“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15
Our weekly Christian devotional
“I’m scared.” Stopping in my tracts, I turn to face my husband.
“You’re the one who wanted to come.” John rolls his eyes. Church was the last place he wanted to spend his Sunday afternoon—especially during football season!
“If God wants me to be here, then that’s all that matters.”
Without saying a word, I continued forward, focusing on John’s physical support despite his vocal objections.
We approach the building; a stranger from inside swings the glass doors wide open. “Welcome!”
His voice was so friendly; I exhaled in relief automatically smiling right back.
Within seconds, the man’s lusty gaze leisurely strolled over my body. My nerves jolted like electricity, causing me to suck in the air I just breathed out.
Panic filled my veins as I checked my attire, shielding my body with my purse as I did. My mind quickly recounted getting ready earlier this morning. I remember frantically digging through my closet, ever so careful to select items deemed ‘church-worthy’. After going back and forth, a black turtleneck and leggings were my modest selection. I left the house pleased and confident about it.
Now thirty-five minutes later, I was completely self-conscious. This man made me feel dirty and exposed–as if I was right back in the strip club donning my G-string, swinging from a pole!
I turned around, to see if he looked familiar. The stranger continued staring–only now he was laser-focused on my backside, not bothering to blink. A wave of nausea turned my stomach. I didn’t come to church for this.
“Was he a customer of mine?” My heart flutters in panic.
“You don’t belong here.” The thoughts in my head reeled in accusation against me.
Standing in the greeting area of the pristine chapel, I focused on the dark scuffs marking my boots. I couldn’t muster the courage to look up; shame draped my neck like a heavy winter scarf.
For years I told myself that a person ‘like me’ wasn’t welcome in a place like this. The stranger standing at the door of God’s house only confirmed every fear that stopped me from coming in the past.
“My scarlet letter is showing and it would show forever…”
I could feel my cumbersome boots trudging towards John when all my heart wanted to do was dash right out the door.
“Are you coming or not?” John tilted his head towards the sanctuary, totally oblivious.
“Why am I here? How could I embrace the new creature God said I was, especially when others wouldn’t allow me to forget my past?”
An answer arose from within:
“I told you to come. Forget about that man. Forget about any man. I am. Enough.”
“Yes.” I lifted my boot. It felt like it was immersed in mud. But, with each step I took, walking forward was a little easier.
After that day, John and I continued moving forward, following the voice of God. I wish I could say that our road of obedience has been an easy one. We definitely got our fill of ‘church people’–and not the kind either of us were hoping to meet!
Most Sundays both of us wanted to avoid all discomfort and take the easy route by listening to sermons online. But, with every set back we encouraged each other to focus on The One compelling us to stretch outside our comfort zone.
During this trial, we clung to the truths in Hebrews 10:25 and John 14:15. Those verses kept us moving forward. Eventually, John and I found our church home.
The truth is God never promised that only perfect people would fill church pews. In fact, every single one of them is only human, too.
I’m reminding myself here—it’s crucial to stop projecting God’s perfection on fallible men and women. We must keep in mind that every Christian is on a very personal journey with God. Some are in the beginning stages of allowing His strength to change them; others are further along that same path.
So, please! Don’t let the failures of men be your reason for giving up on God.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
Forgive me for making excuses. Sometimes the commands in your word make me very uncomfortable.
YOU are God, and if you think something is important, I promise to discipline myself and make it a priority for me.
Lord, I repent for trying to make you conform into what I want.
Every command you have given is in my best interest. Help me to remember that.
I bow before you, because you are all-wise, all-knowing and can see life from a greater perspective than I can.
As you heal my heart wounds, help me to be brave and reach out to others who are hurting.
Give me compassion for those who step into your house. Give me eyes to see the needs that are there but unspoken. Give me a heart to reach out and touch lives like you want me to.
Lord, let your will and my will become one. I want to be all that you have in mind for me and I commit to stepping out of my own way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Thank you for reading our weekly Christian devotional on verses: Hebrews 10:25, John 14:15
Please check back and see what we have for you next week!
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan