It was a long, long time ago … when I made the decision to become a Christian! The preacher was James Adams (deceased) … the song leader was Gene McPherson (still living) … the place was Oklahoma City … the congregation was 10th and Francis (no longer located at this address). It was not a sunny and warm day, but it became a most beautiful day by noon. You see … that’s the day when we sang Just As I Am and I knew in my heart that it was time … time to become a “new creature in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
After being baptized for the remission of my sins and while changing back into my dress clothes … I could hear the congregation singing “Buried with Christ, my blessed Redeemer” along with the rest of the words to A New Creature. I was thrilled, excited and relieved … but I was also humbled by the congregational singing followed by a prayer that was offered expressing gratitude to God for His plan of salvation … for the church His Son died for … and for His Word that offers guidance, direction and hope! There was no applause … no demonstration of any sort … just gratitude to the God of Heaven!
If we want to improve our worship … if we really want to walk more closely with God … then we must change our hearts! The wise man, Solomon, writes in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” It’s not the externals that lead a person to a more meaningful worship service … it’s the desire of a person’s heart to praise and honor God’s holy name … in God’s prescribed way!
Do you remember the day you obeyed the gospel? Do you remember the covenant you made with the Lord on that day? Is He still on the throne of your heart as Lord … or have you scooted Him off to the side and placed yourself or someone else there? You make the call!
“Dead to the world, to voices that call me, Living a-new, obedient but free; Dead to the joys that once did enthrall me – Yet ‘tis not I, Christ liveth in me.”
Bill Fairchild, Jr.