I grew up in a church where the service was very solemn. The service was the same every week, just different message, different hymns, different songs from the choir and different soloists. We had the occasional special speaker as well. The service was an hour long, and was considered distasteful to go any longer than 12:05PM. The sermons were thought provoking and caused an intellectual response. What was missing was an emotional response.
The Word of God ought to bring out an emotional response every time we hear it. An intellectual response has its place but it is not more important than the emotional response. We should be reminded that God saved us from a lonely, dark and painful life in eternal hell by sending His Son as the ultimate and perfect sacrifice. During the course of our life, we see something we covet, then we lust for it and then we sin after it. Once realized, these actions should immediately provoke an intense feeling of guilt and shame. Then it should bring us to repentance, a pouring out of our spirit before God asking for something we don’t deserve, forgiveness and mercy. And it is there, always there when we ask for it.
This same intense feeling should be there every Sunday in the service, everyday in our private times, every Wednesday night and every other time we meet with the living and real God, alone or with others. The intellectual response is good but it never goes beyond the brain. The emotional response is good but it lacks direction at times. The intellectual and emotional response must be together if one is to an effective servant of Christ.
God’s word is powerful and cuts to the core. We need to remember we are here temporarily, and then we will be in Glory. That thought alone, to be forever in the Presence of Jesus, should remove all worries and concerns, and give us strength to fight the sinful flesh and fiery darts of Satan.