5.17.20 Praise & Prayer Prompt: The Importance of Fellowship

TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. (Romans 1:11-12 ESV)

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• One of the hardest things about quarantine has been not going to church. While on one hand, it’s been an excellent demonstration that the church was never about a building… we have sorely missed Christian fellowship that comes from coming together to worship God in person.

Yesterday, North Carolina churches won a restraining order against Governor Cooper’s ban on indoor worship. The governor’s office responded, “While our office disagrees with the decision, we will not appeal, but instead urge houses of worship and their leaders to voluntarily follow public health guidance to keep their members safe.”

I know a lot of people disagree with this ruling while other people are excited about it. I admit I want to be in church. I’m a competent adult and I’ll comply with whatever rules are put in place to keep the congregation safe. But I want to be in the house of the Lord. I’m so grateful for the technology that has allowed weekly Zoom Sunday School time and online church…

Why does this even matter? What’s the big deal about staying home for church versus going to a church? From my perspective, it comes down to two major issues. Fellowship and tithing. Today, we’re going to discuss fellowship and tomorrow, we will talk about tithing.

Fellowship isn’t about a social club, but it’s about mutually encouraging and supporting one another to grow in faith. Ecclesiastes 4:9 tells us that two are better than one… and  Proverbs 27:17 tells us, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

When we worship and study God’s word together, we can ask questions. Talk about issues. Share about real life and together, learn what God has to say! We benefit in so many ways from corporate worship! Paul said it beautifully in Romans, “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine” (Romans 1:11-12).

And while Jesus is always with those who have trusted in Him, He also said in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

I know that when churches start opening their doors, things will look different. We’ll be greeting one another with waves and jazz hands as opposed to hugs and handshakes… we may be asked to wear a mask… we may have to sign up for worship times to keep attendance manageable… we may have to spread out in the pews… whatever it is we have to do, I’m okay with it. I just want to be among my brothers and sisters in Christ, in the house of God.

Today, as you pray, thank God for the body of believers… both the one you’re engaged with and the ones you’re not. Ask the Holy Spirit to give wisdom to our church leaders and ask Him to give you wisdom when it’s time to go back to church.

SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.

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