How Far Would You Travel On Foot To Worship And Celebrate Jesus’ Birth?

Last night on 60 Minutes, they aired a program about some churches in Lalibela, Ethiopia that had been chiseled out of stone. To be precise each church was carved out of one big stone. To see the results was impressive.

The carving of these churches date back almost 1,000 years according to a local historian. Their presence has had a significant impact on the people of Ethiopia, since they believe the churches were carved by angels.

The moderator for 60 Minutes, Scott Pelley, interviewed one of the professionals dedicated to preserving these churches. Scott asked him why these churches were so important. The individual answered that the people of Ethiopia travel for days and sometimes months on foot to come to that location to worship. The historian said that the people believe God inhabits the churches and they want to be where God is.

Can you imagine traveling for days, weeks, or even months on foot to worship at a church? Not just any church but one believed to be carved out by angels and inhabited by God. For me personally, I am amazed at their devotion to God and worshiping His son Jesus. I only hope I can be as devoted as the Ethiopians in this story.

How far and how long would you travel on foot to worship Jesus? It’s definitely something to consider and pray about.

It’s Sunday And I’m Going To The Friendliest Place I Know

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse—Psalm 25:1-3

If you’ve had a rough week and need to see a friendly face, then this is the place to go. Christians see old friends and worship the Lord. Non-Christians are seeking something that they saw you exhibit during the week. You showed love and kindness to them while others around them were self-seeking and worldly in their interests. God’s love for us and those searching for answers will be blessed when you enter the doors of God’s house.

Are You Religious And Yet Lost?

“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for”—Ephesians 1:11

A person can be religious and yet lost. Attending church won’t make you God’s child. You must accept his offer. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God”(1 Peter 3:18).

It makes no sense to seek your God-given strength until you trust in his. “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for” (Ephesians 1:11). Take a few moments and talk to God. Whether you are making a decision or reaffirming an earlier one, talk to your Maker about your eternal life. You might find this prayer helpful:

Immanuel, you are with me. You became a person and took on flesh. You became my Savior and took on my sin. I accept your gift. I receive you as my Lord, Savior, and friend. Because of you, I’ll never be alone again!

Declining Church Attendance. Does It Matter To You?

The subject of church attendance can be nebulous and confusing. There are so many factors, both large and small, affecting why people are not attending church as often or at all. No doubt in God’s eyes this fact is distressing because God offered us one of the greatest gifts mankind could ever receive. A savior.

Does having a savior or being saved really matter to people in general? For those who are believers, this point can’t be understated. Being saved is a conscious choice and one that’s made clearly, objectively and personally by the believer. Spending eternity in heaven with the Lord transcends all other considerations of living a life without him.

So, why is attendance at churches declining? There are many reasons. The following are some of the reasons I discovered through my own research. This list is certainly not an exhaustive list but represents the major reasons I discovered.

1. People’s lives are busier.

2. Christians meet weekly with a small group and never or rarely go to church.

3. There are multiple expectations of mid-sized churches that they can’t meet such as programs, dynamic music, and quality youth ministries.

4. Established churches in decline are suffering from a leadership crisis.

5. The emptiness of yesterday’s sermon has got to become more relevant, especially in light of today’s young people searching for real truth.

Clearly, the future looks less than bright for the church in America; nevertheless, countless stories of transformed lives remind us that God is using, and wants to continue to use, Christian congregations to draw others to Him and strengthen believers for His work in a hurting world.

Where do you stand on this subject? Are you concerned or dependent on someone else to initiate change and make a difference? God examines every heart and is always looking for those who are believers that want to make a change.

Set out to make a difference today by talking to just one person about Jesus Christ. That interaction might be the only time they hear about Jesus and it could also effect their eternal destiny forever.

Sunday Is For More Than Coffee In Bed

When you wake up on Sunday morning what do you do? Do you lie in bed, drink coffee and read the paper? Or do you do nothing and just laze around for the day? Good news. Sunday mornings can be more than that.

Sunday is the beginning of a new week. It is a time which can be used to prepare for those things that will happen during the week. It’s also a day that can be used to spend time with family and reconnect with loved ones.

And, Sunday can be used as a day to worship our Lord, Jesus Christ. Going to church and listening to a sermon is part of the process for praising and worshiping God. It is more than singing songs and making contributions to the offering, however. Church is also a time to reconnect with our Lord and Savior and to bless His holy name through personal and joint prayer.

How you approach Sunday and what you do in church will make a big difference in your day and your life. By listening to God’s word and fellow shipping with others in the congregation, you expose yourself to positive and godly influences. Church becomes like an extended family with people who genuinely care about you.

So, how about today setting aside all of the world’s trappings and worries and go to church instead. If you go with the right frame of mind I guarantee you will be blessed in more ways than you thought possible.