Not Getting Anything Out of the Assembly

Text: Psalm 122:1

David expressed the attitude that we must have when it comes to assembling to worship the Lord – gladness. Unfortunately, many do not look forward to this – but they’ll blame others for their attitude. They will complain, become sporadic in their attendance, or quit assembling altogether. Often the excuse is this: “I’m not getting anything out of the assembly.” More often than not, this is a dangerous attitude that we must guard ourselves against.

Problem of Perspective/Priorities

  • The complaint that one is not getting enough out of the assembly demonstrates a misplaced focus – elevates self beyond what one ought to think (Romans 12:3)
  • Jesus said we put God first & others second (Matthew 22:36-40) – this principle applies to the assembly
  • We come to worship God (John 4:23-24) & to encourage our brethren (Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • When one chooses not to assemble because he doesn’t “get anything out of it,” he does two things – he fails to worship God as he should & he fails to encourage his brethren as he should
  • It’s not that we should expect to get nothing out of the assembly – we just need to be sure our priorities are in order

What We Do in the Assembly

  • When we focus on what we are to do in the assembly, it becomes clear that the focus is not on self
  • Singing (Colossians 3:16) – to God (sing to Him with thankfulness); to our brethren (teach & admonish them through singing)
  • Praying (Acts 2:42) – to God; also benefits the congregation (teaching, encouragement, peace)
  • Preaching/teaching (Acts 20:7) – directed to the brethren (2 Timothy 4:2); done to glorify God (1 Peter 4:11)
  • Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-26) – to God (commemorating death of His Son); for others (we proclaim the Lord’s death)
  • Giving (1 Corinthians 16:1-2) – to God (give back to Him); for others (“the saints“)

Should We Get Something Out of the Assembly?

  • Yes! – but it is a byproduct of what we put into the assembly
  • Our focus must be on worshipping God & encouraging our brethren (John 4:24; Hebrews 10:24-25) – as a byproduct, we are also taught, admonished, reminded, and encouraged
  • There may be times, despite our efforts, when we are truly not getting what we need out of the assembly – this will only be when the church is simply not interested in serving God according to His word, in which case we must leave & find a church that is following the NT pattern (2 Timothy 1:13)
  • Our first questions should always be: What can I do? What can I contribute? How can I help?
  • As each part works together, the body will be built up (Ephesians 4:16)

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