Many times, when we consider church attendance one main verse comes to mine (Hebrews 10:25 "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."). That familiar verse has been spoken about often and because of this we may think this is the only verse in the Bible that speaks about our gathering together as a local body of believers: church.
We have come to a period of time in history where many are forsaking the house of God, and because of this they are missing out on God’s best for their lives. (And yes, when I say forsaking, I am speaking about those who choose not to personally individually physically gather with other believers at a specific time for a specific purpose. The definition for a local church necessarily calls for us to be gathered together, not in a virtual sense, but in a physical sense. The building is not necessary, but God’s people being together is necessary.)
Over the next few weeks I would like to discuss some verses from the Word of God that speak to this all-important subject. It is my desire, that you would see how God places emphasis on His people coming together to worship Him and be equipped for His work.
I would like us to first consider the following verse out of the book of Psalms.
Psalm 84:4 states, “Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.”
The inscription to this Psalm (Psalm 84) reads, “To the chief Musician upon Gittih, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.” Although the meaning of the word 'Gittih' is up for debate, we immediately understand that the sons of Korah were Levites. Their sacred responsibility was to minister in God’s house. In this case, this was a hymn written for them (the sons of Korah). The Levites had the great privilege of ministering not only in the Tabernacle, but the Temple as well. This was the place where God designated for His people, the nation of Israel, to meet with Him.
In verse 2 of this same Psalm, the psalmist expresses His yearning to be in the courts of the LORD. He cries out, (v2)“My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.”
It is surely a sad state that we have come to when His people do not long to be gathered together and come to His house. The writer of this psalm well understood what a privilege it was in his day to be involved in the worship of God.
However, let us turn our attention back to the aforementioned verse. I want you to key in on the first word in verse 4. The Bible says, “Blessed are they dwell in thy house…” From this we discover, that there is a peculiar and special blessing attached with being in God’s house. Many will exclaim, “I am blessed,” when asked how they are doing. But I want you to notice that those who do not come to the house of God cannot claim this blessing. What is the blessing? Well notice the rest of the verse, the Bible states, “…they will be still praising thee. Selah.” (The word 'Selah' means 'to meditate', or 'stop and consider'. In this we understand that the psalmist is wanting to provide emphasis on this section.)
How many Christians today run on empty when it comes to praising God? They find themselves in a place where they have lost the joy of their Salvation. They discover that they have lost the joy of the Christian life. Why? Because they have forsaken God’s house.
Let me encourage you today, to attend to your spiritual needs with great emphasis and come dwell in His house.
- Pastor James, Associate Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
Sharon Baptist church is an independent, fundamental Baptist church located in Hampton, VA.
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