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A southern pastor was completing a sermon on self-control. With great expression he said, "If I had all the beer in the world, I’d take it and pour it into the river."
With even greater emphasis he said, "And if I had all the wine in the world, I’d take it and pour it into the river."
And then finally, he said, "And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I’d take it and pour it into the river." Sermon complete, he then sat down.
The song leader stood very cautiously and announced with a smile, "For our closing song, let us sing Hymn #365: Meet me at the river!"
OPENING: Last week we started a series in First Peter called, “A Chosen Generation.”
• We learned that we are all chosen by God, and that we are called to crave the pure milk of God’s Word so that we can grow thereby.
KEY TEXT: “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ… But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:4-9).
I. Jesus was rejected by men, but He was chosen by God, and precious.
II. You too may have been rejected by people, but you are chosen by God, and precious to Him!
III. We are called to “offer spiritual sacrifices” of worship. What is worship?
THE FIRST THREE THINGS WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WORSHIP:
1) Worship is more than music.
STORY: When Matt Redman’s pastor banned music in their church to teach them about worship, he wrote the song, The Heart of Worship. “I’ll bring you more than a song, for a song in itself, is not what you have required. You search much deeper within, through the way things appear. You’re looking into my heart.” Also, worship is not about a certain style of music.
2) Worship is not for your benefit.
In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren makes this great statement, “If you have ever said, ‘I didn’t get anything out of worship today,’ you worshipped for the wrong reason. Worship isn’t for you. It’s for God.”
3) Worship is not part of your life – it is your life.
Worship is a lifestyle of the spiritual sacrifices we offer to God.
FOUR SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES:
1. OFFER A SACRIFICE OF OUR BODIES.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1).
• Will we use our bodies for doing what is right, or what is wrong?
• Daily choice – will I use my hand to hit and hurt someone, or to heal and help?
2. OFFER SACRIFICES OF DOING GOOD:
“Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 13:16).
• Every good deed we do – every time we share with others – is an act of worship.
3. OFFER SACRIFICES OF MONEY OR MATERIAL POSSESSIONS:
“Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 13:16).
• This is why we call giving offerings an act of worship to the Lord.
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