Summary: First in a series of messages focusing on the five purposes of the church (a la’ Rick Warren!). This message deals with worship.
Developing a Passion for Honoring God
January 16, 2005
We are starting a series about developing a passion for the things of God. We will be spending the next several weeks discussing this, and then we will be looking at the passion of Jesus during the Lenten season, in conjunction with our showing of The Passion of the Christ.
Today we’re going to be talking about developing a passion for honoring God. And this is important, because when we are honoring God, we are worshiping Him.
I want to share four keys to developing a passion for honoring and worshiping God.
The word "keys" sounds so "positive mental attitude-ish," doesn’t it? Or maybe like I’ve got some hidden wisdom or something. But let me assure you I don’t think that highly of myself.
I’m just going to be sharing with you some stuff that I have learned from studying the Scriptures and applying them to my own life, as well as what I’ve seen in the lives of others who live for honoring and worshiping God.
My hope is that you’ll hear something today that will give you a desire to really be a worshiper of God all the way, all the time.
Let’s look at each of these okay? The first key to developing a passion for honoring God and worshiping him is to...
1. Make time for the Bible and prayer.
"C’mon, PB!! Move on, why don’tcha? You say this all the time! Get a new record, okay?"
Let me tell you a story. One time a new pastor came to a church, and he preached a sermon that the people just loved. It was perfect in that it discussed just the right things.
The next week he preached the same sermon, and while the congregation enjoyed it, they were a little confused that he gave the same sermon twice.
The following week he preached the same sermon yet again. This time the people moved from confusion to concern about why this guy kept repeating himself week after week.
Guess what happened the next week? That’s right - he preached the same sermon. This time the people started getting a bit miffed.
After the service, the leaders came up to him and told him they would like him to preach about something different next week.
He said, "When you start living THIS sermon, I’ll preach about something else." (Source unknown)
Well, I’m not quite there yet, but you can believe that I’ll be beating this drum over and over.
And even if everyone in this room started doing this to the fullest possible extent from this moment on, there will be others who will need to hear it, and so I’ll continue to harp on it.
Folks, this cannot be stressed enough! No one here is spending all the time they really could in the Bible and prayer.
But some of you probably aren’t spending any time in the Bible and prayer. And you need to get off the stick!
I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.
By the way, if everyone here would spend more time in the word and prayer, I’m convinced that more people will show up here because they see what God is doing the lives of everyone here.
And then I’d end up just telling them the same thing I’m telling you here - make time for the Bible and prayer.
Am I saying that you should spend every waking moment reading the Bible and praying? Of course not! But I AM saying that if you want be a person who is more able to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, then this is the way to get it going.
Folks, honoring God to the depths he deserves from the depths of our being is impossible outside time in God’s Word and conversing with him in prayer. It’s just that simple.
The shortest distance between two points is what? A straight line.
In the Christian life - an authentic, healthy relationship with God - the straight line is time in the Bible and prayer.
2. Cultivate a habit of prayer and thanks.
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
This obviously relates to our last point, but I want to expand the point about prayer.
There are two main types of prayer. You know, I hate to say two main types, like there are only two.
I’m reminded of something one of my old bosses used to say - "There are three types of people: those who can count, and those who can’t."