How far is it to church?
By: Bill Bryant, Wooddale Church of Christ
The story is told of a minister who went to visit a family that rarely attended services after a recent move.
When asked what had happened, the father of the family explained that they now lived a number of miles further away from the church building and that the distance had made things far more difficult in attending.
The preacher pointed out that the distance had not affected his attendance at his job, which quickly exposed his weak excuse. It brings to mind an important question that we will answer in today's article.
HOW FAR IS IT TO CHURCH? It will always be a long way for the person whose heart is not into worshipping God. But it is a short distance to church for those who have made their lives a spiritual sacrifice for the Lord during the week (Rom. 12:1). They truly understand the privilege they have in being a child of God and when the time comes for assembling with the saints, they depict the attitude expressed in Psalms 122:1, “I was glad when they said to me, let us go to the house of the Lord.”
HOW FAR IS IT TO CHURCH? It’s always a long way for those who don’t enjoy and appreciate the fellowship of Christians. The fellowship that comes from worldly-minded people is more desirable. But it’s a short distance to church for those who seek the fellowship of those whose faith has weathered the storms of life and have truly come to know God.
HOW FAR IS IT TO CHURCH? It’s always a long way for those who seek as many of the material things the world has to offer. Long hours of weary service are given so that a larger house, a nicer car, better clothes, and wonderful vacations to far away places can be obtained under the guise, “I just want to provide for my family.” But it’s a short distance to church for those who have learned the value of the spiritual over the physical. They truly understand the admonition given by Paul in the Colossian letter, “If then you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking those things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:1-3).
HOW FAR IS IT TO CHURCH? It’s always a long way for those who feel the study of the Bible is dull and boring. An hour or two is just too long to keep one’s attention on one subject unless, of course, it might be a concert or a ball game where three hours passes by in a flash (even on a cold, hard bench). But it’s a short distance to church for those who truly hunger and thirst after righteousness. They know the study of God’s Word provides the spiritual food that their soul silently craves. They seek the godly truths that others share in their Bible classes and sermons.
HOW FAR IS IT TO CHURCH? The distance is not measured by how far you live from the church building, but how far you live from God.