Sunday, September 7, 2014

3 Benefits of Going to Church

Continuing the ABC’s of Growing Closer to God . . .
G is for Going to Church 
            Growing up in an Air Force family we moved every two years. I don’t think it did any lingering damage to me,  . . .  at least none that I know of.  It did, however, keep us from attending the same church for extended periods of time. When we moved to a new city we would visit many different churches, and finally settle on one months later. By the time I knew the Sunday school teacher’s name and met some kids it was time to move again. I longed to be part of a church family where, like in the TV show Cheers, everyone knows your name.
            Thankfully, in my adult life, we have belonged to a church family for many, many years. Our kids have grown up with other church kids. We met all of our best friends at church. I love being a part of a church family, caring about people and having them care about me.

Although the list could be much longer, here are Three Benefits of Going to Church.
1. Gain Positive Friends
            No, people at church are not perfect. But, even by being there they are showing they want to follow God. They want to do things God's way. People are happy at church because they have the joy of the Lord. People know they are forgiven and don’t have to carry around the guilt and shame of the past. People at church have hope because they look at world events through the eyes of a loving Creator, and they know there is more than just this earthly life.
2.  Grow in our walk with God
            Worshiping God at church helps us grow closer to Him. The Bible is explained in a way that makes sense and we can apply it. We can read it by ourselves, but sometimes it helps to listen and learn. We can sing praise songs by ourselves, but it is something special to sing praise songs with a room full of people who love God. Don’t you think Sunday mornings are God’s favorite, knowing His people are coming together to praise Him?
3.  Go into the community and serve
            It is wonderful to get together and serve others who need a helping hand. Whether it is hosting a carnival to give away backpacks to needy kids for school or providing food boxes and gifts to low income families at Christmas, the Bible encourages us to show God’s love to others in a practical way. Sorting food at a food pantry, serving meals at a homeless shelter or building fences, pulling weeds and painting at a school, serving where needed is a blessing to the community. It brings fulfillment and joy and is what the church should be about, serving as the hands and feet of Jesus.
Let me encourage you, go to church this week. If you haven’t been in a while, come back. 
Your church family needs you. 
And if you want to grow closer to God a great way to start is to go to church.

What do you think the benefits of going to church are?

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