Bible Ballistics: BBs #466 Don’t Be Isolated???
Just a word today that I hope will encourage us this morning. I remember hearing a story about a man who had stopped going to church because of some “incident” that he was unhappy with. A new pastor came to town and heard about this man who was once an integral part of the local church, so he went to visit on a cold wintery evening.
When the pastor arrived there was a roaring fire in the fireplace and he was invited to pull his chair up by the fire and join the man. As they talked the man related his past disappointment with the church and told the pastor that he was fine alone—he read his bible and prayed, and he didn’t need anyone else. The pastor reached over and took the fire poker and dragged one of the coals out of the fire and continued to talk to the man. After a bit of time, the man asked the pastor why he did that, and the pastor asked the man to note the coal that he had dragged away from the fire, and he did. The pastor asked the man why the coal was no longer glowing and giving off heat, and he said, “Because it’s been dragged away from the fire”! And as he answered, the pastor smiled and told him that is what happens to a believer who isolates himself from other believers! The man got the point and after continuing their visit and praying together, the man told the pastor that he would see him at the next meeting.
While that is a nice story, and I don’t know if it’s true or not, the principle is true; we can’t thrive in our spiritual growth and maturity when we isolate ourselves from other believers and stop attending church.
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness
to enter into the holiest
by the blood of Jesus,
20 By a new and living way,
which he hath consecrated for us,
through the veil,
that is to say,
21 And having an high priest
over the house of God;
22 Let us draw near
with a true heart
in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled
from an evil conscience,
and our bodies washed
with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith
(for he is faithful that promised;)
24 And let us consider one another
to provoke unto love
and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling
of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is;
but exhorting one another:
and so much the more,
as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:19-25
The author of Hebrews reveals to us that even in the early days of the church, there were those who were neglecting assembling together with the believers—and the same is happening today. While there are many difficult issues going on with the church today, we need the fellowship and encouragement of like-minded believers, just as much as that coal needed the fire to remain functional and produce heat and light.
Jesus is our light, and He calls us to love one another as we walk in HIS light, letting HIS light shine in us. When we are saved by the blood of Jesus, His life then works in us, and as we cling to the Lord, we are to share our gifts with those He places around us. We are to always be ready “to provoke unto love and to good works”, but we can’t do that if we neglect being together.
That’s one of the reasons that we are each given a spiritual gift or gifts! What are we doing with our gift? Are we just keeping it to ourselves or are we yielding to God’s work in us and, as the children’s song says, “This little light of mine (Jesus), I’m gonna’ let it shine”!!! And to shine we must stay close to our source of light—Jesus—continuing to gather together with other believers, doing the work of God!
“Now there are diversities of gifts,
but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations,
but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations,
but it is the same God
which worketh all
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit
is given to every man
to profit withal.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
So dear friends, may we each be busy today provoking others “unto love and to good works”—it’s our calling as the children of God—all who belong to Jesus—making the assembly of believers a priority in our lives that we may grow, and mature ourselves as we shine the light of Jesus to God’s glory and the good of our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus! Assembly and isolation don’t mix!
Have a blessed day shining for Jesus—and touching those that HE sends your way!