Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Worship Preparation

Chuckle:  A little boy asked, "Why don't you come to my church next Sunday?" "Because I belong to another abomination," the answer came.
Quote: “The blessed and inviting truth is that God is the most winsome of all beings and in our worship of Him we should find unspeakable pleasure.” -- A. W. Tozer
Jesus said, "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24 NIV). "Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker" (Psalm 95:6 NIV).
During the week, as you look forward to participating in worship services on Sunday, how do you prepare your heart and mind for worshiping with your brothers and sisters in Christ? For our Sunday worship to be what God desires, spiritual preparation during the week is a must. Daily private worship through prayer, Bible study, confession, praise and thanksgiving will prepare your spirit for congregational worship on the Lord's day.
Worship is not a performance to bring attention to those on stage, be they preachers, singers, instrumentalists, or laypersons. No, worship is an offering to God and must be done privately from the heart and is not visible to the human eyes -- it is done in the spirit. For our worship to be pleasing and acceptable to God, it must be genuine and emanate from the heart.
God is spirit, not a physical being whom we can see and touch. He exists in a different realm or plane from humans and He is not subject to the same limitations of a physical body like ours. Our relationship with God is deeply personal and He can be worshiped only at the intensely personal level. We worship God's Spirit from deep within our human spirits as we are led by the Holy Spirit. Worship in Spirit and truth requires spiritual preparation.
So, how can we prepare our hearts for congregational worship? As we go through the week, we can spend time daily alone in prayer and meditation on God's Word. We can confess and ask God to forgive specific sins in our lives (1 John 1:9). We can look forward with excitement to joining God's people in worship on Sunday. We can pray for the pastor, the music worship leader, and all the other worshipers. We can serve the needs of others. We can ask the Holy Spirit to help us restore any broken relationships that detract from our ability to worship. We can recognize the benefits of public worship and anticipate that God will transform our lives each time we come together.
As we prepare our hearts through the week, we will discover that our worship becomes never ending. We will come to better understand what Paul meant when he said we should pray without ceasing. We will come to realize that we are worshiping our Lord continuously seven days a week, not just on Sunday morning. Then we will be prepared to join our brothers and sisters in meaningful, uplifting, and live-changing worship on Sunday. God will work miracles in the hearts of those who have adequately prepared for worship.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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