August 13, 2007

Delighting in the Day, Part 3: Guard Your Steps

Guard your steps as you go near to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do know they are doing evil. Ecclesiastes 5.1

How often have you been distracted from worshipping God because you were in a rush to get here…or because there was an argument in the car on the way to church? Some of the biggest hindrances to Sunday worship happen before we ever set foot in the church building! That is why it is so important that we “guard our steps as we go near to the house of God.” I’m convinced that, if we are to delight in the Lord’s Day, we must begin by preparing ourselves ahead of time for the Day.

I feel this reality so deeply that I’m going to take two articles' worth of space to try and help us be better. I want to give you several hints at how you might “guard your steps as you go near to the house of God.” This article I’ll focus on Saturday night hints. Next article, Sunday morning and afternoon hints…

1. Make Family Worship a Saturday evening habit. Family worship is a simple time when all the members of the household gather together to sing a hymn or two, meditate on a portion of Scripture, and spend time together in prayer. We really ought to be doing this every night. But Saturday night is extra-valuable—especially if it is done soon before bed. It can be a wonderful way to whet our spiritual appetites for the feast of worship we’ll experience in the morning!

2. Prepare Sunday’s meals on Saturday evening. What a shame that many women spend much of the Lord’s Day slaving over a stove—leaving little time for rest and spiritual meditation. But if the whole family loaded the crock pot or made the sandwiches on Saturday night, what freedom there would be on Sunday!

3. Make miscellaneous preparations on Saturday night. Find the kinds of things that create a rush on Sunday morning—and do them Saturday night! Take a shower…set the breakfast table…gas up the car…locate your Bibles and SS materials on Saturday. You get the idea. As much as necessary, do Sunday morning’s tasks on Saturday. It will make a big difference!

4. Get to bed at a decent hour. We all know how much sleep we really need. And it is a sin not to give it to ourselves and our children in preparation for the most important day of the week.

Finally, remember that these aren’t hard and fast rules—just hopeful suggestions from someone who wants Sunday to be Special for us all.

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