Corporate Worship

"And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship" (Acts 2:42a).

For several months I had noticed my teenage son's reluctance to go to church. Thinking we would leave him behind, he was always the last one to wake up on Sunday morning and painstakingly took his time getting ready. After he had caused the entire family to be late for church several Sundays in a row, I knew I needed to speak with him about his actions. The next day during our homeschool devotions, we discussed the topic of worship, and my son blurted out, "I don't need to go to church to worship God. I can worship Him at home just as well as at church!"

"Yes, that's true," I responded. "We can worship God anywhere at any time, but the Bible tells us to worship together as a group of believers to encourage each other."

"Well, I just don't get anything out of it anymore," he replied roughly.

After further discussion, his real reluctance in attending church was revealed. After a long week of homeschooling and work, he simply didn't want to get up early on Sunday morning, too.

If left to ourselves, most of us would sleep in or play instead of remembering to keep the Sabbath Day holy (Exodus 20:8). Unfortunately, the world does exactly that and sees Sunday as a day of relaxation rather than a day set apart to worship God. People go to the beach, the park, or the mountains to "get away from it all" and completely forget about worshipping or serving God.

What about your homeschooling family? Are you disciplined in church attendance? Not only do you have opportunities to encourage and be encouraged by other believers, you also hear the Word preached and worship God as you sing and give gifts corporately. Yes, you could worship the Lord just as easily at home, but is that really where He wants you to be on Sunday morning? "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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 10:24-25).

Lord, thank You for giving me a separate day each week just to worship You. Help me to faithfully be in Your house on Sunday and convict me to set a good example for my children. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

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Comments(47 comments)

LINDA M 03/19/2009 06:05:47

Truly, we should worship together. However, it is the place of the father as spiritual head of the home to instruct his family. At this time our family is spending the "biblical"sabbath (Saturday) at home with eachother learning about Gods word! L.M. Pennsylvania

WENDY S 03/19/2009 06:26:56

Respectfully, the church is the people not the building, its what goes on all week, fellowshipping with other believers on a daily basis, if what you say is true that what "He wants" is for us to be in the building you are calling church on Sunday, then what do you say to the millions of christians in china and else where who are forbidden by law to go to church and have to meet secretly in homes whatever day of the week they can. Let's not be so programmed by the "tradition" that we loose sight of the true meaning of fellowship and assembling. There may come a day in our own country that we may all be forced to find alternative ways to get together to encourage one another in the Lord and study His Word. Will He be less pleased with us? I think not and have become aware that many christians are being led in this direction. W, Nashville,Tn

CHRIS T 03/19/2009 07:21:02

We need to teach our children the truth taught in God's Word, The Bible.

Not mans doctrine. Children need God's absolutes such as the true Sabbath day of rest and the unfortunate hypocrisy of the big cooperate Church is confusing our young. What would Jesus say coming back to judge the Churches? ( Revelation) Big budgets, buildings, salaries, etc.

We need to repent of our sinful greedy Church practices based on tradition. Maybe have fellowship at home together humbly on the true Sabbath;dads teaching the words of Jesus, not false doctrine( Sunday Sabbath, cooperate giving etc.). Your son may truly get to know the True Son,Jesus Christ.

RANAE S 03/19/2009 09:58:57

I too have to say that the gathering of believers that the Bible is talking about is nothing of what we have today in our church buildings. If you can even find a church that teaches from scripture and not all the pantheistic preaching that is happening in most of our churches today. God led me out of a church that was teaching unbiblical, new age doctrine and He has kept me at home learning about Him. And until He leads me elsewhere that is where I will be. The churches today are under government control, and under wordly desires. I pray that more people will step out away from the church buildings and gather for just worship and praise of the One that is Holy.

KARL C 03/19/2009 10:08:09

I found this devotional very inspiring and encouraging... However, when it comes to doctrines and Biblical facts, Sunday is not the Sabbath Day the Bible clearly talks about. I would humbly encourage the author to be more careful when it comes to facts like this one as it is communicating a message that has no Biblical support. Sunday is not mentioned in the Bible at all. The only day with a name is the Sabbath>Sabaton>Sabado>Saturday.

If we all read Exodus 20:8 we find out that the 7th day is the Sabbath... Just go and look at all your calendars and please point out the 7th day of the week: Saturday. If someone asks why, then feel free to investigate what history has done to the precious Sabbath (Saturday) day and the religious movements believing they have the authority to transfer the Holy day from one to another...

As far as this ministry goes, may the Lord continue to bless you and guide you as we are all blessed with such devotionales delivered straight to our inbox. Blessings to you all!

WENDY S 03/19/2009 11:53:49

yes, i have been very blessed by these devotions as well.....

and so thankful for alpha omega and am encouraged daily when i see these in my inbox!

