We who call ourselves Christians know that the Church is not a building; it is the Body of Christ collectively. But a church, the building where Christians congregate, is an important part of Christianity; it has played a vital role not only in the community of believers but also in the community at large. The church is a gathering place where worship is conducted. Now worship today according the New Touchy Feely Version (NTFV) Bible is simply music…that’s what praise and worship means today in America. Now don’t get me wrong I love good music as much as anyone but we have lost touch with the biblical meaning of worship.
Church is where we corporately worship and if worship was merely the music then you could leave after about 15 minutes (which I’m sure would be just fine with some “Christians”). Worship is indeed music, but it is hearing God’s Word read and God’s message through His shepherd preaching the gospel truth. Worship is studying God’s Word in a Sunday school class, praying with someone to receive Christ as Lord and Savior.
The Random House Dictionary defines worship as “reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred; formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage; adoring reverence or regard.” When we worship we are rejoicing in the Lord and that rejoicing in and of itself is a gift from God!
“So the two thanksgiving choirs stood in the house of God, likewise I and the half of the rulers with me; and the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Minjamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets; also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. The singers sang loudly with Jezrahiah the director. Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and the children also rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off.” (Nehemiah 12:40-43)
When it came time dedicate the wall Nehemiah gathered the Church to worship in the church what God had accomplished. Everyone rejoiced during the church service that day because “God had made them rejoice” how? God made them rejoice with great joy! Beloved even are ability to rejoice is a gift from God.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-25)
Nehemiah knew that church, then called the house of God, was where worship is supposed to happen. Nehemiah also knew that the church, then known as the Temple, was to be administered in a certain way.
“And at the same time some were appointed over the rooms of the storehouse for the offerings, the firstfruits, and the tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions specified by the Law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who ministered. Both the singers and the gatekeepers kept the charge of their God and the charge of the purification, according to the command of David and Solomon his son. For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chiefs of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. In the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah all Israel gave the portions for the singers and the gatekeepers, a portion for each day. They also consecrated holy things for the Levites, and the Levites consecrated them for the children of Aaron.” (Nehemiah 12:44-47)
Look at how the people responded, “for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who ministered.” The people were grateful for a place to worship and they showed their gratitude in their offerings to support their clergy. This too was from the Lord.
Beloved church is a place to worship; a place to rejoice and fellowship. That is by God’s design.
“…that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:3-7)
When we are walking in the Light, Jesus Christ, we have fellowship with one another. Go back and read your New Testament; once a local church was established that was where the people worshipped. That is where the people today need to worship.
I pray you find a church to worship in and become a member.
If that is not you, I pray this Sunday will be the day you return.
God will surely make you rejoice.
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