“The Spirit-filled life is not a special, deluxe edition of Christianity. It is part and parcel of the total plan of God for His people. There is nothing about the Holy Spirit…strange or eerie.”—A.W. Tozer
In Wilmore Kentucky one morning in 1970, without warning, all heaven broke loose during Asbury College’s 10 a.m. chapel service. The service, a routine meeting, was scheduled for 50 minutes. Instead, it lasted 185 hours non-stop, 24 hours a day. Intermittently, it continued for weeks. Ultimately, it spread across the United States and into foreign countries. Dr. Dennis Kinlaw tells about here. It’s about 37 minutes, but it is absolutely worth your time!
1. Begin Orienting Your Heart on Saturday Night.
Set aside some time Saturday night to begin the orientation onto worship. Turn off the television and set your mind on things that above with the word of God and a time of prayer.
2. Go to Bed Early.
Go to bed early enough so that you are fresh and emotionally alive Sunday morning. The price of late night movies or parties on Saturday will be powerless worship Sunday morning.
3. Get Up Early Enough on Sunday.
Get up in time Sunday so that you do not have to rush to get to church, but have a little time to be alone with God and ask his blessing on you and your family and on the church. I can almost promise you that your depth of communion with God in the service will be directly proportionate to the way you have sought the Lord for his blessing Saturday night and Sunday morning. This will take some discipline and some planning. But you will probably never turn back once you taste the fruit.
4. Begin Seeking God as Soon as You Enter.
When you come into the sanctuary, begin to seek the Lord. That means that by and large there will be a holy hush across the sanctuary. But it will be a very different kind of stillness than the awkward silence before a Sunday School class where you want everyone to mill around and talk and nobody is. There is a world of difference. And the difference will be made and felt by whether hundreds of you are really going hard after God, or just politely waiting for the show to begin. You will make the difference in those minutes as to whether a visitor senses cool distance or the reality of God. The very point of those moments of going hard after God is that this room will be filled with the power of God. The goal of those moments is not that people will be impressed with us—either our piety or our friendliness—but that they will fall on their face and say, “God is in this place.” And that will only happen if people are taken up with God.
5. Become the Actor in Worship.
Finally, before every act of worship, whether a hymn or a reading or a prayer or an anthem or a moment of silence or a sermon, say to Lord, “Lord, I come. I come to sing to you. I come to pray to you. I come to listen to your Word. I come to enjoy your presence.” Don’t drift through the service as though the action is on the platform. Become the actor. The greatest action in worship is when a heart that is far from the Lord draws near to the Lord, and focuses on him and desires him and trusts him and enjoys him.
This is from Erwin Lutzer, Pastor at Moody Church, Chicago:
* Praying is more important than preaching.
* Preaching is more important that administration.
* The family is more important than the congregation.
* Faithfulness is more important than competition.
* Love is more important than ability.
There is not a single instance in the New Testament teaching on holiness where we are taught to depend on the Holy Spirit without a corresponding exercise of discipline on our part. – Jerry Bridges
Check out this great post here.
Are you a member of your local church? What do you add to your church? What gifts do you use to edify your local body of believers? If every person in the church acted like you, what kind of church would you have? If everybody in the church worshiped like you, what kind of place would it be? Would the atmosphere of the Sunday morning service be charged with enthusiasm or apathy? If every person in the church was as committed to the church, prayer meeting, or small groups as you are, what kind of church would it be? If everybody gave in proportion to their income as you gave, what would the offering be like?
These are some very uncomfortable and challenging questions. Some of you may think you’re off the hook because you’re not a member of a local church, but if you are a follower of Jesus Christ you ARE a member of THE church and you should be just as accountable as the member of the local church.
In answering the question, “What does a healthy church member look like” I know that I’m bound to leave out something so I’ll let Thabiti M. Anyabwile answer it:
* A Healthy Church Member Is an Expositional Listener
* A Healthy Church Member Is a Biblical Theologian
* A Healthy Church Member Is Gospel Saturated
* A Healthy Church Member Is Genuinely Converted
* A Healthy Church Member Is a Biblical Evangelist
* A Healthy Church Member Is a Committed Member
* A Healthy Church Member Seeks Discipline
* A Healthy Church Member Is a Growing Disciple
* A Healthy Church Member Is a Humble Follower
* A Healthy Church Member Is a Prayer Warrior
Sounds good to me? Are YOU a healthy church member?
Just checking in with all 6 of my faithful blog readers. I had an absolute blast in Alabama, preaching the Youth Camp. Wednesday night was especially wonderful. God helped me preach beyond my capabilities and several young people sought God that night. I preached on the horrible fall of King David–The Danger of Flying too Low.
I’ve also been busy attending area campmeetings. John Parker is a preaching machine! If you get a chance, visit the Pilgrim Holiness Camp in Frankfort or listen live at http://www.holinessonline.com/pilc08.htm. Next week I’ll be at our family camp in Pell City, Alabama. I can’t wait!
I’m smiling just like this monkey! Many of you that know me know that I have been filling in as principal at FCA the last three years. What started out as a one year fill-in, turned into three long years. It has had its benefits. Throughout the last three years I’ve learned many valuable things: The value of Christian education; the ability to confront problems; how to effectively deal with staff, students, & parents (sometimes disgruntled parents); that I have a gift for administration; the discipline of getting up at the same hour every day; and many other things. The reason why I am smiling is because we have officially hired a principal. Ron Coleman, from Gratz, PA, and his family will moving here in July. I’m looking forward to getting back in the saddle and do what I love to do and what I do best: Youth ministry and discipleship ministry. So in July, I will be starting a new chapter in my life. One that I am very excited about. Thank you to all you staff, students, and parents (yes, even the disgruntled ones), who helped me sharpen my spiritual gifts. Pray for me next week as I’ll be away preaching a youth camp for the Alabama Bible Methodist Conference.
“When man will not accept the absolute and objective standard for salvation in “Christ Alone“, he will create his own truth and his own subjective standard of morality and salvation. He will, in essence, become a god unto himself and will worship his own personal standard of righteousness.”