Happy Friday (or weekend)!! For many, this is casual Friday, last day of the work week, and the dawn of the weekend! Tonight will begin the festivities of freedom from work responsibilities until the dreaded Monday . . . “UH OH, Someone has got a case of the Munday’s.”
But this isn’t your weekend. I know, that seems rather abrupt and I didn’t massage you into such extravagant claims. But it’s not. Never has been and never will be. Weekends, like weekdays, belong to the Lord. You work with integrity — showing up on time, working hard, respecting those in authority because you love Christ and want to worship Him. My bosses I honor, the Lord I honor, both go hand in hand. So here you go weekend, we’re going to have fun! Weekends are my time! Relax! Enjoy your Saturday. Yet remember our worship continues. Walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel (Phil 1:27). Thank the Lord for rest, relaxation, and hobbies. What a joy we get that rest.
Now weekends, specifically Sundays, bring one great responsibility: Corporate Worship. We all have a job to do. Prepare yourself. You’re about to unite with other children of God to sit at His feet and worship Him. Could there be a greater event in the week?
Are you on time to work and late to church? If so, do you think that’s a problem? If tardiness is an issue, ask yourself why. First, diagnose why you’re always late, then find solutions to the problems. “We stay up late watching movies.” Start the movie earlier. Set a housewide curfew. “We can never find the right outfit.” Pick one or two Saturday night and stick with it! You look better than you realize 🙂 “I have to iron my shirt.” Ironing can be done Saturday while watching the movie. “Starbucks takes too long.” Ugh, gross, leave the house 20 minutes earlier to account for it! 🙂 “My wife has to get the kids ready, make breakfast, and then she’s always late” How about you make breakfast, help get the kids ready, and allow your wife more time to get ready? “I don’t feel like going.” Oh, so you think chain-smoking sins will help? Not wanting to go seems most spiritually remedied by complete abandonment? RIGHT. Seems rather absurd, doesn’t it? Well, it does on a Friday, but Sunday morning our not-so-cute little heart will continue to deceive us into thinking we’re good and justified to miss or show up tardy.
Prepare your mind for action Sunday morning. We have responsibilities to the body. “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds not forsaking the assembling together as is the habit of some.” (Hebrews 10:24-25). We have to be at church, communicating with people, serving them, and spending time with them in order to know how to love them directly, specifically, and in a Christ honoring way! But that is time consuming! Yes, we have to accept worship is an active action requiring work and effort. It should never emulate a movie going experience. Even the sermon requires our attention and mental effort to listen, learn, and understand in order for us to be equipped for every good work.
Corporate Worship requires planing, work, and action. Plan ahead. We’re going to partake in the greatest weekend event Sunday morning. AWESOME!!! It will have more eternal value than a day at the lake, hiking, fishing, or relaxing . . . . I’m amazed at my own life. I can spend more time planning a day off then planning for corporate worship. Recently I’ve had to come to terms realizing the idolatry in my own life. (Idolatry is self-worship).
So, here are 5 questions to ask yourself Sunday after leaving church.
1. Do I know the Triune God better? The Word and sermon draws us to Him. Mentally tune into the lyrics in the song. Be mentally ready to receive the Word. Pray for your pastor throughout the week. Get rest, be awake, attentive, and ready to hear the Word. Bring pen and paper to take notes. Realize this sermon, though beneficial for your spouse, is intended for you.
2. Do I know how to pray for people in my church this week? This requires engaging people — knowing them well enough to know how to pray for them. Ask people, “How can I pray for you?” Take notes. Pray for them throughout the week. Follow up with them. Ask them during the week how the situation is going. Ask next Sunday. Love them.
3. Are there any service opportunities I need to do this week? Does someone require aid, assistance, encouragement? Do we need to take one night to go help, pray with, or encourage someone or a family? Remember “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds” is not just a Sunday thing. Worship is a daily, minute by minute thing. Tuesday nights absolutely are made for serving the body.
4. Did you pick up your trash? WHAT? Yes. There may be a janitor who gets paid well. Pick up your own trash . . . In fact, help those around you by cleaning up their mess too. This is your church. Take care of it.
5. What do we need to change next week? Were you late? Problems come up? Issues? Think through them and make changes during the next week so these change.
Enjoy your Saturday. “Sunday morning begins Saturday night.” — Rick Holland.