You are the church, good things happen when we come together:
What happens when we mix Vinegar and Baking soda? It fizzles up, it reacts. There is a reaction when the body of Christ comes together. The Holy Spirit is powerful when we come together.
An athlete must prepare. Actually, marathon runners prepare the night before and even days before.
How a runner eats the day before can ruin his or her run. What a runner does the day before can ruin his or her run. I love running marathons because I have an excuse to carb load the days prior to run. Seriously, all the books tell you to eat more carbs in the days prior to your marathon. There was actually someone training for a half marathon and she was struggling. She went to talk to her doctor and the doctor asked about her diet. She replied that she would eat about 1300 calories a day. The doctor told her that that is not enough. You have to eat more.
So, can how we live our lives on Saturday impact our Sunday? Can what we do on Sunday morning affect Sunday worship?
Do you believe people are saved in a worship service?
Do we believe that God can teach you something in a worship service? What is this about? Is this simply about making yourself feel good, then don’t read the Bible because there are some hardcore passages in there. Or, is this about God shaping you to be more like Him.
Do you believe you are here to express your love to God and worship Him as worthy?
You are the Church, Part one: Preparing for Sunday morning Congregational worship My theme today is that we must prepare for worship.
To begin, let’s read Mark 1:35:
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
- Jesus modeled prayer.
- We just read this in Mark 1:35.
- Even though Jesus had a lot going on He retreated for prayer.
- If you read the verses before this the whole city is gathering at the door where Jesus was so that they can be healed.
- Jesus was a busy man. He was very important. Yet, He retreated for prayer.
- He knew He needed time with the Father.
- I struggle with this. Honestly, let’s apply this together. My struggle is because many times I act like I can live the Christian life by my own power. I’ve talked about the Holy Spirit, right? So, why don’t I spend more time with God through the Spirit. It is like I do not believe in prayer. The Bible says The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16) So, why do I not function like I believe that. How about you?
- I will tell you that in the last few months I have been convicted to pray through the church on Saturday and or Sunday. I walk through each room and pray as the Spirit leads me. I pray for the childcare children by name and most if not all of you by name. This is part of my preparation for Sunday morning worship.
- Old Testament examples
- In Exodus 19 God instructs Moses to instruct the people to prepare themselves to encounter God. In verses 10-11: And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.
- There was preparation to meet God.
- In Exodus 40 there are 34 verses of instructions for Moses building the Tabernacle.
- Today our Tabernacle is us. The Holy Spirit resides in us (1 Cor. 6:19), but when we come together we are the people of God.
- We must take this seriously and prepare.
- How do we prepare?
- I am very planned. But before children there were many times when Meagan and I had an idea and we just did it. We would think, “Let’s go out to eat,” and off we go. We would think, “Let’s go get a movie,” and off we go. That is just the way we could function then. Now, we have children. We must think more seriously about things.
- Likewise, as Christians we must take church seriously. We must take corporate worship reverently.
- Reflect: It is often hard to concentrate on God when the world and its cares try to take first place in our hearts. What gets in the way of your ability to focus on God and hear what He says?
- Spend time in prayer Saturday night and/or Sunday morning.
- Pray that God will open our hearts to hear Him.
- Pray for others that they will come to know Him as Lord and Savior.
- Pray for me and those that lead worship.
- Spend time in the Word. Read the passage that will be preached on.
- Perceive what Jesus has done for us through His sacrifice on the cross.
- Praise Jesus for our salvation and for the freedom to worship when and where we choose.
- Prepare to share what we have learned with the world, teaching others to follow Jesus step by step.
Do you believe that God will work through Sunday morning worship?
As Christian we must prepare for Sunday worship just as we prepare to build our house or do any other job.
Close regarding the church:
You are the church. Today we get to recognize graduates and celebrate as a church. Further, we prepare for church, we prepare for life.
Sunday morning is preparing for life.
Today, we recognize graduates…
Let’s celebrate together
Do you know Christ?
God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)
Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)