Psalm 100 ~
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pastures. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."
Last Sunday evening our Pastor spoke on the topic of Worship. How do we worship? He asked us what we thought worship was and what it entailed. He gave us the Webster's defintion of worship and then waited for us to answer.
Webster's Dictionary ~ a prayer, church service or other rite showing reverence for a deity. Intense love or admiration of any kind.
Here are the some of the answers:
"Expression of praise"
"Having a humble heart that realizes who we are and who God is"
"Glorification of God"
"Preperation of our heart before entering worship"
"Thanksgiving to God"
"A time to learn more about our God"
....and there were many more.
He started asking us other questions and then expounded on them. Questions that made me think.
Do I worship God in our worship service? Where are my thoughts? What is my reason for being at church? Do I prepare my heart before church? - We take time to prepare ourselves physically for church, do I take time to spiritually prepare myself for church? Does my worship please other people or God? Do I come prepared to worship or do I expect my pastor and music director to get me into "worship mode"? When I sing the hymns am I truly worshipping God or just singing without thinking?.......
I was convicted. When I wake up on Sunday mornings my immediate thoughts are to get the barn chores done, to get a shower, figure out what I should wear and then how should I style my hair.... where is my focus? Me, me, me.
When we go back to Genesis 2:3 and look to see why we have a day of worship we find that God sanctified the seventh day and blessed it. He sanctified it. What does sanctified mean? According to Webster's Dictionary it means "make sacred or free of sin".
Are my thoughts sacred and free of sin Sunday mornings? Not as often as they should be...Although we should care about what we wear and how we look (God desires us to be modest, neat & clean), how often am I fustrated with how my hair is looking than how my heart is looking? If I leave our house thinking about me, then I am not thinking about God. It is the one day of the week that God has set aside as our day to rest and focus on Him. Our Sunday morning worship service is a time where a group of believers gather together to worship their Heavenly Father. As I walk into our church my thoughts should be on God. What He has been doing in my life, how much I have to thank Him for and how much I still need to learn.
As soon as I wake up in the morning my first thoughts should be "Thank you God, thank you for a day to honor and worship you. A day to gather with others and sing praises to your name. A day to spend in study of your Holy Word. A day to glorify you in our thanksgiving."
"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." ~ Revelation 4:11
"O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;" ~ Psalm 107:1-2
I need to spend time Sunday morning before I start the day and again before heading to church, in prayer. Asking for forgiveness of things that I have forgotten about or pushed to the side. Thanking Him for all that He has done and giving him my heart. All of these should be done every day, but on Sunday especially as it is a day that we are to spend in worship.
My thoughts need to be focused on Him and not on myself or the circumstances that surround me. Sacred thoughts of God and His holiness, righteousness, forgiveness & mercy.