Acts 17:2 – As was his custom (routine), Paul went into the synagogue, and on 3 sabbath days, he reasoned with them from the scriptures. (NIV)
We have all used an excuse (or two!) on why we can’t go to church. Do any of these sound familiar to you? 1) I have been so busy; I need to sleep today; 2) I don’t like the way he preaches; 3) I can listen online; 4) I know how so-and-so acts; 5) I don’t like the songs they sing or who sings them or the instruments they use; And many, many more.
According to Acts, Paul had developed a habit or routine of going to church and studying scripture. Another definition of custom is “repeated practice.” (Merriam-Webster) It leads me to believe he did it over and over again. I doubt he even asked himself, “Today is Sunday; What am I going to do?” I believe it was a habit for him. If a neighbor needed to talk to him, he knew not to go on Sunday because he would be at church.
Now keep in mind it is not so much the day you choose to worship or where you worship. Hebrews 10:25 tells us “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing…” Don’t stop there – the rest of the verse gives us one of the reasons for going to church. “… but let us encourage one another…” There is just something encouraging about lifting our voices together in praise, praying with other believers, and listening to the message from one of God’s people. I know there have been times when I felt like I had to drag myself to church. I did not want to be there on that day. I probably even used some of the excuses given above. But what a blessing I received by attending. It may have been a song that expressed just what I was feeling; It may have been the scripture that was read; It may have been as simple as hearing someone say, “Good to see you today”. I left God’s house with a much different attitude!
Even Jesus developed the habit of going to church. Look at Luke 4:16 “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went to the synagogue, as was his custom.” If the Son of God needed to go to church, then I certainly need to! I encourage you to find a place where you can worship with other believers and develop a habit of doing so weekly.