Genesis 35:1-3 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.
God tells Jacob to go to Bethel, ‘His house’ to gather with His people.
The passage also highlights that fellowship in the church should be done according to God’s will, and His desire, not of our own flesh. This is what most worldly churches nowadays fail to achieve.
To take references from the Bible, whenever we see verses about serving God and fellowship, they should be taken more seriously. This is because we are to consecrate every part of ourselves when we serve God at church, and not to take it lightly as we do not want to let others associate our bad testimonies with our church.
We need to take it as a matter of fact from the Bible on how we should be living our lives and serving God. Oftentimes, people will inevitably neglect the word of God, and even after being reminded by brethren, people would still yield into their own flesh.
This is why going to a real Bible-believing church is so important simply because it is needful. By skipping one session, we may potentially miss out on needful information that could help certain lost souls earn their salvation. Not to mention other right doctrines how like to avoid sins, how to be a righteous Christian, how to properly witness to others, and how to pray with sincerity and have our prayers answered.
Speaking of which, one of the ways to prove our seriousness and sincerity to God is through our prayers. Are we being fervent with our prayers and as specific as we can; or are we just being abstract and vague?
Secondly, it is our testimony. Are we being a great Christian testimony to people around us? Knowing that these people are watching our every action, every move as a Christian.
Thirdly, it is coming back to the church setting again when we are there to serve God. Is our walk spiritual and with Christ, or are we just going to church because we perceive it as a happy and relaxing place Sunday gathering spot? Is our seriousness towards serving God being reflected in our dressing and our inclination to study His words?
Fourthly, are we being a hypocrite in God’s eyes? Being a Christian, we should know what actions and behaviors are pleasing in God’s sight and what are not. Do we seek our best to renounce the negative and sinful behavior, or to repent after committing them? Or do we simply move on thinking it is not a big deal?
These few points as mentioned above will clearly separate individuals who allow God’s rules to convict them, from those who claim themselves to be Christians but simply follow their fleshly feelings rather than the word of God.
That being said, none of us is perfectly righteous. We know that we are all wretched and struggling with sins one way or another. Even though we have failed God multiple times to say the least, God has never failed us. His promises to us are greatly kept until the day of redemption, we are blessed by His grace and we are indebted to Him. So the least we can do is to strive to live right for Him, not because we are bound by His laws, but because we want to please and glorify our Heavenly Father.
Genesis 35:4-5 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.
Genesis 35:4 mentioned that the accessories have been removed and hidden because they are perceived to be not sacred in God’s eyes. That was how serious Jacob took the duties of serving God. This serves as a reminder to us Christians, that we should take our salvation and Christian walk just as seriously, so that we will have shame in our inactions.
If we ourselves do not even take our Christian walk seriously, how can we expect others to take our testimonies seriously? If their conscience is defiled because of how we portray ourselves, we will have to be answerable to the Lord at the judgment seat of Christ.
As Bible-believing Christians, we need to behave like Jacob and the people by clearly separating ourselves from the unbelievers and even the carnal Christians, in terms of our behavior and walk. Our walk should revolve around both love and a healthy fear for the Lord that generates an austere majestic feeling which is reflected in our behavior and character. A lot of people have mistaken that the terror we have for the Lord is unhealthy, and serving God should just be out of love and nothing else. Nevertheless, often times a dose of terror for the Lord is what going to sustain us, humble us and convict us to carry out our Christian duties seriously.
Starting from today, learn to take our salvation and sanctification much more seriously, not for ourselves, but for our Heavenly Father.
Start with the smaller things, and slowly build our way up, making it a habit.