Pastor Byron L. Smith, Sr.
By Pastor Byron L. Smith, Sr.Curry Temple C.M.E. Church
It has been noted that a large portion of church members in main line denominational churches attend Sunday morning worship service, but don't attend Bible Study classes or any faith instructional class to enhance their spiritual knowledge about a God whom many have confessed as Lord over their life.
And the question I ask is why? Why is it that people who have decided to join a spiritual governed faith institution are not eager or motivated to learn about the Spirit, the Supreme Being over life and death, healing of sickness, peace in a storm, and love in the midst of hatred?
Furthermore, the word of God commands those who believe and call themselves Christians (followers of Christ's teachings) to study the Holy Scriptures. II Timothy 3:16 shares that, "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work."(NRSV)
Does it mean that a large portion of people in the pews on Sunday morning are not concerned about anything beyond their outer appearance, playing a musical instrument to get paid, who's going to show up to church today, if they will have the spot light shine on them during the service, or wondering if God will punish or forgive their past sins?
What does that say about the average church community and their worship experience on Sunday mornings? It should make one ask the question, "Is my worship for real?"
Sunday morning should be about believers attempting to come into a spiritual union and connect spiritually to an all knowing, Omnipresent, Omnipotent God for the mere fact of worship. John 4:22-24 states that, "You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship Him."(NRSV)
God has called us to worship Him spiritually! Nevertheless, how can we worship God spiritually if we don't know God in a spiritual context, and how can we understand the context in which God works on our behalf as well as others, if we don't take the time to study the historical display of God's victorious miracle working power displayed within the Holy Word of God?
How can we make God fearing corrections or changes in our lives, if we don't know which way to turn? How can we understand how God forgives and makes us whole after living a dysfunctional lifestyle? How can we have hope in a hopeless situation, if we don't come to the realization that God truly can make away out of no way, or that God is an Ex-Nihilo God?
How can we understand how God can heal when we are sick, strengthen those that are spiritually weak, and walk in righteousness in an unrighteous society? And how do you know where you are going after this life after confessing God through Jesus the Christ as your Savior? And what about loved ones who died before you, do you know where they are?
How can you ever come to a peaceful understanding and take a personal theological stance, unless you come to know God for yourself by studying and meditating on the inspired word of God day and night personally?
I'm praying for you to gain a deeper understanding and purpose about this life and the life to come by studying the word of God, collectively, for personally enrichment by attending Bible Study in 2012!