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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Why You Need a Church Family BY RICK WARREN — SEPTEMBER 21, 2018

”[Christ’s] love has the first and last word in everything we do. Our firm decision is to work from this focused center” (2 Corinthians 5:14 The Message).
You cannot fulfill the five purposes (worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, evangelism) on your own. Life is not a solo act. You were created for community. The only way you can fulfill God’s five purposes is with people in your life who are giving you spiritual input. You need a church family!
Why? Because the church helps you center your life on God.
God didn’t put you on Earth to live a self-centered life. His purpose for you is to build your life with him at the core. You were planned for God’s pleasure. He made you to love you, and he wants you to love him back. God says, “I want to be the hub of your heart. I want to be the focus of your attention. I want to be the center of your life. I want to be the axis of your existence.”
The Bible says, “[Christ’s] love has the first and last word in everything we do. Our firm decision is to work from this focused center” (2 Corinthians 5:14 The Message).
How can you tell when Christ is at the center of your life? You stop worrying. Philippians 4:7 says, “It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life” (The Message). There’s a word for this: worship. Whenever you focus your life on God, that’s called worship. And worship is the antidote for worry. If you want to worry less, worship more.
When are we supposed to worship? The Bible says, “You have six days when you can do your work, but the seventh day of each week is holy because it belongs to me. No matter where you live, you must rest on the Sabbath and come together for worship” (Leviticus 23:3 CEV). God says, “Once a week I want you to come together with other believers to refocus, recalibrate, and re-center your life on me.”
Where are you supposed to do it? Acts 2:46 tells us, “They worshiped together regularly at the Temple” (TLB). For us, that means to gather at our local church—wherever that may happen to be.
Can you see that God meant for you to be a part of a church family? When you are, it helps you focus and center your life on God so that you can fulfill his purpose for you.
Talk It Over

  • Worship is the antidote for worry. If you want to worry less, worship more. This week, when you start to worry, worship and praise God instead.
  • How do you think your life would change if Christ were consistently (or more consistently) at the center?
  • How can a church family help you refocus your life on God?
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