Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought"1 (Lyrics)
Hebrews 10:22-25 – Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIV)
Albert put me to shame. At the ripe age of 89, he slogged to church every Sunday through deep snows and sub-zero temperatures. We offered him drives multiple times, but he declined each one, saying that he needed his exercise. His dedication to church attendance made those of us driving short distances feel like wimps, yet we admired his pluck and dedication.
These days, when "old Arthur" wakens me on a Sunday morning with aching joints and a backache that won't quit, I remember Albert's pluck, stamina, and dedication. Then I head for church through all sorts of weather. I drive less than a mile, pull into the parking lot (often into the last empty space), and race to the door, usually just in the nick of time.
Then, we're on our feet raising our voices in praise to Jesus Christ, Who set us free from our own tendency to make wrongheaded choices, and Who grants us forgiveness for our poor decisions. We listen while the minister, with Bible in hand, preaches a message to encourage us to live out principles that the world around us doesn't understand or support. We are sent on our way with an uplifting blessing and the last verse of a final reassuring song.
These days, joining in the praise and worship, I understand Albert a bit better. He couldn't wait to get to church to spend time with his Lord and Redeemer. Now I feel that way, too.
I don't really know precisely when this thirst to be in God's presence grew within me, but I can trace it to a prayer meeting when I was prayed for during a difficult pregnancy. The peace that passes all comprehension descended upon me and has never truly left me since. I may have ignored the Holy Spirit's nudges from time to time, and downright done my own thing, only to come crawling back on my knees, but He never left me.
These days, I crave going to church on Sundays. Worshipping Jesus is the highlight of my week, and I can hardly wait to get there. Guess I've become a bit like Albert.
1 John 4:9,19 – This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. We love because he first loved us. (NIV)
With hearts overflowing with God's grace, let's love and encourage one another each and every day, but especially on Sundays.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the joy that You give us when we come together to worship You. We're often blown away by Your presence among us. Thank You for stooping down to our level in order to lift us up into Your loving care, for we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
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Beautiful, Cass. Thank you.
Great story Cass. Very inspiring.
Thank you, Cassandra, for an inspiring story.
The day is better for it when we display God’s love to one another.
Thanks Cass for your devotional.
Cass, thanks for sharing this testimony and encouraging us to draw closer to the Lord in worship.
Thank you for this devotional – for electronically assembling ourselves together. God Bless and keep you and make his countenance to shine upon you.. and grant you his peace.
I definitely feel a kindred spirit in reading your devotions, especially today’s..
Thank you for writing and and may the joy of Christ never leave us.
Wonderful devotional! Much as we try, we do need the Alberts of this world to remind us what true contentment is and the truth of the words of the song “the joy of the Lord is my strength”.
Do keep writing!
Good morning from Northern Ontario.
You have delineated many wonderful truths today. Thank you! You have helped me more than you know, and I pray that you have helped many others as well.
Thank you for your devotional this morning. It is good when we look forward to going to church, especially if the word of God is brought in an easy to understand, reverent and meaningful way.
You are right, it is so great to be able to go to Church every Sunday, and it is really good when we hear the word of God brought in an easy to understand, reverent and meaningful way.
Thank you for these good words, a friend of mine used to say “It just doesn’t feel right if I don’t go to Church.” It is our daily prayer that more people would feel this way.
Funny how messages arrive just at the right time. Was considering skipping church this Sunday, for no reason other than no choir, and I have spent quite a bit of time there in the past few weeks. But if I don’t have a better reason, then I had better get my butt moving. The congregation is always slim in the summer. We have a retired minister covering the pulpit for the month of July, so I should support her. If it is a different minister each Sunday, just pulpit supply, then I don’t care as much.
Editorial Comment: The point of the devotional is that we should be going to church to be in the presence of God and His people.
Thanks for Guess I’ve become a bit like Albert.
And I love to go to church too.
Thanks for your message.
Thanks for sharing this story.
More and more I see God’s hand at work in people’s lives. What a great opportunity to be encouraged by the reality of His presence. This little tale of Albert and his faithful witness merely underscores the extent of His love for us.
Amen! Cassandra. Thank God for people like Albert! I’ve had a few like him as well in my church life.
Hope we can influence others now to cherish fellowship with believers.
Thanks Cassandra for your reflection on Albert’s example. It has challenged me to renew my love for the Lord.