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 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!
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 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.