Starting Bible Talk
These past few days have made me realize how much I've taken assembling with my brethren for granted.
The unspoken encouragement I derived from being in the presence of people who love God and His Truth, I have grossly undervalued. I don't mean to suggest that corporate worship services are a sort of roll call–satisfied by one's bodily presence.
Rather saints "go to church" not simply to "go to church," but because they want to study God's Word, praise Him in song and prayer, and give out of a sincere desire to be pleasing to Him. This brings the faithful joy and spiritual refreshment, and I didn't realize how much joy and refreshment until I was hindered from assembling with you all.
I miss all of you greatly–truly more than I can say. I look forward to the time when we return to normalcy. I've become a kind of spiritual dyspeptic, and I need to talk about spiritual things–Bible things–with people that share the same precious faith.
As someone who has shunned social media, email is the next best avenue for me to contact many members at once.
Several years ago, I sent out regular emails containing Bible verses and a few thoughts for reading, reflection, and encouragement. Anyone was able to join the list of recipients and cancel whenever they wanted without fear of hurting my feelings or being judged.
I desire to do something similar, and have created a list with Leon Valley members' email accounts. I'm aware that not all of our members have access to email, and I'm not privy to everyone's address, but I've used those that are available through our directory and past correspondence. Feel free to spread the word and share anyone's email with me who wants to join.
Since I've been thinking so much about the blessings associated with assembling and worship, I thought that would be a good place to start with Bible Talk.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another (Pro. 27:17).
God brings His people together that they may stimulate (provoke, stir up) each other to love and good deeds and encourage one another daily (cf. Heb. 10:24; 3:13). I've let so many opportunities slip through my fingers over the years.
Those with whom we join ourselves will affect us for better or worse. "Do not be deceived: bad company ruins good morals” (1 Cor. 15:33). We can either be sharpened and honed to ungodliness or to greater holiness. The choice is ours. Do we prioritize being with God's people?
The dedication, zeal, and continual worship seen in the early disciples were born out of their love for Christ. They were undeterred because Christ was first in their lives.
The same will be true today. Saints still have the most important thing in common–love for Jesus and His Truth, thus they still have singleness of purpose (Phil 1:27), and as a result are still drawn together by this shared love for God and His Word.
Those brethren converted on Pentecost continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers (Acts 2:42). They were frequently together, shared with those in need (v. 44), and "every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts" (v. 46). They "were one in heart and mind" (Acts 4:32).
They were hungry for the "apostles' teaching" because they yearned for Truth (2 Thess. 2:10). Christians desire the sincere milk of the Word, that they may grow thereby (1 Pet. 2:2). When a man is hungry, he doesn't have to be told to go find food.
These brethren didn't have to be cajoled or enticed to be together, to assemble, and to worship. They did so because of who they were. They gravitated toward one another–they were drawn together by a common love for God, His Son, and His Word. This explains their devotion to one another too, doesn't it? (1 Jn. 4:20) They built up one another (1 Cor. 14:12), and true saints faithfully do the same today, and enjoy all the blessings that come from such fellowship just as they did.