Spiritual Disciplines

We are doing a series here at LebNaz about the Spiritual Disciplines.

The Lord Jesus not only expects these Disciplines of us,He modeled them for us. He applied His heart to discipline. He disciplined Himself for the purpose of Godliness. And if we are going to be Christlike, we must live as Christ lived – Join us Sunday mornings at 10:45 am as Pastor Sheridan unpacks the Christlike Disciplines !

We belong together!

What does the bible say about church attendance? I read this article recently and found it full of some pretty encouraging reasons to ‘meet together’  ~ Vicki

The Bible tells us to meet together as believers and to encourage one another.

Hebrews 10:25
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

The reason I encourage Christians to find a good church is because the Bible instructs us to be in relationship with other believers. If we are part of Christ’s body, we will recognize our need to fit into the body of believers. The church is the place where we come together to encourage one another as members of Christ’s body. Together we fulfill an important purpose on the Earth.

As members of the body of Christ, we belong to each other.

Romans 12:5
… so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. NIV

It is actually for our own good that God want us in fellowship with other believers. We need each other to grow up in the faith, to learn to serve, to love one another, and to practice forgiveness. Though we are individuals, we still belong to one another.

Background

When you give up on attending church, what’s at stake? Well, to put it in a nutshell: the unity of the body, your own spiritual growth, protection and blessing are all at risk when you’re disconnected from the body of Christ.

Christ’s body is made of many parts, yet it is still one unified entity.

1 Corinthians 12:12
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. NIV

1 Corinthians 12:14-23
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.NIV

1 Corinthians 12:27
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.NIV

Unity in the body of Christ does not mean total conformity and uniformity. Although maintaining unity in the body is very important, it is also vital to value the unique qualities that make each of us an individual “part” of the body. Both aspects, unity and individuality, deserve emphasis and appreciation. This makes for a healthy church body, when we remember that Christ is our common denominator. He makes us one.

Spiritual Growth

We develop the character of Christ through bearing with one another in the body of Christ.

Ephesians 4:2
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.NIV

How else will we grow spiritually unless we interact with other believers? We learn humility, gentleness and patience, developing the character of Christ as we relate within the body of Christ.

In the body of Christ we exercise our spiritual gifts to serve and minister to one another.

1 Peter 4:10
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. NIV

1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. NIV

James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective NIV

We will discover a satisfying sense of fulfillment when we begin to carry out our part in the body of Christ. We are the ones who miss out on all the blessings of God and the gifts of our “family members,” if we choose not to be a part of Christ’s body.

Protection & Blessing

Our leaders in the body of Christ offer spiritual protection.

1 Peter 5:1-4
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder … Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. NIV

Hebrews 13:17
Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. NIV

God has placed us into the body of Christ for our own protection and blessing. Just like every earthly family, it’s not always fun. We don’t always have warm and fuzzy feelings in the body. There are difficult and unlovely moments as we grow together as a family, but there are also blessings that we will never experience unless we become relational and connected in the body of Christ.

Need One More Reason to Go to Church?

Jesus went to church as a regular practice. Luke 4:16 says, “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.” NIV It was his custom—his regular practice—to go to church. The Message Bible puts it like this, “As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place.” If Jesus made it a priority to meet together with other believers, shouldn’t we, as his followers, do so also?