If there is one thing to be said for countless churches in America in this day and age, it’s that there is a strong and steady stream of people exiting the church pews after services to gladly, happily, yearningly, devotedly, hungrily, and thirstily walk or drive on over to church picnics, church pizza parties, church sports events, church exercise classes, church book clubs, church concerts, church plays, church teas, church field trips, and all sorts of other entertainment, social, and fellowship events.
Seems this has become preeminent and top priority and the first love in the hearts and lives of countless people who sit in the pews of churches across America and more than likely around the world. They are on fire for church fellowship and church entertainment before and after church services and quite frankly as part of the services themselves including right in the preaching and worship music. Professing Christians seem to be creating heavy foot traffic more and more between the pews and the picnics and pizza and entertainment and oh, yes, with some Bible studies and prayer meetings thrown in there in between.
Friend, where do you yourself stand?
The Lord Jesus Christ and our personal relationship with Him is to be preeminent and top priority in our lives. He is to be our first love. Our greatest gladness, happiness, yearning, devotion, hunger, and thirst should be for Christ Himself, for the Bible, and for living in a manner that is pleasing and honoring to Him. Above all else, we should crave and long to live to love, worship, praise, adore, serve, and glorify the Lord and to love others as we help them to find and forever follow Him.
The Lord Jesus Christ overthrew the tables of the money changers in a temple long ago and vehemently declared the priority for these assemblies of people was to be prayer to God, and in the book of Revelation in the Bible calls to repentance those who profess to believe in Him but whose first love and highest priority is no longer Jesus.
Nothing wrong with picnics, pizza parties, and godly fellowship WHEN IT IS THE WILL OF THE LORD, but pews and churches are for loving and worshiping and praying to and praising God almighty. And our hearts and lives whether in a church building or outside of it should show forth that JESUS CHRIST is our FIRST LOVE, HIGHEST DESIRE, GREATEST PRIORITY. And spending time alone with Jesus & the Bible and loving and serving Him and helping others to do the same should be #1. Picnics, pizza, and all the rest of it should never ever take precedence over the Lord Jesus Christ, AMEN!
Oh Lord God, forgive us! Have mercy on us! You know it! For years, Lord, I had a relationship with Christianity, Christians, pastors, fellowship, people, all of it and not with you! You forgave me! You had mercy on me! You took me from being totally self-consumed to learning day by day how to LOVE YOU FIRST and to LOVE OTHERS as myself! I need your mercy still each and every day! We all do! I am scared, Father, so scared, about what I have seen in so many churches. Entertainment centers, one man I know calls them. Oh God, lead your Body to repentance! Humble us! Teach us your ways! Help us to forsake all for you! Help us to have the courage to turn away from all the wrong in the churches and to do what is right, loving you FIRST, no matter what others say of us. Oh, God, have mercy! Help us, oh Lord, AMEN!
“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” Colossians 1:18
“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” Revelation 2:4-5
“Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, saying to them, “It is written, ‘MY HOUSE IS A HOUSE OF PRAYER,’ but you have made it a ‘DEN OF THIEVES.’ “” Luke 19:45-46