Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Growing to Love the Church

Growing to love the church was (and is) a process for me. After repenting before the Lord and asking for His help to change, I found that I needed to start applying Philippians 4:8: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." When I got ready for church on Sunday, I started praying, "Lord, You love the church. Help me to love the church as well. Help me to love these people that You died to redeem."

When I arrived and saw the people sitting around me, my thoughts began going down the sinful path of judging again and I would pray, "Lord, I don't know their hearts, only You do. Thank you for bringing them here. Please help me and help them to love You more through this time."

When we started to sing and it was more "slow" than I would like, I would ask the Lord to help me care more about praising Him than about musical styles. Then, I would try to focus on the words and worship rather than complaining in my heart about it simply not being "my preference."

The Lord started changing me and I began to enjoy being with His people on Sundays. But there was still more change to take place.

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