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Preparing for Worship: Remembering the Beginning

Start doing the things you did first. Sometimes we need to get back to the basics, remembering the fundamentals of a task.

In the book of Revelation the church at Ephesus is rebuked for forgetting its first love. Things had clouded their love for Christ and His church. Maybe they hadn’t forgotten, but they had surely let others things take precedent.

“I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. You also possess endurance and have tolerated [many things] because of My name and have not grown weary. But have this against you: You have abandoned the love [you had] at first. Remember then how far you have fallen; repent and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lamp-stand from its place-unless you repent.” Revelation 2:1-5

Do you remember the time right after you accepted Christ as Savior? I do…I couldn’t get enough of being with Him. I wanted to listen for God, I wanted to read about Him, I wanted to talk to Him, I couldn’t wait to get to church.

There are still many days like that but there are those days when things get in the way…I allow things to cloud the view of my ‘first love.’ When the cloud bank of the “other things” makes God’s presence seem distant I have to go back to the way things were at the beginning, even if I don’t feel like it. I have to talk to God, I have to read about Him, I have to be quiet and listen.

Sunday morning is only a few days away; will worship this weekend be just something to check off your list?

Or will it be an ecstatic conversation with the Savior of Your soul?

And will it have the same emotion as the beginning of your relationship? It can!

It is not too late to get back to the beginning God is always pursuing you and ready to forgive. He wants it to be much better than the beginning.

A step toward a fresh encounter with God can begin right now and continue this weekend with a congregation in worship. Remember how it was at the beginning and know that it can be much better than the beginning by constantly remembering the beginning. Continue Reading…

Worship and Evangelism

Worship is conversation between God and those who are reconciled to Him through His Son. It is not an event but a relationship.

 

 

Evangelism happens because of two conversations: the one believers continue with God and the second one we start with someone who does not follow Christ.

 

 

Why do we then choose to make both actions, worship and evangelism so complicated?

God initiates both conversations and actually they are closely related.

We worship because God invited us to be a part of His plan.

We worship to bring glory to God.

We tell our story to others, as God’s instrument, showing them how God wants them to be a part of His plan.

We tell others our story so that they too can glorify God through their worship.

John Piper in his book Let the Nations Be Glad! says it this way: Continue Reading…

Come Now Is The Time

The following is a guest post from one of the members of my church, Melina. In a recent conversation with her she clued me in on what happens around her house on Sunday morning…she dances, she sings, she worships. It is all how she prepares for the worship at her church.

Here on this site I have posted a number of articles in a series titled “Preparing for Worship.” The idea behind the series is to give my readers and especially those at my church reminders about their responsibility to prepare for corporate worship before they arrive.

Melina gets it…she understands corporate worship is group celebration of the attributes and actions of our Almighty God. She also understands true worship comes out of a heart that is already in-tune with God because of an on-going conversation with Him.

Read below to see how Melina prepares, maybe get some ideas to change your Sunday morning routine. Also I would love for you to leave comments below on how your prepare for Sunday or weekend worship at your church. Continue Reading…

Perfection vs. Excellence

Today’s guest post is written by my friend Jonathon Willis, a talented musician and passionate Christ follower. Jonathon takes seriously the responsibility of using  his gifts and talents to encourage others to engage in Christ-centered worship. Jonathon has worked with many artists and you can find his keyboard recordings at CD Baby.

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So, Michael has asked me to write an entry for his blog this week. I am honored to do so. Michael and I have a long and rich history going back to 1994, where we first met in a church in Owensboro, Ky. I had become somewhat disillusioned with church at that time in my life – young and newly married, my wife dragged me kicking and screaming one Wednesday evening to the obligatory mid-week dinner and Bible study that we baptists have grown so fond of over the last several decades. (And I must confess, I DO like to eat… but I digress.) My wife, Diana, had been visiting for a couple of weeks. She introduced me to Michael and Melissa that night, and a long-lasting friendship began – as did my re-education and rededication to the worship of our Lord and Savior. My family and I now worship at Clearview Baptist Church in Franklin, TN, where I serve alongside Michael as a member of the worship band. Over the years, our friendship has grown, as we have shared our victories and our struggles as brothers in Christ. Continue Reading…

Even When I Am Not Still

I have often used the scripture ‘be still and know that I am God’ to remind myself and others to stop and listen for God. I often allow the noise of the day interfere with God’s voice.

This morning the scripture came to mind as I sat on my back deck for breakfast….it was then that I noticed God and His creation.

  • the clouds were building for anticipated rain
  • the robin tried to pull a string from a yard stake
  • two robins chased each other around the yard
  • a mother robin made numerous trips from the ground to her nest construction carrying objects often longer than her body
  • a bird dive bombed a squirrel as it tried to move toward her nest
  • two squirrels met on my fence and performed a dance

I was quiet and I recognized God surrounding me.

It is not just on my back deck…but everywhere I am today…God is there…even when I am not still or quiet.

 

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