Monday’s Column: Neal At The Cross
- I’ve never heard the avid fisherman say, “Do I have to go back to the lake?”
- I’ve never heard the shopaholic say, “How often do I have to go to the store?”
- I’ve never heard the committed sports fan say, “How many games do I have to watch?”
- I’ve never heard the foodie say, “How often do I have to try a new restaurant or dish?”
- I’ve never heard the head-over-heels-in-love say, “How many times do I have to see him/her each week?”
- I’ve never heard the devoted mom say, “How often must I hold my baby?”
We’ve lost the battle when our sermons, articles, and classes center around answering the question, “How often must I assemble? How many times a week do I have to come to church? Are Sunday night and Wednesday night mandatory?”
How unnatural for a disciple, a committed follower of Jesus who is in love with Him and who has such a relationship with Him that He is priority number one, to approach the assemblies in such a way! Must? Have to? You see, the question is wrong. The mentality and approach is where the work needs to occur.
When Jesus and His church are my passion, the thought-process becomes “I get to,” “I want to,” and “I will!” Neither parents, grandparents, spouses, elders, preachers, siblings, nor anyone else have to get behind anyone and push the one who has put Jesus at the heart and center of their lives.
Not a legalistic or checklist mindset. Instead, an outgrowth of what’s happening in my life between my God and me. Church “attendance” is but one evidence of this, but it certainly is an evidence of this. Church and religion are not just a slice of the pie of a committed Christian’s life. Christ is the hub in the wheel of their life, and each spoke of the wheel is attached to that hub. The difference could not be more dramatic!