Meditating the Word of God – 21st November
Greater truths deserve more attention. We cannot treat all truths equally. Reviewing and remembering them intentionally gives rich dividends. We go through a few relevant verses
Jacob received the word that God would give him and his descendants land as well as assurance that God would watch over him and always be with him. He received this word from God in a dream at the place called Bethel, which means House of God (church). He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. ….. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” (Version NIV Genesis 28: 11-26)
Thus, the Lord gave Jacob a promise in the place of God, i.e. a church.
Zacharias, the priest, had an encounter with the angel also in the house of God – temple, also known as a church. Although Zechariah and Elizabeth were an elderly childless couple, Zacharias received their breakthrough prophetic word in the temple (church). (Ref Luke 1:5-25). This child grew up to become John the Baptist.
Preaching, baptisms, the breaking of the bread, miracle healing, prophetic word, word of knowledge etc. happen in church. Jesus took part and even initiated these milestones of faith, aspects of building faith. These gatherings of saints happen within the physical structure of a building or even outdoors. Church.
When Jesus was baptised by John, heaven opened and Father God said that he was well pleased with Jesus. Jesus was obedient to the Fathers instructions, including baptism.
Many of the aspects mentioned above point to open heavens over the church. The following verse reminds us of the presence of the Lord in a church.
For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them. (version NLT Matthew 18:20)
This verse mentions that teachings and fellowship happen in church. All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer (version NLT Acts 2:42)
Church is the place where initiation to faith happens, the believer gets to know and learn about the various dimensions of faith. Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing the into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be). (version AMPC Matthew 28:19-20)
Church is a place where we get encouraged, however challenged or whatever situation we face.
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And 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. (version NLT Hebrews 10:24-25)
In the church, we have the opportunity to prove God in the matter of giving tithes. Time and again, we have seen testimonies of the faithfulness of God in this matter. Try this in your local church and experience the abundant blessings of the Lord. Will a man rob or defraud God? Yet you rob and defraud Me. But you say, In what way do we rob or defraud You? [You have withheld your] tithes and offerings. You are cursed with the curse, for you are robbing Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (version AMPC Malachi 3:8-10)
Fellowship is an integral aspect of the Christian faith journey. But if we [really] are living and walking in the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations]. (version AMPC 1 John 1:7)
This verse points to the faithfulness of God. God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him, you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (version AMPC 1 Corinthians 1:9)
Worshiping God together as a body of Christ is a great experience, great privilege. King David’s Psalms point to this.
In the broader sense, church is anywhere saints gather. Within a physical structure as well as in the outdoors. The transformation of life situations, the mind happens in a church. Hopeless situations become full of hope. Sorrow fades away, joy comes in. All this happens during church service. Leave your home, leave your room, go to church. Attend church service regularly.