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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Three Times and You’re Out

            An old story about a husband and father who refuses to go to church goes like this:

Preacher: "Why don't you ever come to church with your wife and family?"
Man: “I don’t go because every time I do, they throw something at me.”
Preacher: “What do you mean?”
Man: “When I was just a baby, my parents took me to church and the minister threw water on me. When I got married, the wedding ceremony took place in a church, and they threw rice at me.”
Preacher: "And if you don’t start going to church soon, the next time you do I’m afraid they’ll throw DIRT on you!”

            That sounds like a preacher story, doesn’t it? However, a deeper meaning emerges.
            There are literally millions of groups in the world seeking to mold people into an image. Only one of these groups is the local church, and its mission is to serve as God’s instrument in molding people into the image of Jesus.
            According to Hebrews 10:19ff, it is essential that Christians place a priority on meeting with that one group—the most important group—in the world.

            19-21 So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into "the Holy Place." Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The "curtain" into God's presence is his body.
 22-25 So let's do it—full of belief, confident that we're presentable inside and out. Let's keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let's see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching (Heb. 10:19-25.) THE MESSAGE

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