Archive for February, 2013
“On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together. . .”
(Acts 20:7, ESV)
If the Lord’s Day (Sunday) is the day chosen by the early church for distinctly Christian corporate worship, how should we approach the Lord’s Day as 21st Century believers? I want to offer four simple exhortations that will help us as we consider gathering together each Lord’s Day.
SET ASIDE the Lord’s day for distinctly Christian worship gatherings! If you are free and able, you should gather with the Lord’s people on Sundays. If you are free and able, then set aside the entire day for Christian worship. I say this not as a command (It wasn’t REQUIRED until Constantine), but for concern for your welfare. Use this day to gather with God’s people both formally as we assemble together and informally to eat meals together, pray together, read together, sing together. When you set aside the Lord’s Day and don’t let other things crowd out your schedule, you will find that this day will become much more meaningful as you share it with your family or other brothers and sisters in Christ. If you are not a faithful part of a local assembly, then commit yourself to a gospel-centered, Word-saturared, Christ-exalting church.
PREPARE yourself for gathering with God’s people on the Lord’s Day – on Saturday evening and on Sunday morning. Too many times we come to the Christian assembly consumed by the cares of this world. Also, we often arrive distracted by tiredness due to the activities we choose to participate in the previous evening. Consider using Saturday evenings to prepare your hearts and minds for the Sunday gathering. Consider the texts that will be preached on Sunday. At High Pointe, we offer meditation passages related to the preaching texts via our weekly email. Read through these passages on Saturday night; share them with your family. And be sure to get a good night’s rest.
When you arrive to assemble greet the brethren, then consider the passages that will be read publicly. At High Pointe, they are written in the bulletin for your convenience. Finally, when you hear the music begin, join in as we sing praises to our Lord and prepare your minds and hearts for what is about to happen.
DECLARE the Lordship of Christ with God’s people as you gather on the Lord’s Day!
1. SING – In singing, we are jointly declaring the Lordship of Christ over all things. Declare with your lips that Jesus is Lord and worthy to receive all glory and honor and praise!
2. PRAY – In praying, we jointly declare our dependence upon Jesus, the Lord who provides for the needs of His people. Therefore, cast all your anxieties upon the Lord.
3. GIVE – In giving, we are declaring the Lordship of Jesus Christ over all our wealth and possessions. Since Jesus is the sovereign Lord who provides everything we need, He is the Lord of everything we have.
4. READ/LISTEN TO THE WORD – In preaching the Word, we are declaring the Lordship of Christ and urging those who do not presently submit to Jesus’ Lordship to repent, bow down or be consumed in His wrath. Be careful how we listen; pray for the preacher; obey the Word!
In all things REST in Christ! Do not rest in what you do: i.e., Lord’s Day attendance/participation, membership, giving, etc. Rest in Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.