"and we should be
continually considering how to incite one another to love and ideal acts..
never forsake gathering together....rather we should be continually
encouraging each other." Heb 10:24-25
I know everyone is in a different place in their beliefs and understandings of what we do together as a group. There are folks who firmly believe in the entire church experiences, others who believe in smaller numbers in a home, others who believe in occasional study and get-togethers with friends, and others who are pretty much doing a Lone Ranger deal. Whatever you have chosen - we must consider this verse which sums up our duty to each other. How can we do this?
I've been very blessed the past several to be able to travel and meet with various groups of generic-type Christians. What a great opportunity to see groups of people who are trying to bravely step out and do what they feel God really wants! It's scary and extremely emotional. Changes are slow in coming; however, especially when you are working with life long understandings and habits. I worry that we've "taken the boy out of the church, but can't get the church out of the boy"..... we are still having problems taking that next step - which would have us fulfilling our real
We have a lot of wisdom, knowledge and experience gathered in our groups - no matter what kind of group you meet with. We also have a lot of people struggling with heavy burdens and worries. I think that a person who walks into a gathering with a concern should walk out without it - or at least with REAL, PRACTICAL tools to help and a boatload of support that doesn't end when he gets in his car.
Our years of Bible classes and sermonizing have taught us that our most profitable and holy times as Christians are spent in Bible study. I don't think this is so. I don't think this is how the early Christians spent their evenings together nor is it how Jesus lived. Yes, I am sure they discussed what they heard the apostles saying - or what the newest letter from Paul contained - but very simply in relation to how it affected their lives - not with cross referencing and concordances.
I think they supported each other with advice and encouragement. No one felt alone in their new walk. I think that has been one of the biggest successes of the devil through the church system - each Christian is struggling to do it alone - overcoming sin and worldliness w/o the help of his brothers and sisters. Your 'church friends' are generally the LAST people you'd go to with a real problem or struggle. But God's plan is not that we lean on our worldly friends but our spiritual family. He gave us each other precisely for that purpose.
I know we all have problems that need to be talked about. We have families that are estranged because of religious differences. We have people with health problems. And we have people who actually sin! Yikes! Imagine that.
I need that. And I know I'm not the only one. Just imagine - if we truly did this - and did it *regularly* just like they did - how amazing this time on earth could be for us all!.