Jump Start # 2913
Hebrews 10:25 “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.”
NOTE: Monday is a holiday. There will not be a Jump Start that day.
The other day I read a short piece about Gus Nichols, a long ago preacher from generations past. Gus was baptized in 1901. In the article he said that in fifty years as a Christian, he had only missed four Sunday morning worships, and that was because he was ill. He went on to say that he didn’t decide to attend last Sunday, nor the Sunday before. He said that decision was made fifty years ago.
Those thoughts bring us to our verse today. There was a time when preachers talked about attendance. That isn’t done much today. I hope we are just not getting more and more lax about things like this. Assembling with the saints is important and it needs to be stressed to our children and taught to our new converts. Good things happen when we attend. Fellowship, encouragement and instruction are just a few of the upsides to attending. We certainly need those things.
It could be that through the years we just have not talked enough about the value of attending. The covid pandemic has led many to stay in and possibly stay in much longer than they should. One can watch a video but what’s missing is the fellowship and the encouragement. You can’t get that through a screen. You need faces. You need touches. You need smiles. You need deep conversations. You need face to face.
The issue that the Hebrew writer address is more than one missing a few Wednesday nights. Some had quit. They were not assembling at all, period. The layers of trouble that followed the Christians wasn’t worth it. Being a Jew was much easier. Life was good as a Jew. In their twisted thinking, they could still follow God, love Him and be devoted to Him, but under the Jewish way of doing things. Back to the Sabbath. Back to Jerusalem. Back to animals sacrifices. Why not? It worked before. It worked for their parents.
The answer to all of that is the book of Hebrews. Going backwards is just that. Back to a hopeless life. Back to a life without forgiveness. Back to living without a Savior. Back to the law. And everything connected to Jesus was superior.
So the warning from the text is, don’t forsake assembling together. You need to come and worship God. You need it. The church needs you. All of my life I have assembled with saints on Sunday. When a student at a state university, I had to get rides to the church building. For decades and decades, Sunday has always been special. I always know how many days it is to Sunday. But that’s me. Not everyone is like that. Why is it hard for some to assemble on Sunday?
First, they may not have been shown the upside value of worshipping together. Some view assembling for worship as if there is nothing else going on, then we might show up. This doesn’t bother them. They haven’t understood the commitment that comes with being a N.T. Christian. They are still in the mode of receiving things, never realizing that their presence is an encouragement to others.
Second, some are just too tired on Sunday. It’s the only day they have to sleep in, so that’s what they do. They sleep. But a little arranging of the schedule and priorities will change much of that. Get to be early on Saturday and one won’t be so tired on Sunday. The thoughts of Sunday begin as early as Friday and Saturday. As weekend plans are made, they ought to be shaped around worshipping God. Where are we going to worship on Sunday. From that, as family and friends get together over the weekend, one must know when to recognize the time and head to bed. Saturday Night live generally leads to Sunday morning dead. Put some effort into this. Work on this.
Third, get up early on Sunday. Again, this is hard for some. You’ll see some dragging in late to worship, half asleep and the worship period is nearly over before they are with it. God deserves better than that. This may come from not understanding what worship is. It’s not sit and be entertained. It’s not a show to watch. You are there to honor, praise and worship God. What have you brought to do that? You may sit on a pew, but that does not mean that you have worshipped God. You come to give something to God. You need to give Him your best. Thinking about that and preparing for that ahead of time will help you so much as you worship the Lord. Get up early. Get down to the church house early. Get your mind rolling with thoughts about the Lord and His love for you. Read some passages. Say a few prayers.
Fourth, from our verse we learn that habits are established. Our texts tells us that some were in the habit of forsaking. They missed more than they were there. But we can do just the opposite. We can develop the habit of attending. Every Sunday, we are there. Not to be in worship, feels strange and odd. Our heads tell us that something is just not right. These good habits help us. We become closer to the people of God. The hymns, though not inspired, sure encourage, remind and teach us. Those hymns can help us as we sing them to ourselves as we are away from each other. You’ll hear passages in worship that you have not thought about. Those might be the very things you need to answer questions that you have had.
Get up and get going. Sunday is coming. Be thinking about that, today.
See you Sunday!