I will start this with a question; When you are discouraged do you tend to skip church and stay away from other believers?
If this is what you do, stop! Don’t let embarrassment or discouragement keep you away from our church family.
You need their strength! You need their testimony! You need their encouragement! You need to hear them say, “You can do it! You can make it!”
That’s why Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is.” The word “forsaking” is taken from the Greek word “egkataleipontes.” It’s a compound of three different Greek words, eg, kata, and leipo.
The first word, eg, is from the Greek word ek, and means out. Kata, the second part of the word, means down. The third word, leipo, means behind. These three words compounded together simply mean out, down, and behind.
These words describe someone who is extremely discouraged, defeated, and depressed. Maybe he looks and feel depressed because he thinks everyone is succeeding but him. This word describes a person who feels left out, down, depressed, and far behind everyone else. This person is about to throw in the towel, give up and quit.
When a person begins to feel like they are failing or falling short of everyone else, it is often the moment when Satan tells them: “Oh, just stay home from church today. You don’t need to go there with those rejoicing people. You know that you don’t feel like being with them today, so why not just stay home by yourself? You don’t need them. You can just read the Bible and pray at home!”
Satan knows that if he can get you to fall out of fellowship with the Saints at that very moment when you are down, depressed, and need fellowship, and encouragement, then he can keep you down and defeated.
Yes, it’s true you can pray and read your Bible at home by yourself, and you need and should pray and read your Bible at home. But fellowship with other believers is essential for everyone, and that includes you! You receive encouragement from the saints that you can’t get anywhere else.
That is why church is the last place the devil wants you to go when you are hurt and feeling down! He knows if you go to church, you will be touched by the presence of the Lord; you will get encouraged by other believers; and in the end, you will crawl out of that hole the enemy has put you in and rise up to a place of heavenly victory. Don’t quit! You can and will make it!
The devil works overtime to try to tempt you to skip church, stay home, and do something else instead. Don’t isolate yourself when you are in the greatest need of encouragement!
You could translate Hebrews 10:25 this way:
“When you are feeling down and depressed like a failure who is falling behind everyone else, that isn’t the time to stay away from church and other believers, as some are in the habit of doing.”
After fellowshipping with the Saints, you will feel recharged with a winning attitude. I hope to see you at church!
The Rev. Kerry Price Sr. is the pastor at Breath of Life Church at Pine Bluff.
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