If you were going to describe our world today, the words peace, love, and understanding might not come to mind. The church, however, is called to a higher standard. God’s people are called to be one body in Christ, where everyone is valued and viewed as significant. Instead of tearing one another down, we are to encourage and lift up our brothers and sisters in Christ. Instead of fighting against one another, we are called to love one another.
This notion of church made the early believers stand against the Roman Empire during the first few centuries after the resurrection of Jesus. Christians began assembling together, providing for one another, praising God, and serving their communities, even in the midst of intense persecution. Praise God for the church!
During communal gatherings, the church has the opportunity to worship by learning, encouraging, and reflecting on the One in whom we have placed our hope. The author of Hebrews commends us to “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess” (v. 23). We are not to waver from our faith but constantly draw near to God. Being a part of the church gives us the opportunity to grow spiritually from the pulpit and the Word, as well as from one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. Praise God for the church!
The author of Hebrews reminds us of the importance of “not giving up meeting together” (v. 25). In the 21st century, gathering on a Sunday morning may have become overly ritualistic for some and occasionally rare for others, but it does not have to be. Gathering regularly has a purpose. Church is a time of seeking God, uplifting others, and praising the Savior. When the church is true to its calling, it can be a glimpse of heaven. Praise God for the church!
The Word of God says we ought to praise God for the church. Of course the church has flaws and imperfections—it is comprised of sinners. Despite its blemishes, however, let’s praise God for the church, and this week let someone in your church know you are praising God for them.