Is it a local restaurant?
Is it a concert venue?
Is it a college campus?
Is it a coffee shop?
Is it a sports stadium?
Is it the break room at work?
Without a doubt, the very best gathering place is anywhere the Word of God is opened, read, taught, explained, discussed, applied, and revered!
Last evening, our small group gathered around 1 Timothy 3:1-7. We prayed, read the passage, and then went through a verse-by-verse, almost word-for-word study of God’s precious Book. Never did we ask, “What do you think it means?” We looked at the passage in its context through observation (What does it say?), interpretation (What does it mean?) and application (How do I respond?).
After one hour, we could say that we had met with the Lord; He had spoken to our hearts; the Holy Spirit had guided us into truth! Our hearts were knitted closer to God and to one another. That then made our prayer time to close out the evening a true gathering around the Throne of Grace!
The dynamic of a Sunday morning service is the gathering around the reading and preaching of the Word of God whether it is inside or outside the building. This gathering is of utmost importance (Hebrews 10:25).
The best part of meeting at a coffee shop is the reading of God’s Word. I highly recommend this resource: https://matthiasmedia.com/products/one-to-one-bible-reading
The most edifying conversation and instruction in the home is when husband and wife gather around the Word to read and pray. (The same for the family.)
The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. (Psalm 119:160)
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
10 With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
11 Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.
12 Blessed are You, O Lord!
Teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I have declared
All the judgments of Your mouth.
14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts,
And contemplate Your ways.
16 I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word. (Psalm 119:9-16)
The gathering around the Word should cause us to anticipate the great gathering in the sky at the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) and then the gatherings around the Throne in Glory (Revelation 4, 7)!!
The best gathering place is around the Word of God!!