Devotion and Prayer for Week of July 7, 2013

Meditation for the week of July 7, 2013


“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

                                                                                 Hebrews 10: 25


I am just not a winter guy.  I used to be but not anymore.  As far as cold and snow go, you can just keep it.  Give me green grass, leaves on a tree and warm weather.  And, even though this past winter was mild for Chicago, that summer is just around the corner excites me.  Bring on the shorts, flip-flops and summer relaxation.

That said, because good weather seems to evade the Chicago area from the first of November until well into April, I think we all have a tendency to want to cram in as much outside time as we can once the climate becomes more friendly.  In and of itself, that is not a bad thing; even our Lord took time out to rest and relax.  However, as we enjoy our summer leisure, let’s not forget to rest in the way the Lord gave us, that is, in worship.

Worship is God’s gift of rest to us; rest in him.  Unfortunately, we tend to think of worship as something we do.  The view most of us have is that it is work.  It is something to be performed for God.

Nothing could be further from the truth, however.  Worship is not something we do; it is something done for us.  Consider that in worship, the true God, the Creator of heaven and earth, our Creator actually promises to come to be with us.  And not just to pay us a visit, no, he comes to give us his gifts.  He gives us absolution for our sins, he gives us his word and he gives to us the very body and blood of Jesus that he might sustain us until he comes again.

That is why the author or Hebrews in the above verse encourages the saints to not give up gathering in worship.  He realizes the benefits.  Granted there were those at the time that did not see the benefits.  For whatever reason, some had simply stopped coming.  He doesn’t specify why but we have all heard the various and sundry reasons why people stop coming to worship.  My bet is that the reasons they had back then are not that different then the reasons people give today.

Regardless, the admonition is to encourage each other to come.  Moreover, he is specific as to why, “the Day is approaching.”  The “Day” he is referring to is Judgment Day.  Every day the sun comes up means that we are another day closer to Jesus’ return.  At that time, he will look for faith on the earth.  More to the point, he will look to see if we have faith.  In his graciousness, he has given us worship that our faith might be sustained until he comes.  Worship is how he nourishes our faith so that when he comes, we will be fully prepared to meet him.

So, let’s use this summer to rest, but let’s also use it to rest in the Lord.  Let me encourage you to not neglect meeting together.  Be sure to join us every week for God has tremendous gifts to give you; gifts that lead to eternal life!


Our Weekly Prayer 

Most gracious God, we thank you for the many good gifts you give us.  We also thank you for the gift of worship whereby you give us what we need the most, your Word by which we live.  Grant to each of a hunger to come to worship in your presence that we might never neglect what you have given to sustain us in the faith but always receive your gifts with joy knowing that they are too our salvation.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen