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Encourage0gram May 13. 2020

Posted by Pastor Rick John on

Encourage0gram
May 13, 2020
 
Dear brothers and sisters,
 
This morning we will explore the one prohibition in the “Let Us” patch in Hebrews 10.
 
NIV Hebrews 10:25
not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,
 
The infant church in Acts kept four priorities according to Acts 2:24.
 
NIV Acts 2:42
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship,
to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
 
This list of priorities will be kept in every healthy church. We rely on the truth of God’s Word.  We keep the joy of interacting with each other in sharing together. We celebrate the Ordinance of the Lord’s Supper and we pray together.
 
Their devotion was consistent. They met daily and they met in different sized groups.   
 
NIV Acts 2:46-47
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
 
There is a danger in not meeting together with other believers.  When we become isolated, our faith may waver.  We may become skeptical.  We may experience doubts and fears.  This is the story of Thomas who missed the Resurrection day meeting of the Apostles. After he was told about Jesus’ appearance, he sincerely expressed his doubts.  To his credit, he was honest. The next Lord’s Day, the Lord appeared to him.  His doubts and fears were erased by the Presence of Jesus!  (see John 20:19-29).  I find it interesting that Jesus waited one week to answer Thomas.  And when he appeared it was with the gathered disciples.  God has most often given me guidance for life while I was worshiping with others. 
 
The greater danger is the habit of forsaking the gathering with other believers.  God did not call us to be lone rangers of the faith.  We need each other in the Body of Christ.  The Devil often attacks us when we are alone.  There is great power in assembling to worship in prayer, praise and the sound teaching of the Word of God.
 
This has been one of my primary difficulties during this Cornova19 pandemic.  I miss being together and singing praise to the Lord!  I am so grateful for Pastor Ed and our worship team. They work hard to provide us with excellent music!  But I SO miss singing with my brothers and sisters! 
 
I am impressed with the creative ways believers have stayed connected!  We have learned to enjoy Zoom meetings and drive by celebrations.  We text our prayer requests.  We call each other on our phones. We write notes.  We even smile at strangers behind our masks.  We take silent prayer walks through our neighborhoods!  We can gather in small groups of 10-12.  Jesus led a small group called the Apostles.  All of these are very valuable!  They keep us in touch with each other and with God.
 
We will respect our medical and political leaders through this season.  We are making plans to regather at our church.  We are excited to see each other face to face again. In the meantime, do not forsake reaching out to others! 
 
With many prayers,
Pastor Rick

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