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Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Surprising Spiritual Truth from Coal BY RICK WARREN — OCTOBER 8 Sunday

“Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25 NLT).
These days you don’t have to go to church to watch a worship service. You can just stay home and see it online. You can stay in your pajamas, and make a late breakfast.
But the Bible makes it clear. “Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near”(Hebrews 10:25 NLT).
And this is why you need a church family. This is why we need to gather as groups of believers who can live life together as we follow Jesus together.
Without a church family, you’ll drift when it’s tough to trust Christ. I can look back on my life and see times when, if I had missed a specific worship service, my life would have taken a radically different turn. And I’ve thought, “What if I’d skipped that service? What if I’d just slept in that day?” I would have missed something that changed the direction of the rest of my life. So if the church doors are open, I want to be inside.
A church is kind of like a campfire. In a campfire you’ve got all these red-hot coals. If you remove one single coal and set it far away, it will cool in a matter of minutes. The fire goes out, and the coal goes dark. But if you take a coal that’s lost its fire and put it back into the fire, it gets hot again. That’s the power of fellowship.
Now, I know there are times when we can’t make it to church, and we can be grateful that there are ways we can still connect, such as watching a worship service online or listening to a podcast. You may be too sick to come to church, or you may have times when you live hundreds of miles from the nearest church, such as when brave men and women serve in the military. You might even be serving the Lord in some remote region of the world.
In cases like these, it’s still important to stay connected as best you can with other believers, who can help you stay encouraged and faithful. And it’s important for people within our congregations to reach out to individuals who experience challenges in getting to church every week.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:20, “Where two or three have come together in my name, I am there among them” (GW). Let’s continue to pray and support each other, and “let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24 NIV).
Talk It Over
  • How has the support of a church family helped you stay faithful and encouraged?
  • How are you doing with meeting together with other believers?
  • What are some ways you can reach out to others who aren’t able to make it to church?
  • What are some ways you can help church members who are far away from home stay connected?
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