No Greater Gathering ….
by Don Hester
(Today’s post comes from recognition of my own need to be more faithful in ‘gathering’)
I think we can say with absolute certainty, that within the context of Hebrews chapter 10, the Apostle Paul is instructing us to ‘make-sure’ we live our lives in a way that expresses adoration and worship for our glorious God….we are to do this individually at all times…and we should do this regularly in the ‘gathering’ of other believers.
Hebrews 10:19-25… Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 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. (NIV).
Individually we are His. And we as individual believers are His people. We are His people, a group of individuals that He has called to be His chosen people…His body…His ‘church’. We are instructed to come together ‘regularly’ to encourage one another toward love and good deeds….and to worship Him who called us, chose us, purchased us with His own blood and has given us eternal life. God’s people are unique and special above all other ‘groups’ on the earth. There is no other entity/group in all of creation as unique and special as is the Body of Christ. And when we come together…we encourage and empower one another to growth and worship and fruit bearing.
As John Piper writes of the Body of Christ and the reason to worship from what is proclaimed to us in the New Testament……There was no gathering like this in the world: a people of God’s own possession, chosen before the foundation of the world, destined to be like the Son of God, bought with divine blood, acquitted and accepted before the court of heaven, a new creation on the earth, indwelt by the Creator of the universe, sanctified by the body of Jesus, called to eternal glory, heirs of the world, destined to rule with Christ and judge angels. Never had there been a gathering like this. It was incomparable on earth. (Expository Exultation, 69)
We are invited into the glory of this ‘gathering’ every time we get-together with God’s people.
I pray that God will give us all a heightened desire to worship Him, individually, and in the gathering of other believers on a regular basis.