Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Preparing Yourself for Sundays

Getting ready for Sunday is more than combing your hair and making a quick run past the mirror. We should get our hearts ready.

It makes sense, really, to do so. We should not expect a rich spiritual experience on Sunday if we’re not willing to prepare our hearts and minds. Think about the other parts of life that we prepare for. Before we play sports, we warm up. Before we give a presentation at work, we review our notes. Before we take a major test, we study. Why then should we assume that we can just simply show up on Sunday with no spiritual preparation?

Preparing for Sunday involves making both spiritual and practical decisions. On the practical side, a great Sunday starts Saturday night. It begins with carefully deciding what you do and don’t do the night before. One of the best decisions you can make is to get to bed on time so that you’re rested and ready the next morning. Personally speaking, I almost never go out on Saturday nights, and when I do, I never stay out late.

Besides getting plenty of sleep, ask yourself what activities will put you in a God-focused state of mind for the next morning. When you stay up too late on Saturday night watching movies or surfing the Internet, it has a way of diluting your spiritual senses. Your heart will feel dull the next morning, and it’s quite likely you’ll walk into church thinking about some silly action scene from the night before. Then God’s Word falls by the wayside in your life.

On the spiritual side, prepare your heart by carving out some time Saturday night to pray and read your Bible. This will give you a chance to search your heart for any unconfessed sins against God or others.

This is not too much to ask really. Consider what Psalms 24:3-5 has to say about gathering with God’s people for worship:

Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior.

Instead of becoming spiritually lazy, these truths should motivate us to acknowledge any known sin and ask God to forgive us.

Reflecting on our need for the gospel and God’s mercy is a wonderful way to prepare ourselves for Sunday worship. It gets our minds off our daily preoccupations and prepares our hearts to be spiritually receptive.

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