I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD (Psalm 122:1). Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:25).
THESE VERSES FROM THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS are just what we need today in a busy, and sometimes, threatening world. King David was glad when someone reminded him to go to the House of the Lord. Paul reminded his readers that they need to be careful to assemble themselves together, to encourage one another.
THE CHRISTIANS IN PAUL'S DAY were getting beat up all the time. No one around them was glad they were Christians. In Jerusalem an angry religious mob had stoned Stephen to death. People were mocking them and poking fun at them. Some government officials beat them, put them in prison and robbed them of everything they had. It was easy to get discouraged. They needed to meet together as a church, to sing, to pray, to share what Bible verses they knew.
“IF THERE EVER WAS A TIME WHEN BELIEVERS HAVE NEEDED to come together, it is today. True believers need to draw together in love around the person of Christ. "Exhorting one another." We need to study the Word of God together. Often, we can get things from group Bible study that we may not get by ourselves.
"ONE OF THE REASONS I LIKE TO TEACH THE WORD OF GOD is selfish. I get more and grow more in the knowledge of His Word when I share it. We are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.
"IF YOU HAVE A BIBLE STUDY AT YOUR CHURCH, be sure to go because there is a blessing for you there that you may not get when you study the Bible by yourself. Here are some "let us" verses:
Let us: Draw near in faith (toward God)
Let us: Draw near in hope (for ourselves)
Let us: Draw near in love (for others)" (McGee - Edited slightly to fit.)
CHURCH-GOING WAS BUILT INTO MY LIFE even before I was born. My mother carried me to church in her womb to Falling Springs Baptist Church in Overton County, Tennessee. (Pictured above left.) My mother was saved there as a teenager under the preaching of an itinerate woman evangelist who got permission to hold a week-long meeting in the church.
AT FALLING SPRINGS, BEFORE WORLD WAR II, most of the people walked to church or rode a mule or horse. Only 2 or 3 people in the community had a car or truck. Sometimes a farmer would hitch his mules to a wagon, padded it with hay and invite people who lived along the road to ride to church. It was a simple but sturdy wood-frame church painted white. There was no electricity and no inside rest rooms.
People walked down the hill and drank water out of a mountain stream. In July of each year, after the corn was “laid by,” a visiting preacher would conduct a two-week revival meeting. Sometimes it would last three weeks.
WHEN I WAS SEVEN, I ATTENDED THE CHRISTMAS PROGRAM at the Alpine Presbyterian Church, (above right) and for the first time heard Joy to the World! It was too complicated for me to remember and sing at home, but I never forgot it. I knew I had heard a great piece of music. The building was finished in the late thirties and some oily rags in a closet caught fire and burned the building before it was ever used. The stone structure remained.
THE CHURCH IS LOCATED ABOUT 200 YARDS above the Alpine school. When I began school in first grade, 1940, the ghostly stone remains following the fire were a puzzling sight. The building was rebuilt in a couple of years. I took this picture in July 2007.
ALPINE, TENNESSEE WAS A POOR COMMUNITY. Some Christians in New York commissioned the nearby stone high school building and then a stone elementary building; All of this during the great depression. The high school had an auditorium with a stage and was heated with a steam boiler. A stone gymnasium and teaching wood working shop were added. It was a great encouragement to people of the area.
SO, THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN NEW YORK invested heavily to build church and school buildings for poor Alpine. They believed that the best way to help a poor, isolated rural area was to encourage the assembling together of God’s people for worship and education. The schools closed many years ago. The high school building is gone. The elementary school building I attended has been sold.
THE CHURCH BUILDING REMAINS IN USE AFTER 80 YEARS. I hope you are glad to go into the house of the Lord and that you are fellow shipping with people of like faith to encourage you to live for the Lord in these troubled days. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MARCH 28, 2019 – THURSDAY
A.M. Joshua 21-22 P.M. Luke: 6:1-26
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
A Great Memory Verse:
Let the words of my mouth, and meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
Song for Today:
To God Be the Glory (3:25) – (Congregational) (Royal Albert Hall - London)
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