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This morning, I came to a realization that I summed up in the following tweet:

Last year this time, all I cared about was fall TV premiers. This year, it’s youth group, small group, etc. What a difference a year makes!  I attribute the change to one simple fact: I love my church!

(Ok, for those of you in the know, yes, technically, it was two tweets, but whatever…)

To which Alissa Graham responded:

Wow! What a blessing the church is 🙂 God definitely uses it to sanctify us and teach us to make his priorities ours!

And I couldn’t agree more!  I spent 5 years looking for a church after moving to a new part of the country.  Those were a turbulent, lonely, angry, sad, bitter, resentful, rebellious 5 years.  I spent a lot of time arguing with God about my lack of a church.  After all, doesn’t the Bible tell us that we’re supposed to belong to a church?  (Yup, it kind of does – see Hebrews 10:23-25.) 

I have no idea why it took so long for me to end up in my church, but I can tell you this: I am so different because I’m there.  I’m happier, more thankful, less stressed, my faith is stronger and yes, my priorities are different, at least in part because I am part of a local church.  Yes, some of the change could be attributed to other things like God drawing me to Himself, but I have to wonder if I would have been as sensitive to His drawing if I were still trying to do life on my own.

There are three big advantages to regularly attending – and actively participating in – a well-functioning, Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church that I think may have had the biggest impact on me in the last year or so:  Friendships with those of like faith, accountability with regard to attendance and regular instruction in the Word.  Without those three things, I don’t think I would have made it through some pretty tough times recently. 

I’m not writing all of this just to brag about my fantastic church (although, it does feel nice to finally be able to do that).  I’m writing to encourage you: 

  • If you also love your church, make sure you let some people in it know that from time to time. 
  • If you’re in a church that just doesn’t feel right, ask God to make you sensitive to His leading, then go (or stay) where He wants you. 
  • If you’re not in a church at all, and you’re not actively looking for one, you’re missing out on some tremendous blessings that can only be found there.  Start today! 
  • If you are actively looking for a church, keep it up!  God will put you where He wants you when you’re ready to be there. 

The church is the Body of Christ.   The church needs us.  And we need the church.

If you love your church, use today’s comments section to brag on it!  If you’re looking for a church, let us know so we can pray with you!