Beyond the Gospels: Corinthians

Today’s Scripture: 1 Corinthians 14:12-25
[Click the reference above to read online. Or you can always open up your own Bible.]

Today’s passage makes my heart hurt a bit.
Paul reminds us we are to be engaged in worship for the building up of the church.

I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding;
I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding.
1 Corinthians 14:15
You see, there are hazards to growing up in a church. 
Myself… I was not raised in church. I’m not a life long Methodist or a once upon a time Baptist. God captured my heart while attending this church as an adult — First United Methodist Church, Jacksonville. I came because I was invited. I came because I wanted my children to grow up in a church, even though I didn’t.
My motive for going to church changed when I had a real conversion experience. I came to worship Him. Not for my children. Not for the social outlet. Not because it’s the right thing to do. I came because of what He did in my life. My heart and mind were engaged in worship. Every word of Scripture read was His Word. Every song of praise sung was a song sung to Him. Every prayer a conversation with Him.
Recently, I had a conversation with one of my young adult children, one raised in church. This church. And my heart cringed as he told me he had a difficult time listening to preaching these days, being engaged in worship. You see, his years growing up in church, he trained himself to disconnect. He knew he had to go to worship and sit. But as a child that’s hard to do without wiggling or complaining. And my efforts to help him sit. Pencils and paper. A snack or two. Actually only helped him disconnect from the worship he was supposed to be learning to participate in.
And I wonder. How many are out there in our congregation. Life-long church-goers who disconnect, self-distract, in order to get through worship?
Yes. It makes my heart hurt…
Worship is not a weekly gathering to endure. It is one in which we approach our Savior, our Creator, our Sustainer, with engaged hearts and minds. In prayer. In song. In worship.
I confess. I’ve now raised at least one such church attendee. But he is actively trying to repent of his way. Learning to engage. I have two others. Never had this conversation with them. One I see signs of engagement. Comments. Questions. Discussion. After worship. The other?
I pray today, for us all to become engaged in worship. If you don’t feel engaged, begin to ask Him why. Begin to repent. If you don’t feel like He’s captured your heart, make it available to Him. 
Worship. It’s a precious time with other Believers to engage Him in heart, soul, and spirit.
Father God, forgive us for every moment of distracted worship.
Forgive us for seeing worship as something to get through each week.
Open our hearts to You. Capture our hearts as individuals
and as a corporate body. Teach us how to engage our
children in worship.

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