Hey family! In the beginning of the summer we started the “Habits of Grace” Study by David Mathis. After a brief hiatus from the study, we are going to FINISH what we started and complete the 31 day study the remaining days of July. If you have been keeping up with what’s going on in the world, it’s so easy to get caught up in fear, despair, and even get distracted from what God is telling you to do. I want to encourage you to keep your eyes on Jesus because only then will we have the right perspective about everything. These study posts are designed to help realign us back in the direction God has us to go.
It is very possible to miss out on your blessings! Let me say that again. You can miss out on the benefits of the Lord. When we are not in the will of God and have not positioned ourselves to receive, we simply won’t. One of the ways many people do not position themselves is not going to a place of corporate worship in the local church. They do not go because they do not know what it has to offer. David Mathis does an incredible job of shedding light on five benefits of corporate worship and why we need them. Some of my most life transforming moments happened in corporate settings (i.e. this picture when I was in college). I hope that you will be encouraged to experience these moments for yourself. Be Blessed! Be Revealed!
- Awakening – Our weeks are rough – and – tough. We often experience spiritual fog and a sense of lethargy when we deal with this fallen world and it can disorient us to what’s really important. I have found even on Sundays when we wake up and don’t “feel” like going, those are the times we need most to remind our souls, “For me it is good to be near God” (Ps. 73:28). It’s something about getting in the midst of other believers that the fire is rekindled and your mind breaks free from the fog.
- Assurance – We are not meant to stand alone. God made us for community, “the church,” and being part of this local and global community plays an important role in assuring us that we know whom we have believed (2 Tim. 1:12).
- Advance – Christian growth is not just something we take away from the sermon and work into our lives that week. Tim Keller says that sanctification can happen “on the spot” as we sit under the gospel preaching and engage in corporate worship. Corporate worship is for our general “up-building and encouragement and consolation” (1 Cor. 14:3).
- Accepting Another’s Leading – In private devotions, we lead ourselves in some sense. In corporate worship, we’re made to receive the leading of others. It’s a wonderful thing in our private devotions to make choices in the driver’s seat, but it is also good for us to practice engaging with God when someone other than ourselves is making the calls. Corporate worship demands that we discipline ourselves to RESPOND.
- Accentuated Joy – The Swedish proverb says, “a shared joy is a double joy.” It is the awareness that we are not alone in having our souls satisfied in him. Our own awe and adoration is increased when we worship Jesus together.