There is a story told about a man and his three sons who moved into a new community.  Whenever the preacher of the church learned that this family was affiliated with the Lord’s church, he visited them.  The father assured the preacher that they would attend services as soon as they got straightened out.  After two Sundays had passed and the family did not attend worship, the preacher visited them again and tried to impress upon them the importance of faithfulness to the worship services.  Again the father promised to go as soon as he could.


          Months passed, more visits were made, and the same promises and excuses were made.  Finally, one day the preacher’s phone rang; the voice on the other end was very excited and full of fear.  “Come quickly,” the voice said, “Jim has been bitten by a rattlesnake.”  Upon arriving at the home, the preacher was rushed to the bedside of the son.  “Please pray for my son that he might live,” the father pleaded, “And I promise I will never miss another service.”  The preacher offered a prayer in behalf of the son.  The son lived, and, surely enough, the next Sunday the whole family was at service.  The preacher began the service with a prayer, and said, “Lord, we thank thee for sparing the life of Jim who was bitten by a rattlesnake.  For months, as thou knowest, we have pleaded with his family to realize their need for you and the church.  Since it seems that this snake has done more than all our visits, Lord we pray that you will send more snakes, one to bite Jack and one to bite John, and a great big one to bite the old man, then maybe they will never forget you again.”


          Perhaps this is overdone a bit, but there are people who never give God a thought until some catastrophe comes into their lives.  God has shown his love for us by sending his Son to the earth to live and to die for our sins.  If we hope to benefit from this sacrifice, we must love God in return.  (Matt.22:37-39).  You can show your love to God only by obeying his commandments, and these include the command to worship God faithfully and regularly. (Heb.10:25).  Excuses will not get us into heaven.  Let’s make a diligent effort to attend all the worship services and work for the Lord, that heaven might be our home when this life is ended.