Reading: Hebrews 10:19-27

"Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage each other" (Heb 10:25)
The secret of the strong faith of the early saints of God was in their regular gatherings. If this can become true of all the believers of all the Churches today, we too can "turn the world upside down" — no, no, set the upside-down world straight! (Acts 17:6). Lord, do it again!

Individual faith builds up corporate faith. In like manner, corporate faith strengthens individual faith. When we assemble as a family of believers, each one's faith is made strong. We go to the Church with a faith so feeble, but after worshipping the Lord together we return with a heart full of faith. Praises cannot but often burst thro' our lips on our way back home. When a Church grows in faith it grows in size too. We read in the Book of Acts, "The Churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily" (Acts 16:5). Qualitative as well as quantitative faith! This is balanced Church growth.

The fellowship of saints is important for another reason: it helps especially those who are weak in faith (Rom 14:1-4). "A brother is born to help in time of need" (Prov 17:17).

Unity does not mean that all have to be alike. Unity is not uniformity. Our God is a God of diversity. Unity in diversity is God's way. People have a tendency to join together only with those who are exactly like them. But God magnifies Himself in the Church only through a glorious diversity.

Assembling of God's people helps the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a proper way. When we observe how God uses others we are able to understand the "measure" of faith God has given us. This enables us to function within our limits.

Coming together as God's children gives us an opportunity to observe the faith of our leaders and elders. We are admonished in the Scriptures, "Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the Word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct" (Heb 13:7). This also places a tremendous responsibility on leaders to be living examples to the believers "in faith" (1 Tim 4:12). In his first letter to Timothy, Paul wrote, "Fight a good fight of faith" (1 Tim 6:12). In his second letter, he testified, "I have fought the good fight...I have kept the faith" (2 Tim 4:7). O God, give us such leaders!

R. Stanley