One purpose for assembling is to worship Almighty God. Another purpose for assembling is to strengthen our relationships in love. Still another purpose is to encourage each another to continue serving the Lord faithfully.
Although these are the ideal purposes for assembling with Christians, these aims will not be achieved if one brings an improper attitude with him. Allow me to illustrate:
John assembled with a group of Christians on Sunday. He heard the song leader miss a note, and he winced. He saw some teenagers talking when everyone was supposed to be praying. He was sure that the man who passed the contribution plate down his pew was watching him to see what he put in the plate, and it made him furious! He caught the preacher making a slip of the tongue five times during the sermon. As he slipped out the door during the closing hymn, he muttered to himself, "What a bunch of hypocrites! There is nothing here that appeals to me!"
Jack also assembled with that same group of people. As they sang "How Great Thou Art," he was thrilled to praise the majestic God of the Universe! He was glad to hear the mission work was going well. He especially appreciated the good sermon that Sunday. At the close of the worship period, he warmly greeted visitors as well as old friends. He considered these people his family and thoroughly enjoyed their company. When he left later, he thought to himself, "How can a person come here and not be excited to worship God, be renewed in love, and grow spiritually?"
Friends, each man found what he was looking for! When our purpose in assembling with Christians is to see how many mistakes we can spot in their lives and in the worship, we will surely find plenty (though none in our own lives, of course!). When our purpose in assembling is to worship, build up others, and grow stronger, we will be successful. When we have a poor attitude, assembling with Christians even once a week will seem to be an impossible burden to carry. However, when our heart is right with the Lord and His children, we will gladly gather together as much as possible!
When we assemble together with Christians, let us endeavor to put things into their proper perspective. How would you sing and what would your attitude be this Sunday if you were in the presence of the greatest king of all time and were asked to sing before him? Wouldn't you sing mightily and from the heart? How would you pray and what would your attitude be this Sunday if we were making requests to the greatest benefactor time has ever known? Wouldn't you pray passionately? How would your concentration be and what would your attitude be this Sunday if we were honoring the greatest lifesaver of all time--the one who saved you? Wouldn't you be intently focused every minute? How would you give and what would your attitude be this Sunday if we were giving to the greatest cause on earth? Wouldn't you give joyfully and generously? How would you listen and what would your attitude be this Sunday if we were to hear words from the greatest book ever written? Wouldn't you listen carefully to every word?
I plead with you all to let this next point sink in. When Christians assemble together to worship God, all of these things are true! We ought to be acting accordingly and bringing an appropriate attitude! Truly, when we worship, we are in the presence of Almighty God. He is the greatest king, the greatest benefactor, and the greatest lifesaver! His cause is the greatest cause and His book is the greatest book! If we believe these truths, then let us act accordingly!
Assuming that you gather together with Christians this Sunday, what attitude will you bring?