WORSHIP BEGINS IN THE HEART……NOT THE LIPS
By 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.”
“Behold, Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part Thou wilt make me know wisdom” (Psalm 51:6).
True confession involves a proper understanding of oneself. The supreme goal pursued by many in our narcissistic culture is a “healthy” self-esteem. Even Christians have jumped on the self-esteem bandwagon, misconstruing Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 19:19) as a mandate for self-love. But the Bible nowhere commands us to pursue self-esteem; instead, it commands us to be holy (1 Peter 1:16). In Psalm 51, David gives three reasons why holiness is imperative in the life of every Christian.
First, because of unbelievers. David knew he could be a witness for God only if his life was holy. In verse 13 he noted that it was only after God forgave him that he could “teach transgressors [God’s] ways” and see “sinners . . . converted to [Him].” “You are a chosen race,” Peter agrees, “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Nothing shuts a Christian’s mouth so tightly as guilt over unconfessed sin.
Second, because of God. In verse 14 David acknowledged that only when his life was pure could he praise God. He prayed, “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation; then my tongue will joyfully sing of Thy righteousness.” In verses 16-17 David attested that God desires holiness of life, not conformity to external ritual, in His children. When believers lead holy lives, God is pleased; when they sin, He is dishonored (2 Sam. 12:14).
Third, because of other Christians. Believers’ sin always affects, directly or indirectly, other Christians. As king, David’s sin affected both his family and the entire nation of Israel (2 Sam. 12:10-12). Thus he concluded his prayer of confession by praying for the nation: “By Thy favor do good to Zion; build the walls of Jerusalem. Then Thou wilt delight in righteous sacrifices, in burnt offering and whole burnt offering; then young bulls will be offered on Thine altar” (vv. 18-19). Does your confession reflect a right view of yourself?
Suggestions for Prayer
Pray that God would enable you to “cleanse [yourself] from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).
For Further Study
From Strength for Today by John MacArthur
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, and join us, as we look into how God has composed a unique storyfor 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
Our Church Service Time @ 9:30am.
Adult Bible Study, Wednesday Nights @ 6:30pm
We now broadcast on 97.5FM in your car or home, for those who are unable to come in person. We do encourgage you to attend if possible first!
We are located @
148 Queen Street,