SUSAN M 03/19/2010 07:43:26

Hey, I got on to thank you for the encouragement. I also would humbly encourage that the term "The Lord's Day" is appropriate for those who worship on Sundays. The new believer's in Acts met on "The Lord's Day" consistently. The Sabbath was for Israel. We are under a new covenant. (I know there is much disagreement here so I again, humbly submit my conclusions.) In the New Testament God clearly set up the local church as an institution. That does not mean that fellowship cannot occur in homes but rather that he did establish the offices of Elder, Deacon's etc. and it clear that there was order not just a loose nit group of believers. That being said ....I just wanted to joyfully shout " I LOVE THE CHURCH!!" I love being a part of a local body of believer's who do take seriously the Word of God and it's teachings. We do happen to meet in a building which serves many purposes. I am grateful for the building and even more grateful for each person who makes up this local body. I am grateful for the greater body of Christ as well and appreciate the encouragement I receive in my box from AOP. Thank you.

MARIO I 03/20/2010 07:14:52

First of all I want to thank the AOP for publishing good Daily Focus.

While it is true that we can worship God at home but also corporate worship is needed. in 1Cor 14 we find Paul's admonishing the church about corporate worship. Two aspects of worship is being emphasized which are: The vertical aspect and horizontal. The vertical worship is our personal adoration to God and that we can do that anytime and anywhere. The other is aspect is horizontal and that is when we come to edify one another. Notice words edify or edifying appear 7 times and the understanding, understanding, learn or learning appear more than ten times in this chapter alone. Therefore edifying is part of our worship to God.

Many times our kids don't get anything in the church since they don't speak the local language or the form of worship don't suit their taste or maybe the preacher is not giving a clear sermons. Thank you

ELIZABETH M 03/22/2010 09:34:55

I'm conflicted with this one, as I see valid points on both sides. And I'll admit, I don't like attending the church we've been parishioners at for eight years. Yet, I stop and think, what's the result if we all stop going? Many would site that not taking the Eucharist or Holy Communion is one major problem of not going to church. That hasn't stopped me from staying behind when my husband and son attend.

A few years ago on a drive to a client meeting in a rental SUV, I came across a Christian radio station. After a story play, there was a host who brought up what would signal the end of time. It's been a long time but I do remember he discussed with a guest how Satan might reveal himself, and the coming of Christ. One of the signs the host quoted from scripture was that people would leave the church, and that statistics show church attendance is at it's lowest per his referenced research.

My husband is on the vestry of our church and is the treasurer, and our son is training to be an Acolyte. I'm Catholic and have supported my husband and attended his Episcopal church, but I don't enjoy going anymore. I had a great church experience growing up in the Catholic church, though there is a lot of Catholic-bashing from our Episcopal parishioners, which again, isn't very Christian. I miss that inspirational, happy, rejuvenated feeling I had leaving after Sunday mass, after the entire congregation prayed and sang together. I especially loved the part of mass where we greet each other and say "Peace be with you". It made me happy.

Today, with insight to the business of church from my husbands' involvement, which before I really never thought about, I've pushed even further away from his church. He and my son will attend almost every Sunday, but I'll stay home and pray and read while they're gone. I initially volunteered and got involved, but the attitudes from many of the congregation were cold and not very welcoming. I also don't appreciate much of the liberal slant to the sermons and congregation, who have actually attacked our conservative position in conversations at coffee hour during the elections.

On the positive side, the financial contributions go to very worthy causes and outreach programs. I see the impact the church has had on many lives, and how it has helped many families and programs for children in the U.S. and third-world countries. However, the church is suffering from low offerings and the vestry is frustrated by parishioners who say they get a lot out of the church, but don't give to support it. Keeping the lights on is a challenge, and it's getting down right ugly, at least behind the scenes. Those that are on the vestry and are on the serving schedule and sometimes count alms, know that many who can give, aren't giving to their potential. I really dislike the judgment that comes from this knowledge, as there can be many reasons a family who seemingly has the income, isn't giving the 10% expected or hoped for by the church. This topic gets worked in to the sermons, and I especially dislike being grouped in to the intended message receiver, about how we take so much for granted (excuse me, I don't), and that we need to be less selfish (excuse me, I'm not), and give more (excuse me, I already do). I understand the message is generalized, but sorry, it just irks me the wrong way and isn't why I come to church. Leave that for a meeting or newsletter.

But what if we all leave the church? How do we find those in need, and unite to help others? I agree one can grow spiritually by reading and praying at home, but do we also miss out on another kind of growth? Our reverend often includes in her sermon that just tithing and praying or attending church don't alone get you in to heaven. Her sermons teach that we must also live a life of giving and helping. We learn as children and as adults in church that we must step outside our comfort zone and get involved in helping others. I'll admit, it feels good to help others. I don't know what we would do as global citizens without the many who give of themselves to help others. What would we do without the many who give hands on help, and as leaders, bring many others together to help. I understand there are non-church organizations who also do this, but it's something we are called to do as Christians.

