1Come, let’s sing joyfully to YHWH,
Let’s shout for joy to the rock of our salvation.
2Let’s approach him with praise,
Let’s shout happily to him with psalms. — Psalm 95:1-2
I’m going to make this devotional a bit different today. I want to challenge you with some questions.
Are you happy to go to church each week? Would you still go if you didn’t believe it was â€œthe thing to do?â€ Do you go to church when you’re out of town? How much of an excuse do you need in order to skip church?
If you can’t say that you enjoy going to church, that it’s something important in your life that you don’t want to miss, then I’d like to suggest you reexamine two things: Yourself, and the church service you attend.
You see, church can be something like a salad. It’s good for you, but perhaps you haven’t taught yourself to enjoy it. The salad will sit there containing vitamins and minerals, and all ready to nourish you, but you can avoid it because you don’t really enjoy eating it. That’s a case for retraining. (You can substitute anything you don’t like, but think is good for you. And before you send me e-mail as a salad-hater, I love salads!)
If your church experience is like that salad, then you need to examine your own attitudes. I profess to know very little about heaven. But the one thing that pretty much all definitions seem to have in common is the presence of God. If you don’t enjoy worship, you’re not going to like heaven all that well. Try reading Revelation 4 & 5 with the picture of worship going on in heaven. If it bores you, do some thinking!
On the other hand, your church service might just be boring. I hate to say this, but very often we don’t pay much attention to our worship services, and as a result they look like, well, how shall I say this? They look like we didn’t pay much attention to them. If you’re wondering about low attendance at a worship service, it may be time to consider just why anyone would attend a service such as you’re offering.
Always make sure to keep worshiping God and serving others foremost. You don’t go to church just to be happy. You go to church to be happy worshiping God. Often you’re there to recover joy while you worship, and to prepare yourself for service.
If you can’t combine those two things in your life, you need to do something about it. Going to church every week out of habit may be better than just staying home, but it won’t make you a joyful Christian, and it won’t prepare you for times of trial. For that you need to be in God’s presence. Talk to your pastor or your worship leader. See what you can do to change the way you worship for the better.
Don’t condemn yourself to a worship life without joy.
PS:Â I mentioned to Jody that I had written a devotional with no reference to Valentine’s Day.Â She said, “Just add ‘Love, Henry’ to it.Â So here it is:
PSS:Â And many blessings besides!