Tuesday, 10 June 2014

For Christians Only!

How do we approach our Worship Services?

  • Are we expecting to meet with the Living God?
  • Are our hearts and heads “in the right place”?
  • Do we come in good time?
  • As we gather are we focussed and quietly waiting and thinking on God?
or
  • Are we expecting to catch up with our friends for a chat?
  • Are our heads and hearts befuddled and full of all of the stuff of life (and maybe the stuff of the night before)?
  • Do we arrive “by the skin of our teeth” and then decide grabbing a coffee is a priority over grabbing a seat?
  • As we gather do we shout across the sanctuary and talk over the worship group?
There are times when The Lord brings us up sharp and reminds us that we are His: to glorify Him, to worship Him, to be amazed, astounded and in awe of Him to relish Him, to revere Him, and I believe that the Lord is bringing us as a fellowship to that point, He is saying to us, “it is great that you are a welcoming, loving caring church – it is great, and I will have it no other way. But I AM The Lord and I want to be welcomed over and above others, for the purpose of my glory, and that in worshipping me and coming close to me in obedience, you will be blessed as I desire to bless you.”

Will there be times we:

  • need to quietly welcome someone new?
  • find our children are a bit chatty?
  • we are a bit late, because things happen?
  • it just all goes a bit pear shaped?
Yes of course there will be those times, and God knows all about it, stuff happens, but He is reminding us where our focus should be. Our God is no tyrant, but He is a God of loving discipline and He calls us to be disciples.
 
So you see, this really is a message for Christians only


Some Study Questions for HouseGroups and Individuals
  1. Do you feel offended by this issue being raised? Explore why that might be?
  2. Why does our attitude to approaching worship matter?
  3. How does the behaviour of Christians in Church affect the behaviour of those new to faith or searching?
  4. What practical things can we do to help each other in this respect?
  5. Why is God’s grace key to how we encourage one another in our discipleship?

Scripture is full of incredible descriptions of how awesome and wonderful our God is. Be encouraged!


Isaiah 6:3
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
    The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
 
Psalm 33:8
“Let everyone in all the world
—men, women, and children—
fear the Lord and stand in awe of him.”
 
Psalm 46:10
 “Be still, and know that I am God!
    I will be honoured by every nation.
    I will be honoured throughout the world.”
 
Matthew 5:23-24
“If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.