One of our outreach programs has for years worked together with a college and our community and helped to build a school in Haiti. This organization was started by, and is led by a parishioner and his wife, and has grown and been successful long before the earthquake. After the earthquake, it was the years as a recognized organization that made it fast and easy to come together as members of our church and give, plan a trip and bring supplies and volunteers to the school in Haiti. This is an example of how coming together as a group can make us all stronger and help face hard times more easily. Our church helps many poor, hungry people, and the young or old who experience challenge. That wouldn't be possible if eventually we all left the church.....and eventually, slowly, that is a likely scenario if those who choose to stay home to pray grow in numbers and the church can no longer survive or support itself.

Considering our country and world, and the heated political fighting, don't we stand a better chance at fighting sin as a group? As families attending mass on Sunday, can't we ignore the business and/or political side of church and go for strength as a group who have the same beliefs? The process of reading this Daily Focus and the comments, and ultimately leaving this response, has brought me to the conclusion and convinced me that the negative feelings I have about the church as a whole, won't stop me from going with my family anymore. I realize now that attending church is what I make it, what we make it, not what other parishioner's attitudes make it. Can you miss a Sunday for a special reason (even a sports event), in my humble opinion, yes. But whether a teen realizes it or not, there is a spiritual strengthening when you see people come out in numbers to pray together, support each other, and stand as a group against sin and the sinful, together.

SARA K 03/22/2010 16:49:32

I agree with the author that corporate worship is important. It's our biblical example all through the bible from the Garden of Eden to Jesus worship on the Sabbath as was His custom. We're also told in scripture that we will continue to worship God on the Sabbath even after He returns and takes us to heaven.

But like several other commenters, I want to point you to the real Sabbath Day of Rest - Saturday, not Sunday. Sunday was man's idea, changed by the "authority" of the Roman Catholic Church and clearly stated, without apology, in their writings.

It's a tradition of man to worship on Sunday - not the God that said He is the same now and forever more. Not the God that said not one "jot or tittle" would be changed in the unchangeable, inerrant law written in stone by His own finger. Not the God that said He came not to change the law, but to fulfill it. For those that say the Sabbath was given to the Jews, I respectfully disagree. The commandments were given at Sinai, but the Sabbath was given long before that at the end of God's creation week.

I once heard a Pastor preach that if anyone could show him ANY verse in scripture that showed where Sabbath observance was changed from the seventh day of the week (Saturday) to the first day of the week (Sunday) he would give them $25,000. That was a safe bet for sure.

I found this that sums it all up much better than I could, including the scriptural reference to back it up:

The beneficent Creator, after the six days of Creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of Creation. The fourth commandment of God's unchangeable law requires the observance of this seventh-day Sabbath as the day of rest, worship, and ministry in harmony with the teaching and practice of Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day of delightful communion with God and one another. It is a symbol of our redemption in Christ, a sign of our sanctification, a token of our allegiance, and a foretaste of our eternal future in God's kingdom. The Sabbath is God's perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people. Joyful observance of this holy time from evening to evening, sunset to sunset, is a celebration of God's creative and redemptive acts. (Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; Luke 4:16; Isa. 56:5, 6; 58:13, 14; Matt. 12:1-12; Ex. 31:13-17; Eze. 20:12; Deut. 5:12-15; Heb. 4:1-11; Lev. 23:32; Mark 1:32.)



CARL V 03/23/2010 09:51:30

I think we all need to be reminded that church is not about us. We should never have the approach of "what do I get out of church" or "what's in it for me." Too often our squabbles about church result around our thoughts of a certain sermon or the type of music. Instead, church is a time and a place where our focus should solely be on worshipping the greatness and graciousness of our heavenly Father.

DON B 03/19/2011 06:09:45

We have been observing AOP Daily focus for a while & have wondered how we can get past our doctrinal differences. We agree with the comments regarding the True weekly Holy Day (The Seventh Day Sabbath) not Sunday.We try not to "bash" or not show "love" but Truth is Truth not political correctness. (see John 18:37) There is more error besides the destruction of the 4th Commandment, The 3rd Commandment regarding His Holy Name is laid to waste also. The Father's Name is not LORD or GOD & even more shocking The Son who came in His Father's Name is not Jesus. YHWH pronounced EE AH OO AH & Yahushua (EE AH OO SHOO AH) are Truths that we who want to train up our children correctly must look into. There is loads of info out there that prove that there was no letter J in English or Hebrew until the early 1600's, thereby rendering Jesus & Jehovah as man made doctrines not Their original Names. Please dear ones look into the issues & if you can not walk in that Truth yourselves ,try to accept the fact that there are some "minorities" out here that believe in The Messiah & try to obey His Truth (See Jude 3rd verse)

SARAH P 03/19/2011 07:12:43

We are dealing with this same issue in our son. Thanks for the encouragement and also your directness. So many "believers" in this day and age don't feel the need to attend church. They don't realize the command in Scripture. The body of Christ is so important as a believer.

PASTOR LINDA J 03/19/2011 07:14:02

...and I say "Yes, and Amen!" there are blessings in store when we are obedient to His Word...

