Thursday, January 22, 2009

Shifting From Self-Focus To Christ-Focus In Worship

Every week, before we enter the Sanctuary, the choir prays together for the congregation. We pray that our members will truly worship; that the message Pastor Randy has been led to give will be listened to, remembered, and acted upon; that the music we have rehearsed so carefully will be pleasing to God, and lead the congregation's thoughts toward Him; that all thoughts will turn from self and toward the Lord.

Though we pray for these things, the congregation has responsibility for their experience, too. The attitudes that come in the door with them will, to a great degree, determine how much or how little they feel the presence of the Lord, each Sunday morning.

"We can settle into a routine of activities at church and in our small groups and Bible studies, with little expectation of anything new. The familiar becomes the predictable, and everything from here on out will be more of the same. We dip our teaspoon into the vast ocean of the living God. Holding that teaspoon in our hand, we say, “This is God.” We pour it out into our lives, and we say, “This is the Christian Experience.” Do our lives reflect the power, wonder, glory, love, and holiness of the living God? Do we downplay people’s expectations of knowing Jesus Christ?

"So what is the proof that the Spirit is being poured out on us? The voice of the church rings with prophetic clarity. The people of God are no longer passive, intimidated, unresponsive, uncertain. They are no longer preoccupied with self, convenience, comfort. They are no longer complaining, whining, griping. Instead, they become outspoken in God’s praises and gospel truth, “declaring the wonders of God” (Acts 2:11). To turn us from self-exaltation to Christ-exaltation, from self-focus to Christ-focus, is a true mark of God’s presence in our midst."

BobKauflin , reflecting on Ray Ortlund's "When God Comes To Church" . I encourage you to read the whole article.

Where are your thoughts on Sunday morning? Are they focused on you? Or are they focused on Christ?

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