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Filled To The Brim! (07.05.05--Joy Every Day--Ecclesiastes 5:1-9)

When I was younger I remember being moved on more than one occasion, either by laziness or a predisposition to want to do something more “rewarding” on a Sunday morning, to prompt my dad with this question: “Why do we have to go to church today?” His response, of course, was “because the Bible tells us that we should.” And, “besides, that’s what Christians do on Sunday.”

Now, to a young boy of eight or nine, that was only a partially satisfying answer. I knew other Christians who didn’t go to church on some Sundays and they seemed perfectly occupied with other things that day. The part about God commanding us to do so, the “Bible” part, was pretty difficult to get around, even for a kid. There were two things I learned growing up in connection with Sundays: don’t mess with dad when he was determined to pile the entire family into the ‘56 Plymouth and get them to church and, more importantly, it isn’t healthy to mess with God when He even has a commandment that “tells” us we should go to church. Even though there was little joy in it sometimes, conforming seemed the “better part of valor.”

Now, decades later, Sunday morning dawns and it is now my job to pile everyone into the car and drive to church. Am I simply following a habit my father instilled? Or, has time changed something in me? George Mueller writes: “It is a common temptation of Satan to make us give up the reading of the Word and prayer when our enjoyment is gone; as if it were of no use to read the Scriptures when we do not enjoy them, and as if it were no use to pray when we have no spirit of prayer. The truth is that in order to enjoy the Word, we ought to continue to read it, and the way to obtain a spirit of prayer is to continue praying. The less we read the Word of God, the less we desire to read it, and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray”. (George Mueller in “A Narrative of Some of the Lord’s Dealings with George Mueller.”)

Worshipping God is one of those subtle gifts that He gives us even though at the time we don’t fully appreciate it or understand it. God wants us to worship Him not because He requires it. He’s perfect and has no need for our imperfect expression of praise....

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