TERRI LEE S 03/19/2011 07:38:40

I see that I don't have to mention that God has never told us to go to church on Sunday; so many people have already pointed out the Sabbath truth. God bless all and happy Sabbath. I am in Ecuador and am blessed to be able to watch the service in Bakersfield, California Livestream. The church is the family of God, not the building.

MELINDA Y 03/19/2011 09:01:34

First and foremost for true believer's in Christ, is to know Jesus personally. Secondly, to love one another. Since Jesus resurrection, we are no longer under the law. Jesus reinforced 9 of the 10 commandments, leaving out keeping the sabbath day holy, because we are now able to fellowship with him any time and anywhere.

We fellowsihp regularly with our christian homeschooling families, meeting house to house as it was in the early church. We do not participate in the American style institution of church, due to the growing degree of error in the churches today, as we move toward the great apostacy of the church. The man of our household, charged by God to lead his family, is the one we follow.

CARIN M 03/19/2011 09:18:17

Like the Apostles in the book of Acts we worship God on the Lord's Day, the first day of the week, being Sunday. We do this to honor the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We do this, like the Apostles, because of the resurrection pointing to the new heavens and the new earth; rather than the Sabbath that looked back to the rest from the creation. We are not Jewish, so we do not go to the synagogue, on Saturday. We love the ENTIRE Bible. We though are Christians, who celebrate Easter each Sunday as we worship the Lord.

As for churches.. Very disappointing. I have spent so much time in scripture. I become frustrated with the churches worldliness - pollution by the world, as James said in the book of James that we are not to follow with pure religion. The worldliness of many churches has me concerned for the churches of America. On the other end the watered down gospel in out traditional churches too has me concerned. I think, like China, we could meet in homes; but that it needs to be more than one family coming together as a body of believers.

Let us live according to the scriptures: repenting, believing, baptizing, and gathering together to Love the one who gave our spirits the living water we so desperately needed.

RACHAEL B 03/19/2011 09:42:28

I am amazed that I have not read anywhere in here about the requirement to come together on "the first day of the week", Sunday, to take the Lords supper in Matt. 26, Acts20:7 and as a command to lay by in store 1 Cor. 16:2. I do not follow the Catholic views, but request that you not suggest Sunday came from their own desires.

JEANETTE A 03/19/2011 10:03:24

Wow, Is all I have to say,, What I see here is people who call themselves "believers" (not all) that don't want to be accountable to the truths of God, We all know that church is a GROUP of believers who come together to encourage one another, teach, build-up, strengthen, And I am sorry to say YOUR christian walk won't grow to far without the help of others.. Paul himself tells Timothy that he needs to find overseers, deacons, to help with the people of the church. In Eph 4:1-16 we are told that there are certain gifts such as teachers and pastor who help build up the body of believers..

SO basically this is what I am hearing from some of you is that you don't need CHURCH to help you grow, Well if that is the case Than I think GOD made a big mistake by telling Paul to write what he wrote about getting the group (the Church) together and exhorting them to walk with each other and bear each other burden , I am assuming that is a big mistake on God's behalf... But wait.. From my own personal study of the word , WE are told God is truth so either, the word of God isn't right or Those of you who Feel Church isn't necessary for your walk is wrong... Personally, I take the latter,, I

know the Church body can't function without the member and Christ being the head, Either way if you want to stunt your growth as a Christian go right ahead and stay home and don't serve others because that is were Satan would rather have you at home thinking about you and yours rather than at the church being built up and encouraged to stand for God.. Yes, Church does have it's purpose and maybe you need to do some more soul searching before you discredit the true meaning of church.. Church isn't about just the building you attend but the believers that meet in that building to praise and give glory to god.. Here is a link to that gives good reason to go to church..

Have a blessed week and Thank you sooo much for saying what you said.. It really encouraging to see people stand for truth..


TAMI R 03/19/2011 10:09:48

I agree with Wendy S. We don't have to go to an actual building on Sunday to fellowship with other Christians. We can do it over the phone, at work or even in the supermarket. As she said there are countries that are not allowed to worship in public... or what if you are terminally ill, in the hospital or have a disability that prevents you from being able to leave your house. Is God displeased with them because society ("the world") says we have to go to a particular building (The House of Worship). First of all "keeping the Sabbath day holy" is keeping Saturday holy, not Sunday. Do you go to The House of Worship on Saturday too?

TEPA R 03/19/2011 12:02:43

I can't believe there is so much discussion on the "day" of the week in which to worship. Wow! The point is set apart one day of the week for worship...yes the sabbath day is Saturday, however, what about doctors, police, and fire that have to work weekends?

As for kids/adults not wanting to go to church because of the "what do I get out of it attitude"....the focus is off. It's never about what we can get out of it(which is typical flesh nature) but about what we give to God. The shift focus is prayer for God to cleanse our minds, hearts and souls so that we are abiding in Christ love with our attitudes. Thank you for daily devotion- seeking Him and His word. Amen!

