Tuesday, October 13, 2015
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Colossians 3:16)
Remember the movie, "Groundhog Day"? Bill Murray kept reliving the same day, over and over. Do you ever feel that way about a church service? That ought not be! Before I point any fingers anywhere else, I must ask myself, "Is it the preacher's fault?" Sometimes it is. If I’m not prayed up and fired up—can I really expect anybody else to be? So, I'm willing to look into the mirror of God's Word and do the hard evaluation--what about you? Will you again leave the worship service saying, “Well, I didn’t get anything out of that!” Maybe there's the problem--we think worship is about us. Many churches succumb to this pressure and try to put on a show--man-centered entertainment. Our focus instead is to be God-centered, Christ-exalting, Spirit-empowered, and Gospel-driven.
Real worship requires real PREPARATION (Col.3:12-15) You need to put on your, "Sunday go to meetin' clothes"! I'm not talking about outer garments, but inner graces! These are attitudes of the heart that prepare us to meet with God corporately. Such is befitting a child of God, chosen out of the world by the Father’s love. Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” We need to cut each other some slack. Put on a kind disposition. The proud church member wants the spotlight on them, but the humble want it on God. The meek are nor demanding, insisting on their own way and compromise preferences where no principle is involved. The long-suffering are patient with people and not bitter toward God. Those ready for worship are forgiving (v.13). You can’t offer acceptable worship otherwise—Jesus said to leave your gift at the altar and be reconciled to your brother. It's hard to sit on a pew and worship God with someone you are mad at. Love is the belt that holds all together (v.14). Then there will be peace inside us, that leads to unity in the Body. We'll also have a thankful spirit. Don’t come to be a critic!
Real worship requires real PARTICIPATION (v.16). Here’s what we do when we get to church. The Berkley translation renders this, “Let the enriching message of Christ have ample room in your lives.” Our minds will not be cluttered by distraction or our hearts choked by disobedience. The wisdom of God is available in the Word of God. I have made a commitment to be a Bible preacher and not an ear-tickler. You say, “I don’t like that kind of preaching!” Neither does the Devil! I have a responsibility to God to feed you. Don’t impoverish your soul! We need both instruction on what to do and admonition about what not to do. As to singing—the text is more important than the tune. It's not about an entertaining melody, but an edifying message. You can draw a crowd with gimmicks, but you can only disciple a congregation with the Gospel.
Real worship requires real PRACTICE (v.17). The real test of whether we have met with God is what happens when we leave. Feelings are like the tides that ebb and flow. Commitment stays solid. This is a daily surrender on the altar of all we are—in conduct and conversation to exalt the Savior.
This is real worship!