As we walk through life as a believer, we are constantly in need of God’s grace. And he has extended his grace freely. But we must understand that God’s grace is applied to our lives in some very specific ways. These have been referred to as the means of grace. Our faith is fortified as we engage in prayer, listen to the preaching of the Word and observe baptism and the Lord’s Table.
Sometimes I talk with those who are struggling. Their finances are a mess. Their relationships are a mess. Their faith is weak. They are struggling to make good decisions. They feel distant from God. Sometimes I have to gently point out that they have not put themselves in a position to benefit from God’s grace. They aren’t reading the Scriptures. They aren’t spending time in prayer. They have neglected corporate worship. They are absent when we participate in the Lord’s Table. They have not availed themselves of the means of grace.
One of the most neglected means of grace in our time is corporate worship. Many believers see it as optional. They keep the church at a distance. They only go when it is convenient. They allow sports, recreation and leisure to crowd it out. Pastor David Mathis offered great counsel in a recent online editorial,
Settle it now. Make it a habit. Corporate worship is too important to revisit each weekend and wrestle, Will I go this weekend, or sit this one out? If you leave it open-ended, as so many do, excuse after excuse will keep you from the storehouses of grace God loves to open in corporate worship. Over time your soul will become dry and shallow because of it. Neglecting to meet together will soon sow and nourish seeds of unbelief in your soul.
Going to church doesn’t mean your life will be problem free. But it does mean you will be in a position to receive the fullness of God’s sustaining grace.
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