Friday brings with it the expectation that the weekend is upon us. For the pastor Friday also brings the expectation that Sunday’s a coming. I love Sunday’s. I love gathering with my church family. I love singing the hymns of the faith in praise to my great God. I love to preach the message I’ve been studying and preparing all week long. I love doing all I can to connect people to Jesus. I love Sunday’s! I hope you love Sunday’s and church as much as I do. I hope you have a church family that you can gather with this weekend to worship God through song and the study of His Word. But what should you take with you as you go to church this weekend? I’m convinced there are several things each one of us should take to church with us every time we go.
Take an attitude of excitement. “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the LORD.” Psalm 122:1 (NKJV) Are you excited when you go to church? Are you excited about opportunities to worship and serve the Lord? Believers ought to answer those questions with a resounding yes. There are probably going to be periods in all of our lives when this is not the case. The issues in our lives will at times make it difficult to come with gladness and a joyful shout. However, we also need to understand that something is wrong if this is the constant state of our lives. Believers in Jesus Christ shouldn’t be more excited about a sporting event, movie, nap or vacation than they are about opportunities to worship and serve the Lord. Do all that you can to ensure that you take an attitude of excitement to church with you this weekend.
Take a sense of expectation. “Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing…Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” Psalm 100:2, 4 (NKJV) As we look at this we can’t help but notice that the Psalmist expects to experience the presence of the Lord as he worships the Lord. Let me ask you, what do you expect when you go to church? Do you expect to have a genuine encounter with the Living God? Do you expect that you will meet with God when you go to church? You should. There is something powerful about the people of God gathering together to worship God (see Psalm 22:1).
Take the desire to worship. “Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with Psalms.” Psalm 95:1-2 (NKJV) When you arrive in church you should have great desire to exalt and glorify the Lord. He should be the focus of why you are there.
Take a hunger for God’s Word. “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,” 1 Peter 2:2 (NKJV) Since we have tasted goodness of God we are to desire the Word of God. At the time this was written personal copies of the Bible did not exist. The way they were able to study the Bible was to gather together for worship and study it through the preaching and teaching of the Word. While this desire for God’s Word would certainly apply to personal study of the Bible, it cannot be limited to that. A desire for the Word of God is a hunger to personally study it AND a hunger to hear it preached. That is why preaching is a part of worship.
Take humble submission. “So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God.” Acts 10:33 (NKJV) Submission is almost a dirty word in our day. No one likes the idea of submission. That’s because submission is hard. It’s difficult to submit our will to the will of another or to submit our desires to the desires of another. While this is difficult, it is a necessary part of the Christian life. There is no way to live for Jesus without living in submission. We cannot follow Jesus without submitting to Jesus. One of the ways we submit to Jesus is by submitting to the authority of His Word.
Take discernment. “Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 (NKJV) We are not to blindly accept what someone says in regards to God’s Word. This is true whether someone is trying to predict or to proclaim. There is a very real need for us to take what someone says in regards to God or His Word and test it against God’s Word. Just because God’s Word is inspired and without error doesn’t mean that everyone teaching God’s Word is inspired and without error.
What would you add to this list?