How Did I Do?

Magnifying Glass“How did the preacher do today?”  “What did you think of the message?”  “Did you like that choir song?”  “What about the special music?”  Do these types of questions and discussions ever come up in your car or around your dinner table?  I wonder how often we ask this question:  “How did I do today?”  I suspect that the first set of questions could be indicative of a flawed view of what church is all about.

I say the view is flawed because it is completely one-sided.  It is consumer oriented.  It focuses on me, and what I got out of a service.  It is right to desire blessing from God in church.  God is gracious and intends to bless His people.  But church is not a one-sided coin, and maturing Christians don’t come to church just to get.  They also come to give.  They come to offer themselves to their God and Savior–their lips, their ears, their wills…everything.  This “real-time” worship should be a snapshot of a life of worship.

What do we come to give?

Public praise and thanksgiving through singing. This flows out of private praise, but it is bigger, grander.  God loves to be exalted publicly, because He is worthy.   Public praise simply must be so.  “Make known his deeds among the people.” (Psalm 105:1).  We’ll be doing this a lot in heaven.

Prayer. Do we really pray, or do we casually listen? How can we meet with God, without talking to Him?  The early church “continued in…prayers” (Acts 2:42).

Offerings. Tithes and offerings given to God, because He owns it all.

Obedient Response to God’s Word Read and Preached. Hearing with a mind to do.  “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only.” (James 2:22)

Biblical Christian fellowship offered to others.  The kind of fellowship Jake describes here and here.

Thankful observance of Baptism and the Lord’s Table. These are God’s physical symbols to us of our identification with him, and the oneness of his purchased people.  It was His idea to remind us and give us assurance through these ordinances of what He has done for us.

Let us make sure that we do not simply come to church as spectators with our hands held out.  Let us come to publicly give God the glory due unto His name.  Public worship is a part of a life of worship.  Since worship is an exercise in humility, God will bless us; because He indeed gives grace to humble, contrite people.  Coming with a heart to give will go a long way towards having vibrant and God-exalting church services, which in turn will be a great blessing to many people.

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