A Pastor's Heart
|Posted on August 14, 2018 at 12:20 AM|
If you have been working on the personal disciplines then by this time you are probably saying to yourself, “This is much harder than I thought it would be.” Well the truth is you are right. Just like buying McDonald’s every night is easier than preparing and cooking food at home, living a life that lacks discipline is easier than developing spiritual discipline in our daily living. However, the benefits of personal discipline cannot be overstated. Time and again the Proverbs encourage us to be diligent in our work and to avoid laziness and foolishness. There are simply too many benefits that come from developing spiritual discipline within your life to quit now.
As I have stated before though, there is only so far you can go in your walk with God by yourself. Your personal spiritual development is directly tied to your corporate spiritual discipline as well. As you develop the personal disciplines, let us also make a fresh and new commitment to the corporate disciplines also.
The first discipline that we must commit to corporately is worshipping. Through Bible reading, praying, fasting, and resting we worship privately, but we are not simply called to private worship. We must also come together to sing, pray, and learn together in public worship. Public worship has been a crucial part of God’s covenant people all the way from the beginning. We see public worship displayed in the life of Abel and Noah. We see the mark of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s life being the establishment of public worship centers throughout their travels in Canaan. Moses led public worship at the Tabernacle. Solomon built the Temple for public worship. Jesus participated in public worship. Paul wrote his letters to be read in public worship. Finally, the Revelation is a prophetic poem illustrating time and time again the beauty and value of public corporate worship. The writer of Hebrews commands us not to stay away from the weekly corporate worship time because corporate worship is essential to your spiritual health and growth. We are not passive as we gather together, but rather we are active participants in the worship of Almighty God and celebrants of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
However, regular attendance takes commitment. Everything in the world will infringe on your attendance and participation in public worship because of its vast importance. You will have to discipline yourself to attend and then you will have to fight Hell and the Devil to fulfill that commitment. However, it is truly worth it. I experienced my call to ministry in a corporate worship service. I have had the joy of seeing dozens of people come to faith in Christ through the public corporate worship service. I have watched relationships mended during corporate worship. God moves among his people in corporate worship like he does nowhere else and each of us are invited to meet him there weekly.
Corporate worship attendance requires a resetting of your priorities as well. Those things that are important we make time for. If you are committed to watching new episodes of NCIS, then you are in your living room on Tuesday nights to watch. If you are committed to high school football then you are in the stands on Friday nights cheering our team. If you are committed to camping, travel baseball, hunting, or any other activity, then you are there to maximize your time in those activities. If you are committed to public worship then you are present and worshiping on Sunday mornings in the local church. Of those things what should have your highest level of commitment if you are a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ? Of the commitments in your life what really does have the highest level of commitment in your life? Perhaps it is time to reset your priorities and renew your commitment to the discipline of corporate worship.
So today make a fresh commitment. Commit to be in attendance, involved, and engaged in corporate worship this week and every week.