“Why Go to Church?” (Part I)

WHY I LOVE THE CHURCH
WHY I LOVE THE CHURCH

*A NOTE: I would like to thank my pastor, Kyle Hopkins for his MESSAGE this past Sunday in the Psalms, for which my detective work was launched from.

PSALM 84:1-4, 10 Amplified Bible:

[1] “HOW LOVELY are Your tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!  [2] My soul yearns, yes, even pines and is homesick for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out and sing for joy to the living God.  [3] Yes, the sparrow has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young–even Your altars, O lord of hosts, my King and my God.                        [4] BLESSED are those who dwell in Your house and Your presence; they will be singing Your praises all the day long.  Selah [pause, and calm;y think of that]!  [10] For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand [anywhere else]; I would rather be a doorkeeper and stand at the threshold in the house of my God than to dwell [at ease] in the tents of wickedness.” 

“I’m grateful for the DESIRE I HAVE to go” —

I’ve learn over the years of my Christian life, no matter how I feel at the time; disenchanted, hurt feelings, rejection, disappointment–GOD has placed a DEEP DESIRE inside of me; to be a part of the Assembly on Sunday mornings.  Oh, just in case you might be thinking I’ve conjured up all this over time, you’re wrong!  I have always looked for and sought the things that I needed for my journey through life.

I wasn’t raised as child in a CHURCH.  In fact, I didn’t accept JESUS as my Lord and Savior until the age of thirty; my wife also accepted the Lord the same night at the age of twenty-eight.  So HABIT didn’t come into play as a REASON for going to church.  Although, going to church weekly, isn’t a bad HABIT at all!

“So what are the REASONS for going?”

To name a few…

I find HOPE,

I can find HELP,

I find FELLOWSHIP,

I find UNDERSTANDING,

I find WORSHIP.

That is my list, I’ve written down over the years.  Your list may be somewhat different; more items, less… but it helps keep the FOCUS on why go to church at all?

Have I always found the items listed above weekly, or have I just been going through the motions?  REMEMBER, your attitude in “going” can certainly determine your “altitude” after you get there!

THIS IS A PSALM OF THE “TABERNACLE” (Psalm 84):

It is thought by many that this Psalm was written by King David in exile from Jerusalem during the rebellion of his son Absalom.  If that is the case, it plainly reveals the heart, the DESIRE of David.

DAVID was a man who loved the House of the Lord!

There was no place on this earth so special as that ONE PLACE; a place the Lord had chosen to place His Name, to demonstrate His presence.  For David, the TABERNACLE was the place he desired to be.

In Isaiah, we can see the godly desire displayed from the heart:

“…we wait [expectantly] for You; our heartfelt desire is for Your name and for the remembrance of You.  My soul yearns for You [O Lord] in the night, yes, my spirit within me seeks You earnestly…”  (Isaiah 26:8-9 AMP).

I know that the TRUE HOUSE is in heaven and His TRUE TABERNACLE is now in the heart of the believer (John 1:14).  However, the visible symbol of both these things is the CHURCH.

David’s entire being longed to go to “Church”–

David DESIRED to be present at the House of God; his soul, his body and his heart longed to be at the place of WORSHIP!

Maybe David remembered what many believers in God have forgotten, that the House of the Lord can be an OASIS in the desert, in the wilderness of the world, in the storms of life.

WHATEVER thoughts occupied his mind, when he thought of the House of God, his pulse quickened–his eyes brightened–he longed to be there!  All through David’s life he DESIRED to be in the TABERNACLE; the place where God DWELLS:

Psalm 27:4:

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord  [in His presence]  all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty  [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness]  of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.”

1 Chronicles 29:3:

“Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, in addition to all I have prepared for the holy house, I have a private treasure of gold and silver, which I give for the house of my God:”

Even in EXILE, even when David couldn’t physically be there, the king DESIRED to ‘go to church’!  Far too many of us (I’ve been in this spot at times of discomfort) see CHURCH as something either to take or leave.  BUT God’s Spirit will bring us (eventually) to understand “The desires of the heart  reveal the condition of the soul.”

What we long for in life REVEALS what we love and what you love REVEALS WHO’S you are!

THERE IS A VERY GOOD REASON FOR YEARNING, LONGING TO GO:

I’ve come to realize in my life…

It’s a PLACE to meet God (Psalm 84:2 (b)):  “…my heart and my flesh cry out and sing for joy to the living God.”

I REALIZE that the Lord is ALWAYS with His children,

“…for He Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support.  [I will] not,  [I will] not,  [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let  [you] down (relax My hold on you)!”  (Hebrews 13:5 AMP).

I REALIZE  that God dwells in His children,  “I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age”  (Matthew 28:20).

“To whom God was pleased to make known how great for the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ within and among you, the Hope of [realizing the ] glory”  (Colossians 1:27 AMP).

“Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received  [as a Gift] from God?  You are not your own”  (1 Corinthians 6:19 AMP).  

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come [back] to you”  (John 14:18).

I’VE ALSO come to REALIZE…

GOD has promised to MEET with His people when they gather together to WORSHIP Him.

“For wherever two or three are gathered  (drawn together as My followers)  in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them [Exodus 3:14]”  (Matthew 18:20 AMP).

I don’t want to be like Thomas who was absent when the Lord showed up and missed the blessing (John 20:19-24).

*NOTE:  The Bible points out that Thomas was missing!

Just between us, I think He notices it when we’re missing too!

A PLACE WHERE WE CAN TRULY LIVE:

“Really, a place to reside in?”

As David thought of the Lord’s House, how far away from it he was, he began to REFLECT on the little birds making their homes in the small places in the Tabernacle.

Have you ever noticed upon entering a large Box Store to shop, the birds in the rafters high above chirping and fluttering about?  As David must have noticed, he thinks about these birds and mentions two: the SPARROW and the SWALLOW.

If these birds could be labeled, the sparrow would be the “worthless bird” and the swallow, the “wandering bird”.  However, David tells us that both the worthless sparrow and the wandering swallow found exactly what they needed in the confines of the House of God.

It is the place for the UNWANTED (Matthew 10:29)–hospfeeding

The sparrow was worthless and unwanted as they would arrive in great numbers as unwanted guests.  They came needy, looking for a place of shelter and food.  They found what they came after too!

What a picture these little birds are to the sinner!  There are contrasts as well.

The SINNER is invited to come to the Lord–

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you rest”  (Matthew 11:28).

Though there are many, there is room for all:  “For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved”  (Romans 10:13).  

ALL are in need for shelter and food and are promised to find plenty of provision in the Lord for all.

5 thoughts on ““Why Go to Church?” (Part I)

  1. Thought provoking article if the building is the tabernacle. If the tabernacle is in the heart where the Holy Spirit dwells and fellowship happens when 2 or more gather, then we are confusing church and building. I find the present church building a waste of resources, ineffective and irrelevant. I find the body of Christ resourceful, powerful and forthcoming

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    1. Sounds like you might need to read Part 2, upcoming this weekend. But you’re right to a degree. TABERNACLE can refer to the intimate covenant relationship between man and God! In the Gospels, JESUS made the habit of attending church (synagogue) whenever He entered a village.

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