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Go and Be the Church!

Daily Reading: Numbers 4

Scripture Focus: When the camp is to set out, Aaron and his sons shall go in and take down the veil of the screen and cover the ark of the testimony with it. (Numbers 4.5)

Devotional Thought: In recent years, we have been instructed, "Don't go to church. Be the church." While I understand the sentiment behind that statement, I can't help but think it may be a little self-defeating. It doesn't have to be an either/or proposition, does it? Can't I go to church to worship, to pray, and to serve? And when I've done that, can't I go out and be the church more effectively and powerfully?

In the travels of Israel, there were times when they camped, and there were times when they set out. It is a picture of what it means to 'go to church' and to 'be the church.'

We are to camp. Jesus called his disciples that they might be with him" (Mark 3.14). In one place, Jesus instructed them to come away with him and rest (Mark 6.31). It is important to spend time with Christ - alone but also in a group. A regular practice of worship will renew the tired soul and refresh the dry spirit.

We are to go out. Jesus called his disciples to himself that "he might send them out" (Mark 3:14). God forbid that we would stay confined in the church! That means we should get out from the physical building, but it also means that we need to expand our friendships and interactions with people who are "outside the church."

The presence of God is to go out with us. God gave careful instructions about how the Israelites were to carry the ark of the testimony. The ark represented the presence of God in their midst. God intended to get outside the sanctuary himself, and he did that as the people carried him out!

So, go to church this Sunday. Then be the Church on Monday!

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your promise to build the Church and to make us such a force that even the gates of hell cannot prevail against us. Help us to come together to worship and to go out to witness! Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! 2 For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD! (Psalms 117:1-2)

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