Preach the Gospel to Yourself, in Worship

These verses were on my mind during the worship service this morning:

(Ephesians 2:1-10 NAS95S)
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

I was in the worship service this morning and I have a bad habit of scanning the crowd to see who is really singing and who is just going through the motions. I hate when I find myself going through the motions. But on the other hand, I don’t want to try to stir up my emotions so that I’m faking it. The trick is, when I sing about these powerful truths of the gospel, why don’t I care? I think we often think that if we do not love God with our whole heart that something is wrong with us spiritually. And I’m here to say, that’s exactly right. There is something wrong with us spiritually. We are plagued by our sin nature which yields its desire to inferior joys. C.S. Lewis says: “We are half-hearted creatures. Fooling about with food and sex and ambition, when absolute joy is offered us. Like a child content to continue making mud-pies in the slums because he has no concept of what is meant by a holiday at the sea. We are far to easily pleased!” I really think this is where the ministry of the word works most powerfully in our lives. Try reading through the book of Ephesians and you’ll see the whole point of the book is to remind the believers of their position and where they came from. On top of this Paul says why he’s praying: “For this reason I kneel before the Father…I pray that you…may have power together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge”. Paul’s prayer and writing were directed at giving the Ephesians a fresh appreciation for who God was and what he had done and was doing. Try these practical things this week:
1. When in worship humbly acknowledge your sinfulness in light of God’s word
2. When in worship quote scriptures which remind you of the blessings of God (let the word remind you afresh of his goodness)
3. Throughout the week pray for others to be satisfied in God
I need to be reminded of the gospel every day, especially during the worship service so that I worship in spirit and in truth. I hope you are encouraged to worship authentically seeing the grace of God in the gospel in the past, in the present, and in the future.

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