1 Samuel 7-9

Luke 9:18-36


“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through Him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.”      
—2 Corinthians 1:20

True worship is always our response to divine initiative so we must stay alert to divine initiative. In corporate worship, this could happen with a song, during the preaching or in a prayer. A couple years ago, I (Sunder Krishnan) was going through some personal challenges and one of the songs sung that Sunday ministered to my heart and reminded me that all of God’s promises are “yes” and “amen” in Christ. But what would happen if I arrived late to corporate worship on Sunday? We never know what we are going to miss when God takes divine initiative. This is why the night before—Saturday—is crucially important. What do we customarily do on Saturday night? It is not easy to be alert on Sunday morning if we have been up until 1:00 am watching movies. We should carefully plan how we spend our Saturday evening so that we have maximum alertness on Sunday morning, but, of course, there are exceptions that are beyond our control that keep us late.

Sometimes, we may not experience divine initiative until the end of the corporate worship service in the benediction. I remember worshipping in a church during one of my sabbaticals; it was a large church and all the elements of the service were great, but right after the pastor finished his sermon, there was an anxious beeline for the door. There were people who wanted to get out of the busy parking lot and maybe be the first ones at Swiss Chalet, but they were missing the benediction. The word “benediction” means, “the utterance or bestowing of a blessing.” After being a pastor for many years, I found the greatest privilege as a pastor is to bless people. I would encourage staying for the whole duration of the corporate worship. 

If what we do in corporate worship is the training ground for what we are going to do in all eternity, there is nothing that is going to happen anywhere in the world that is more important than what is happening in corporate worship. No hockey, baseball, soccer or basketball game comes close to the importance of what happens when an ordinary group of believers gather together to worship Jesus.

May we seek to arrive on time to church on Sunday, and stay for the entire duration as we worship and experience divine initiative. As we come together, we have a God who wants to have an encounter with us in the songs that we sing, the preaching that we listen to, the prayers that we say and the benediction spoken over us.

Dear God, thank You for Your divine initiative that works through all of the different elements of corporate worship. Help me to be keenly aware that You are speaking to me. 

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