Preparing yourself for worship – homework for personal Bible study

This past week we focused on getting your “Hands hygiene for worship” 

The below will take five to ten minutes each day.

Looking forward to connecting with you Wed May 20, 7pm (see text for conference call info).

God bless you little brothers and sisters.

-bro. martin

BCAN Theme 2020: Life together in Christ!

Acts 2:42-47

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Day 1: Sanitized – Holy Hands prepared for worship

James 4:8 NKJV – Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [you] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [you] double-minded.

Recall that this type of “cleanse” involves you – removing dirt from something in order to make it clean again. This means we should expect to have to sanitize – not try to cover up our wrongdoings.  Doing so will help us get closer to God as we prepare for worship.

Not only with practicing sanitizing our hands help us in worship in particular, but taking responsibility for our actions in general will prepare us to be a better disciple of Christ and a better human being.  

Young folks crave interaction with those who are genuine, authentic, real.  What’s more authentic than honestly facing your spiritual failings, asking for forgiveness, and trying to make things right?

James 1:13-14 NKJV – Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.

1 John 1:9 NKJV – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Questions:

  • What’s your reaction when you get caught doing something wrong?
    • Freeze up (i.e., just saying nothing)
    • Defensive / confused (“I don’t know what you’re talking about?!?!”)
    • Open, honest, and transparent – be authentic (“To be honest, yeah, I did that”)
  • What do you think would happen if you admitted to your shortcomings 100% of the time?
    • Would you be more prepared for worship or less?
    • Would people trust you more or less?
    • Would God entrust to you more or less?

Want to go deeper? Check out Matthew 5:23-24.  This instruction about seeking forgiveness comes from Christ and is in the context of your act of worship through giving.  Ask God if you need to sanitize your hands by asking someone for forgiveness.  By faith ask the person God laid on your heart for forgiveness.

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Day 2: Surrendered – Held up Hands prepared for worship

Psalm 134:2 NKJV – Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, And bless the LORD.

Psalm 63:4 NKJV – Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.

The word “bless” in these verses (“barak” in Hebrew) has several meanings – including to praise, to salute, and to kneel down. As an act of humble surrender and worship, take two minutes to kneel down and lift up your hands above your head. Playing some worship music might help set the atmosphere, but ultimately you are going before the Lord with held up hands.  Let your family members know before you do (so they do not disturb you). Your family members care about you and want to help you in your spiritual growth and development. If they want, then ask then to join you.

Questions:

  • In what ways has your pride trapped your worship in the past?  
  • In what ways does lifting your hands in surrender help you focus on worshipping God?
  • The next time you are in worship can you lift your hands longer and/or higher for the Lord?

Want to go deeper? Check out Proverbs 14:26-27 to see fear can actually bring you a sense of security and life.  Keep in mind that even as you should be humble in worship, you should also be confident!

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Day 3: Serving others – Helping Hands prepared for worship

Ephesians 2:10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Matthew 25:40 NIV – “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.’

Also, recall from Luke 10:41-42 the response of Jesus to Martha as she was complaining about her sister Mary not helping with the work. 

Questions:

  • Are you walking in the works God has called you to in serving others (are you serving others enough)?
  • Are you only walking in the works God has called you to in serving others (are you sometimes serving others “too much” and because you want to feel good about yourself – not to honor and worship God)?

Watch this video by Rev. Dr. Tony Evans reminding us there is freedom in serving (about 2 minutes).

Questions:

  • How much extra time would you have if you didn’t watch TV/Internet/Streaming shows for one week?
  • Phones are not all bad. What is one thing you could do with your phone this upcoming week to worship God by serving others?

Want to go deeper? Check out 1 Peter 4:10 and consider how you too can live a J.O.Y. lifestyle (Jesus first, then Others, and then You).  Describe how living out J.O.Y. would help you prepare for worship.  Are you ready to prioritize your day by living out J.O.Y.

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