THE IMPORTANCE OF CHRISTIAN WORSHIP
‘Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day Approaching”. Heb. 10.25.
One of the earliest signs of inner spiritual decline is irregular attendance at the public meetings of believers. These are times when the body of Christ on earth is to be seen together;
worshipping, praising, adoring, singing, confessing, repenting, praying, receiving the Word, and learning of Him. In such gatherings the Church’s Master and Lord has promised
His presence. At such times the Holy Spirit is powerfully present. How sad and dangerous a sign, then, when a believer has not sufficient spiritual appetite to be present where spiritual blessings are obtained and are so freely given.
How urgent is this exhortation and how solemn the pressing motive! What if the Lord of the Church should come and find you absent? How could you face Him with your weak excuses? Your attitude seems less animated than that of the foolish virgins-at least they wanted to enter in, though it was too late.
How pathetic the reasons for neglecting the Lord’s great feast Luke 14); a piece of ground, five yoke of oxen, or a wife- until the Lord finally says, “That none of these men which were bidden shall taste of my supper”.
Beware of such a growing paralysis in your spiritual life, beware of the specious excuses which convince no one, not even your own guilty conscience.
Think much of the Lord’s constant and loving concern for His church. Think much of the church’s constant and loving concern for its members. Consider the Good Shepherd’s utter devotion to His sheep. Remember how you have felt when, having prepared for visitors, they fail to arrive. Consider the effect of your absence on the other members of your spiritual family.
This downward pathway of spiritual neglect so often begins with the prayer meeting, extends to the meetings of the Lord’s day, and finally to every meeting of the church except for
special occasions. The way of repentance is not easy; it demands resolute decision and special planning. I remember a farmer who always sent his labourers home early on a Wednesday evening because it was “prayer meeting night” and he was determined to be there. But I wonder how many parents would employ a baby-sitter so that they could go out for a meal together, yet never think of doing the same to get a spiritual meal together.
These words are not intended unkindly; a true exhortation is always from an affectionate heart, but the day is approaching and there will not be endless opportunities; the time is to be redeemed when the days are so evil. The day may come when persecution prevents the prayer meeting and a famine of hearing the words of the Lord will cause you to seek the word of the Lord and not find it. (Amos8.11-12).