Thankful For A Good Habit

October 13, 2014
by Joel Jongkind

Psalm 122:1 – I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go into the house of the Lord." (NKJV)

On occasion, the subject comes up in our family that we were forced to go to church when we were young, and it is, at times, vehemently discussed, some in favour, some against. Some church-going parents allow their children, after they reach a certain age, to make a choice whether to attend church or not. Some keep on going, while some go periodically, and others quit altogether.

We did not have a choice. Our parents told us that as long as we lived under their roof, we had to join them in church, twice on a Sunday. It was a habit which was forced upon us, and even if we had rebelled, it would have done us no good. On Sunday, you go to church.

There are so many activities on a Sunday now. Even for children, there are soccer tournaments, baseball games, and hockey schools to attend. For some young parents, it is a very difficult time. It is hard to convince ten-year-olds that church is more fun than playing soccer with their friends. But some insist that they go to church as a family.

There are others who attend church on special days, like Christmas and Easter, or when they've been assigned tasks like taking up the collection or reading the Scriptures.

After Jesus had been tempted by the devil, as described in Luke 4:1-13, He returned to Galilee:

Luke 4:16 – So He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. (NKJV)

Jesus did not say, "Well, I'm a man now. I'm through going to the synagogue," nor did He just go on occasion whenever He felt like it. No, the Bible tells us that on the Sabbath, He went, as was His custom. That was the way Jesus was raised by His parents. He was used to going to the synagogue, and He even took part in the service, as was the custom at the time.

There have always been things to do on a Sunday, but I am thankful that we were "forced" to go as children. We developed a good habit, and now, we look forward to going to worship, to sing praises to His name, and to have fellowship with people who think as we do. It is good to able to go to the house of the Lord. I am thankful for this good habit.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for parents who raised us in a Christian way and who taught us what it means to attend church on a regular basis. We thank You for what that means to us now. We pray for the many young families who have to decide now between secular activities and worship on a Sunday morning. We offer this prayer in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Awesome devotional.


    Been there done that Joel.


    Right on!! We were a family that insisted and are ever so glad that we did.


    Both my husband and I grew up with similar rules and raised our family the same way. It is sad that so many parents did not and therein lies part of the root of the problem with our churches closing.


    Dear Joel
    Thanks for the great devotional. There are so many reasons today why one can not attend church. Most of them are excuses. We need to make choices.
    Always enjoy your devotionals. Thanks be to God.


    I have subscribed to the PresbyCan Daily Devotional so it comes to my email every day. I always play a game with myself, where I try to guess before the end of the first paragraph who wrote it.
    I’m always right.


    I completely agree! I’m glad you built the habit of going to church into me as well, and now, it is always a highlight of the week for me. I love going every Sunday to worship, and to be involved in the ministries of our church, and to see friends and maybe make some new ones. Our rule was the same with our children, and I think, overall, they have come to see church and going on Sundays in a positive light as well – for which I’m very thankful.


    Hi Joel:
    Thank you for your great devotional today.
    We raised 4 kids and we took them to church every Sunday. I don’t remember rebellion. That’s just what we did as a family on Sundays. Now we have 4 happily married children – all married to Christian spouses, bringing up their children in the church. We thank God for that.
    Thank you for keeping the standard high!
    Happy Thanksgiving! There is so much to thank our wonderful God for.


    Your devotional message today brought back memories of raising 3 sons and dealing with objection to going to church. My response was to remind them that we do most things as a family including sports, vacations, meals, shopping, chores, table games, etc. Our message to them was that included church attendance without exception. Today they are raising our grandchildren with the same expectations and life style. I am staying with one son for a short while and his eldest bucked at getting ready for church and his Dad used the same approach that I did with him. Saturday they went together to the rink for hockey and Sunday they went together to the church for worship.
    Thanks for posting!


    Thank you Joel, it always so nice to get one of your devotionals. I trust you had a nice Thanksgiving!


    Yes Joel thank God for this good habit!
    I wasn’t raised in a Christian home, but friends and neighbours brought me to the church. I wondered for a while but their efforts were not wasted.
    Blessings.


    Hi Joel,
    Thank you for your writing of the Monday, Oct. 13th devotional. I knew even before I got to the bottom of the page that you were the writer. You have a very distinctive style and I always look forward to reading what you have posted. Thanks be to God for your messages.


    Thanks Joel. What a great text and “angle” for a thanksgiving message!
    Your devotion makes me think past the great thanksgiving issue that you made to many other things! Perhaps we need to be “doing church” in a more accessible way for the “sporting” families. Maybe we need to make changes to be the place where people want to be, the place where people are drawn to. Worship is exciting. God is amazing and “new every morning” and yet we too often get stuck in the old ways that to some may seem to be “boring” ways. Maybe it’s not them but us who have to look at how and when we worship. God is so amazing. If only people could taste – they’d see!! How can we set out the feast so that they can come, will come, and taste and see! That is the on-going question!! And if we had the answer all of our churches would be packed! And you and I could be rich writing the book! Although the Book has already been written – we just have to read and follow it – but the truth is – some just don’t care about God’s Word or see His Word as relevant. A very sad commentary on our society.
    Thanks for making me think even beyond the intent of the devotion!


    Thank you Joel.

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