Summary: This message examines what true worship is all about.
I find it interesting that we call our “church worship gatherings” services. The definition of service is, an act of devotion to God; witness. b. A religious rite.
Is that why you came to church this morning, out of devotion to God? Many people go to church with intentions of getting, not giving. I can’t say that’s necessarily wrong in every case, but I do know that when we come to church to give we end up receiving more than we give or ever expected to receive.
Illustration: An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended the big city church.
He came home and his wife asked him how it was.
"Well," said the farmer, "it was good. They did something different, however. They sang praise choruses instead of hymns."
"Praise choruses?" said his wife, "What are those?"
"Oh they’re okay. They’re sort of like hymns, only different," said the farmer.
"Well, what’s the difference?" asked the wife.
The farmer said, "Well it’s like this - If I were to say to you: ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ well that would be a hymn. If, on the other hand, I were to say to you: ‘Martha, Martha, Martha, Oh, Martha, Martha, MARTHA MARTHA, the cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cows, the white cows, the black and white cows, the COWS, COWS, COWS are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn, the CORN, CORN, CORN’!!! ‘Oh, Oh, Ooooooooh, yes, it’s true, the whole herd is in the awesome corn, yes, it’s true, the whole herd is in the awesome corn, --- weeell, it’s true, the whole herd is in the awesome corn!!! Alleluia! - That would be a praise chorus."
Mark 8 Spiritual blindness can prevent us from worship. The lost can’t worship God because they are spiritually dead. Those who are living in sin can’t effectively worship God because their spiritual life is distorted by sin. In order for us to truly worship God in the fullness of the Holy Spirit we must be spiritually whole through salvation, and cleansed from our sinfulness through the cleansing power of Jesus.
(v. 22) Notice that they brought their friend to Jesus. Do you have enough confidence in Jesus and conviction within yourself to bring your friends to Jesus? Many people who approached Jesus in Scriptures were in dire straights.
(v.23) Why outside Bethsaida? Matthew 11:20-21 Jesus denounced the city of Bethsaida because they saw the power of God and didn’t change. They saw but they didn’t believe, in our culture today many people say, “Seeing is believing”. But the Bible teaches believing is seeing. If we do not believe we won’t be seeing the power of God. Has your relationship with God changed you? Has it changed the way you view life, the things you do, the places you go how you live?
(v. 24) Jesus didn’t say, “oh, everyone looks likes trees to you, well your better off than you were before I got here, see you later”. Jesus didn’t leave the man with fuzzy sight, He doesn’t want us to just be better off, and He wants us to be whole. It’s like Jesus giving the lame man a wheel chair, or the blind a Seeing Eye dog. Anyone can treat the symptoms or ease the pain, but Jesus cures the source. Is where you are right now spiritually, good enough? I don’t enjoy wearing glasses. The only thing worse than wearing glasses is fuzzy vision. Sometimes in our spiritual lives we must do things that make us uncomfortable in order to experience all of God’s grace. Maybe your not comfortable praying in front of people, helping with children’s church, or singing in the choir, but that’s service. Where you are right now isn’t bad, at least you’re in church, but regardless it could be better. This is SUNDAY MORNING WORSHIP SERVICE, and believe me there is a place for you to serve.
(v. 25) ONCE MORE – I have seen people who have been radically changed all in a moment’s time, and I’ve seen people who have struggled for years before loosing their spiritual fuzziness. For the first 10 years of my spiritual life everything was fuzzy to me. I couldn’t really see the difference between what was sin and what wasn’t in some instances. But as I got active in church and started studying my Bible the gray area between right and wrong began to shrink. As I started to study the Word of God and learn more about my relationship with Him my life and purpose began to make sense.
(v. 26) DON’T GO BACK TO THE VILLIAGE - When we see sin for what it really is and confess it we are to repent and not go back to its influences. One of the most dangerous things we do as Christians is once we come out of sin is to go back into it again. Wouldn’t it be an awful thing if God wanted to touch someone close to you but first He had to get him or her out of your presence, or what if the Lord was going to save them, but first He had to get them out of your church?