God made us to be in fellowship with Him. When we are right with our Maker, we are all we were created to be. But when man fell, the image of God in man was marred and the fellowship was broken. So God in His mercy provided a way through His Son to remake us in Him. That is the purpose of the Cross of Jesus. We die in Him and are raised in Him to new life. We are recreated.
Why does God remake us? He remakes us so we can be in fellowship with Him. We are put right with our Creator God so we can worship and glorify Him. This is the chief end of man, and this is the high point of our creational purpose. In other words, we are most like ourselves, most like human beings, when we worship and glorify God.
Worship is what we are made for. Worship “tunes our hearts to sing thy praise” as the old hymn puts it. When we worship God, we are restored and refreshed and rejuvenated spiritually.
I should clarify what I mean by worship in this post. I mean the weekly gathering together of God’s saints on the Lord’s Day: the church service. I realize worship can include other things, but I am confining my comments here to this meaning.
Worship is the most important thing we do all week. It is the capstone and the foundation for the week. What could be of more consequence than presenting ourselves and our families to God and worshiping Him with His people? Nothing. So if we believe this, then we ought to prepare ourselves each week to worship the Living God, to love Him with all we have.
What essential things are involved in worship? We present our bodies (Rom. 12:1-2) to God, and we make ourselves available for service. This is like saying, “Send me Lord! Whatever you have for me, I am willing to go and do it.”
Worship includes the preaching of God’s Word. We need teaching, and God has appointed pastors and teachers to prepare to feed God’s people each Lord’s Day. But we can’t be nourished if we are asleep or distracted or bored. We need to be attentive to God’s Word. Some people complain that they just aren’t fed at their church. No doubt some ministers have greater gifts than others when it comes to preaching. But (as my daughter aptly pointed out) there is a difference between not getting fed and going on a hunger strike. Be willing to be fed, even if it is not the best cooking in the world. It will nourish you if you are humble and receptive. Don’t be wishing you were somewhere else.
One old Puritan minister said, “How many sermons have you heard? How many have you learned?” How many more will we be privileged to hear? How many more Sundays will God bless you with before your life is over? Steward these opportunities to praise and worship the Living God.
God communes with us and feeds us at His Table. Breaking the bread and drinking the wine is done in remembrance of what Christ has done for us. This strengthens us and builds us up in the faith. Once when my grandson had missed church a few times due to family sickness, he told his mom, “I miss church. I need the Lord’s Supper!” Exactly!
What is the effect of our worship? Our minds are renewed, and we are transformed, week by week. Worship keeps us from letting the world push us into its mold. Worship remakes us week after week as we renew covenant with God. We are being transformed from one degree of glory to another. Then we are sent out to practice what we have learned.
How can we prepare for this day of days each week? The first thing to do is to pray. Pray for your pastor, for the others involved in leading the worship service. Pray for yourself, that you will enter into worship with no hindrances. Be the kind of parishioner who is a joy to lead. Prepare your family to worship by praying for them on Saturday. Then do the practical things like getting everyone’s clothes ready and making sure the kids are bathed and fed. Sunday should be a day the family anticipates with joy and expectation.
“This is the day the Lord has made! We will rejoice and be glad in it!”