Today’s Scripture: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Many people refuse church attendance with the excuse, “I’d go to church if there weren’t hypocrites there.”

I heard a pastor explain how he responds: “If you come, you’ll sit in church with a hypocrite on each side of you. But we have room for you because you’re a hypocrite, too. You can come in and join them. I’d rather sit in church with two hypocrites than sit in Hell with all of them.”

We cannot excuse not attending church just because of the sins of those in the church. Both the church and its people have problems—but we all have our own baggage to sort through. The Bible says that all are sinners. We’re equally unworthy of God’s favor. It is our responsibility to find a church that teaches the fundamental truths of Scripture, but we cannot change church people—leave the Word of God to do that. In time, the truth of Scripture will bring conviction, both to others and to us.

The Word of God is a double-edged sword, which means that it cuts both ways. We cannot use it to expose the shortcomings of our neighbor without seeing it come back and reveal our own weaknesses. Instead of standing outside and condemning those within the church, we need to get inside and pray for each other, that our lives would be able to reach those outside church walls.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder