We’re going to church today. Let’s make sure our lives match up to our words of praise. We wouldn’t want to be hypocritical, would we?
(5) Those who flatter their neighbors are spreading nets for their feet.
This verse deals with ulterior motives. What is it we truly want? What are we really wanting to accomplish? If we direct this verse toward God, do we go to church for the right reasons? What ARE some of those reasons?
- To worship corporately, bringing Him praise and adoration while lifting up the name of our God and His Son, Jesus Christ, through the uniting power of the Holy Spirit;
- To sit under sound teaching, being encouraged in our daily walk;
- To fellowship with other believers and to bear each other up in prayer and in life;
- To unite with other Christians around the world in solidarity for the name of Christ;
- To be empowered to be evangelical in our walk with Christ, displaying Christ in our lives and taking opportunities as they come to be witnesses for Him.
I’m sure there are others, but these are the ones that came to my mind. The question is, are we going to church for the right reasons? Let’s look at some of the wrong reasons that some people go to church:
- To see and be seen. It’s a good business move;
- Guilt. We were raised to go and we feel guilty if we don’t;
- Status. We want to be considered pillars of the community.
- Power and influence. We can wield power over others through manipulation and control using the Word of God and personality.
- To obtain God’s favor–little knowing that in Christ they already have it!
Here again, the list can be longer, but these are the obvious ones. We don’t realize that by not examining ourselves, we could be flattering the LORD without realizing it. Flattery means, “insincere praise.” Is THAT why we go to church? Certainly not–I hope!
We would do well to let this verse be our “Sunday Mandate:”
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5
We can use the above lists to make sure that we are going to church for the right reasons. We need attitudes of thanksgiving and gratitude. Even in sorrow, we gain solace in knowing that He is in control and that He gives mercy and grace in our time of need.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace [together] with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Abba, as we meet in Your name today, may we keep in mind that we are there to give You glory, to learn, to lift each other up, and to fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. May we set aside anything that would bring disunity to the body, whether it be attitudes or expectations, history or its lack (not knowing someone). May we be Christ to each other; in this way, we learn to be Christ to others outside of our church family. Bless us today, O LORD, as we meet together and join those already around Your throne. Amen.