Summary: If you want to truly worship God this morning, submit to Christ who sits in a better seat; revere Christ who serves in a better sanctuary; rely on Christ who offers a better sacrifice; and remain with Christ who provides better service.
When it comes to worshipping together, there are various practices among churches and even among the individual worshippers. Tim Hawkins helps us understand one of those practices hand raising in church. Take a look… (Show Video: Tim Hawkins on Hand Raising)
Anybody here go to a hand-raising church?
Who does not go to a hand-raising church? Some of you are trying, like “I can’t. I want to. I need to get some momentum…”
If you’re not used to going to a hand-raising church and you want to join us, feel free, but don’t feel like you have to join right in. Start slow. We got a lot of different hand raises that we use. We actually have names for our hand raises. I’m going to walk you through real quick. Tell you what they are. If you were at my church, music is rocking, start slow.
Hands in the pockets and flap your elbows…
Carry the TV… Go to big screen, little wider
My fish was this big… If you’re a liar, you can go out there. That’s okay. Jesus loves you.
The next one is “hold my baby.”
You got dueling lightbulbs.
You got goal posts. Every knows goal posts.
Throw in a heartburn. A lot of people like to do heartburn. Double heartburn. Go right back to goal posts.
What’s my favorite? Mufasa, Mufasa, that’s my favorite… Sing: “The Circle of Life.”
Tim, can you go higher? Yes, you can. With one hand you can do a bunch of different stuff. Pointer. Hatchet. Schoolroom.
Release the doves. Give the Lord a high five. Press it out. A lot of women like to wash the window, wash the window.
And when you’re comfortable there, go for the big three: Village People, Rocky, Touchdown. There you go. There’s your big three. You’re set. You’re a pro. (www.youtube.com/ watch?v=TK2_ezOBa2A)
Obviously, that’s all “tongue-in-cheek,” but it does show the absolute ridiculousness of focusing on the outward trappings of worship – whether it’s hand-raising, décor of sanctuary, or even style of music.
Sometimes, people forget what’s really important in worship, but that’s nothing new. People have been doing that for centuries. In the First Century, Jewish worshippers were impressed with the best seats in their synagogues, with their grand, ornate temple, and with their elaborate rituals.
But then Jesus came along to show us what’s really important and to show us a better way. If you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Hebrews 8, Hebrews 8, where we see how Jesus outshines any religious system, priest, or minister in the world.
Hebrews 8:1 Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven… (ESV)
When it comes to real worship, don’t go after the best seats in the sanctuary. Instead…
SUBMIT TO CHIRST WHO SITS IN A BETTER SEAT.
Surrender to Jesus who sits in the place of all authority “at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in Heaven.” Bow before Jesus Christ, who has taken His place as the Sovereign Lord of all.
You see, the religious leaders in Jesus day liked to sit in the bests seats in the synagogue. These were seats down front that faced the congregation, and they were reserved especially for those who held the highest honor in the congregation (J. Macartney Wilson, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1915).
Synagogues today still have those seats, but Jesus sits in an even better seat, a seat of higher honor. He sits at the right hand of God the Father, the highest seat there is! It is the place of all authority, which means that Jesus is the Sovereign Lord of the Universe!
There can only be one response, and that’s to submit to Him as your Lord. Humble yourself before Christ as this Muslim convert to Christ did.
He prayed, “O God, I am Mustafah the tailor, and I work at the shop of Muhammad. The whole day long I sit and pull the needle and the thread through the cloth. O God, you are the needle and I am the thread. I am attached to you and I follow you. When the thread tries to slip away from the needle, it becomes tangled and must be cut so it can be put back in the right place. O God, help me to follow you wherever you lead me. For I am really only Mustafah the tailor, and I work in the shop of Muhammad on the great square.” (Pamela Joy Anderson, You Are the Needle and I Am the Thread, WestBow Press, 2014, page xi; www.Preaching Today.com)
That’s real worship! Not what seat YOU sit in, but yielding to the One who sits in the Highest Seat. If you want to truly worship God this morning, then 1st, submit to Christ who sits in a better seat. 2nd…