What a beautiful Saturday it is here today! The air is crisp, the leaves are falling, it's about 40 degrees out, and everyone seems pretty content around here. (No, it isn't always like this here....I do still have 3 children living at home and my 20 year old is here everyday day too! But, at the moment all is quiet on the home front!!)
I just walked by my hubby as he was studying for tomorrow's sermon. He always makes sure he is completely prepared before he ever goes to bed on Saturdays. Years ago I learned that the preacher isn't the only one that needs to be prepared before he ever walks through the doors of the church ~~ each of us need to prepare ourselves, too.
Too many times I have seen too many people rush through the church doors as the songs are already being sung, hair disheveled, and grumpy because the family fought all the way to church. Then, they walk in, attempt to put their church face on, and say to themselves, "OK, God...I'm here now so bless me!"
Many times these same people stayed up too late the night before, stayed in bed 10 minutes later than they should have, didn't have time to eat anything (meaning they will be thinking of lunch about halfway through the service), and didn't even think to take time to pray before church (because they would be doing that once they got there.)
Coming into church in such a manner means a person is not prepared. They aren't prepared physically, mentally, or spiritually. And because they are not prepared they probably won't get all that God has for them or be in any position to be used of God to reach others.
Personally ~ I start preparing for church on Saturday...for myself and my family. I make sure clothes are ready, plan an easy breakfast for everyone, and make sure all the kids are in bed at a reasonable time.
Once the kids are in bed I prepare my heart. Spending extra time in prayer for the services, my husband/pastor, asking the Lord to show me things that may be awry in my own heart ~ all these things help prepare me spiritually.
Sunday morning we make sure everyone is up in plenty of time. Clothes were already taken care of the night before, so that isn't a concern. I make sure everyone eats (even if it's just a piece of toast) before we leave. And while we're at the table we take time to pray for the services before we ever leave the house.
I don't want to paint a picture that our family is perfect, because that definitely isn't the case. We have our mornings when things are rushed, juice gets spilled all over a child's church clothes, or someone just wakes up grumpy. Then there are the times when it seems the phone starts ringing as soon as we are out of bed and it takes more to keep from getting frustrated or irritable ~~ but because of the other things we have done to prepare, we are better able to handle the unexpected things that arise.
Why did I say all this??? I guess just to say, take time today to prepare for all that God has for you in His House tomorrow!