By Dennis Abernathy
Do you realize that being a Christian involves doing something (James 1:22-25)? Have you ever given serious consideration as to how much you really do for the Lord? I am sure many would list attendance to the services. But a great many could not even do that! There are some who will not come to the Bible classes. Surely we need to realize the need for attending all of the services (Heb. 10:25). But, is that all that you can do?
How many have you visited and talked to about their soul? How many have you invited to the services? How many Bible studies have you had or been instrumental in arranging? Would it embarrass you if you had to write on a piece of paper the names of those to whom you have talked about the Bible over the past year? Is it that you have not had the opportunity to do the aforementioned things? Surely not. I am afraid we want a little bit of religion as long as it is convenient!
It is easy for brethren to get in an air-conditioned car and come to a comfortable building for about an hour (many sleep through half of that). For many brethren it is easy to make the decisions in the Lord’s work. They simply do not come to the business meetings and reply “whatever you decide is alright with me.” Of course, this is fine as long as you do not decide something they do not like if you do, then look out! It is not too difficult to plan work for the church (we are good planners) and then not show up to carry out all the plans. It is a very easy thing to criticize when one is doing nothing himself (I have found that to be the ones who do the most of it).
What do you do? You know what you do and I know what I do and the Lord knows what we both do. Let us all strive to do more and criticize less. I am sure that if we work as we should we will grow more (as a congregation and a Christian). But just maybe we are content to just remain as we are. God forbid! Many times though, actions speak louder than words. Much louder!
When we assemble together to worship God, our worship is to be in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24). In spirit, of course, means with sincerity or from the heart. In truth means in accordance with God’s Word, which is truth (John 17:17). God has always demanded respect and reverence from those who are His (Psalms 89:7). It seems to this writer that surely such is the case with the periods of worship. Also, whether we realize it or not, others are watching our example in worship to God (visitors, our children, weak, etc.) Am I setting the proper example (one that shows reverence to God)? By
this I mean doing what we do in sincerity and from the heart (not just to be seen of men).
But what about brethren sometimes? Ten minutes into the sermon and some are sound asleep. To my way of thinking, this surely does not manifest worship in “spirit;” they sleep so much that they don’t know whether things are done in “truth” or not! The truth of the matter is that it shows a lack of respect for God and His word to habitually sleep during the periods of worship. Not only does it show a lack of respect for God but for the preacher or teacher as well. But can’t you just imagine the impression made on the visitors and the young when the one who conducts the song service and waits on the Lord’s table goes back to his seat and goes sound to sleep? What do you think God’s attitude is toward such irreverence?
My dear brother or sister in Christ, maybe you need to go to bed a little earlier on Saturday night or take a short nap before service time or just maybe you need to examine your attitude and outlook toward worship to Almighty God! Brethren, wake up and think on these things!
Truth Magazine XXI: 39, p. 621
October 6, 1977