August 4, 2020
Hebrews 10:19-25
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, 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, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
New International Version (NIV)
In our early days at Tallowood, one of our young sons surprised his Sunday School teacher, “This is my last Sunday here.  I won’t be back.”  His teacher asked, “Why won’t you return?”  He answered, “We have the ‘Jesus video’ at home.  I already know all this stuff.” 

Do we miss worshiping together in person?  Why does corporate worship matter anyway?  We can gain information electronically, right?  

The writer of Hebrews offers important reasons to come together.  First, we have access to God through our great high priest.  Together we are his house.  This gives us great confidence to draw close to our faithful God!  Second, as we live together in hope, we consider each other so that we can spur each other on toward love and good deeds. 

Some in the first century had given up on Christ’s return. They walked away from Christ and no longer wanted to be part of the church. 

Living together in Christian community, we meet together so that we can encourage each other until Christ returns.  But wait, haven’t we violated this teaching by giving up meeting for this season?  Thankfully we can still connect electronically.  This is not a permanent solution but it does allow us to care for each other and our neighbors by not spreading the contagious novel Covid 19 virus. 

If we don’t want to meet we violate this teaching.  But if we want to meet and we continue in community, staying in touch with each other, worshiping on-line and in virtual connect groups we can still grow together and encourage each other.  I know this is an insufficient and unsatisfactory substitute.  This grieves me as it does you.  All of this makes me want to regather soon and not to miss when we do.  You, too? 

Pray with me:         
Father, thank you for offering us a way to draw near to you through Christ.  Let us live in confident expectation.  Help us in this difficult time to care for each other, even at a distance.  Lord, make us sons and daughters of encouragement spurring each other on to love and good  deeds.  Through Jesus our great High Priest we  draw near and pray.  Amen
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 6:19-21
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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