25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Today’s devotional is brought to you by my pastor, Pastor Christopher J. Alessi.
Nobody wants to get offended. Everybody has posted at some point, and if you can’t be offended, you will be offended. Nobody wants to live their life offended. Nobody wants to have things happen to them that would cause them to get offended. And yet, in the midst of all of that, we all get offended by everyone else. Sometimes even as a pastor, I get offended. I can get offended at people above me, people at the level of people that I’m trying to lead. I could always get offended. And the reason that this is important to recognize is that if the Bible says so many good things about the assemblies, the pack, if it were, of course, the enemy would want to separate us from that. The goal of the offense is to get us isolated. And I’ll tell you right now if you live your life isolated, not introverted; those are different things. If you live your life isolated, you will watch as your faith gets trashed at some point. And part of that is because I can only know what I know. And even as a pastor in my 30s, Sometimes I need people who are in their 50s and 60s to be proof living proof of what God can do in my life. A sense is what separates me from all of that. So the way I like to look at it, and I’ve been talking about it for years, but the way I like to look at it is if you were to watch a nature show right now. If you were to watch one, you would probably see some episodes on predator versus prey. And if you watched it, the hunting dogs or if you watch the lions, they’re always going to isolate one. Normally the one isolated isn’t just slow, but it’s slow because it’s sick, or it’s tired, or it’s hurt. This is what offense does. When we get hurt, when we get sick, when we need help.
We naturally tend to isolate, but there’s no good in that. And that’s why the enemy tries to do it, so I don’t think I put it in the book. But I remember my dad had these two German Shepherds growing up, Tyson and Anastasia. And they both showed the different types of people in the world, I believe, and I’m careful to say types of people. But one Anastasia, when she’d get hurt, she’d crawl into your lap, and she kind of show you where she was hurting. Tyson would run into his cage, and he put his mouth out facing the opening, and he wouldn’t let anybody in. You see, when we get hurt, it’s best that we climb into God’s lap or we climb into the church, and we show where we’re hurting. Hey, that hurt me rather than going in isolating, trying to hurt anybody that’s trying to get in. And this is important for this five to seven-minute podcast today. Because you’ve already done something great and listening to this podcast this morning, you can do something even greater by going and being in a relationship with other Christians finding a pack, and, like the word says, not neglecting to meet together, which is the habit of so two people were doing it back then they’re doing it now. We need each other. I know Allison and Manny would say that they need the church. They need people like my wife Michelle and me, and I hope they will realize we need them too. We can’t stop, and we can’t neglect meeting together.
God would give you the inner strength to push past whatever’s offended you and pursue healing in that area and to pursue people who could help rub off on your faith and help you see God’s got great things in store for you. Father, I pray for every single person here, Lord; we bring many hurts to the table. But none of them are too big for you to deal with. You ask us to cast our cares on you. And that’s what we’re doing today. Father, we’re casting our tears. And we’re not going to neglect the meeting. Together, Lord, because we need each other to further bring the right people into their life and give them the inner strength to pursue healing in Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.