We Must Reconnect Physically
Returning to the church after an extended absence can sometimes feel as difficult as visiting a church for the first time. Satan will plant seeds of doubt, insecurities, and hesitancy in our minds by telling us that maybe “now just isn’t the right time.” Joy and happiness, however, are in the heart of a believer whenever he or she enters the church.
David in Psalm 122 wrote he “was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the hose of the Lord.” How did he find this gladness? Could he not sit alone contemplating the greatness of God and the many mercies in His life? Could he not sit at the dining room table and meditate upon the great lovingkindness and resulting restoration following his fleshly failures? Certainly, our spirit rejoices whenever we quietly consider the greatness of our God. But as we have proved in every area of our life, we are a social people and have an innate desire and need to fellowship with others.
David continued by noting other great aspects of the house of the Lord. He said, “peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.” The peace we find within the walls of our church is the same testimony of peace we offer through Christ to those around us. In verse 8, David wrote, “for my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, peace be within thee.”
We Must Stop Being Warmed by the World
Whenever we feel apart spiritually from our Savior, we have allowed ourselves to be drawn closer to the world. When we realize the distancing of our faith in Jesus, we must withdraw from the warmness of the flames of the world.
In Romans 12:2, Paul taught the church “do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Many with the disease of spiritual coldness have found other activities during the normal hours of church worship since the waning months of the pandemic.
In John 13, Peter was told by Jesus that “the cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.” Then in John 18, we see the circumstances of each of the predicted denials. In verse 16, Peter denied being “one of this man’s disciples” as he entered through the door of the high priest’s palace. Notably, he then stood with the servants and officers and warmed himself with the fire of coal. While still warming himself because of the cold, in verse 25, Peter again denied being “one his disciples” as Annas sent Jesus bound unto the high priest. Immediately thereafter Peter even denied being with Jesus in the garden when asked by one of the high priest’s servants.
Even though warmed by a fire, spiritual coldness had set in as Peter came to the realization of the words of Jesus. There was a realized distance. Being satisfied with virtual church worship has the same result as being warmed by the fire of the world. Jesus is in the palace adjacent to your location, but we are staying outside in the cold. Peter risked association with Christ by the warmness of worldly identification.
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