Saturday Night Rituals. I have the warmest memories of my parents, who were first-generation followers of Jesus, preparing our family on Saturday night to worship God on the first day of the week. We shinned our shoes, laid out our clothes, washed the car and studied our “Quarterlies.” Mom would always practice her music and Dad would go to a quiet place to study for him message. Clearly they were expressing affection for God from the heart and would not think of missing church. I only remember one Sunday in all the years living in my parent’s home, missing church. It was the week I had the mumps. I still remember how strange it seemed to be home on the couch on the Lord’s Day instead of at Sunday School and church. One of the greatest gifts my parents ever gave me was to instill in my heart a love for the Lord’s Day and a habit of setting aside the first hours of the first day of every week of my life to gather with other followers of Jesus and bring a gift and worship God.
Sports or Church? Many choose sports over worship on the Lord’s Day because they want to lavish love on their children. There is a better way. Eric Liddell was an Olympic athlete. God blessed him with a robust faith that he practiced in England even when his parents lived thousands of miles away in China. When he had an opportunity to qualify for an Olympic event, it required running on the Lord’s Day, but his conscience would not allow him to run. He turned down the opportunity. Instead he ran in an event for which he has not trained. The story is told in the film Chariots of Fire. He was encouraged by a friend with the passage; “Him that honoreth me I will honor.” Liddell won the gold and went on to serve God as a missionary in China, faithful until his heroic death. Few if any of us will raise Olympic athletes, but we should plead with God for sons and daughters with robust faith in God.
Long after the athletic trophies have been hauled away to the dump your children will still be profoundly transformed by the truth they learn as a child in church. Years after they have left your home and even years after you have left this earth the influence of your public worship habits will still be a part of the influence of your life on those you love. Get them to church every single week.
Sunday is not the Sabbath. We are to resist those who judge us and force Old Testament ceremonial law on us. (Colossians 2:16) But the Lord’s Day (Sunday) is the first day of the week and it is the day believers since Christ have set aside to gather for worship. Let me give you six good reasons to have your family in church every single Sunday.
Six Reasons You Should Have Your Family in Church Every Single Sunday
1. Weekly church attendance keeps you from being hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12-13) Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
2. Weekly church attendance is an aid to perseverance. (and a command) (Hebrews 10:25) 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. Think how much godless input you get during the week and how much you need godly input with God’s people.
3. God has promised to bless those who seek Him early. (Prov. 8:17) I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently (early) will find me. The Lord’s Day is the first day of the week.
Seek Him early in life-when you are young.
Seek Him early in the day.
Seek Him first thing every week.
Trett Cathy, the founder of Chik-fil-a restaurants chose many years ago not to open his restaurants on the Lord’s Day so his employees could worship with their families. God has blessed the company with a powerful testimony in our time. This is a timeless biblical principle of giving God the first-fruits. We give God the first part and He blesses the rest.
4. Faithful church attendance will keep you from slipping. It is in the assembly that we are regularly reminded of eternal things and that is good for us. (Psalm 73:17) “I had almost slipped …until I went to the house of the Lord…then I remembered their end…”
5. Attend church every week because your family needs the continual systematic teaching of the Word. (Deu. 6) “…teach them diligently when you rise up, when you lie down, when you walk in the way…” In our Sunday School hour we follow a scope and sequence which, if you are faithful, will give your children a comprehensive knowledge of the word of the Living God.
6. Attend church every week because it is there that you will experience the Glory of God in a unique way. (1 Cor. 3:16-17; Ephesians 2) God promises to manifest his glory in the assembly, the NT Temple—dwelling of God. The assembled church is the temple of the Holy Spirit. God has promised to manifest his presence in life-transforming power where the church assembles.
I have prepared a video version of this. You can view it and share it here.
May God bless each of you and your families.
Pastor Ken Pierpont
Evangel Baptist Church–Taylor, Michigan