Thursday, August 21, 2008

I LOVE my church

I LOVE my church! Our pastor started a new series called Devoted:Being a Genuine Church. This past Sunday was on worship. Here are some things he shared with us on how to be ready to worship each Sunday morning. (see below) There are some wonderful things happening in the life of our church and I am so pumped! I believe our church is about to have a head on collision with Yahweh! Bring it on!

Week 2: The Devoted Dozen

At the end of last week’s sermon Buddy shared some practical ways to make the most of worship each Sunday.

1. Devote yourself to worshiping God every day. Your worship on Sunday grows out of your personal worship each day. So, seek to do all to the glory of God as you engage in your spiritual worship by daily offering yourself as a living sacrifice.

2. Get a good night’s sleep on Saturday night. Make a conscious effort of going to bed early on Saturday night so you can be alert and attentive to the majesty and presence of God on Sunday morning. Remind yourself that you are not “going to church” but you are going to worship the Lord God with your brothers and sisters in Christ. You may even want to spend time with the Lord before you head to bed. This will certainly help put you in the right attitude to worship.

3. Plan to be at least five minutes early to the worship service. If you see that you are always late to the service, then set out your clothes on Saturday night and/or wake you and your family up 15 minutes earlier on Sunday. There really is no good reason to be late on a regular basis. It robs you of a blessing and God of his deserved worship.

4. Try to spend some time alone with the Lord before coming to church. It may be hard to do, but you will arrive eager to worship God.

5. When you enter, warmly greet those you see. (The early Christians greeted one another with a holy kiss! In our culture, a smile and a gentle hug will do!) There is a healthy balance between greeting friends and being quiet as the service begins. When seated, pray or read a psalm, or read the scriptures on the sermon notes from your own Bible.

6. Be conscious that God is present. God is indeed with us when we gather for worship. We are also joining in worship with all believers in heaven as well as the angels in the worship of God. (Hebrews 12:22-23)

7. Think as you worship. Concentrate on each phrase spoken, sung, or prayed.

8. Sing to the Lord. Sing with great joy. Sing with great volume and with great thought. Think about the words of the song and make them your own. Think about what they mean. Let your mind focus on the theology behind them. Remind yourself that you are singing to the creator of the universe, your Savior and Lord.

9. Listen carefully to the Word as it is read and preached. The Word is God’s living voice speaking to you. Give the sermon your full attention; pray to learn from it. Take notes. And, please pray for your pastor!

10. Respond. At the end of the service there is a time of commitment and reflection. Remember, this is not the time to think about where you are going to eat after church. This time is personal between you and God. Reflect back on what you just heard in the sermon and turn it into a prayer to God.

11. Stay until the service is completely over. Leaving early or running out of the door to beat the other cars out of the parking lot betrays a consumer mentality. Take the time to actually speak to five people on your way out. Be especially aware of visitors at this time and take some time to get to know them.

12. After the worship service, ask, “Was God pleased with my worship?”

13. Before the day is over, ask God to show you what things you need to learn, change, make right, repent of, or begin as a result of what you heard on this Lord’s day. If possible, discuss the sermon with family members or friends. Begin now to anticipate gathering again for worship with your church family.