Saturday, September 7, 2013


fishGood Afternoon to All! 

How many excuses have you heard from people for not going to church?  Below is one of my "pet peeves", because I love to fish, but I love God more.   

I came up with the title "Worship While You Fish", because what came to mind was "whistle while you work".  You can't do that successfully either.  Your concentration has to be on what you are doing.  If you are fishing, then your focus needs to be on catching fish.  If you are worshipping God, then your focus HAS TO BE ON HIM.

I won't say that I NEVER miss church when we go on vacation or a fishing trip.  That would be a blatant fib, but I refuse to use it as an excuse for not going. 

“I can worship just as well in the middle of a lake fishing as I can sitting on a pew in church.”  I have heard that excuse more times than I would like to count.  I thoroughly dislike that statement because it couldn’t be further from the truth.

I do agree that sitting in the middle of a lake, fishing pole in hand and nothing around you but peace, quiet, and the occasional splash of water from a fish jumping in the distance CAN make a person feel closer to God IF they are thinking about HIM.

 However, I would tend to think that that is rarely the case.  They are thinking “it is so beautiful out here, I wish the fish would bite”.  I’m getting sleepy sitting here waiting.  Maybe if I go to another spot I might catch a fish.”   That my friend IS NOT worshipping or even thinking about our Savior and Creator.
Hebrews 10:23-25 admonishes the believers Not to forsake the assembling of themselves together.  He says, “ “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)  (24) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  (25) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 

While the KEY verse here is (25), I felt the need to include the surrounding verses for a bit of clarity of SOME of the purpose for attending church.    I am not proposing to say “if a person doesn’t go to church they will not get into heaven, because I don’t know, and it is NOT my place to say.  What I am saying is that God’s Word tells us to attend church and by not doing so, we will be DISOBEYING Him, and that is a sin. 

We go to church to first of all, be fed a balanced meal of God’s Word.  While we can read the Bible and study His Word at home, God has provided us with “spiritual leaders” for a reason.  We are to listen to them, heed their messages and then go home and look up the scriptures from which they taught us.

church2Our Pastors are placed in our lives to guide us through this life, to keep us on the path toward God.  Granted, there are some who stray from their rightful purpose, and that is when we need to be prayed up, and dig into God’s Word and “rightly divide” it.

Make sure what the Pastor is preaching is DIRECTLY IN LINE with what God says in His Word.  If not, then I would find another church to go to. 

God tells us in His Word that there will be those who will try to deceive us.  We have to check on them and make sure that what we are being told is the truth.  Our very Souls depend on it. 
There are so many scriptures which speak of how important to attend church in His Word.

Divine Command--Deuteronomy 12:5—But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither though shalt come.

Blessings Pronounced upon--Psalm 84:4 tells us “Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee.  Psalm 122:1  I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.  (4) Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD.

A Refuge in Times of TroubleIsaiah 37:1  reminds us “and it

A Place of InstructionMicah 4:2  says, “And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways , and we will walk in his paths:  for the law shall go forth of Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
  A Comfort in Old AgeLuke 2:36- And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; (37) and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 

The Example of ChristLuke 4:16—and 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 for to read.

The Example of the ApostlesLuke 24:52  reminds us “And they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: (53) and they were continually in the temple praising and blessing God.

With all of the examples above of the faithful people in the Bible taking time out of their busy schedules to spend time in God’s HOUSE,  It feels like we come up a bit short when we say “I can worship God just as well sitting out on a lake fishing.”  We NEED the camaraderie, the uplifting of others with our same core values to get us through the rough patches.

During the week, we are beat up, torn down and ripped apart by the “world”.  We are bombard with it’s lousy attitudes, foul language, and immodesty.  We are over-run by it’s rudeness, and just all around lack of respect. 

We NEED to know that there is a place where we can go to escape all of this.  Yes, we can go into our own homes and close our doors and pray, but then we still have distractions.  We have kids running in and out, we have the phone ringing which no one knows how to answer but ourselves, we have spouses who are in need of something or other.  We have constant interruptions. 
When I walk into my church, there are no interruptions.  It’s just me and God.  I can leave my troubles or outside distractions at the door and just focus on HIM.  I feel rejuvenated when I walk out the door after being in a church service because I have had my own personal retreat with God. 

There are no debates, just people who are loving and friendly,  who have Good things to say rather than criticism.

Yes, I love to fish, and I do enjoy being out in the lake in my inner tube with fishing pole in one hand, and a coke in the other.  I do think about my creator, and how wonderful He is.  I think about how beautiful His creation is, and I praise Him for it.  This however, IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE for getting out of bed, getting dressed and walking into the House of God to worship Him, to Learn about Him, and to give Him special time out of my day just for Him.

Yes, We ALL need to spend time in church, as well as outside "church functions for fellowshipping with others who will keep us encouraged as we go through our trials during the week.  If you will look in your Bible, you will see how even the Apostles spent time together outside of the temple visiting others, or just visiting with each other as well as Jesus.  Remember how Paul (Saul) ended up at Ananias' house,to receive his sight which the Lord had taken away on the road to Damascus.  Cornelius and Peter, Jesus and the Publican.  We as Christians have a profound others and each other alike, therefore we must fellowship inside and outside of church so that we can be ready and guarded against the darts that the world throws against us, yet be ready, willing and able to witness to those who do not understand our God and what He has to offer them.

Have a Wonderful Day and May God Bless!



Frank Blasi said...

Dear PJ,
Going to my church every Sunday is something I always look forward to.
You are right, church is very much central to our Christian lives.
God bless.

Anonymous said...

You re very right PJ. Church attendance is very important for us all. HOwever, it seems to me as if church attendance is being ignored by more professing Christians as time goes by. It is truly sad for they are missing a great blessing from the Lord.

Lord bless you PJ!

Angela Joseph said...

You are right, PJ, nothing can take place of worshiping God in church with other believers. Last Sunday I felt so tired after working all week, I was tempted to stay home, but the Holy Spirit gave me the strength to go and I was glad I did. The praise time was anointed, we sang some of my favorite songs and I left church feeling better than ever. Satan tries to rob us of what God has for us, by tempting us to stay away from church.

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