If the last 18 months has taught us anything, it is this: God made us for relationship. God said at the beginning of creation, “It is not good for man to be alone.” We see community built into what Jesus called the two greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” God created us for relationship with Himself and for relationship with one another. That is God’s good design and plan.

Scripture shows us that sin distorts God’s good design. When Adam and Eve sinned, the effect was breaking that relationship with God and with one another. That is why we see so much strife and discord in the world today. The good news of the Gospel is that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect, sinless life that you and I could not live, to die a sacrificial death on the cross that you and I deserved because of our sin, to be buried in a tomb, and three days later, to rise bodily from the dead, proving He was who He claimed to be, the Son of God, the only Savior.

When a person turns from his/her sin to trust Jesus as Lord and Savior, Jesus not only forgives his sin, but also gives new life, eternal life. When God gives us new life in Jesus, he does something else, He makes us a part of a new people — the people of God. God did this because He created us for relationship, with Himself and others. What we lost through sin, God restores to us through Jesus.

There are a multitude of blessings that come with being part of God’s people, the church. One is gathering together for worship. I hear people say, “I can worship anywhere — on the lake, on the golf course, etc.” While that is not altogether false, you cannot obey God’s command to “stop forsaking the gathering together of yourselves, as some do,” if you are only worshipping alone. God commanded our gathered worship because He knows we need each other. There is a blessing that comes by lifting our voices together in praise. But some weeks, I may be having a hard week and just can’t sing. That’s why I need to gather. I need to hear YOU singing praise to our God who is worthy of praise, whether I feel like singing or not. That reminds me that God is worthy and He is able.

We also need to hear God’s Word proclaimed together. When we do, we can encourage one another to live in obedience to the truth we have heard. This protects us from simply living by our own desires or according to worldly wisdom, rather than according to God’s truth. This is God’s good provision for us.

Tomorrow is Sunday. Obey God’s Word and gather with His people. The church needs you. You need the church. We need each other.

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