JOE M 03/19/2011 13:05:32

Shelia M

The Sabbath day is made by God for us. He gave us the example of working 6 days and setting one day aside to rest and worship Him. He established the day of worship so we could be refreshed in our body and spirit. We are to gather together in cooperate worship to encourage and lift one another up. No matter the day of the week we need to gather with believers to worship and grow in our Christian walk. God never made us to be loners, He made us to need each other. Acts 2: 42-47 Gather and give.

DON B 03/19/2011 16:24:16

Of a truth , The Creator gave one day out of the 7 in a week to halt work & set aside time for Him, be it fellowship with few or many,prayer, praising & etc. He did make it a point to name the 7th Day as Sabbath in honor of His Creatorship.If we check The Bible we find that it was mentioned as Holy b4 the Israelites were separated from others. It also is there in the Book of Acts after The Messiah Yahushua was supposed to have" nailed it to the cross ". Please stay consistent with Scripture as one Sister advised except she added church tradition of Sunday to replace this Command of Almighty YHWH our Father. This is not true when you concord this issue & not a safe error to perpetuate.

TIFFANY B 03/19/2011 17:30:29

I'm so disappointed by so many of these responses. It is not church legalism for us to be in church, we are "not to forsake the gathering", that IS biblical. It is selfish for us to feel that church has to fit our ideal of what it should be and how very judgemental to judge the church and their programs and salaries. You are depriving others of your knowledge and gifts that God has given you by not being involved in the church. What a terrible example being taught to your children with the eliteness of your views. Sounds like more of you need to be in church!

PENNY H 03/19/2011 18:43:59

The Sabbath, by my understanding, has always been at the end of six days when we are to rest, as God did after He created the world and man and everything in the world at the time of creation. I never really thought it mattered what the name of that day was. Am I missing something?

We do need one another in order to be encouraged to continue to walk the straight and narrow - no matter what we face, and that is oft times accomplished on a daily basis with our close and personal friends in Christ. I do believe that we are to assemble together and have leadership too, especially for our men, so that they are have accountability and encouragement to lead their own families. Corporate church leaders play an important part in this.

LORETTA P 03/28/2011 06:13:42

don\'t miss her point.

BILL W 04/25/2011 11:16:50

I think some folks here have an underdeveloped understanding of New Covenant Christianity. Christ IS our Sabbath rest (Book of Hebrews). Every command of the OT is restated in the NT, except the 4th. You can worship your Sabbath or you can worship the Lord of the Sabbath, who \"is our Sabbath rest\". NT shows the church gathering corporately on the 1st day of week, refered to as \"the Lord\'s Day\". Many conveniently ignore this, because it cuts against the grain of your desire to \"home-church\". I\'m not against \"home-church\" per se, but to be a legitamate one there should be elders appointed to shepherd the flock (Titus 1; I Tim 3), AT the least; otherwise, it is just \"family fellowship\" and a forsaking of a local body of believers.

It is not a surprise that so many \"home-churching\" folks produce kids with Zero heart for the gospel and the local church and will end of ditching the whole thing altogether, when they are \"on their own\". I beseech you to be come accountable to a local church where the gospel in central and Christ is exalted and believers are held accountable to follow Him by godly elders and a faithful body.

CRISTY F 03/19/2012 04:20:57

We, as followers of Jesus, really need to study well the Scriptures.

Please remember that Jews counted days from evening to evening and the Sabbath from Friday evening to Saturday evening because of Genesis 1:5, so Acts 20:7 and I Corinthians 16:2 were Havdalah services (this is the ceremony closing the Day of rest) on what we call Saturday night. Jews still have Havdalah services to this day.

This was not Sunday morning worship service as we know it today (during the day), but gatherings in homes on Saturday night, which to them marked the first day of the week. Actually, the fact that I Corinthians 16:2 instructs them to handle money only after the Sabbath had ended (during the Saturday evening Havdalah gatherings) is actually evidence that they were still keeping the Sabbath halakha.

The Lord's day, or more appropriately the Day of the Lord in Revelation 1:10 has eventually come to be called Sunday over time (noting also the change in the wording), but there is no evidence that this is what is meant at the time that John used it.

This phrase has always meant (even to Jews in this day) the one day of the year called Yom Kippur, which is just another name they gave for one of God's declared feast days in Leviticus.

That's it? Two weak references to Havdalah services, a Day of the Lord phrase by John that has changed meaning and some non-scriptural later references is all the evidence for deleting God's directed Sabbath day? Does Jesus ever state once to disobey His own 10 commandments? Do any of the apostles direct us to stop keeping God's appointed Sabbath times that are commanded to observe throughout their generations (Ex 31:13)?

Not only that, the New Testament church is seen specifically keeping the Sabbath in Acts 13:14, 13:42, 13:44, 15:21, 16:13, 17:2, 18:4 and Colossians 2:16.

Also, they are teaching in the synagogues in Acts 9:2, 9:20, 13:5, 13:14, 13:43, 14:1, 15:21, 17:1, 17:10, 17:17, 18:4, 18:9, 18:26, 19:8, 22:19, 24:12 and 26:11 which would only have been on a Sabbath day.

