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Why Go Where You Go?Why Go Where You Go?
by Teresa Bell Kindred


Let us go right into the presence of God, with true hearts fully trusting him. For our evil consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.
(Hebrews 10:22-25 NLT)

    Why do you go to church?

    Some go to church because they consider it a Sunday social event.

    Some go because someone they love expects them to.

    Some go to be entertained.

    A friend of mine regularly complained about their “boring” preacher. “I can hardly stay awake,” she said. Eventually she left the church she attended in favor of another.

    While we may need to change congregations for several legitimate reasons, there is something wrong if we are transferring to another congregation only to be entertained. We go to church to worship God, to encourage his people, and to be strengthened by God’s Word and grace. We go to honor Him, to bless His peole, and to be blessed by His people as we offer our hearts to Him and His work in our world.

    Everyone has talents; but we all have different levels of ability. Some preachers are more eloquent than others. Some congregations have beautiful singing, while others may have to work harder at making a “joyful noise.” Larger churches generally have more resources and people to meet the needs of members than smaller rural ones. The important thing is not the building where we meet, whether or not members can sing in beautiful harmony, or if the preacher can give a rousing sermon each and every Sunday... what matters is that the members of the congregation are there for the right reason; to worship God and bless each other. Expensive sound systems and flashing lights may impress men, but they don’t impress the Creator of the Universe. He invented thunder and lightening, remember? He cares for the broken-hearted and thrills at the heart full of praise. We go to church to honor Him and to bless the people He loves.

    So why do you go to church? Really ask yourself this question. Ask God to help you answer it truthfully.

Hopefully we go to give God the honor and glory He deserves.
    Hopefully we go to give God the honor and glory He deserves. We go to say thank you for all He has done for us. We go to pray and ask His forgiveness. We go to worship Him! We go to stir and encourage God’s children to live for Him. We go to to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. We go to serve our King and His royal family.

    Too many people expect church services to entertain, energize, and uplift them. If they come away from a service without an emotional high they feel they’ve been cheated. My grandfather would say, “they expect something for nothing.” They want something without paying the price, without investing themselves in God or His people. We read our Bibles daily to deepen our walk with God. We meditate and spend time in prayer to draw closer to our Father. Shouldn’t that attitude be reflected in our approach to church?

    John F. Kennedy once said, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Think about those words in terms of church: let’s not go to church expecting something in it for us, but rather asking God what we can do to honor Him and to bless His people!

    Instead of changing churches, let’s first examine ourselves to see if we need a change of heart rather than a change of address.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice — the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.

...

Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
(Romans 12:1-2, 9-10 NLT)
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