Sunday Morning begins on Saturday Night

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  • Here is a little devotional I wrote for our July church newsletter:

    Let’s face it. We’ve all done it. We have all had those times when we participated in corporate worship services without truly worshiping God in spirit and truth. We have all gone through the motions. We have all sat in services with our minds and hearts being at some distant place. Why does this happen? You love God. You have been looking forward to going to church. The worship was uplifting, the music was inspiring, and the sermon was edifying. But, somehow, you missed it all. As the worship flowed, you were fault-finding. As the musical praise was rendered, you thoughtlessly mouthed the words. As the sermon was preached, you were daydreaming. You share Jacob’s sad post-Bethel testimony: “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” (Gen. 28:16) What happened?

    One of the reasons why we “miss” some of the worship services we are in is because we start preparing ourselves way too late. In fact, before I go any further, let me ask you a question. Do you prepare for worship? On Sunday mornings, do you just get up, get dressed, and get going? Or do you take time to get the meditations of your heart (Ps. 19:14) ready to be acceptable to the Lord? If not, I challenge you to make a new commitment today to taking spiritual preparation for corporate worship service more seriously.

    You should take the time to ready your heart for corporate worship. And the best time to begin these preparations is Saturday night, not Sunday morning. You can’t rip and run Saturday morning, ignore the Lord Saturday evening, and stay up all Saturday night; then get up on Sunday morning and try to shake all of that off for worship. While you should take advantage of the free time Saturday provides; you should do so without forgetting that you will begin your week in worship and fellowship with the Lord Jesus and his body, the church. Interestingly, many of us do this when the 1st Sunday approaches, knowing that we must examine ourselves before the Lord’s Supper. But this self examination should be a regular part of our preparations for corporate worship. Are you tired of coming to church and neglecting the very one who is the subject and object of our worship? I challenge you to begin your preparations for Sunday morning on Saturday nights.


    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.