Thought for Thursday

And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the Lord commanded to be done. Leviticus 8:5

The little one-room school I attended in West New Annan had a monthly Junior Red Cross meeting. For a half hour or more on a Thursday afternoon, we would work ourselves though a set of meeting procedures. Each of us would take turns chairing the meeting and performing other tasks. I remember embarrassing myself on one occasion by jumping up to conduct a vote before it was time to do so. It is surprising how much we learned about conducting meetings by holding those Red Cross sessions. When we had a question, we would pull out a little book that described the proper procedures to be followed. We were not to deviate from the rules in that little book, or our meetings would be out of order. Just like the Israelites, in their tabernacle ordinances and ceremonies, were not to deviate from what God told them. Just like we are not to deviate from what Scripture tells us concerning the activities of His Assembly.

Moses made it clear to the Israelites that they were to do what God said. It should also be clear to us today that if God has given us instructions, we are to follow them. This is why we do not follow the example of the denominations in appointing or hiring a pastor or minister to conduct meetings and to lead worship. That is why we do not arrange choirs and special music, or bring in a musical instrument to enhance our singing. That is why we eat the Lord’s Supper every week, instead of the monthly or quarterly (or annual) practice of the denominations. We have instructions from the Word of God that we are to follow. If we don’t follow those instructions, the meetings are out of order.

Many practices that we follow are not spelled out specifically in Scripture. However, the concepts behind them are Scripturally sound. Take, for example, the way in which seating is arranged for the Lord’s Supper. Nothing in the Bible spells out that we are to be in a circle. And at times such as conferences, this arrangement is impossible. However, When we consider the Scriptural reminder that the Lord Jesus is in our midst, a circle arrangement makes perfect sense. Many of the practices that we follow that are not specifically spelled out in the Book have been thought out by godly men who came before us, considering Scripture, common sense, and the admonition that all things are to be done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40). They did not want the gatherings of the Lord’s people to be out of order.

If we know how the Lord wants us to conduct ourselves in His presence, we must do it. How sad if our meetings should be conducted out of order. – Jim MacIntosh

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