Monday, January 5, 2015

Dwelling on Jesus - Tips to Make Personal Worship a Way of Life

I'm no Grade A worshiper. My thoughts regularly migrate toward monetary concerns, my next meal, house chores, and work obligations. On better days, I sneak in a thought or two about Jesus--the Son of God who came in flesh to reveal God's glory, defeat sin, overcome death, and draw the world back to himself. Wow! When you cram all those mighty deeds in a single sentence, it's a shame I spend more time dwelling on snowfall and sports scores than the Word of God.

Fortunately, I have two routines built into my life that give me time to dwell on Jesus. First, I preach sermons weekly, which requires time of prayerful preparation and empathetic concern for people in my church. Not every sermon is driven by deep compassion and conviction. But most sermons grip my personally. Moreover, I vow never to be a preacher who simply goes through the motions Sunday morning to get a paycheck. Preaching drives me to dwell on Jesus.

Second, I have the first hour of most mornings without interruptions. Of course, coming off Christmas break and a nasty cold, this feels more like a memory than a reality. Nonetheless, when I have my time of worship in the morning, I juggle journaling, prayer, and Bible reading. My Bible reading plans are not always thought through or taken to completion, but better is some plan than no plan. My prayers are not always focused or specific, but better is some prayer than no prayer. My journal notes are not always meaningful or reflective, but better is some scribbling than no scribal work.

I recognize not everyone has the luxury of preparing sermons, but anyone can find a quiet ten to forty minutes in the day to dwell on Jesus. Perhaps others are better at weaving thoughts of him hour by hour. I'm not one of those. To dwell on his goodness, care, power, empathy, grace, wisdom, will, and return, I must put the thoughts at the beginning of my day.

Here are some other tips to make personal worship a way of life...
  • sign up for daily Bible texts or reading plan PUSHES on your mobile phone (e.g., Biblegateway or YouVersion)
  • write a favorite verse on an index card and set it in your car or over your kitchen sink
  • set Bibles throughout your house--kitchen, bathroom, coffee table, bedside--so its easy to find one no matter where you are or what you're doing
  • pick one song from the Sunday corporate worship set to serve as your anthem for the week
  • every time you see something glorious in creation, tell Jesus thank you for making it.
Inspired by yesterday's sermon - God Gets Flesh (John 1:1-18). Listen here:

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