Empty Chairs

Hebrews 10:25 (NLT):  And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

It was Sunday morning. The wife talked to her husband, “Sweetheart, you really need to get up. You have been in bed way too long. We may be late to get to church.” The husband replied, “I really don’t want to go. The people there can be mean. I don’t think they like me.” The wife listened, but then responded, “Honey, you have to go. You are their pastor.”

Okay, that was a bit of church humor. Unfortunately, I observe that many people no longer even try to meet together. The number of people regularly attending church services on Sunday has declined. We blame COVID, but I believe the reasons are deeper than that.

I am committed to reading the Bible. I read it cover to cover just about every year. I have done that for decades. I am getting pretty familiar with the stories and truths. Before I selected this verse from the book of Hebrews I was already very aware of it.

I believe a primary reason that people are not gathering together is because they don’t know Jesus through His word. The vast majority of people who claim they follow Jesus have never read the Bible cover to cover.

The Bible is God’s special revelation of Himself to man. We ignore it. We say that it is too difficult to read. We marginalize it and basically don’t believe it. Yet… so many have never even read it cover to cover.

How can we know God and Jesus without reading His special revelation to us?

I know that there is more involved than just reading. I want to read God’s word with the expectation that His Holy Spirit will teach me and guide me.

When I do that, I want to meet with others. I want to encourage others and let them encourage me. And as the Body of Christ encourages each other, we can all look forward to His return.

Prayer: Lord God, thank you for revealing Yourself through Your word. I commit to reading Your word every day. May I expect Your Holy Spirit to encourage me so that I may meet with others and encourage them.

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