Summary: Reason we come to Church
“Here I am to Worship”
May 21, 2017
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
“I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
One of the more enjoyable things I do with my time is to meet every Monday evening for a couple of hours with Michael Newby and study the Word. We are studying the Old Testament and Spiritual Formation. We talk a lot about God, the Bible and Spiritual things. Last week we were chatting after the class time and somehow we got on the topic of coming to Church. I think it had to do with sermon preparation. I said something about I think people mainly need to be encouraged on Sunday. I try to teach Spiritual things but I have found people are hurting and need encouragement and hope.
Michael made the comment that he felt like he came to church mainly to worship. As I thought about it - I believe he is right. There are at least two perspectives for coming to church. Probably more, but let’s reduce them to two. Our perspective and God’s perspective. Our perspective is kind of like “What can you do for me today?” God’s perspective is “I will come to worship God”. “I will come to give of myself.”
Pastor Rick Warren starts out one of his “Purpose Driven” books with “It’s not about you.” I think it is the “Purpose Driven Life”. The point is that so many of us think life is all about us. We are the center of our universe. The world revolves around us and our wants and needs and desires. We are born that way. No baby has to be taught self-centeredness. He does not care how tired his mother is. When he is hungry – he demands food IMMEDIATELY! When he has a poopy diaper – he demands change IMMEDIATELY. As he begins to talk, some of the first words he learns is “me and mine”. We are just born that way. It is all about us. Some never get over that mindset. We get more subtle; more tactful; more diplomatic in how we manipulate things to get our way but make no mistake. We want things done OUR way.
Now, I don’t know that that is right or wrong. It just is. Most of the time it is okay. Sometimes it is very wrong. But it is a problem when we come to church with that mindset. If we don’t get what we want – we may stop going. Truth be told, probably most church goers have that mindset. So when the preaching isn’t to their liking or the music is not to their taste or when they don’t feel good when they leave – they may try some place else to go to church.
I remember a friend saying to me many years ago, hinting, I think, that they might come to our church, “I’m not being fed at my church.” I think I said something they weren’t expecting to hear. I said words to the effect – “Good grief! You are an adult. You are supposed to be feeding yourself by now. If you are still living on milk I suppose someone needs to feed you – but if you are spiritually mature you need to be feeding on ‘meat’ and you need to feed yourself.” I don’t think we proselyted him. Hopefully he returned to his church to serve and not to be served.
So why do you come to church? There are many reasons. But the primary one is to worship God. Michael is right. We need to lay down our wants and needs and desires and worship.
Someone may say, “My best worship is by myself.” ME TOO! But there is something about collective worship that is important to the heart of God. It is important to us. The Old Testament says,
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.” Exodus 20:8-10