All of us are assaulted with a barrage of messages every day. Some suggest that an average American hears or sees three thousand ads every day. Whether or not the total is accurate doesn’t change the reality of our world. We hear and see noisy messages about almost everything under the sun.
Yet one subject doesn’t get as much attention—Jesus. On occasion we might find some message about religion. The news might carry a story about someone who has helped the poor or needy, but it just as likely might be a story about some scandal in the church.
At least in the messages outside of church, we will find little to help us understand Jesus and his message of forgiveness. Even if we limit our television or radio preferences to a religious or family oriented network, it doesn’t always help. We discover that the Jesus pictured there is not exactly the one we have come to know and love. The printed material that assaults us provides ideas that range from secular spiritual helps to requests for money from religious organizations.
All this highlights one reason we come into the Lord’s house. We come to listen to his voice—the Scriptures. The beauty of coming to church is that we leave behind the raucous world with its blaring messages. It’s a quiet time—a time to listen. We come to sit quietly and wait for someone to read the Bible and comment on its meaning.
Can’t we find time on our own to listen to God’s voice? Yes, and we should. But two things happen when we do not come to the Lord’s house to listen. First, we have a tendency to forget the message of God—his love for us in our Savior, Jesus. We might hope or even boast that we can find the quiet time on our own. But many times our lives get so hectic and busy that the resolution to listen disappears and the time evaporates in our own activities.
One other thing happens when we don’t come to the Lord’s house. Soon we begin to imagine what God says instead of learning his truth carefully. Our thinking slowly drifts away from his truth. When we stay away from the Lord’s house, we simply begin to drift away.
When we come into his house, however, we allow the voice of God in the Scriptures to bend our thinking to his—to straighten our religious attitudes. If you don’t look at a compass, you will lose your way. Coming into God’s house to listen to him is our compass check. It keeps us on the narrow way that leads to eternal life.
“Blessed . . . are those who hear the word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28).