“Why Go to Church?” (Part 2)

WHY I LOVE THE CHURCH
WHY I LOVE THE CHURCH

TEXT:  Psalm 84:1-4, 10 (see Part 1):

“How Lovely Are Your Dwellings”–

[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 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 (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are those who dwell in Your house and Your presence; they will be singing Your praises all the day long.  SELAH [pause, and calmly 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.”

IT IS A Place Of  A PERMANENT DWELLING–

(v. 3 a) – This verse says that the sparrow has found a house; found a permanent place of residence; set down roots and dwell in.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord), knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose]”  (1 Corinthians 15:58 AMP).

IT IS A Place For The Pilgrim–

(v. 3 b) – While the sparrow is more of a permanent resident, the swallow is a pilgrim.

Pilgrim Swallows
Pilgrim Swallows

In the town of San Juan Capistrano in Southern California, the swallows would return to their home on or around March 19th every year after leaving in the Fall.

I just read that the annual event, that everyone looked forward to every year, just might be in jeopardy.  Because of the bird-mess in the town to clean up, they decided to remove the swallow’s dwelling place and now the wandering birds have apparently decided to go somewhere else since the swallow is a wanderer!

Yet at the TABERNACLE, the pilgrim swallow has found a place of shelter in the midst of his journey.

*Note the word “nest”.  It gives the idea of something temporary; a place for a season!  What a blessing!

The CHURCH is a great gift from the Lord, not needed forever!  One day, the journey we are all on will end and those who believe in JESUS will go to our eternal home–our dwelling place in Heaven.

IT IS A Place For The Young–

(v. 3 a) –  The Bible tells us that the swallow had found a place to raise her little ones.  What a great lesson for us all!  The church is the place to raise our children!

Here they can hear about JESUS and the plan of salvation.

It is in the House of God where they can learn how to worship with respect; of who He really is.

To praise the name of the Lord in song.

In the company of the REDEEMED is a good place for children to be brought up.  In fact, if raised in the right atmosphere at church and with the right example at home, they will usually (eventually)  find their way back to the nest.

“When you go, they  [the words of your parents’ God] shall lead you; when you sleep, they shall keep you; and when you waken, they shall talk with you”  (Proverbs 6:22).

It Is A Place For The Weary–

The word “nest” implies a place of rest.

I think the church is a place of rest.  A place where we can come to lay down our burdens, cares of life ALL (not “some”) at the feet of Jesus; where we find peace to worship the King of kings.

When I was singing in Southern California with a men’s Gospel trio in the 70’s, one of my favorite songs to sing was Learning to Lean, made popular by The Blackwood Brothers.  I had a solo part on the verse, where the words have remained with me to this day.  Went something like this:

Sad broken heart-ed at the altar I knelt,

I found peace that was so serene

And all that He asked for was a child-like trust

and a heart that was learning to lean.

I’m glad the Lord has provided the opportunity for His people a haven of rest!  A PLACE in learning to lean on Him.

Not All The Birds That Fill The Heavens Could Have Dwelt At The TABERNACLE!

The Eagle – He is too ambitious!eagles3

The Vulture – He is too foul!

The Hawk – He is too war-like!

The Barnyard Foul – They are too dependent on man!

The Owl – He is too fond of darkness!

The Mockingbird – He is too filled with himself.

HOWEVER, the sparrow and the swallow are lowly and little–not filled with self, but are aware of their needs.  They simply appropriated by FAITH that which the Lord provided for them at the tabernacle!

So it is with the REDEEMED!  All we did was appropriate by FAITH the provisions of the Lord in our Savior Jesus Christ.  We saw Him as our shelter and we moved right in!

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, that no one should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”  (Ephesians 2:8-10 NASB).

THEREFORE, we have found a place available for perfect peace and rest in the TABERNACLE of the soul: JESUS!

IT IS A Place To inspire–

(v. 10 b) – David tells us he would rather serve at the TABERNACLE as the man who opened the door than waste his time-serving the world and the devil.doorkeeper

THE CHURCH IS A PLACE where we can exercise our gifts in the Lord.  There is a job for every BELIEVER!

He SAVED US to serve Him:

“…that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]”  (Ephesians 2:10 b AMP).

“But someone will say [to you then], You [say you] have FAITH, and I have [good] works. Now you show me your [alleged] Faith apart from any [good] works  [if you can], and I by [good] works [of obedience] will show you MY FAITH”  (James 2:18).

You see, when the Lord SAVED your soul, He gave you certain SPIRITUAL GIFTS (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Romans 12:4-8).  He has given you a special gift (s) that I don’t possess and vice versa.

For the church to be effective in the community as it should be, every participant (member) must determine what their gift (s) are and use them for the glory of the Lord and not for their own glory.  After all, you don’t want to be a Mockingbird (“filled with self”) do you?

THIS IS A Place where you can serve and be effective in your doing…if you DESIRE!

There aren’t many who are looking for a place of service in the House of God.  Most in our day are looking for a FREE RIDE–want to be a part of the church but don’t want to have a part in the church.

I’ve given you just some of the things that make the House of God a special place.  I wonder while reading this particular POST, has the Lord spoken to your heart about your relationship to the church?  If the church doesn’t hold the elevated place in your heart that it deserves, then you’ve just lost the DESIRE to be a part of the Assembly.

Come before the Lord, tell Him your heart’s desire and your relationship to His church and be honest!  God knows you better than you think.  He just waiting for your response to His calling.

2 thoughts on ““Why Go to Church?” (Part 2)

  1. I loved the lessons with the birds. I never knew that about sparrows and swallows – and look how similar their names are. I have a special place in my heart for birds as I believe the Lord sends me birds within my sight to remind me that He loves me. And I love the image of the little boy and the doorkeeper quote. Thinking of the church as a nest – and all the parallels you made, gave me goosebumps. I pinned two images from this post. So good. I hope others will come and read this. Thanks, Mel. Blessings, Amy

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