by Milton Hubbard
Opportunities to gather together for corporate worship should never be taken lightly. These can be LIFE-CHANGING occasions and should be viewed from that perspective. Anything involving LIFE carries the POTENTIAL of DEATH. We can miss the life of His Presence because of distractions.
Memorial Day weekend is a time when many businesses will be conducting sales. People who go to these events generally go with certain expectations. The same should be true of those who gather for worship. We should come EXPECTING to have an encounter with the Creator of the Universe who wants to spend time with us. That alone should overwhelm us. God wants to spend time with ME!
We should also come with FOCUS. The woman who came to Jesus with the hemorrhage refused to be distracted by anything. She knew that if she touched His garment she would be healed. It is incredibly easy to be distracted in worship by internal and external issues. These are temptations we must resist.
As we gather, we must guard against OFFENSES. We can be offended on the way to worship. It can happen at breakfast or in the parking lot. Inside the building someone says something we misinterpret or they do not say anything at all. Psalm 119:165 says, "Great peace have they which love thy law and NOTHING shall OFFEND them." We must be alert for ambushes which can come from any direction.
When WORSHIP begins we are joining a service already in progress because worship never ends in Heaven. The Psalmist instructs us to "enter His gates with THANKSGIVING and His courts with PRAISE." God is worthy of our worship and He will dwell in our praise.
We should come expecting to RECEIVE but we should also come prepared to GIVE. God restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends.
No matter where you are SEATED in the sanctuary, it is important to remember that you are SEATED with Jesus in Heavenly places and that ALL THINGS ARE UNDER YOUR FEET.
Milton Hubbard has served as Pastor of Living Word Assembly since 1977
Ryan Wheeler serves as Associate Pastor at Living Word Assembly.