In the last several posts I have addressed the question: How can we best prepare for times of gathered worship? How can we be ready, as members of the church family, to take full advantage of the opportunities we have together to serve in the House of God. So far we have considered our need to:
Come to Christ—Resting in Him and upon His promises
Put on love which is the bond of perfection
Pray for the work of God’s Spirit among us
Come expectantly, ready to meet with God
Be intentional in making time for worship—making gathered worship a priority.
Watch both heart and life
But there is one more way to prepare that must be noted. We prepare for worship, by worshipping! Worship is not something confined to the Lord’s Day or to a building. Though gathered worship provides a venue for us to center on God corporately as His church, God should be at the center of our lives continually.
We must be in communion with God all through out the week, turning to Him in times of need and times of joy, making time for Him in private devotion and family worship. The more we delight in worshipping God through the week, the more our desire for worshipping Him together on the Lord’s Day will be kindled and stoked and fanned into flame. Gathered worship is an inextricable overflow from a life of worship—a joy that can cannot be contained, praise that must be shared.
In Romans 12:1, Paul exhorts us:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (Romans 12:1).
We are to count our lives each day as an act of worship, offered in obedience to God! We must live like worshippers.
Many of the elements that comprise gathered worship are elements that should define our lives. They are means of grace designed by God to strengthen and nurture our souls, not just in a corporate setting, but day by day. We are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We are to daily read and study and meditate on the Word of God:
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
We are to sing and give God praise:
My mouth is filled with your praise,
and with your glory all the day.
I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
We are to fellowship with likeminded brothers and sisters in Christ:
And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts (Acts 2:46).
Be intentional and deliberate in making time each day to make use of these means of grace. Don’t wait for Sunday to worship God. Praise Him! Pray to Him! Sing to Him! Preach His Word! Walk with Him each day—at home, at your workplace, at school. Acknowledge Him as your priority. Our worship throughout the week is food for our souls that fills us and primes us for life and service together in the house of God.
See a Table of Contents (thus far) for this series: Gathered Worship in the House of God
(Scripture quotations are from the Holy BIble, English Standard Version (ESV) ©2001 by Crossway)