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Summary: First of a 7-message series (5 "blessings," but two needed two weeks each!) regarding some of the benefits of following and living for Christ.

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Blessings of Following Christ

#1 – We Get to Worship (Part 1)

John 4:19-26

October 14, 2007

NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT USED IN MY MESSAGES IS BORROWED FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."

Me: I grew up going to church pretty regularly, most of the time.

I grew up Catholic, as most of you know, and church was an important part of our lives, if for no other reason than we were afraid that missing church might get us sent to hell. Really.

And you know what? It’s really hard to focus on God and loving Him when you’re stuck in church because you’re scared of Him.

That’s not worship, folks. That’s fear-filled duty.

We: I think that all of us have known times when we went to church not because we were all excited about actually worshiping God, but because we were forced to by our parents or by our siblings who threatened to tell our parents if we didn’t, or because it had just become a duty.

But I’m here to tell you that the more I learn about what worship really is and what it really involves, the more excited I get.

It’s more than just sitting in a church, and it can literally change your life for the better, allowing you to get a glimpse of God like nothing else will.

Because once we understand that worship has very little to do with us and everything to do with God, then we can open our hearts to really hearing from God when we do come for worship.

And so my hope for today and the next week or so is to help us gain not just a better perspective on worship, but also to gain a sense of anticipation that God is among us, ready to be glorified in our hearts, lives, and lips, so we will enter and leave with the knowledge that we have been in the presence of God in worship.

God: There’s simply no way we’re going to be able to cover everything the Scriptures say about worship and how it should impact us, so we’re going to take at least a couple weeks just on the blessing of worship.

The phrase “church service” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible. I searched two dozen translations and paraphrases, and found only two instances of that term, one discussing a church service held in a person’s home, and the other talking about letting godly men pray.

Gotta love the benefits of software, don’t you? I was able to run this search in about 10 seconds.

Speaking of software, I came across this while I was working on the message. Have you ever had to contact Tech Support because you were having problems with some software you had installed? Check this out:

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance -- particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5 and then installed undesirable programs such as NFL 5.0, NBA 3.0, and Golf Clubs 4.1. Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. I’ve tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail. What can I do?


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