In The Congregation 

Psalm 111:1
“Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.”

God created us as social beings; pwe need the companionship of one another. Knowing that being together is a necessary part of healthy development and spiritual growth, God established seven feasts that took place during three different seasons of the Jewish calendar year. During these feasts the children of Israel were to journey together to the city of Jerusalem. The journey itself became a time of celebration. The closer they came to the city, the more they would celebrate. As they hiked up the hills where Jerusalem sat, they would sing a series of psalms, now known as the Psalms of Ascent. Upon arriving, the feasts consisted of corporate gatherings, sacrifices, teachings, worship and eating. Like the festive times in our calendar year, I am sure these were the highlight of the year for the people.

In the New Testament, God established another means by which to satisfy the social needs of His people. He created the church. Now the primary purpose of the church is to be a place where God is glorified, and the Word of God is taught, but in order to do those things, we must gather together in corporate worship. When that becomes a regular part of your weekly schedule, you will find you are not only growing closer to Christ, investing in eternal things, but you are also much healthier, socially. God knows our needs and designed corporate worship for our benefit.  When it is neglected, our growth is stunted, but when we regularly participate in it, we begin to grow in ways that we never thought possible.

Let’s follow the example of the Psalmist, determining that we will praise the Lord in the assembly of the righteous. Here are a few tips that will enhance our worship experience. First, determine now that you will not be a random attendee in your local church. Plan now to attend Sunday morning and a mid week service. Plan for things that regularly interfere, perhaps even making dinner in advance. Get the kids involved with the ministry at their age level. My kids love church because of the relationships they established with others.

Corporate worship is key to spiritual growth. Get plugged in today

Pastor Jim

 

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