Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Four Questions

(Submitted by Kerry Patton)
and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.   Hebrews 10:24-25

In preparing for teaching a Bible Study class at our church recently, I was taken by the impact of four questions I felt impressed to present along with the lesson I was to bring.  The four questions were as follows:
·      Why Are You Here?
·      What Have You Brought with You?
·      What Will You Take with You When You Leave?
·      What Will You Do with That?

Question One: Why Are You Here?
This is not a question asking why you were born, or what brought you to our church, but why are you at our church on this day?  Everyone who attends church goes to church for a reason.  Think about your particular reason.  Perhaps you go to church so that your spouse will leave you alone.  You could be a business woman or man and have learned that places such as churches are excellent places to network and generate contacts. 
Maybe you attend church because you are lonesome and need fellowship.  It could be that you have a very strong sense of propriety…It is Sunday, and people should be in church on Sundays.  Your parents went to church, so you go to church.  It is what you do.
OR…How about this: Maybe you are going to church because you are hungry…not for food, but for spiritual nourishment.  You are seeking to encounter the living God.  You desire to learn more about Jesus, and have become consumed by experiencing more of his presence, fellowship and power in your life.  Think about this.  It seems important to me…that you know why you are here this Sunday or Wednesday, or attending a small group or study.  Ask yourself.  Why am I here?

Question Two: What Have You Brought with You?
It is very seldom that I don’t bring something with me to church.  And I’m not speaking about my Bible or cell phone.  I’m not even speaking of my tithe!  I’m addressing the needs that we bring with us…the concerns that weigh upon the heart.  One may bring with him or her work frustrations, relationship problems, financial issues, secret sins, a matter from years ago that he or she simply can’t let go of.  Whatever it is, it is my hope that you KNOW what you are bringing with you, and that you are earnestly seeking answers to your problem by bringing them to your loving heavenly Father. 

You see, coming to church, Bible Study, or other small group can’t simply be about “learning about Jesus, and how to be good and not sin.” Yes, that is very, very important.  But coming to church, Bible Study, or other small group fellowship must also be…and perhaps primarily so…be about encountering God!  And if you are going to encounter God, what will you bring to him?  Bring him your hurts, hopes, needs, failures, and fears.  But also your worship, love, adoration, praises, and dreams.  Just as any child hopes to bring his or her need to a loving father and say “Daddy, I need your help…”  What will you bring with you to church?

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