Grace Church Memphis
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Worship Preparation | "Saving Faith: Enjoying God's own Rest" - Heb. 4:1-11


Why prepare my soul to come to church?

God's work upon our souls is not bound by whether or not we prepare our souls to hear His Word. He can break in upon the most unsuspecting soul anytime He so pleases and has done so throughout history on innumerable occasions.

Ought we suppose, then, that personal passiveness (irresponsibility?) is to be the preferred choice when it comes to our readiness to gather under God's Word with His people? I don't think so.

Readying our souls to hear, receive, and heed God's Word can be a powerful catalyst to His work in our lives. As we "prime the pump" of our hearts to go hard after God with His people, God uses our effort to fertilize the soil of our hearts to more receptively receive His "implanted Word which is able to save our souls" (Js. 1:21).

Therefore, we would serve ourselves well to embrace a forward-looking anticipation of joining God's people upon the mountain-peak of His Self-revelation. After all, Jesus is coming back for "those who eagerly await Him" (Heb. 9:28). And the one who will enter God's own rest (more on that Sunday!), is the one who "labors to enter His rest" (Heb. 4:11).

By taking measures to ready ourselves for the Lord's Day, we are saying to God with our lives as well as our lips, "I want You, and I want to be as ready as possible to receive all that You have for me."

How to prepare my soul to come to church

There are lots of ways to prime our hearts for the Lord's Day. At the same time, it is a mark of spiritual maturity to realize that some are more effective than others. Thankfully, the choicest means to employ are also the most abundantly obvious.

If you plan to join Grace in worshiping the Living God this coming Sunday, here are some suggestions for your readiness to meet Him:

  • (As many times as you can) Read the sermon text alone, and with those in your household (Hebrews 4:1-13). Ask questions about the meaning of the verses. Especially, ask God.
  • Read the prayer service passages (Isaiah 4:2; 7:10-15; 9:1-7), and pray (with joy!) through the Messianic portraits given in them. Participate in the Sunday morning prayer gathering at 9am (BTW: Grace doesn't have two services: Prayer, then church. We only have one service: We talk with God (prayer) and also hear from Him (preaching). cf. Acts 2:42)
  • As always, I covet your prayers as I continue to prepare to preach. This, too, is a way to ready your heart for Sunday, for if God answers your prayers for my preparation, you will reap the blessing!

See you Sunday, Lord willing,

~ jt