• Matt Beaney

#458 (13/10/21) HABITS OF MEETING



INTRODUCTION

Over the next three weeks, our devotionals will be based on our vision at CCP. If you are not a part of our church, I trust that you will still find these reflections helpful.


Our vision is to be a church community that is,


“Bringing people to Jesus - myself, one another and my community”




This week we are focussing on what it means to bring ‘One another’ to Jesus.




‘And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.’ (Hebrews 10:24-25)

We are urged to ‘not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing’. My experience of church life is that there are those who make a habit of meeting and those that make a habit of not doing so. My own experience of coming into church community from a non-Christian background was that the Holy Spirit gave me a desire to meet with the church. Through the varying stages of my life (single, married, small children, teenage children…) I’ve never missed a meeting of the church (Sundays, prayer, small groups…) unless I was away for some reason. If I’m honest, I really don’t understand brothers and sisters who don’t highly value gathering with church family, and I believe that my consternation is reflected in these words in Hebrews 10.


LET US CONSIDER…

When was the last time that you considered trying to improve anything? Decorating a room, Improving your health, Improving your qualifications… it’s always wise to think and consider the best way to improve something before we start.

If you wanted to improve the church, what would you do? Many people have many ideas and I’m sure you could think of some. However, Jesus tells us that faithfully meeting with a loving attitude is very effective. This costs us something. We can’t pay someone else to do this. We can’t exhort leaders to do this for us. There’s no new app. or tech. that will solve this. You and I must make the time to meet and encourage those that we meet with.


HABITS OF MEETING

In Hebrews we are exhorted, to ‘not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing…’ ‘Habit’ (‘Ethos’ in the greek) is a custom prescribed by habit or law. Most of us have an ‘ethos’ about work: it’s important to turn up and not just pull a ‘sickie’. We have an ethos about many things. What’s our ethos regarding meeting with the church?


I believe that the biblical ethos is to always be present unless there is a really good reason not to be. John stott wrote,


“Always, invariably, we reap what we sow (see Gal. 6:7). Therefore, because of the faithfulness of God, we can determine in advance what we shall reap by deciding what we shall sow. If I were a farmer wanting to harvest a crop of oats, I would have to sow oats...the same principle applies to human behaviour. If the Holy Spirit is to produce good fruit in our lives, then we have to sow good seed. The old proverb puts it well:
Sow a thought, and you reap an act; Sow an act, and you reap a habit; Sow a habit, and you reap a character; Sow a character, and you reap a destiny."

If we want an amazing church community, how will you and I ‘sow’ for this? What habits will we install? We are exhorted not to ‘give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing’. Habits are God’s gift to us. Good habits, over time, form character and destiny. Small things done constantly will make you or, if they are bad, break you. It's our duty to find God’s will and be faithful (be habitual) in doing it, and meeting with the church is a habit you and I really must pursue.



PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE

In keeping with this aim of developing a personal relationship with God through prayer and worship out of the Bible, we’ll be developing our skill in meditation and prayer using the structure that we are taught in The Lord’s Prayer.


If you look at The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), you’ll see that it can be broken into 4 major themes of Praise (6:9), Petitions (6:10-11), Peace-making (Matthew 6:12) and Protection (Matthew 6:13).


Using Hebrews 10:24-25, use the Lord’s prayer structure (below) to help you to pray.

‘And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.’ (Hebrews 10:24-25)

1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?

2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?

3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?

4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?


THERE ARE NO COMMUNITY GROUPS THIS WEEK AS IT'S OUR WEEK OF PRAYER.

Please look at church news or contact the church office for details.

https://www.communitychurchputney.com/contact





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