Not only did they keep the Saturday Sabbaths (Leviticus 23:3), but they also kept all the Leviticus 23 feast days, many of which were counted as Sabbaths, in Acts 12:3, 20:6, 20:16, I Corinthians1:8, 5:8

And all of this Sabbath and feast day keeping by the Apostles occurred months, years even decades by the Apostles themselves, so if they were to preach a change to the Sabbath, they would have been huge hypocrites. The fact is they weren't hypocrites, they kept the Sabbath, they never said to stop keeping the Sabbath and there is no biblical evidence that we should be told to stop keeping the Sabbath today.

DAVID C 03/19/2012 04:33:52

Just wanted to say, if you don\'t go to church because you think they are all worldly, you may want to consider looking more diligently. There is no doubt that some churches don\'t preach the gospel, but we are blessed to live in a land where many do! In addition, you don\'t have to agree with every point of minor doctrine to fellowship together. Do you believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior? Worship HIm together! Encourage each other in your faith! Do not forsake the assembing of the believers!--Jennifer

KATHY S 03/19/2012 07:03:50

I am so pleased to hear so many different views on church attendance and styles of worship.

Since last August we have been on and off going to our fairly new and \"little\" church service.

I have had one accident after another, and it seemed as whenever I would finally get walking again, that Saturday, we would have a family event ect. going on.

I say Saturday because that\'s the service we chose to go to, they have Sunday service too, but after my son\'s trauma at the Catholic school we attended for just a few months, the entire Traditional Sunday service with the pews ect.. causes him distress.

Our Church has a Saturday service with round tables and chairs that is held in their Multi purpose room.

It is a non denominational Christian church that teaches from the Bible.

The Pastors have been so kind to us, ans we made a few friends there to sit with when we atteneded.

I am alone with no husband as the head of the household, I guess I\'m the head of the house. I do the best I can with teachings.

But I will say, our Pastors at our little church are very kind, last year when my son had his surgerey, the youth Pastor came and sat with us for over 3 hours, diligently prayed over my son beforehand as it was very stressful with I.V.\'s ect. It was truly a blessing for us.

So I guess for us, ina church building, or at home worshipping whether it be on Saturday or Sunday, I\'m thankful we have the option to go to our church (when I can walk) or to have church at home.

I think Jesus would be happy with either, he loves us all so very much!!

MICHELLE B 03/19/2012 07:04:32

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it HOLY! We all like to say that we can honor God and do his things at home on Sunday, but do we really? I have a lot of friends who I go to church with every Sunday who I see falling away from Sunday worship every Sunday! They would rather go to the beach, go out to dinner, visit their friends, and please their own fleshly body rather than glorify our heavenly father. What happen to the stores and restaurants that all used to be closed on Sunday so that everyone could have a day of REST and time to reflect on their Lord and Saviour? Just sayin, this world revolves around busyness and how we can please our own flesh! I si always easy to get 4 kids ready for church every Sunday morning and evening...NO! But once I am there worshipping I am totally blessed and am ready to start a new week...REFRESHED!! =)

LISA L 03/19/2012 07:34:34

I\'ve never posted before today but wanted to thank you for these daily encouragements! Quite the discussion with the gathering together, which day is the Sabbath, home church, problems with church, etc. I appreciate all of the opinions given here, and of course, they are opinions. My prayer is that the Lord God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, reveals His Truth to each one here and that they, in response, obey. My real concern is here. A quote from Elizabeth M, \"Our reverend often includes in her sermon that just tithing and praying or attending church don\'t alone get you in to heaven.\" Dear Elizabeth! There is only ONE \'thing\' that \'gets\' us into Heaven, believing in the finished work of Jesus, His sinless death, burial, and resurrection that paid the price that we could not pay. He said on the cross, \"It is finished!\" Not, begun, so that we must try to add to His completed work. Indeed, if we could add a jot or tittle, we make His work to no avail. Our works are an outpouring of love based in response to Him, for we love Him because He first loved us. Our righteousness is as filthy rags, only what He imputes to us through His work is worthy to be looked upon by the Father in judgment. Don\'t let anyone put you in bondage and steal your joy or love. He loves you with an everlasting love that cannot be more or less than the day that you first asked Him into your heart because it was a complete love that was willing to die for you on that day and on any previous or subsequent day of your life. Let us not seek to strive and find division. Pray earnestly, brothers and sisters, that God reveals Himself to each of us that we may follow His Perfect Will.

BETH A 03/19/2012 09:35:25

Our Sabbath begins on Friday, sundown until Saturday sundown. We still go to church on Sunday, because our church only has services then.

