Why did you go to church this morning?

for where two or three come togetherWhy did you go to church this morning?

___  Someone made me

___  So I wouldn’t feel guilty

___  Habit

___  To show off new clothes

___  I dig the music

___  To see my friends

___  Donuts

___  It fits with the image I have made for myself

___  If I go often enough, I’ll go to Heaven

___  If I go often enough, God will love me

___  To recharge for the week

___  Because I love the pastor

___  Because I love the church

___  Because I love God

___  The church is the Body of Christ, and the Body will not work as well with missing parts

___  To hear and study the Word

___  To grow in Christ

___  To fellowship with the family of God

___  Because it is commanded

___  To encourage others

___  To be encouraged

___  To worship with fellow believers

___  To support the mission work of the church

___  As part of giving my time and resources to God

___  There is nowhere else I’d rather be

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

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-12

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. Hebrews 13:17

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16


Is God a “Facebook friend?”

you are my friends if you do what i commandAbraham was called “God’s friend.” (James 2:23) Moses communed with God “face to face.” (Numb. 12:8; Deut. 34:10) We crave that kind of closeness with God, but we usually don’t treat him much like a true friend. At best, we treat him like a “Facebook friend.”

Facebook friendships are easy. I don’t invite Facebook friends into my home or visit theirs. With Facebook friends, I don’t share the parts of me I don’t like, but carefully select images and data that show my best side.

Facebook friends don’t require sacrifice. I can maintain those relationships with an occasional “like” or posting a birthday greeting. If they get too needy or vocal, I can block them. I’ll click a button for a Facebook friend, but I wouldn’t lay down my life for him.

Real friendships, on the other hand, are hard. They take time. I sacrifice if a friendship is real, because I want to meet a friend’s needs. I make myself vulnerable for true friends when I allow them to meet my needs. And if any real friendship will last, it necessarily includes sharing, allowing them to know the real me as I seek to know the real them. Real friendships are valuable and worth the sacrifice, but they aren’t easy.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Which of those sounds more like our relationship with God? Do we invest time in the relationship, or settle for an occasional shout-out? Do we invite him in, or keep him at a distance? Do we open up all of our lives to his lordship, or share only bits and pieces? Do we “block” the hard parts?

Jesus said we are his friends if we do what he commands. (John 15:14) He said laying down our lives for our friends is what true love is all about.

If you want to be friends with God, stop treating him like a Facebook friend. He demands more.

6 Reasons to Come Back to Small Group

Let us not give up meeting together.Heb 10-25

School starts this week. That means new sneakers, clean white paper, and a dream about forgetting to study for a final (how long until that recurring nightmare goes away?). It also means a new Sunday School year. The kiddos graduate to a new … [Continue reading]

Questions for Christians after the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision

His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away.Daniel 7-14

1. Do you believe that the Bible is God’s authoritative Word? All Scripture is God-breathed. (2 Tim. 3:16). For prophesy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Pet. … [Continue reading]

Our God is a God Who Speaks

He who is of God hears the words of God

~~~ The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning. The voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord twists the oaks … [Continue reading]

Questions about suffering: Does God really care about me?

For God so loved the world

When there are seven billion people alive today – billion – does God care, or even know, who I am? I can buy that he loves humanity as an amorphous group, but does he care about the details of my individual life? Does he know that my cholesterol … [Continue reading]

Questions about suffering: Do you really believe that God is good?

whatever my lot

I heard good news recently. The good news followed bad news, but regardless of what came before it, it was welcome news. A friend has cancer (no, that’s not the “good” part). It had been in remission, and then it came back (still not to the good … [Continue reading]

Questions about suffering: Why didn’t God create a world without pain?


I was recently asked, “When God made the world, why didn't he make one where people wouldn't die or get hurt?” This is an interesting question, and one we are all hard-wired to ask (as we’ll talk about below). It has to be answered on two levels, … [Continue reading]

Are you letting your past prevent someone from hearing the Gospel?


How many people would never have been drawn to Christ if the woman at the well thought she was unworthy to tell others about Jesus? If she had let her reputation and all the idle gossip make her afraid to stand up as a new woman of faith? Who … [Continue reading]

Is God really first in your life?

How long would you keep your job if you were as faithful to your employer as you are to Jesus

Is God really first in your life? How long would you get to keep your job if you showed the same commitment to your career that you show to Christ? If you attended when you felt like it, if you chipped in when it was convenient, if you gave only … [Continue reading]