Scripture tells us…
“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 NIV).
Going to church & being a part of a church body is critical to our relationship with God. It is also a very exciting part of our relationship with God & with others. Let me explain….
At home, I had begun a study of Romans Chapter 8. I want to study this portion in depth, verse by verse over the next few weeks. No one knew that I was doing it. In opening my study book, the author begins with a key verse from the chapter that struck me to my core.
“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37 NASB, emphasis mine).
Overwhelmingly conquer? I didn’t recall ever seeing it worded that way. I was more familiar with, “we are more than conquerors”. How had I missed that we overwhelmingly conquer? As I looked into this verse a little more, several thoughts came to me.
Paul, in writing this passage, tells us that we are going to go through difficult things. He assures us though that there is not a single thing in this life that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. The wording he uses describes a military action of not only overcoming but of having something to show for it. It hit me that in the Old Testament when God’s people engaged in military battle, there were times that they walked away with “the spoils”. It was what they had to show for having overcome, for having victory, for having made it through successfully. It is to be the same for us.
We overwhelmingly conquer. His love, His joy, His peace, His grace are all testimonies of the victory that is ours in Christ Jesus.
Now all this was blessing enough for me to read & learn on my own. But here is what happened in corporate worship yesterday…..
- Pastor Steve opened up with this very same Scripture! My spirit jumped as I realized that God was confirming through him the very word that God had been teaching me & bringing alive to me at home. And….
- Our worship leader, Erin has put John 13:35 (“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”) to music for us to be able to memorize that verse. Today on my calendar? “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12).
Why do we need to be in a local church body? It is in that corporate setting that God confirms to us what He has been teaching us in private. It is there that He makes Himself known. It is there that we see & recognize the work of the Holy Spirit. It is there that God uses others to deposit into our lives that which we need to grow in Him. Scripture advises us not to miss coming together for worship because it is for our own good, for our growth that we do so.
Today I am so grateful for Brookridge Community Church, for Pastor Steve, for Erin, for the worship team & all my fellow worshipers. May we grow in love for our God & for one another. May we continue to invest into His Kingdom & into the lives of others.