You’ve probably heard this story, but I need it to set up my point today. So, sit back and listen like it’s your first time!
A young man fell on hard times once he decided to try life on his own. He found himself low on funds, so he called home and humbly asked mom for help in this area. Mom, a seasoned Christian, went by his apartment one day and delivers a Bible to her son. The son, who had initially been very excited to learn she was coming to visit, soon felt his smile of anticipation change into a feeling of disappointment.
The mother told her son to read the Bible daily and begin with Proverbs as it was written by the wisest and richest man to ever live. She said she just knew God would help him. As you can imagine, the son disagreed at the top of his voice and told mom that what he needed was money, not religion! The mother quietly and reverently repeated to her son, “I love you, God loves you, read the Proverbs.” She kissed him on the head and retuned home.
The boy threw the Bible on the countertop and mumbled a few expletives. A few days went by, and the mother called to ask what he thought about the first few chapters in Proverbs. The boy said he hadn’t had time to read the Bible yet. Then he followed with, “Mom, I am about to be evicted if I cannot pay my rent. Can you loan me the rent?” The mom stood her ground and reminded her son to read, and God would help. This scenario went on for a month. Finally in total despair the son picked up the Bible and flipped to Proverbs 1, and this is what it said:
1 These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.
2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
to help them understand the insights of the wise.
3 Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,
to help them do what is right, just, and fair.
4 These proverbs will give insight to the simple,
knowledge and discernment to the young.
When the son finished reading verse 4, an envelope with a note and $1,000 fell out of the Bible. The note from Mom said, “Son, I love you. I’m so glad you allowed God to supply all you need. It’s amazing the correlation between obedience and blessing! Mom.”
Just as the mom in this illustration had hidden a blessing behind obedience, God has done the same for you when He asks you to forsake not the assembling of yourselves (Hebrews 10:24-25) and to keep the Sabbath Day holy (Exodus 20:8). He knows there are hidden benefits for us when we attend a good church every week. When we worship and sing songs that remind us of our commitment to God and our covenant, the promises of God are implanted into our spirit. There are so many distractions that we allow in our lives every day, all day. God knows we need to maintain a strong walk of faith and we need the fellowship of other believers, so we aren’t discouraged and backslide or quit all together.
When our faith is strong, we can ask for anything, and He promises to give it. When we allow the things of this life which are temporary to distract us, we are allowing ourselves to get off track of our purpose, and we begin to wander into places we swore we would never return to. The Word of God is full of instructions for us to not forget the Lord (Psalm 103) or to remember the Lord our God (Deuteronomy 8:18).
Church, reading the Word, discipleship, witnessing, worship, pastors, staff all have one thing in common: They are all created by God to keep your mind on the covenant you cut with God when you gave Him your life!
From the moment you commit your life to Christ, the enemy begins to try to distract you from accomplishing your purpose! God’s invisible benefits reside in His house. He wants us to remember Him and what we committed to do and why we committed to do it. The world has six days and 22 hours a week to help us forget what we committed to do and the passion we had to do it.
When we receive or take communion, we repeat the words of Jesus, “Do this in remembrance of me!” We take the wine and the bread to remind us of His sacrifice of flesh and blood for us, which caused us to commit to Him. And so, just as the boy in the initial story was distracted by rent and need, we are distracted by needs and wants as well. However, as the mother used The Word to bless him with what he needed, God uses people to represent God’s perfect will for our lives.
Here is your action item: Find a great church that leads you into God’s presence and blessings, then go to church! Read your Word daily. Get involved in helping people for God.
(Read Proverbs…you never know!)