RENEE S 03/19/2012 11:00:10

Rather than stating my personal understanding of things like the Sabbath, I\'d like to say that I appreciate the encouragement in remembering to fellowship with other believer\'s regularly- it was just another piece God is using to give me direction right now. We have a church we\'ve been going to but, isn\'t working out and another church we feel comfortable with as far as fellowship but, we\'re finding that a lot of their doctrines about practice are going to leave us being outsiders even down to not being able to share communion with that body of believers. I really would love to be there with these people I love and will continue to love but, we need to keep looking for what is the best fit for us- a place where we really fit. For the time being we continue to worship where we are at but, will soon be looking around. I\'d appreciate prayers for wisdom and direction as we search. Thanks ;)

RHONDA F 03/19/2012 13:47:52

This whole discussion is beginning to sound like much of the stuff that often goes on in the church today - religious politics, silly disputes, and pious religious beliefs. These are some of the very reasons many leave the church, because its no longer about Christ, but instead whose right, whose wrong, etc.etc. People want to enjoy a spirit-filled worship experience! They want to hear from God, not man. But many individual views and opinions get in the way and distract from what the Lord has to say to each person. We are to be filled with the Spirit, and led by the Spirit, and although God will never go against His Word, we should be willing to think \"outside the box\" and remember that God is bigger than His Book. If God has led you to a wonderful church, then Praise God for it! And if He has led you out from one and instructed you to \"be still\" at home and worship Him there, then Praise God for that! But don\'t stone one another for your differences. It really doesn\'t promote the righteousness of Christ, or the unity of the Spirit. The Body of Christ belongs to God, not to us. Let Him be the Judge of how it should be run!!!

VANESSA W 03/19/2012 14:45:06

I agree that assembling together is important on the Sabbath day. Any days that I have missed Sabbath get togethers due to sickness, I felt a hole inside from that one missed day of worshipping with fellow believers. Although, I to humbly disagree on the Sunday being Sabbath and disagree as some have said that Saturday Sabbath was only for Jews. I would dare to say that those that keep Sunday as the Sabbath day of worship would be in the minority. I have no doubt that God Himself and the Angels celebrate on Saturday Sabbath. God Himself said REMEMBER the Seventh-day to keep it Holy. That to me is pretty clear. He said REMEMBER! Yet so many forget and make excuses for it. Sabbath was set asside during the creation week. This is not rocket science. This is a simple thing God asked us to do out of love for HIM. In the Dictionary Saturday means - The seventh day of the week following Friday. The pope himself made the change from the True Sabbath on Saturday to what people call now the Lords Day Sunday. The Catechism is very clear on this. This was not a Biblical change. God does not change. When humans say that God does change it is because humans are trying to put God on a level with themselves. We as humans change all the time. God does not. It seems to me with the evidence that is there, we should honor what God truly wants us to do. The simple honor of the Seventh-day-Sabbath (Saturday) and avoid following the Popes mandate that it be changed and be true Protestants. God deserves no less! Following Sabbath (Saturday) worship is following Gods law.

JENNIFER B 03/19/2012 16:23:59

This post really got the opinions going, huh? I pray that we all will prayerfully read the Bible in its entirety. Then study all the passages about any given topic-Old Covenant vs New Covenant, salvation, the church/the body, worship, love, daily Christian living, etc. We would all do well to read it regularly, understand, and make personal application of what God expects of us now. If we all did this, we would not have doctrinal differences. For matters of doctrine have already been settled, not by man\'s opinions or cherry-picked verses or passages of Scripture. May we all heed 2 Timothy 2:15! May we all seek what God has said, when He said, to whom He said it, realizing what He would have me do today & what truly is acceptable to Him. I pray that we all have the correct attitude and humbleness. We need to take a long, hard look at our minds/attitudes/heart after taking repeated, long, hard looks into God\'s Word!

TERESA S 03/19/2012 19:16:59

I was really disappointed to read all of the fussing about what is and is not the \"true Sabbath.\" I believe the point of the reading was the importance of assembling with other Christians on a regular basis, be it Saturday or Sunday. I had a great deal of respect for the Churches observing Saturday as the Sabbath until I read all of the above remarks. Now I feel dismay, do all those folks who I held in such high regard, really look down on me becaue of my \"false belief?\"

On the subject of churches no longer being true to the Bible, There are, and until the Lord returns, always will be, folks who will preach, teach, and live the truth. You may have to go to some small church where there are not lots of special activities that some consider essential to churches, but they are out there. \"Seek and ye shall find.\"

To be fair, I myself have been guilty of not attending church as I ought, I intend to get back in there and give of myself. I have been a taker too long, I need to give back.

DARCY P 03/21/2012 08:12:06

What is in my heart is what is important, as are my actions. If I do or do not go to Church is not what makes me a Christian or a believer or even a good person. This mentality of being better than someone because you attend Church is the opposite of why one should go. If you feel that is where you are closest to God and if you feel you can help others as well as yourself there - then that is the right place for YOU to be. Do not paint all people with the same brush. You must be careful with your reasoning, because it is not for you to judge what others do.

Anytime I encounter someone who says they are a Christian but they are judging others I am wary. Following God should never be about judging others.

