Leaning Into Sunday: The Lost

As you we head into our worship gathering this Sunday I hope the Lord bring those who do not know Jesus Christ into the assembly to hear the gospel and get a picture of the Kingdom of God among his people. Are you praying for them? Are you asking God to prepare their souls to hear the good news? Are you pleading with God to draw them to the Savior, give them a true sight and hatred of their sin? Are you asking the Holy Spirit to open their eyes to behold the beauty of Jesus and bring them from death to life? We should be praying all of this and more--not only for the good of the lost, but also for the glory of God. Let's pray for those who do not yet know Jesus and will be with us this Sunday. But let's not just pray for them, let's invite them ourselves to come with us to the gathering.

[photo by mdavidford]

Come Thou Fount

Page CXVI is one of my favorite bands. They re-imagine beautiful hymns in powerful ways. At Redeemer's worship services we often play their music as prelude/postlude. Here's a new video of their version of Come Thou Fount. Just amazing. Pick up their albums here.

Today, When You Gather

Just getting to worship can be a challenge for many of us. Especially if you have kids. This is the last place the Devil wants you to be today, and if he isn't trying to slow you down you can bet one of your kids will take up that task. To encourage you not to run into worship thoughtlessly, or run through it aimlessly, here are seven more tips for making the most of this morning (for more see Where to Look in Worship). Today, when you gather with the church to worship in spirit and truth, remember to:

Prepare Your Heart

Prepare your heart for worship before you arrive. The night before, and early Sunday morning is best. But even if you forget you can take a few moments before the service to quiet and ready yourself (and your family) for meeting with God.

Pray Together

Pray with those who lead out in prayer. Do not merely listen to another, but join him, lifting up your soul in seeking the Lord.

Sing from the Heart

Sing from your heart the Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs put before you. Mind the words, even if you don't appreciate the melody. If you find that you are singing something you have not been experiencing, sing the songs with the eager expectation of God's transforming grace. Sing with gratitude, sobriety, and joy. Keep in mind you sing for God's pleasure!

Listen Closely

Pay close attention to the reading of the Scripture. Don't waste precious time flipping through the pages of your Bible if it means the reader begins before you have found your place. Just, listen. Drink deeply from God's revelation read to you this morning.

Give Thoughtfully

Give thoughtfully during the offering. Have your offering ready before worship begins. Use this as a time to consider how God would have you give yourself to him and others in your living and dying.

Receive the Word Preached

Receive the word as it is preached. You should come with expectant hearts, making you an active listener, and not a passive observer. As the word is proclaimed take it further into your own life by applying the Scripture and the message to your own heart in ways the preacher may not. If you find your preacher dull, do not blame the Scripture. Look even more intently at the passage he preaches and find life in it by preaching it to yourself!

Leave as Sent Ones

As you walk away from the gathering, remember that you are not being dismissed as much as you are being sent into the mission field. It is outside of this gathering that you will live for the glory of Jesus Christ in your vocation. You are sent by the Savior into the world to live as his witnesses in your job, family, and friendships.

And remember, all that's happening in this gathering is worship. From the singing, to the praying, to the hearing of the word, we are worshipping our great God and Savior together. Let's not waste it.