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God made us to be social creatures that need the support of others. We are instructed in Hebrews 10:25 not to neglect our meeting together with other believers.
But what is a believer to do when life takes a turn and it is no longer possible to meet together with other believers? My grandparents were church planters who were very active in their ministry. The Church meant everything to them. It really made me sad when Grandma’s dementia progressed to the point where they could no longer attend church services without being a distraction. Attending church was a major part of their lives, and while they were going through one of the greatest trials in life, they lost the ability to connect with those that would offer them the very encouragement that they so desperately needed.
Many people, like my husband, have jobs that require them to work on Sundays or to travel frequently. This makes it very difficult to meet together with other believers on a regular basis.
It is not easy to be a follower of Jesus Christ in the world today. We live in a world that moves at a faster and faster pace where the goal is to get more and more. It is so easy to get swept up into that way of thinking when we neglect our meeting together with other believers. I once heard that a Christian can be compared to a charcoal briquette. When the charcoal briquettes are close together, each piece feeds off of the heat of the others, and the fire increases in strength. If you take one charcoal briquette out and put it by itself, it begins to cool down and eventually die out.
That is how it feels when a Christian goes through the week being immersed in the world without the support of his Christian brothers and sisters. That break during the week is essential to our spiritual health because it brings us refreshment and strength to face the week ahead.
Although physically meeting together is ideal, there are times when this is not possible. I started to think about what people do when they want to lose weight but they cannot attend support group meetings. What do people do when they are going through a divorce, but the nearest support group is too far for them to travel? Just as there are online support groups that enable people to find the support that they need using the Internet, there must be online churches. After all, God is not limited by location. He is omnipresent, and he can touch anyone anywhere.
The Internet has been used by the enemy to promote evil in so many ways, but it can also be used to promote the message of Jesus Christ. The advancement of technology has enabled us to have a church without walls where people from all over the world can worship together. After all, that is the true “Church”. It has nothing to do with the buildings in which we congregate. God is more than able to touch each and every one of us no matter where we are physically located.
So I turned on my computer and typed “church online without walls” into the search box. I was happy to see that there were several ministries that stream their weekly church services over the Internet. So I started to explore the links. The ministry that I found most intriguing is called Set Apart Church. Not only do they offer online sermons, but you can also sign up for their newsletter that offers encouragement in Christian living. There are also online devotions posted regularly that can assist with our study of the Bible. My favorite area of this online church is the prayer center. You can submit your prayer request in detail and know that fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are praying for your specific need. You can even be notified when you have been prayed for. In turn, you can also pray for others’ needs and let them know that you have prayed for them. That is what I miss the most about meeting together with other Christians, and this is a great way to offer and receive support in prayer.
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