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Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Purpose of Church



The Bible – Good News Translation


9           Inside your Temple, O God, we think of your constant love.
10          You are praised by people everywhere, and your fame extends over all the earth.
You rule with justice; 11   let the people of Zion be glad!

Thoughts:

Many people dress and head out to church on Saturday or Sunday. I wonder what some of the responses would be, if a news reporter stood on a street corner and interviewed folk as they were on their way to church! I bet there would be some interesting responses! In the Bible we read a lot about people going up to the temple to pray, or to offer up sacrifices. In our day, I believe the number one response would be that people go to church to worship God. The challenge is that most church goers feel like ‘worship’ is the worship and praise (singing) part of the service. What about the aspect of giving and Bible teaching and/or preaching? Also, is this ‘worship’ only once per week for no more than an hour? Is this commitment you have made to ‘worship’ strictly led by a praise and worship team for your entertainment, and a preacher who shouts at you for about 30 minutes to challenge you in your wrong doings? Friends, without the appearance of judging, I see these things that I questioned you on, as a description of our churches today. On the contrary, I love the description given by the Psalmist! Wouldn’t it be neat for us to awaken about an hour earlier before rushing out to weekend services, and instead of turning the television on, or getting on to Facebook to catch up on the gossip, if we gathered around the table over a cup of coffee and reflected back over the blessings of the week, brought back to reflection the highlights of our Bible studies (devotionals) from the week and said a prayer for the preacher and other worship leaders before we head out the door to go and worship God? Don’t you suppose that we would position ourselves for, and find reason to, truly worship God and to truly open our hearts to the spoken Word so that we might be filled with the Spirit and His reinforcing power for the week ahead? Can you see where we may then feel more like the Psalmist reflected on in vs 9, where we would then open our minds to think about God’s love and His wonderful power in our heart over the past week? I truly believe that we could then open our hearts in worship and be so filled with God’s wonder and His love that His fame would be evident in and through us wherever we went after that, in similar ways to what the Psalmist described in vs 10 & 11. We serve an awesome God, who is so good to us. Let’s not hold back the praises, and let’s be very open to instruction from His Word so that our lives might be guided accordingly.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, You made us so that we may worship you. I’m sorry for the poor excuses we give for not attending worship services, and even when we do – the little input that You receive from us. Our minds wonder, and we depend so heavily on the Praise and Worship team, that it is probably very obvious to You that we enjoy the entertainment more than the opportunity to lift up our praises and words of affirmation to You. We listen to Your Word read and expounded on, and it is often the only time that week that our Bibles have been opened. Oh how You must shake Your head in dismay and question why You ever made us. Thankfully, I know You are a God of love, and in looking at our hearts You know what we really are and what we would really like to be. I pray for mercy and Your continued grace dear Lord, because although You know our inward beings, how will the world know about You if they can’t see You reflected in and through our lives? Please don’t give up on me, and on us – Your servants. We need You more today than we ever did before. We need Your power and the extreme boldness to be Your witnesses. Touch me Lord and work with my friends and I so that we may be more like You in every way. My humble prayer I am asking in the Your holy name, dear Jesus, AMEN


NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

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