Shaping Up For Sunday Service

By: Kristen L. McNulty

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Every Sunday morning, millions of Christians across North America, get up and get ready for church. Some people spend over an hour getting ready. Taking a shower. Eating breakfast. Putting on the right clothes. Arranging their hair and for the ladies, applying makeup.

They throw themselves out the door, sometimes forgetting their Bible in the rush and walk into church, ready to hear God's word or so they think. You see, in preparing ourselves for church, many of us have forgotten to prepare one important thing: our hearts.

We can spend hours getting out appeareance ready and while we may receive a look of approval from a brother or sister, God isn't watching your hairdo. His eyes are on your heart. And most of our hearts are not prepared.

And I say our, because most Sundays I'm guilty of this as well. I sleep in until the last possible second, then spend the next hour getting my exterior ready and yelling to my brother to hurry up because we're going to be late.

Now what would happen if every Christian out there this Sunday took the same amount of time that they spent preparing themselves, preparing their hearts? I'm convinced many things would happen:

-Our worship would be more sincere.
-Our hearing of God's word more in depth.
-Our convictions would be stronger and our hearing of the message would turn into understanding.
Because in truth, how can God accept the sacrifice of praise from someone who's worried that they left the curling iron on. And how can God work through out hearts and minds when our hearts and minds aren't focused on Him?

I'm afraid it can't be done and if it does happen, it's not nearly as good as it could be.

So this Sunday, I'm going to set my alarm clock earlier. And this Sunday I'm going to have my first talk with god before the pastor's opening prayer. And when God's word is read in His house, its already going to be received on my heart because my heart has been prepared. And when the pastor starts to talk, it's going to make a lot more sense because God is going to be my interpreter as well as convictor.

So will you join me in putting priority on getting on hearts ready for church rather than our appearance? Yes, it may mean getting up earlier on a Sunday morning, but the spiritual benefits outweigh by far any earthly inconveniences.

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This devotional was aired as a part of the Making A Difference Christian Radio Show.