MELISSA S 03/21/2012 22:14:55

I want to strongly encourage the author to examine why your son is not getting anything out of church. examine it with an open mind toward him and the church. It seems to me that he does not feel safe of free to worship God there for some reason. unfortunately there is a great deal of inmodesty and complacency in many churches. Lack of modesty makes it extremely hard for men (young and old) to focus because they are having to wrestle with sinful thoughts about women they are supposed to love as sisters in Christ. Complacency sufficates young believers. It could be something simple like feeling rejected by friends. I am not trying to judge but speak from personal experience. We actually Sabbath on Saturday at home, but attend a fellowship with other believers in someone\'s home on Sunday. Sometimes we get snowed in or illness keeps us from attending so we stay at home and worship with our children. God says in His word that where two or more are gathered in His name He is there. that is church and we should not forsake getting together for the purpose of edifying each other in Christ. If the group of people we are gathering with is not truly glorifying God and pushing our children to anger toward God or other believers then we need to examine it thoroughly and figure out if there is anything we can do to improve it and seek God\'s guidance on whether to stay with it or not.

PATRICIA NELSON 03/19/2013 11:34:53

Good Morning...yes we are up early... it gives me time to be fully awake and cheerful when my daughter wakes.

As for your teenage son...while I was reading about his need to go to church and his reluctance to wake up early another morning of the hit me...a compromise...of letting him sleep in one day of the week and get a little later start on lessons in turn for him getting up early on a more important day of the Lord to worship as a family. Teenagers don't get near enough sleep....but let them make up for it,not on the Lords day, but rather a weekday where it won't matter so much.

God Bless!

SANDRA GRIMM 03/19/2013 11:38:46

It breaks my heart to see so many comments against going to church. I love my church and my church family. I haven't always felt that way. I use to focus on the bad. I use to be angry every time I left. I now see it was a me problem. I was focusing on everything thing that was wrong. I now have learned to focus on the reason I am there. WORSHIP. I now know satan was trying to keep me away. Don't get me wrong I still have negative people to deal with, but I do not let them get in my way of worshiping my God. What a sad thought of not being able to attend church. It's a privilege we could easily lose.

SARAH NUSS 03/19/2013 11:41:33

Are we really getting hung up on trivial issues like Sabbath day Saturday/Sunday and Corporate vs Home worship?!?!

Focus on the real issue of this article: her son's HEART motivation for not wanting to attend church. He's being selfish because he's tired and worn out. Her article is about examining your heart's motives for attending or not attending church.

We can get so hung up on the little issues and miss the big picture- are we loving God and others with our attitudes and motives? Are we attending church because we have to or because we want to worship- even if we're tired?

LORI ADAMS 03/19/2013 12:07:20

Thank you for the devotional! May we continue to press on until He comes! Be encouraged, there are still some that understand and benefit from what The Lord has laid on your heart to share. Thanks again!!

LORI JACKSON 03/19/2013 13:09:08

Luke 4:16. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

You should go because even Jesus had the custom of going.

BETH DICKINSON 03/19/2013 13:22:51

Seems to me the issue is the inclination for people of all ages to judge worship in terms of what they get out of it. The writer's son indicated this in his resistance to attending worship services. He no longer felt like he was getting anything out of the worship. We can see how this attitude has afflicted the church, turning worship into entertainment, and setting higher priorities on making worship convenient rather than ensuring it accomplishes its true purpose - worshipping our God in the way He has expressly desired (singing psalms, hymns, spiritual songs), devoting our personal time to focus on His greatness, giving thanks thereby sending a sweet savor.

The fellowship of worship is far more sacred an experience that it bears no resemblance to the easy use of the word "fellowship" that some Christians use these days to describe every social event. Since when did fellowshipping in spirit and in truth in reverent worship of our God become equivalent to what some people now refer to as "fellowship", such as meeting at the local restaurant or at someone's home for a potluck. Getting together socially is great fun, but it is not spiritual fellowship, and the more we diminish true spiritual fellowship and turn it in to social events, then the more casually we can see people approach this social fellowship, and ultimately deem it optional, and even less preferable to other kinds of social "fellowship."

As long as our children get the idea that worshipping God is about them, about their wants and needs, about their preferences, rather than the other way around, we can expect more of them to resist getting up on a Sunday morning to go worship their God. When it becomes all about them, they have already replaced God with themselves, and have become their own gods, and so why the surprise at their lack of devotion?

Worship is our opportunity to give of ourselves sacrificially, in reverent worship to God, giving Him ourselves - as meager that gift actually is - and, while we definitely benefit from true worship, and encourage each other as we participate in true worship, the goal of our worship ought never to be to satisfy ourselves, but rather to please God. We owe Him our true worship, and understanding that should be motivation enough to get us out of bed on Sunday mornings.

Maria Ordaz 03/19/2014 15:11:19

Thanks to AOP for the daily focus. I have been blessed to find the biblical Saturday sabbath. For me it is important to know and follow God's Commands, because it is important to him, otherwise he wouldn't include it on his law and even write it with his own finger Exodus 31:18. The whole bible was inspired through prophets and the thing that God wrote with his own finger men wants to change? May God bless each of us that are following God's will on homeschool our children :)

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