spiritually. This is what our Blessed Lord prayed for in John 17
And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,
You very well might speak to someone who will uplift your spirits. They might smile at you, shake your hand, wave at you, or ask about you and your
family. You become members of the same family and enjoy the company of one another.
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren,
love one another fervently with a pure heart,
1 Peter 1:22
Countless times I have spoken to and/or had someone speak to me before or after worship services, and I have always enjoyed the much needed conversation with another Christian. These conversations are like a medicine that has been prescribed to help. When I leave I am very thankful that I was present.
A song of Ascents of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!
We meet for school functions, club meetings, varying leagues and more. Why would we not want to meet with those who aspire to serve the Lord?
They are encouraged and so are we. Christians should long for the times when we can be together. Our Blessed Lord knew it would be to our spiritual advantage to be with fellow Christians as often as possible.
so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
Throughout the week we are around worldly influences. To an individual who is unsure of the appropriate response which should be given when approached by these worldly desires, he/she needs to be present each time the saints meet. We are given the choice of being amidst those who love the Lord and try to live their lives in accord with His Word, or of forsaking the assembly and doing other things. Most congregations meet three times a week, we need to be present each time the doors are open.
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true,
until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
I can't for the life of me figure out why someone would stay away from a place where those who attend want to edify and encourage them. I long for the times when I can be around other Christians. It is a welcome relief to be around those who wear the name of Christ. To hear the Word of God proclaimed where those among us love to hear His Word is not only comforting, but something to look forward to.
In heaven, there will be praises given to our Lord God on a continual basis. We need to SINCERELY WANT to with them whenever possible. Why would anyone stay away when the benefits of being with other Christians are so great!!
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners,
but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
If someone says, "I love God, "and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen,
how can he love God whom he has not seen?
He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now
1 John 2:9
Discussion and Study Questions:
1.Why is such importance placed upon fellowship with God and with others?
Why is there such a significance placed by God upon the attendance of the assembling of the saints?
List some ways that attendance will benefit us.
How often should we attend worship services?
What does the word edify mean?
Why would we want to encourage others?
Please discuss any dangers one would encounter from not attending the worship services of the church.
How do these dangers affect our soul's salvation?
Based upon the lesson, prepare a list of the benefits received by attending the worship services of the Lord's church that would assist us on a daily basis.
Copyright 2008 Linda Lawrence
Lessons in this Series
||Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community
By Dietrich Bonhoeffer / HarperOne
After his martyrdom at the hands of the Gestapo in 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer continued his witness in the hearts of Christians around the world. In his book Life Together we learn of Pastor Bonhoeffer's experience within Christian community. This story of a unique fellowship in an underground seminary during the Nazi years reads like one of Paul's letters. It gives practical advice on how life together in Christ can be sustained in families and groups. The role of personal prayer, worship in common, everyday work, and Christian service is treated in simple, almost biblical, words. Life Together serves as bread to all who are hungry for the real life of Christian fellowship.