If churches had an unlimited amount of money and resources we would have a "Praise Bit" for every guest. We could measure heartbeat, steps taken in worship and every time hands were raised to honor God. Weekly programs could be developed to identify, reward and honor the most "Spirited Worshipper". It could also be used to quietly identify those who were not as active or participating in worship and praise, honoring God and the data could be sent to an app on a local tablet or smart phone for mentoring and coaching by the local ministry.
Sound far fetched? Maybe a little. But it would be an interesting human experiment in our journey and connection with our Creator. Today our church was 48 degrees. The heat exchanger was cracked and fixed earlier in the week to be ready for Sunday, only to find out that the blower was out as well. We found that out about, oh, 9PM Saturday night. Early Saturday morning I loaded up two electric heaters and headed to the church to try and warm up our worship space before the people arrived. With both heaters blowing and another turned on in the Sunday school rooms, I returned home anticipating a great day of worship and a move of God. The Word was prepared, lessons were ready and heaters were on. I returned to find the circuit breakers kicked and the heaters off, with a temperature of around 40 degrees in the church main...ughhhh. Really though, as I thought about a friend of ours in Tanzania, Africa I realized the challenges we face here in the United States are never as bad or dire as we perceive. We are a blessed nation. Long story short.
Psalm 100:4 King James Version (KJV) 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
Psalm 122:1 King James Version (KJV) 122 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.
We are called to come into the presence of the Lord with thanksgiving in our hearts and praise on our lips. David danced before the Lord. We are told, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul..." Praise and Worship sets the stage to usher in the presence of God. It is important, critical to the relationship between man and God! Nothing, nothing should interfere with it. Temperature, conditions, illness, finances, location, clothing...none of it matters in the presence of an Almighty and Merciful God! Jesus is the God we serve!
My heart swelled with pride today that we had a house full of our regular church body and not a single complaint was uttered. Worship happened, God showed up, His Word was delivered and prayer and healing took place. God is good all the time, everywhere, to everyone! What a mighty God we serve! Invite someone to church. Next week will be an object lesson on the salvation plan you won't want to miss! I promise!
Have a blessed week in Jesus name! Practice random acts of kindness and invite someone to church!