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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Five Rules for Church – Part 4

4. No Part-Time Worship.

When I was a kid, my parents took me and my brother to church every week. In high school, that continued – for the most part. There were some weekends where we didn’t go to church, but only because I was either really sick (very infrequently) or we were out of town.

When I was in college, I went to church every weekend – but mostly because I was in a choir that sang in different churches nearly every weekend. I also went to chapel every week – but again for the same reason, I was in the chapel choir.

Now, as a pastor, I go to church every weekend – as you might expect. The problem is that it is easy for me to go to church but not worship every weekend.

I have to be deliberate in my worship. This is a good thing, too. It makes me focus on the words and music that are used in worship and – if they are the right words – they focus me on God, which is the point of worship, I think.

I figure if I’m being challenged to worship every weekend, then it stands to reason that a lot of other people are also challenged. I would suspect that most people are challenged to worship.

Some don’t bother with it at all. They do something else on the weekends instead of worshipping. Some are honest about it – they say that worship is boring and they have better things to do on Sunday. Some say that worship is meaningless and it is better to spend time with family relaxing on Sunday.

Others are not-so-honest. They say they can worship God better on the golf course, at the beach, in the mountains, fishing on the lake.

Then there is the idea that we don’t worship just for an hour and a half on Sunday but all the time. There is the idea that worship is a full-time occupation.

That’s what “no part-time worship” means. Everything we do should be an act of worship. In other words, everything we do and say should be “to the glory of God.” Everything we do should be because we love God and love our neighbor. These then become acts of worship.

But not because we do them. It isn’t the act, in and of itself. What we do can be worship only because God loved us first and sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins and give us eternal life with His resurrection from the dead. Jesus’ death and resurrection gives us forgiveness of sins and eternal life. As we have faith in Jesus and what He has done for us because He loved us, we respond with acts of worship – which is everything we do.

Not just opening a hymnal, sitting in a church, singing songs and praying. But also driving to work, sitting in the classroom learning, doing your homework, mowing the grass, walking in the park, watching a movie, making dinner, eating breakfast with the family – all of these things are acts of worship for the one who has faith in Jesus.

No part-time worship.

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