Another Scientific Reason To Go To Church

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According to Harvard University Professor Tyler VanderWeele’s study on church attendance, people who attend church Continue reading

When It’s Important To Miss Church

The Good Samaritan by David Teniers the younger after Francesco Bassano-Wikimedia Commons

The Good Samaritan by David Teniers the younger after Francesco Bassano

Cherokee Bible Church

I was on the Cherokee Bible Church website today. There I read this lady’s story about how Continue reading

Things I Heard In Church: Love Will Make You Weaker

“Love is always attached to vulnerability. Love will always make you weaker and more powerless, than you were before you loved. Some of you understand this. Some of you know this to be true because this is your story. You have a child who went off the rails, or a spouse who one day decided they were tired of being married, or a mom or a dad who treated you badly. And the pain you feel from those moments, the brokenness in your heart, is the direct result of the love you have for those people. You see, if you didn’t love them, it wouldn’t hurt.”

Yet we’re commanded to love. In fact: “Love is the crowning characteristic of the Christian.”

“You want to know what it means to be a mature follower of Jesus? It means to love people so much that they can hurt you. It means making yourself vulnerable to pain and suffering because of your love for them.” –Dave Teixeira

Dave Teixeira, 10/25/2015, Sunday, Strength in Weakness

The Grace/Truth Equation: John 1:14

Grace/Truth Equation

Never Bored Again

I was talking with a thirty-something last night and he and I both concluded we never feel bored. Maybe that’s not surprising. There’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. There’s podcasts, blogs, and Google searches. There are 300 hours of new video uploaded to Youtube–every minute, more than 150,000 new Reddit posts and submissions each day, and at the bottom of every Google News category there’s a link that says, “More Sci/Tech stories,” or “More Sports stories,” or “More U.S. stories,” or “More World stories.”

More.

There’s more amazing information available to occupy our attention than ever before. (And I haven’t even touched on TV, music, movies, and video games.)

I love living at this point in the time-space continuum where we can have such an incredible amount of information available to us. I love doing research. I love checking out Youtube videos, articles, and subreddits in my areas of interest. But there’s a catch. Continue reading

Sleeping In

Why go to churchI was way too tired to go to church. Every molecule craved sleep. We were in Portland for a birthday party the day before and didn’t get home until late. Early the next morning, Sunday morning, Jesus’ words came to mind, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

“I’m so grateful for those words,” I said to myself. And I decided to sleep in.

And I know that would have been fine in the eyes of the Father, to sleep in on Sunday morning. But suddenly I found myself awake somehow. It was one of those mornings when I somehow just couldn’t continue to sleep. So I jumped in the car and headed to church. And when I was there, I heard these words:

“Be gracious to people. Be as kind as you possibly can.”

He was teaching on the woman caught in adultery. A teaching I’ve heard a hundred times. I didn’t realize it at that moment, but Continue reading

Love Like Jesus–What’s Church Got To Do With It?: Luke 2:46-50

Why go to church Love Like Jesus Luke 2After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

Luke 2:46-50

How Jesus loved people:

In Luke chapter two we see Jesus preparing Himself to love people, here, in His Father’s house, by asking questions. Whether or not these were rhetorical questions we don’t know, but it appears obvious there was a discussion going on. Jesus, the Creator of the universe, is in His place of worship, asking questions. He’s in His Father’s house, He’s about His Father’s business. Jesus will ultimately demonstrate more love for people than anyone ever has before, or ever will again. And His presence here is part of His preparation for that act of love.

Love Like Jesus:

The Son of God, the Creator, the One who is One with the Father, the One who said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father,” the One who raised people from the dead, and who rose from the dead Himself, went to His place of worship and asked questions. (John 14:9)

I don’t know about you but I’m very confident that anyone who has seen me has not seen the Father. And I’ve never raised anyone from the dead either by the way. In fact, I’m not worthy to fasten the straps on Christ’s sandals. So if Jesus took the time to be about His Father’s business in His Father’s house, I certainly need to as well.

I need to do this, and you need to do this because when we go to church we learn to love people better. When you go to church you hear God’s word from the pulpit, reminding you of His desire for you to love others. You hear, from God’s word, examples of how you can love others. You bump into people there in church, people who need you, people who need your help, people who need you to love them, even if it’s just giving them two minutes of your time. You rub elbows with others who also seek to love God and to love others. You’re reminded of how you can remove things from your life that hinder your efforts to love others. You hear something different from the constant information you receive from a culture that largely ignores God.

“Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Jesus asked. Jesus had to be in His Father’s house, and if you and I desire to love people as Jesus did, we have to be in His Father’s house too. (Luke 2:49)

Prepare yourself to love people.

Go to church.

Jesus did.

[Image via: Kate B Dixon, Creative Commons]

Congregate!

The latest results of a study from the University of Michigan revealed that college students have a 40% lower capacity to empathize with the feelings of others, as compared to college students 20 and 30 years ago. 14,000 college students participated in the study from 1979 to 2009. (Read more at US News & World Report)

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;he breaks out against all sound judgment.

Proverbs 18:1 (ESV)

Isolation destroys us. Isolation is associated with depression, suicide, poor mental health, and addiction. Isolation from the body of Christ destroys us spiritually. Could it be that the corresponding decline in church attendance in the U.S. is the cause of the reduced capacity to empathize with others?

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die for us. (John 3:16) When that reality becomes a part of me, a part of you, a part of us, we rejoice at the opportunity to go to church. To fellowship with God over at His house becomes something we love to do. And spending time with Him, we become more like Him.

And He empathizes. He loves people.

He loves you.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:25

Go to church.