Prepare

worship

Saturday and Sunday is upon us. Most people are rushing home after work to enjoy the start of another weekend. To enjoy spending time with family and friends. To find time to veg out and not have to worry about specific schedules again until Monday. Then there are many people who try to fill up as much of the weekend as possible to do things and run errands that there was not enough time for during the week.

We all are excited about time to spend without the demands of work and people constantly expecting certain results from us. One of the things that begins to happen is a busy weekend that simply “includes” going to church instead of making it a priority.

For those of you who are religious, Saturday or Sunday is a time when we gather at our church, supposed to be praising God and lifting the name of Jesus Christ while living in and listening to the Holy Spirit. Many people (including me some weekends) have turned our time of worshipping Jesus Christ into another to do list item to simply check off and then go about our day.

I believe we are all challenged to look at church another way. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, would begin preparing for Sunday worship on Thursday. This may make some people nervous thinking, “I just don’t have that kind of time to prepare.”

With the business of our schedules day in day out, week in week out, year in year out, we all should look at how we prioritize our schedules. Now, I do not presume to know, nor am I trying to judge or condemn people here in any way. I simply hope to encourage each one of us as we walk with Jesus Christ and allow him to transform our hearts which has a direct affect on our lives.

So, here are some questions I invite you to consider:

  • Why do I attend church? Is it for me and my inspiration? Or is it truly for God and allowing my heart an opportunity to hear from God and become recharged with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?
  • How often do I pray for the worship time, church leadership, and the church as a whole?
  • How much time do I spend reading the Bible along with other sacred writings or devotionals during the week?
  • How is God moving in my life and through my life to make a difference in my community, state, nation, world?

These questions may be a little convicting; I know they are for me.

My prayer for each one of us is that we allow God is make himself known so that we can see the world through his eyes and allow our hearts to break for what breaks his heart. Let’s all take some time to prepare ourselves for the literal presence of God when we gather for worship.*

*On a quick side note: worship can be done anywhere, even during your personal quiet times with God.

Sacrifices Today

A common scripture we may hear is Romans 12:1-2.

Let’s read this and see again what it says:
So, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service. Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature. (‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭1-2‬ CEB)

What is something you noticed? As I was going about my day, the notion of a “living sacrifice” kept coming up in my thoughts.

Dictionary.com defines sacrifice as
noun
1. the offering of animal, plant, or human life or of some material possession to a deity, as in propitiation or homage.
2. the person, animal, or thing so offered.
3. the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.

Thinking about this, I wandered if we are “living sacrifices” so others can see Christ in us.

Jesus Christ made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross. Yes, we are called to “die daily” to ourselves, and “pick up our cross daily;” but these are figurative.

Sacrifice can be anything from giving money away we could us to taking someone’s place in death to save them. If we are to be “living sacrifices,” what have we done today or what can we do tomorrow?

One of the things I enjoy sacrificing is my time. Sure I have plenty to do; but the opportunity to spend quality time with another person is incredible. What I am freely able to give is my time. I could pick up a phone and call someone and talk; but it is so much more fun and meaningful (for me) to sit and give undivided time face to face.

In a world where sacrificing seems to be a taboo lifestyle because we have to look out for ourselves, we have the chance to show greater love, care, compassion when we really give of ourselves. This is how we won’t be “conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds (Romans‬ ‭12‬:2).

Now it’s your turn. How do you think you can be a “living sacrifice” to someone (family, friend, co-worker, acquaintance, stranger) the next time you leave the comfort of your home?