Summary: This is a modern day parable about the importance of worship.
Introduction: One sunny Sunday morning, much like today, Henry Jones woke up with his wife standing over him, shaking him, and saying, “You have to get up, we have to get ready for church.”
Henry responded by saying, “I don’t want to go to church today, “I want to stay in bed.” His wife crossed her arms, gave him one of those looks and in a strong voice said, “Give me three good reasons why you should stay in bed and not go to church.”
“Ok” he answered, “First, I don’t get anything out of the service. Second, I don’t like the people. And third, no one at church likes me. He then challenged his wife to give him three good reasons why he should go to church?”
She responded by saying, “First of all, it will do you some good. Second, there are people at church who really do like you, and they will miss you if you aren’t there. And third, you’re the preacher.
Unfortunately there are a lot of people today who would agree with this pastor. Apathy and indifference have invaded many of our churches, and are effecting our worship services. Many people come to church week after week, even though they never really expect to get anything out of the worship service.
Illustration: Someone once asked Angel Fernando, who pastors a church in Northern California if the people who attend his church ever come expecting anything. He responded by saying, “Yes, they come expecting to be out by twelve oclock.”
It’s a sad commentary of our day, when we are more concerned about what time the service is going to be over than we are about worshipping the Lord.
There are a few things I think we need to learn this morning about worship.
I. Where you worship is not nearly as important as the fact that you take the time to worship.
This Samaritan woman tried to argue with Jesus about whether or not it was better to worship God in the temple in Jerusalem or there in Samaria. Jesus refused to argue with her, He simply responded by saying that a day was coming, and was in fact here, that it would not matter where you worshipped God. Instead he emphasized how we should worship God, and we will come back to that in a few minutes.
It doesn’t matter if you worship at Sulphur Spring Baptist church, or Calvary Baptist Church, or First United Methodist Church, what really matter is that you take the time to worship the Lord. Hershall Hobbs once said, “If we do not worship God somewhere we will soon not worship him anywhere.”
Phoebe Brown was a lady who knew how important worship is, and how beneficial it can be. Phoebe was a farmer’s wife and she and her husband had several children. So, naturally her days were full of hard work. By the end of the day her body was tired, her nerves were on edge, and her spirit was low. But each day about sunset Phoebe would walk down the road to a favorite, quiet spot among the trees. There she would sit for an while quietly meditating, praying and worshipping the Lord. Later when she returned to the house and her family, she had been refreshed and strengthened by the Lord, and was ready to get back to her responsibilities as a mother and wife.
That’s something that we need to remember. We can’t really say we have worshiped God unless it is followed by service? It is a mockery to praise the Lord inside the church, unless we tell others about him outside of the church.
Illustration: One Sunday morning, Satan happened to be standing outside of a large Baptist Church. Inside, the people were singing, praying, and listening to a sermon. Someone passed by on the sidewalk and noticed Satan standing on the steps of the church. The passerby asked Satan if it bothered him to hear the people worshipping the Lord. With a demonic laugh, he said, “no it doesn’t bother me in the least. They get that way on Sunday, but they’ll be all right come Monday morning. It’s just a little habit they have acquired.” Unfortunately that’s true of a lot of people. Worship is supposed to make a difference in who we are and what we do.
Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth Graham, says, worship is not a one-day-a-week event. It is a lifestyle. It is an attitude that says, "Here am I, Lord, send me!" That was Issiah’s response after He had seen the Lord “High and lifted up.” He had worshiped the Lord, now He was ready to serve the Lord.
Someone has said, “When God’s people truly worship, the impact of their lives in the workplace and communities where they live is powerful.”