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Setting Your Mind to Come to the House of God

What is on your mind when you wake up in the morning? It probably depends on what you expect to be doing during the day. You may be thinking about work or how you are going to get some job done. You may be thinking about where you have to go and how you are going to get there. You may be thinking about taking care of some household need for your family. It may be that your mind is consumed with a problem and that worry has overtaken you. Perhaps you think about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow. You might be distracted with the anticipation of a pleasant and joyful event. Any of these thoughts and many more could fill your mind when you awake on any morning.

Are your thoughts different when you awake on the Lord's day? In the time before you enter the assembly of God's saints for worship, are you thinking about coming into the presence of the Lord? Remember that He said, "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst" (Matt. 18:20). How do you prepare to be in His presence? Do you remember His crucifixion, His resurrection, and His promise to come again and judge the world? Maybe you wait to the let the observance of the Lord's Supper remind you of these things. However, the Lord's Supper is not a reminder, but rather it is a memorial. Jesus said, "Do this in remembrance of Me" (1Cor. 11:24-25). We take the Lord's Supper because we remember Him always, not to remember Him just once a week. Are you thinking about Jesus and getting ready to properly "proclaim the Lord's death" (1Cor. 11:26) when you wake up on the Lord's day?

What is your attitude when you are preparing to assemble with the church? Remember that Paul described it as "the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth" (1Tim. 3:15). Are you thrilled with the prospect of gathering into the household of God? Concerning worship services, do you share the response of David, who wrote, "I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the LORD'" (Ps. 122:1)? Indeed, the church is the household of God, the temple of God, and a dwelling place for the Spirit of God (1Cor. 3:16; Eph. 2:19). How wonderful it is to enter into such a place! Notice Psalm 84:1-4:

1How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts!

2My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD;

My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

3The bird also has found a house,

And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,

Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts,

My King and my God.

4How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!

They are ever praising You.

If you share these sentiments about the house of God and are glad when it is time to enter, then you can say to God the words of Psalm 84:10:

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

Consider that again and notice what it means for us. One Sunday spent in the assembly of God's people is better than a thousand other days doing anything else. This properly expresses the joy and the eagerness every Christian should have about coming into the house of God for worship. Is this how you feel about the Lord's day?

How sad it is that many Christians do not have godly attitudes and thoughts on the Lord's day. Some feel no joy in assembling with their brethren to worship their God, but instead they view it as a burden that they must bear merely to satisfy the Lord's requirements. These fail to see the joy of coming into the presence of the Lord and the benefits of assembling with the saints. Consequently, their attendance is erratic and often ceases altogether. Some Christians come into the assembly so distracted in their thinking that they cannot engage their hearts in worship. Before the service, they have no thought of the Lord or of the importance of what they are coming to do. Even during the service, they may be thinking about what they plan to do afterward -- going to lunch, watching ball games, cutting the grass, or something else. Only God can see into the heart (Heb. 4:12-13), but all of us can see the outward evidence of a mind that is unprepared, uninterested, and distracted from the worship of God.

Therefore, set your mind properly to come into the house of God. Your worship will be better, you will be more greatly benefitted, your brethren will be better edified, and your God will be glorified. Everything about the assembly will be better when you are prepared for it. Remember, one day in the courts of God is better than a thousand outside.

Stacey E. Durham



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