How often do we arrive for corporate worship unprepared? More than weâ€™d probably like to admit.
In 2017, I not only want to be prepared, but I want to be eager to worship our God... and to do all I can to help you the same. May the Lord so suit us with zeal in our worship that we echo the heart of Jeremiah:
God has designed us for worship! Itâ€™s in our DNA. Everyone worships something: self image, technology, our career, our children, our spouse. We worship what we love. Of course itâ€™s good to take care of our bodies. Technology can be very helpful. There's everything right about a good day's work. And you better love your family! But, how awful it is when someone designed for the joy of worshiping God settles for lesser loves that only consume his or her life? Abounding Joy is available, but fleeting satisfaction owns the heart, never knowing Jesus and the hope of eternity with Him.
Think about the implications. God designed us to worship Him! The One who speaks and... things become things! The One who isâ€”not just loving, butâ€”LOVE itself! The One whoâ€”because He is loveâ€”sent His Beloved Son to rescue rebels! The One whoâ€”because He is loveâ€”stooped to suffer our wrath, the wrath of His beloved Father that you & I deserved. The God we were created to worship is the Alpha & Omega! He is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! He is in all things and through all things!
Have you ever noticed how impossible it is to be grumpy while your genuinely praising someone or something. Our Lord designed us in such a way as to experience pleasure when we praise. So let's put this all together: God created youâ€”not simply to wander the earth for wonderâ€”but in such a way that praise begets greater pleasure; and then God reveals Himself as our greatest treasure & pleasure. In other words, our fullness of joy awaits us in our WORSHIP of Him!
Is this not cause to lift up our voices? Does He deserve our Worship? He requires it! And we â€”if we know Him as our eternal joyâ€” ought to prepare to worship Him! To invite us into this perfect love, He gives us His own Holy Spirit. So, if you possess His Spirit, His loveâ€”what do you love? What He loves & finds joy in: Himself. And what a pleasure it is to be called to such a cycle of desire & delight!
So, as we trudge together through the many distractions this week holds, let's do so in prayer for one another, that we, by His mercy & grace, keep our gaze fixed firmly on our King Jesus... to prepare Him room as we prepare to adore Him. And through our preparation, through His Word & His Word in song, we will adore Him all week & become all the more prepared & eager for corporate worship on Sunday!
Below is a list of songs we will employ in our praise this Sunday. May I encourage you to prepare your heart for worship by giving them a listen, and especially by considering the words we will proclaim? As we do, the Spirit of Jesus will guide us in Truth.
Preparing & eager to worship with you,