Worship is an act of the understanding, applying itself to the knowledge of the excellency of God, and actual thoughts of his majesty….It is also an act of the will, whereby the soul adores and reverenceth his majesty, is ravished with his amiableness, embraceth his goodness, enters itself into an intimate communion with this most lovely object, and pitcheth all his affections upon him
- Old School Guy, Stephan Charnock 1628–1680
Preparing to Gather
Saturday evening, as you day ends it is good to prepare your heart to gather with the church on Sunday morning. When going to bed thank God for his grace in your life and opportunity to worship in the morning should he grant you life and opportunity. Confess any known sin in your life and receive his forgiveness. Come with a clean heart. Have Sunday morning be less cluttered than other days. Get up in time to not feel rushed and crazy. Our kids watch cartoons on Saturday morning, but we don’t do any media before gathering with the church as a way to make the morning different than other days. We should come anticipating encouragement from the church family a challenge from Scripture and an opportunity to thank God in the gospel. Also, prepare to serve others and give to them in friendship as well. If you are in a season of difficulty and struggle bring that with you and come before God as you are. Never give up hope but realize its OK to not feel OK. Come as you are but always try to remember God’s kindness to us in Jesus locks us on to gospel hope in a cynical world.
- Offer a sacrifice of praise—when we are thankful people for what God has done for us in Jesus we desire to give him praise (Hebrews 13:15)
- It is not about the music, but using the music to give praise to God (Psalm 33:1-3, Psalm 150)
- Singing with one another, to one another (Colossians 3:15-17)
- Sing out of gratitude and faith (Ephesians 5:18-20)
- Rejoice in the truths celebrated focusing on our saving God and the gospel (Psalm 20, Hebrews 7:22-28)
- Have the holiness and attributes of God before you. We are praising God for who he is and what he has done. The notes from the Jacob’s Well Gospel Class has an extensive section on the attributes and works of God
Receiving the Word of God
But he [Jesus] answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
Our Posture in Hearing
- Come with an open and teachable heart to hear the Word of God on Sunday morning.
- Desire to receive from the Word of God—come with a heart ready to receive, not proud feeling you know it all.
- Come ready to repent and change—our first response when Scripture calls us to account is to repent of sin and trust Jesus to change us.
- Come to see Jesus through God’s Word—The Scriptures from beginning to end have one goal—to reveal Jesus Christ. We should expect to meet him through its pages.
- Focus on the Word, Not the Preacher—we are receiving the Scriptures as the Word of God, let us not get caught up or dependent upon the messenger.
- Hear in order to Heed—Jesus told us if we love him we will keep his commands. The book of James tells us not simply to be hearers of the Word but to do what it says. So many times we are content to hear a good message and do nothing different in our lives. We provide questions for meditation and application so that we can put into practice what we see in the Bible.