Skip to main content

Preparing for worship

Several folks have suggested we take the final few minutes before our Sunday service to quietly prepare our hearts for worship. I really like this idea, and here’s why.

Bob Kauflin, in his book Worship Matters, says,
In the Bible, when various people encountered God’s presence, they were never flippant or casual. At Mount Sinai the Israelites ‘were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off’ (Ex. 20:18). Seeing God’s throne, Isaiah cried out, ‘Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!’ (Is. 6:5). When John encountered the risen Christ in his vision of heaven, he ‘fell at his feet as though dead’ (Rev. 1:17).

Reverence is essential to worship. Because ‘our God is a consuming fire,’ we are to ‘offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe’ (Heb. 12:28-29).

It’s not natural on Sunday morning to approach the Lord with reverence and awe. We won't do it if we slip in late or let our minds are passive. Sleeping in, rushing about, scarfing down breakfast, getting ourselves and the kids ready, finalizing ministry plans, driving to church. All of these can distract us from approaching the Lord with reverence and awe. I’m convinced that Satan doubles his efforts on Sunday mornings to get us anxious and flustered – anything to keep our minds off Christ.

So, to better prepare our hearts before the Lord, we encourage you starting this Sunday to take the final minutes before our service to focus and quietly prepare yourself for worship. You may find it helpful to open your Bible, bow your head, and use the A-C-T-S method of prayer: A – adoration and praise to God through Christ. C – confession of your sin before Him. T – thanksgiving for who God is, His past acts, and His future promises. S – supplication for the Spirit to bless our worship leaders, our order of service, and all attenders this morning.

So join us this Sunday in the sanctuary. Anticipate the great privilege we have of encountering God’s presence. Please do enjoy great fellowship with your church family before and after the service. But at 10:25, let’s all do our best to be in our seats, preparing our hearts to encounter a holy God.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Herod who??

I must admit, I still get confused by all those Herods mentioned in the New Testament. To keep them straight, I find it helpful to read the biblical text with a genealogy of Herod's family at my side (here's one from the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible).


Well, so much for simplicity. Even this chart looks more like an engineering schematic than a family tree. To boil it all down, there are four key members of Herod's family mentioned in the Gospels...

Herod the Great. This is the original Herod of them all. The very name sent shivers up the spine of ancient Jews. Son of Antipater, he was a cunning politician, ruthless dictator, and brilliant architect. He was responsible for constructing the temple mount in Jerusalem, fortress palaces at Herodium and Masada, and a harbor at Caesarea -- all which continue to astound archaeologists and engineers today. In addition to killing several kin who threatened his throne, Herod murdered all the young boys in Bethlehem at the news that…

A review of the HCSB Study Bible

Today, I finally had a chance to browse through a copy of the new HCSB Study Bible.

The HCSB Study Bible is 2272 pages long (plus a few maps). As expected, the translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) version. It ranks well and rivals the ESV in both exegetical accuracy and literary quality. Some of its unique features are:
Its translation of yahweh as "Yahweh" (instead of LORD) in the OT when referring to the personal name of God (e.g. Ex. 3:15)The translation of doulos as "slave" instead of "servant" or "bondservant" in the New Testament (e.g. Rom. 1:1)The translation of christos as "Messiah" in the New Testament, whenever referring to the Jewish expectation of the Messiah (e.g. Matt. 16:16)Capitalized pronouns when referring to GodThe use of contractions in direct discourse (e.g. "let's go" in Mark 1:38)A wonderful feature called bullet notes (small bullets next to key words that may be unfamiliar, poin…

Restoring old photos of Israel

In his latest newsletter, Todd Bolen explains the painstaking process of restoring old photos to create the 8-volume American Colony and Eric Matson Collection. It’s a fascinating project that really makes you appreciate the end result. Here’s his full article…Shortly after producing a collection of modern-day photographs in the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands (initially released in January 2000), I began work on a supplementary collection that would peel back the recent layers of time to reveal the sites of the Holy Land before the changes brought by modernization.  The initial fruit of this work was the release of 8 volumes of Historic Views of the Holy Land in November 2004.About that same time, I learned that the Library of Congress was digitizing the G. Eric and Edith Matson Negatives.  Between 1966 and 1981, Eric Matson and his beneficiary donated this collection to the Library of Congress. But public access was limited and costly until 2004, when the first negatives were scann…