It is so much easier to kick a loose brick around than a solid wall!
Recently I shared about enemy’s plans to stop you from growing up and maturing as a Christian (see below the sermon ‘Whose vision are you following’? One thing was clear to us that Satan does not want you reading your bible because according to John 8:31-32 if we continue in his word, we are true disciples, and we shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set us fire. Satan wants to starve you as a Christian baby, so that you will shrivel and wither in your souls and spirits. As well as attacking your bible reading, Satan attacks other vital areas in your Christian life. The area in question, this morning is your attendance at the meetings, sadly many Christians have also been deceived in this area; so what is Satan’s strategy? What is so dangerous to him/his kingdom of darkness about your regular attendance at the church meetings?
I would like to ask you a question; What ministry or things do you receive at your church meetings?
You probably get led in praise and worship, ministry of word, built up by gifts of Holy Spirit, and may receive a personal word from Lord.
You should receive, building up, encouragement, exhortation, rebuking, correcting, communion, and hear prayer.
What ministry do you give to your local body?
Thanksgiving, praise, and worship, giving financially to the Lord and the Lord’s work, operating in gifts of spirit, particularly in the verbal gifts of spirit. Hopefully, you are being helped to develop your own ministry.
Already we can see that each time we miss out on a meeting, a whole lot of opportunities to give and receive ministry that brings glory to God are lost.
Make no mistake each time the evil one persuades you or me to miss the meeting or to only be an occasional attender, he knows exactly just how dangerous your regular committed attendance at the meetings is to him and to his influence in our lives. Let us look at why the devil specifically does not want you to attend fellowship meetings in a regular committed way.
Please note that this is not a condemnation sermon since almost all of us for different reasons cannot be at every meeting. Different reasons such as babysitting, work commitments, special family commitments etc. can prevent our attendance at a given meeting. This message is not against any legitimate reason that you allow but is against the suggestion of enemy that you do not need or want to be committed to attend on a regular basis.
So here are just a few reasons not to come regularly to the meetings:
1. All the reasons above we gave when we looked at ministry given and received.
2. Satan does not want you to hear God’s word (John 8:32-33).
3. Satan does not want you participating in corporate prayer.
4. Ephesians 2:19-22: as a part of God’s own family we are being built and fitted together, as a dwelling place for God in the Spirit. How can we attend together if absent (1 Peter 2:4-5)? You and I are living stones chosen, set apart by God himself. He is building us together into a spiritual house. But we are living stones with rough edges, those areas of our lives and attitudes where there can give friction when the lively stones rub together. Let me give you an example; a brother at another fellowship used to charge around before meetings and shout ‘out my way’ when asked he said “sorry, I get worked up to have sound system working”. God tells him, relax, trust in him, be polite but tells you to appreciate such ministries because they are there to bless you. We might say Lord deal with this sister’s slowness. The Lord says OK, but I will deal with your impatience too! Amen
Fellowship life is God’s way of polishing and smoothing the living stones. God gathers his living stones into his building site i.e. our church meetings and smooths us down gradually and cements us together by His Love. Amen.
The devil wants you to be a loose brick, rough unpolished with your life and attitudes not dealt with. It is so much easier to kick a loose brick around than a solid wall! Where does this idea come from Just because you are a Christian does mean that have to go to church? You guessed right-the enemy.
The man who led me to Lord I asked him; Do I need to go to church? He looked straight in the eye and said, Yes, there is no other way!
Do not be deceived any longer, God does not place solo artists in his church. Jesus Christ is building a family. Jesus Christ is building an army. Your basic training will mainly be at meetings of fellowship.
Verse 23; Be steady, for Jesus is faithful.
Verse 24; Provoke each other to good deeds! Set an example to our church family in every area of life.
Verse 25; do not forsake the meetings (some are already deceived) but encourage each other as day approaches by saying I hope to see you at the meeting. Be a true friend, by encouraging each other to attend, always be watching out for each other’s welfare. Amen.
Do not be deceived by enemy’s lies.
1. You are too tired; Meetings will refresh you. Put on the garment, praise for Spirit of Heaviness. Is the job that God blessed you with making you too tired to come and thank him for it? This does not sound right.
2. You are too busy to make time for God. You and I were created for his pleasure. What ‘idols’ have taken first place in your life above him in sense of materialism? Priorities out of order, doing unnecessary things to keep up with Joneses? So busy all week, no time for God?
3. You do not need to be a regular attender at church. Do not be a loose brick, you need to be built into a solid wall.
The Lord wants you by freewill choice to be a regular committed attender at local church meetings. His purpose is for you to grow in maturity, that you can be built into the body, developing your ministry and eventually to fulfil all your God-given destiny.
The enemy wants to deceive you into not attending the church meetings, into not growing or getting your life dealt with, resulting in you having no ministry and thus unfulfilled destiny.
# Repent if necessary
# Renew your commitment to attend regularly and admit, we need to build attend into our lives.
# In a spirit of humility agree to share this word with those absent. Encourage them not to forsake the assembling but to come and grow in grace and knowledge of Lord Jesus Christ, until we all attain to that full maturity found in Jesus Christ.