Assembling Ourselves Together
For those who are unaware, I have just begun a new ministry work here in my home town of Marshfield, Wisconsin, as an extension of our newspaper and radio ministries. By God’s grace, my wife, Lisa, and I were able to purchase a downtown commercial building this past May, which now houses my newspaper office and radio recording studio. But the MAIN purpose of this building is our new Ministry Center outreach, which will focus on education, mentoring, counseling and discipleship training — teaching courageous, unashamed men and women of God to be TRUE salt and light in this world… to get OUT OF THEIR SEATS AND OUT ON THE STREETS — with a POWERUL IMPACT in this lost, confused world. We are encouraging remnant believers AND reaching out to preach the TRUTH to the unsaved and the lost. So many, you see, are SICK AND TIRED of vain religion. They are HUNGRY for the “real deal’ – the TRUTH we hope to provide through this ever-expanding ministry work.
In the last edition of our newspaper, I told the story of how the new Ministry Center building came about, which was only by the direction and the grace of God… as always, WE did not do this, GOD did this. We were just obedient workers, following His direction. (That’s really all God asks of us, you know… He just wants us to follow and be obedient, diligent workers). Many times in the midst of this latest work, I cried out to the Lord, as I saw the enormity of the task before me: “Lord, it’s too much! I can’t DO this!” I said. But each time, He stilled my heart and the Holy Spirit gave me the quiet assurance that, “Yes, Rob, you can. I would not have brought you this far if you were not able.”
Since the building was vacant for almost three years before we bought it, it took us over two months of near non-stop, ‘round-the clock, HARD work to get the facility ready for public use. There were many friends who came alongside and put their time and talents to work on the project, and truly, Lisa and I could not have done this without their help. Each one who came to help brought with them a different set of skills, and all were eager to put their God-given gifts to work in service to the King of Kings, looking forward eagerly to see what God will do here.
We also purchased several pieces of furniture that were needed for the Ministry Center, and each item came in a box marked “Some Assembly Required” — arguably the three most daunting words in the English language. We all love the idea of having the piece of furniture we purchased and putting it to use. It’s the ASSEMBLY part we dread. Opening the box with a thousand pieces. Finding the instruction book that is often confusing, poorly written and badly illustrated. Yet if we want the finished product, it’s up to US to assemble it. That’s just how it is. It all requires real WORK.
Imagine, then, if you will, what it takes to “assemble together” an entire commercial building that has been vacant for three years and needs attention and work in every single square inch, and you have NO instruction book; only the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the wisdom of many counselors. Imagine, also the frustration of finding that every project you touch ends up taking five times as long as you thought it would, and costing ten times as much money to complete. But once again, as we were faithful to seek His guidance, God has accomplished His purposes and so now this new ministry has begun. But it’s not JUST about the physical building. In order for there to be Christian ministry work here, there is going to be “some assembly required.” We will need to figure out how to do it… We DO have lots of very ambitious goals, but once again, none of this will be possible without the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of many counselors… and GOD’S true, remnant faithful assembling themselves together.
In the book of Hebrews, we read: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another — and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” The writer of Hebrews exhorts us to NOT FORSAKE the assembling of ourselves together as believers. He lets us know that there are SOME who DO forsake such assembling…. but we are reminded here how important it is that we do just that, and even MORESO now, as we see the Day of the Lord approaching.
I don’t think there is any question that the Day of the Lord is approaching quickly. Our world is on fire and our culture is disintegrating before our very eyes. The remedy for this is for God’s people — God’s TRUE, remnant believers — to assemble ourselves together and be about His business. In Luke 19, Jesus told us we are to OCCUPY until He returns. In this parable, Jesus strongly condemned those who refused to do so, who refused to be “ruled over,” and thus, wasted the grace and gifts that were given them to invest for His Kingdom.
In 1st Corinthians 12, Paul talks about the various spiritual gifts that are given to each believer in Christ, and although we are all given different gifts, we are all part of one Body — the Body of Christ. All being equally important, the Body does not function properly if one part is broken…. or in our case as human beings, if one or more parts simply refuses to function out of laziness, apathy or pride.
Now let’s look at Psalm 2, which, on the surface may seem unrelated, but let me quote it for you now anyway. It reads: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth SET themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.’”
I have given you several areas of Scripture to consider. Now, let me help by “assembling” them together to make my point. First of all, in Hebrews, we’re told that as believers in Christ, part of the family of God, we are 1) to HOLD FAST to our faith without wavering. We’re reminded that God is always faithful. 2) We are to be considerate of our brothers and sisters in Christ, bringing about an atmosphere of love and GOOD WORKS in the family of God. 3) We are to not to FORSAKE the assembling of ourselves together (because some “professing” believers DO), and 4) all of this is extremely important now, in these last days.
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