“And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the Lord their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the Lord their God.”Nehemiah 9:3
I have been in many church services, and I have heard a lot of messages. I have sat there waiting to get out with many things on my mind. I have thought about what was for lunch, if I could catch more of the ball game, or daydreamed about the nap I couldn’t wait to take. I have not always gone to church to worship, and I have at times gone just to check it off of my list or because I was forced to go. I did not take worship seriously, and I am not sure I could have survived the “fourth part of the day” being in church. One of the ordinances of the local church is the Lord’s Supper in which we remember Jesus’ death until He comes again. I always loved the Lord’s Supper as a kid, but I did not love it for the right reasons. God was merciful to me as an ignorant kid.
When we perform the Lord’s Supper at our church now, our pastor gives us time to confess our sins and make things right with God. I was surprised my first time there as he did not give us much time and it seemed like it lasted a mere few minutes. I thought maybe he needed only a few minutes to get things right, but I needed much more time to go through my sin database and make things right. I was like a kid playing in the mud all day and in need of a good scrubbing. I was not simply needing a splash of cologne, but I needed some serious time to get clean before Him. I Corinthians 11:29 states, “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” I sure do not want to participate in an unworthy manner, and I do not want to be damned due to taking the Lord’s Table lightly.
Confession is a key part of the Christian life, and we should not wait for this special occasion to make things right, but instead strive to keep a short account with Him. At Freedom That Lasts, our pastor told someone in our group that he could be right with God at this very moment if he would simply confess and draw near to Him. I am grateful for a God who is always ready to forgive, and a God who hold no grudges or stipulations on forgiveness. He is worthy of our worship for all that He does and all that He is. Church is not just a time to encourage and exhort one another, but it is a time for worship to our great God. I recall the days when the morning service was referred to as the worship service. Covid made us aware how important church was when we were not able to have it, and it sometimes seems like we have forgotten how special the worship is.
Worship is not a time to be thinking about the Cowboys game, but it is a time we should take advantage of to worship our God. We must make things right with our God if we are to have true worship, and we should desire to draw close to Him, not to just be seen or check it off our list. He is our God and He is worthy of our praise.
Where are you today friend? Are you honoring your God with your worship? Are you faithful in attending your local church, or are you the weekly “hide and seek champion”? Do you make things right with God when you offend Him, or do you go on with life acting like nothing has happened even though you know you have not made things right? May we be ready to worship Him at all times, and may we be especially ready when we enter the house of our God. He is worthy of our praise and adoration, and may that not be lost on us no matter how long the service. May today be the day we confess our sin before Him, and may we practice worshipping our God in preparation for what we will do for all eternity.