WORSHIP BEGINS IN THE HEART…
NOT THE LIPS
Pastor Mike Andrews
Steps to prepare for authentic worship….
Internal preparation of heart......Every child of God carries the responsibility for personal preparation of his/her heart. If God calls us to worship him “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24), then we must constantly ask questions about the state of our spirit and readiness of our hearts. We have an obligation to do a spiritual check list over our own lives. A great place to do that is found in (Gal 5:22-23). Where do I need to change in order to exemplify these fruits in my life and in the body of Christ? Self-examination is vital part of the Christian life: Psalm 139:23-24; Job13:23; 2 Cor 13:5; Luke 15:17-24; 1 Cor 11:27-31; Matt 7:5. God promises that if we are willing to admit that we have been walking our own way and ask for His forgiveness and cleansing, He will empower us through His Spirit to live above ourselves and live the abundant life for which He has created us. (I John 1:5-10)
Pre-arrival preparation......We can learn from the Jews who believe the Sabbath begins at sundown the evening before. So our Saturday night and Sunday morning activities before we gather have a formative affect, positively or negatively, on our readiness for worship. What are you doing Saturday night to prepare your heart for worship? Is it! Listening to sermons, reading the passage we are studying next on Sunday. Memorizing your verses, praying for the church family and your pastor. Are you coming with a readiness of excitement to study the Scriptures? (Acts 17:11)
Pre-service preparation.......That short period of time between our arrival at church and the beginning of the worship service is also critical. How we interact with others reminds us that we are here as part of a body. Intentionally quieting our spirits before the service begins will also enable us to set distractions aside and again focus our corporate attention on God. For this one purpose! Rev 4:11; 1 Tim 1;17; Psalm 18:3; Rev 5:1-12. And since worship does not start when we enter the worship service, it should not stop when we leave.
Post-service continuation.......Worship should continue as we leave the service. Rev 4:8; Heb 13:15; Acts 16:25-26. It can happen in our homes, and through our work. It can’t be contained in a single location, context, culture, style, artistic expression or vehicle of communication. So it doesn’t matter how good our worship is when we gather, it is incomplete until it continues when we scatter.
R C Sproul said “The worship to which we are called in our renewed state is far too important to be left to personal preferences, whims, or marketing strategies. Pleasing God is at the heart of worship. Therefore, our worship must be informed at every point by the Word of God as we seek God’s own instructions for worship that is pleasing to Him.”
“The best public worship is that which produces the best private Christianity. The best Church Services for the congregation are those which make its individual members most holy at home and alone. If we want to know whether our own public worship is doing us good, let us try it by these tests. Does it quicken our conscience? Does it send us to Christ? Does it add to our knowledge? Does it sanctify our life? If it does, we may depend on it, it is worship of which we have no cause to be ashamed.”
We carry the world in our pocket. From international news agencies to social media platforms, we’re endlessly besieged with bytes of stories, political commentary, cultural opinion, conspiracies, blogs, and the ever-maddening notification ping of breaking news. A staggering 3.5 billion people on our planet have been identified as users and consumers of this assortment of media. In fact, most of us will spend an average of three hours every day engaging with this unrelenting barrage of information.
Over the past several months, we’ve seen how quickly news and social media can elicit fear, provoke anger, and fuel movements. This information overload is sometimes more than we can bear and has sent believers and unbelievers alike spiraling into despair and hopelessness as we’re simply trying to discern what to believe.
Throughout Scripture, believers are repeatedly cautioned to maintain a sharpened awareness of the difference between truth and error. Paul implored the Thessalonian church: “Test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thess. 5:21–22). Similarly, Paul encouraged the Ephesians to “try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Eph 5:10–11). Therefore, spiritual discernment is not optional for the believer but is a clearly commanded necessity for proper Christian living. However, many believers have never been adequately instructed regarding how to develop truly biblical spiritual discernment. Such instruction is vital in the information surplus of our day.
