December 7, 2022 — Preparing for a Church Service

As we waited for Ricky to bring our breakfast one Monday morning, Stan asked, “Hey, how was your church service yesterday?”

“It was okay,” I replied. “How was yours?”

“Fabulous,” Stan exclaimed. “Everything was great. The pastor’s message, the music, the worship, the fellowship, everything!”

Continuing, he said, “Sorry to hear you say your’s was just ‘okay’? Why do you think that was?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” I said. “It just wasn’t real great.”

“Do you think it had anything to do with you?” Stan asked.

“With me? How could it have anything to do with me? I wasn’t a part of the service.”

“Maybe that’s the answer,” Stan replied.

“What do you mean?”

“Maybe you weren’t a part of the service because you weren’t prepared to be a part of the service. How did you prepare?”

“Prepare for the service?” I replied. “Well, I got there on time, I brought my Bible, I had on some nice clothes. All that sort of stuff.”

“That’s it?” Stan asked.  “Did you spend any time getting ready to meet God at the church service before you even left home?”

“Actually,” I replied, “now that you ask, I don’t think I spent any time doing that.”

“Do you think that could have anything to do with the church service being just ‘okay’?”

“You could be right,” I replied.

“Could be?” Stan asked. “After having too many times of ‘okay’ church services, I discovered that my preparation or lack of preparing had everything to do with my reaction to a church service. If I prepare to meet God, if I prepare to hear what He has for me to hear, and if I prepare for whatever He has for me to experience, it’s going to happen. If I don’t, it won’t.”

“As simple as that?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Stan replied, “as simple as that. And this is one of those things where ‘simple’ and ‘easy’ are combined. It’s just a matter of choosing to prepare. It’s not that hard!”


Bible verses to consider:

For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst. Matthew 18:20.

He will purify the the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord, offerings of righteousness. Malachi 3:3.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that you allow me to come before you to worship and to spend time with you. Thank you, too, that when I prepare to meet you, when I prepare to see and hear what you have for me, it will happen. I confess that too often I am not prepared to meet you because I have chosen not to prepare. Please forgive the foolishness of that. And please, Father, help me to prepare to meet you however, wherever, and whenever you want, knowing that the “whenever” is always. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you prepared yourself to meet God in the eternal sense so you know you will spend eternity in His presence when it’s time? If no, why have you chosen to spend eternity separated from God? If you are a Christian who attends church service, have you ever had the experience of an “okay” church service or one that wasn’t even “okay”? Do you agree that the quality of your experience likely depends on how you prepare to meet God? If you sense the need for change in how you prepare for that, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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