Enhancing Our Life to God
In the culture of today everything is enhanced, upsized, upgraded, instant, and awesome. How about our service to God?
As we begin this New Year, the 5-day bible reading schedule will help, if we set that or some other schedule as our goal and commit to keeping them. It may be helpful to get a partner to read with and it often helps with accountable.
Read to apply: find what the Bible is saying to you personally. Look for actions you can take out of your readings and apply to your life. Carryout the commands in the New Testament. When reading the stories in the scriptures look for the character you have the most in common with in terms of background, attitude, and practice. Is it a positive or negative character? Which character would you like to have the most in common with?
Read to discover: Bring out challenging questions you don't have good answers for. Spent time with others discussing these questions, and then commit yourself to finding the truth about these issues from God's word, the only source of truth. You will be immersed in the bible before long.
Read aloud: if you have trouble focusing. Try it once and read with feeling.
Colossians 4:2 "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;"
In Matt. 6:5-15 Jesus gives instruction on prayer. What are the three things we can learn from Jesus' teaching? A private prayer should be private, not a performance, but purposeful (not vain repetitions, not a show) — about things to pray for — and how our prayer (of faith) is connected to our actions.
What is actually happening when we pray? Consider Heb. 4:14-16, Rom. 8:26-27
What is the potential power of prayer? James 5:13-18
We have enormous power and privilege in the way God has provided us with the ability, and right, to come before His throne of grace in prayer, laying out before Him our thanksgiving, our concerns and our needs (not wants). Our prayers are to be directed to God the father, realizing that we are not praying alone but thru Christ the son, our mediator who intercedes for us before God. Prayer will change our lives when offered in faith believing in God's promise to answer.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 "Pray without ceasing;" is the attitude of mind that Paul desires we develop. How can we do that?
Set aside time: Commit to having a certain amount of time just to pray. Enhance your pray life!
Recognize distractions: They will happen. Realizing that they will come we can prepare to push them aside and stay focused on our time with God.
Set Goals for yourself: Don't just ramble around mentally, pray with a purpose in mind.
Make a list: things we are thankful for, God's blessings, people we need to pray for, sins we are struggling with, people who are doing good work, pray for wisdom, pray for the goals you have set to enhance your life to God.
Worshipping God: is ultimately focal point of our lives, it is the point of everything we do. During our public assemblies which are dedicated to worshipping God, we can contribute to enhancing our own worship by:
Make sure that worship is not about yourself: make it your goal to encourage others, to make other want to come to the worship services.
Don't sit by yourself: a good way to take the focus OFF yourself is to sit with different people who you don't know well. Get to know them, encourage them.
During the singing: Focus on the words; try to avoid being distracted or creating a distraction for others. Remember we are offering praise to God. Make eye contact with the song leader; sing offering the praise of your lips.
During the sermon: take notes as though you are going to teach this lesson from your notes. Make specific applications to your personal situation. Make eye contact with the speaker, nod when you agree, men if you feel frisky an "amen" is appropriate to encourage the speaker.
During the Lord's Supper: Mediate; focus yourself on the sacrifice Christ made on Calvary for you. Remember it about Christ, not about you.
Remember that ultimately the quality of your worship is decided by you. Be kind of worshipper that you want others to be. Eliminate as many distractions as you can!
Worship is about giving — not receiving!
Preparing: make sure that you have had enough rest the night before to be able to be alert and involved. To prepare yourself by praying for the proper attitude, study to prepare for class, sing to motivate yourself to praise God.