Our desire for spiritual discernment is directly related, at a deeper level, to our desire for wisdom. This type of wisdom is to be searched for, longed for, and pursued by every believer. In the opening sentence of his Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin said, “Nearly all the wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.” Calvin reminds us that to receive true wisdom, and therefore the spiritual ability to discern, begins with a right knowledge of our Creator. No doubt he would have had Proverbs 9:10 in mind: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” The current inability to determine truth from error finds its origin in a fundamental lack of understanding of the holiness and glory of the triune God and the sinful depravity of man.
Like a father speaking to his son, the writer of Proverbs implores, “If you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” (Prov. 2:3–5). Wisdom is more important than finding buried treasure and should be sought after with greater vehemence than all the fine jewels in the earth (Matt. 13:44–45). For at its heart is the treasure of God Himself and without Him we fail miserably at discerning the “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4).
In an age of scrutinizing everything as “fake news,” truth seems a rare commodity. A second characteristic for one who desires proper spiritual discernment is to know the truth. In other words, everything we analyze must be viewed through the lens of truth––God’s Word. Paul instructed young Timothy to “guard the deposit entrusted to you” (1 Tim. 6:20) and “follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you” (2 Tim. 1:13–14). Paul uses military language here to heighten the importance of what has been given to our charge. Every believer is called to know the truth of God’s Word to such a degree that we maintain a defensive position against everything that undermines His truth or seeks to violate it in any way.
Any survey of believers makes it devastatingly obvious that many do not know the truth and therefore are defenseless against the increasing onslaught of error. One way to correct this deficiency is to examine our daily intake of Scripture. Are you filling your mind and heart with God’s Word to such a degree that it begins to spring to remembrance as you scroll through social media or turn on the news? Is your first reaction fear, dread, and hopelessness, or is your first reaction the calm reassurance of our Lord: “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27)? Knowing the truth sets us free from the shackles of worldly virtues and unburdens us to enjoy the glorious guarantee that God is sovereign and controls all things. The truth that has been “entrusted” to us must be known, both in mind and heart, in order to be spiritually discerning in an age of error.
A third component in growing our spiritual discernment is to learn to test everything. Combating issues of falsehood and error within the church, John gives clear instruction to his readers in 1 John 4:1: “Test the spirits.” The word test is a fascinating word in the New Testament and comes from the word that means “the testing of the strength of metal.” In other words, this type of discernable testing requires fire––the fire of our knowledge of God and the knowledge of His Word. If we’re driven by a yearning for cultural acceptance or a comfortable go-along-to-get-along attitude, we will never be discerning people. Never subjugate your minds to the media of this age and blindly be led in paths laid for us by the enemy of our souls. John MacArthur aptly said, “Unless we are willing to examine all things carefully, we cannot hope to have any defense against reckless faith.” Only in careful scrutiny will we be able to discern light from darkness.
Our growth in spiritual discernment depends on our desire for wisdom, knowledge of the truth, and a willingness to test absolutely everything through the lens of that wisdom and truth. So, the next time you begin to scroll through myriads of bits of information, your growth in discernment will determine if your hope is anchored in the solid rock of Christ or the shifting sand of this world.
Our ultimate desire at Calvary Baptist Church is first and foremost to bring glory and praise to the Sovereign LORD [Father, Son, & Holy Spirit] and to raise up mature believers so that we can fulfill the Great Commission. We will seek to achieve this by following the guidelines that God has put in place for prayer, worship, communion, Christian fellowship, Bible Study, and most of all the expository teaching of God’s Word. We desire to provide the proper teaching of God’s Word so that fellow believers can grow together and edify one another with love and compassion.
Please come join us,
as we look into how God has composed a unique story
for each of our lives.
CBC is a place to call home as we ......
Magnify the Lord, Mature the Believers,
Make prayer a priority, Meet the lost with Christ
YES....Church Service Time @ 9:25am
Masks must be worn at all times.
No.... Sunday School @ 10:45am (for all ages)
Yes....Junior Church is provided at this time during the message.
Beginning Oct 26 (Ladies) & Oct 27 (Men) ....Weekly Adult Bible Study: Ladies Tuesday Nights & Mens Wednesday nights @ 6:30pm
We are located @
148 Queen Street,