In our prior lessons we have noted that the problem of being "busy here and there" (I Kings 20:40) often leads to neglect or outright disobedience to spiritual duties imposed by God. Today let's focus our attention on the question:
Are you so "busy here and there" that you are neglecting the church?
The Lord's church is the most valuable institution on Earth because it cost Him His blood and He died to establish it (cf. Acts 20:28). But, how important is His church to us?
We show how important the church is to us in several ways:
- If the church is very important to us, we will make a special effort to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ, particularly those who are struggling or perhaps even drifting from the faith. "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works" (Heb. 10:24).
- If the church is very important to us, we will assemble to worship as often as we can to glorify God. "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching" (Heb. 10:25).
- If the church is very important to us, we will work on our friends and family members to teach and persuade them to obey the gospel and become faithful members of the church. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19,20).
- If the church is very important to us, we will give sacrificially of our time and money to help support its works of benevolence, evangelism, and edification. "Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you" (Luke 6:38).
Friends, how important is the church to you and your family? Be honest with yourself. Are you seeking first God's kingdom (the church) as Jesus commanded (cf. Matt. 6:33)?
If a church becomes stagnant in a community, what is the reason? There could be various explanations, but I would be surprised if a root cause didn't have something to do with the local Christians failing to be busy with the business of the Lord. Jesus died for the church and obviously loves her dearly, so let's make sure that we're not neglecting her because we are so "busy here and there" tending to our own affairs!
We will conclude this series in our next lesson.