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Worldly Saints

Seizing Life for the Glory of God

Giving as Worship (Proverb 3:9)

The Monday feature of this blog will focus on a proverb from one of Solomon’s writings (e.g., Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon).

“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce.” (Prov 3:9)

Everything we own is from God and is meant to be used for God’s will. There really isn’t anything of value that we have created on our own or thought of outside of God’s enabling. Every penny we have “earned” in our life is because God gave us the skill-set to earn it and provided a wage through the company or individual who paid us.

Thus, the principle of this proverb is simple: give to God what already belongs to Him.

When we give to God – through the means of tithes or offering – we are worshipping Him. Donald Whitney has written in his book Spiritual Disciplines within the Church,

“Giving is preeminently an act of worship. It ought then to be a focal point of thanksgiving and self-dedication in weekly worship…It’s worship because when you give to God through the church you are giving a part of yourself. You exchange a significant measure of your life and labor for salary or wages, and when you give some of that money to God you give that which represents you.” (pgs. 121-122)

Paul told the Philippians when he collected money from them their sacrificing was “a sweet-smelling aroma” to the Lord (Phil 4:18).

Don’t think of your tithes and offerings as simply going to pay the church’s bills or pastor’s salary but as an act of devotion to the Lord.

Think about the term “offering plate”: we call it that because this is what we are “offering” God as a form of our dedication to God. In fact, I would suggest when you give to the Lord in tithes or offerings, if you are not thinking of Him, you are no different than the person who sings hymns without thinking of the Lord or reading the Word without mediating upon it.

Give God what He deserves, what He has given you, and what pleases Him.

Philip Ryken on Praying for Sunday Morning

Image result for philip ryken“Most churchgoers assume that the sermon starts when the pastor opens his mouth on Sunday. However, listening to a sermon actually starts the week before. It starts when we pray for the minister, asking God to bless the time he spends studying the Bible as he prepares to preach. In addition to helping the preacher, our prayers create in us a sense of expectancy for the ministry of God’s Word. This is one of the reasons that when it comes to preaching, congregations generally get what they pray for.” (Philip Ryken, the President of Wheaton College, in a sermon entitled “How to Listen to a Sermon”)

 

Just In Case You Missed It – May 16-20, 2017

  1. 10 Things You Should Know About the Theology of Martin Luther” by Sam Storms.
  2. “Women Use Porn Too” by Rebekah Hannah (The Gospel Coalition)  It’s not just a “guy problem.”
  3. If I Have Enough Faith, Will God Heal Me?” by Randy Alcorn (Eternal Perspective Ministries). . Every Christian needs to consider the thoughtfulness of the answer to this question.
  4. God’s Google” by Tim Challies. . It used to be the local church, and should be again.
  5. Why Don’t Muslims Sing Like Christians?” by John Piper (Desiring God).

Q/A Friday: How Can I Prepare My Heart for Corporate Worship?

First, be worshipping God on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Worship God when you eat that bowl of cheerios in the morning, when you are commuting to work, when you are mowing the lawn, etc. (I Corinthians 10:31)

Second, pray that you will be ready to receive what God will give you. How does God speak to us on Sundays? Through music, prayer, sermons, conversations. Pray that God will help you receive what He has to say. Think about the passage to be preached, read it, study it, pray about it, meditate on it, etc.

Third, pray that God will enable you to respond rightly to what you heard taught. When God speaks, we are to respond (Isaiah 6:1-8).

Fourth, think of how you are going to edify someone else (I Corinthians 14:26). Who will you speak to and what will you say? Are you going to bring someone close to Christ through your conversation? Think of who in your congregation will be in need of encouragement.

Fifth, get enough rest. Sunday morning starts Saturday night

Sixth, prepare your heart as much as you are able for corporate worship. Keep the morning as stress-free as possible. Listen to worship-aspiring music.

If you have a question you would like to submit to our blog to be answered in the future, please it to charlesheck@cox.net or pose your question in the comments section of this post.

Praying Without Ceasing

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