Sometimes all it takes is my fellowship group to make me feel better! I am so thankful to have amazing women in my life who I look up to, who can teach me, but also be my best friend. Yesterday was a really rough day and so to end it with Shannon and Elizabeth and their families was the perfect end to a miserable day!
Some people tell me that they don't need to go to church to be a Christian. I get that. And I agree. No, you don't need to attend church on Sunday to believe in God. And frankly, church attendance alone does not make you a Christian. But I feel strongly that there is a difference between believing in God alone, and knowing Him. And when we seek to know God, church attendance just sorta follows.
God created us to be in a relationship with Him. In other relationships in my life, it is important for me to show up, to grow and strengthen that relationship. When I arrive at church on Sunday it is like visiting a dear friend. It is giving of my time to show the other person in the relationship how much they mean to me...in this case, how much God means to me!
Fellowship groups are also a direct reflection of this relationship with Christ. When you get to know a person (God) you want to know everything about that person. What makes her, her, or him, him? Well God wants us to know everything about Him, including getting to know His people. I don't just go to church on Sunday to see God, but to see His people too. To share, laugh, enjoy, worship and praise together. Tuesday night fellowship group is the same for me. I eagerly look forward to the opportunity to share with others who are like-minded, who love Jesus, and want to serve Him. We build each other up, encourage one another and love on one another. This was part of God's plan. That we would be in a deep relationship with other followers of Christ.
This is why it is so important for me to attend church on Sundays, and why we make it a commitment. This is why fellowship group is the highlight of my week. God is good and it isn't that he wants to be a time-sucker, or just some sort of busy work. But he wants to see us, He wants us to show him how much we care. When I want to show Forbes how much I care, I show up. I visit him at school, I take time out of my day to do something nice for him. It is no different when we show God how much we care. We give of our time and energy. He doesn't want church to be a punishment or forced ritual, he just wants to know we care!
God loves you. He cherishes you. You are His child and just as you are so dearly loved by earthly parents and friends, He loves you 80,000 times that! He wants to see you, so He can show you His love. He wants to be near you, but He's already there, you have to take the next step. Following God, attending church, and having Christ-driven friends is a blessing, not a forced religious ritual. Take time today to show God you care.