Believe it or not, using “The Insider Secrets” title for this series of posts wasn’t my first choice. I almost chose “God Loves IKEA”. Before I explain the IKEA idea, let’s go back and read the verse that I shared in the last post.
“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple
at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.”
How in the world does this verse tie in with “God Loves IKEA”? In this verse, we see Peter and John were on their way to the temple to assemble together with others to pray. Hopefully, by now, you are seeing the connection (no pun intended). Isn’t it obvious? Come on and track with me. What words are prominently printed on all of IKEA’s furniture boxes? “SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED”. Peter and John were pre-IKEA people who knew that some assembly was required. (Quit booing and hissing. You know that my logic is brilliant!)
In today’s culture, this whole assembly thing is baffling. To many, coming together to worship God and connect with fellow believers is becoming less and less of a priority. What was once an every weekend or every time that the church doors were open event changed to every other weekend and then once a month and finally, well, you know what came next. It is to the place today that, to some, it is what I call CEO assembly … Christmas and Easter Only. It is little or no assembly required.
Is assembly important? You betcha’, betcha’, betcha’! The Apostle Paul wrote …
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is …”
Before I share some insider secrets about why this is important and what happens when we come together, let me lay a scriptural foundation for assembling.
Assembly Required – The Precedent, The Example
Jesus – Let me remind you of who we are talking about. Jesus – the Son of God (Luke 3:22), the One identified as being the Word (John 1:1,14). Ready for this? The Son of God went to the temple. The Word went to the temple. In the scriptures, we read that Jesus went as a child (Luke 2:39-52) and regularly as an adult (Luke 4:16, Luke 22:53). He taught in the temple (Matthew 21:23, John 7:14) and performed miracles in the temple (Mark 1:21-27, Luke 6:6-10, Luke 13:10-13). Jesus was an assembly required person.
Peter and John – You would think that being in Jesus’ inner circle would cause Peter and John to be “No Assembly Required” Christians, right? After all, they had actually heard His teachings and witnessed first-hand His miracles. Add to that, about half of the Book of Acts tells of Peter’s powerful, anointed ministry. But wait, there’s more. Between the two of them, they wrote seven books of the New Testament. And, yet, where do we find Peter and John in Acts 3? On their way to the temple to pray. Peter and John were assembly required people.
The Apostle Paul – Assembly required? Yep. The man who actually heard the voice of Jesus as he was on his way to Damascus, went to heaven and saw things that were unlawful for him to share, traveled the then known world sharing the gospel, and wrote over half of the books of the New Testament didn’t avoid the temple. (Acts 17:2, Acts 18:4), Paul was an assembly required person.
The New Testament Believers – I don’t need to be wordy to testify about these Holy Spirit-filled believers. Take a couple of minutes in the Word and you will find pre-IKEA saints. (Acts 2:1,46-67, Acts 5:42). The Church was made of assembly required people.
Get ready. I will begin sharing the insider secrets in the next blog post.