Worship as a
Lifestyle
THE BENEFITS OF CONGREGATIONAL WORSHIP

The writer of Hebrews said that "since we have a great high
priest over the house of God", which is Jesus, as believers we
should
1)  "Draw near" to God
2)  "Hold fast the confession of hope" in God
3)  "Consider how to stimulate one another to love and good          
      deeds" for God
4)  "Not forsake assembling together" with God.
(Hebrews 10:21-25)

It's because of Jesus Christ that we have the joy of approaching
a holy God, not only as individuals but also as a people.  This joy
needs expression with others.  When anything great happens,
most people can't wait to share what has happened.  God to a
sporting event and watch how people respond when their team
scores!  High fives, shouts, and congratulations are expressed to
friends, family, and, yes, even strangers!

The church has been blessed with the great high priest - Jesus -
and we are to fix our thoughts on him. (Hebrews 3:1)  If one was
to begin to talk about him, time would end before the topic was
exhausted.  Jesus!  The healer of the blind.  Jesus!  The forgiver
of sins.  Jesus!  The holy son of God.  Nothing in this world or in
creation can compare to him.  To celebrate him is more than just
something I want to do in my personal prayer closet.  The
gathering of believers is that place where I can express the joy
that is bubbling up inside me.

As I was growing up, my parents taught my sister and me that the
church service on Sunday was a very special time.  They would
make sure that we were ready.  Saturday night was a time of
preparation with great expectation.  My mother would even put
the breakfast dishes out on the table.  Sunday, a time of
celebration, was coming.

I have visited many churches worldwide where there was a great
energy before the service began.  Electricity was in the air.  In
some occasions, people would be waiting in lines to get into the
building.  Was it the music?  Was it the preaching?  Maybe for
some people it was, but for most, one could tell it was the joy of
celebrating Jesus.

Remember, Jesus is the head of The Body, The Church.  He is
not a tyrant, brutally ruling over subjects.  He is the great high
priest who Paul says "intercedes for us" (Romans 8:34)  Even as
I am writing this article, I feel such great joy!  God
loves us and
has expressed it through the Saviour of the world!

Programs and tradition will say "It's Sunday and now is the time
to stand and sing worship songs" but when we fix our thoughts on
Jesus Christ, the motivation is solely joy in the knowledge of him.

Each member of The Body is encouraged to "draw near to God",
"to hold on to the confession of hope", "to stimulate one another
to love and good deeds".  One thing that cannot be forgotten is to
"assemble".  This will mean more than just gathering together in
one place.  I can put all the ingredients for a recipe on the
counter but until they are blended together they are not
assembled.  Young and old.  Male and female.  It does not matter
who, we are made one in His Body and we are to be "fitted
together".  (Ephesians 4:16)

While each one can "draw near" to God individually, and each
one can even "hold fast" to the confession of hope, we can only
stimulate one another to love and good deeds by assembling
together.  Joyful congregational worship can take place every
time God's people gather because we are celebrating the same
Lord.  We are not fragmented by musical tastes but unified in
love for Jesus Christ and for each other.
                
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