Sermons

Summary: A message on worship - where the source of true fulfillment comes from, well beyond the outer form.

Let Us Worship And Bow Down (IV):

In Joy

Bible Reading:

Psalm 100

John 15: 1-17

PREPARED BY

KEN GEHRELS

PASTOR

CALVIN CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH

NEPEAN, ONTARIO

Let Us Worship And Bow Down (IV): In Joy p.1

I’d like to invite you to go back with me, for a moment, to the opening of our service this morning. We read

these words -

Psalm 100...... follow along (p.682)

1.. 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; 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.

Here’s a holy invitation to hurry on up to worship.

Don’t wait.

Don’t pass it up.

And don’t come indifferently.

Come....

Shout for joy...... joyful songs..... enter with thanksgiving..... praise.....

There’s a challenge waiting for us here, isn’t there:

Make the worship that we engage in here at Calvin Church joyful.

As usual, the Bible doesn’t leave us to flounder and flub our way towards some sort of half-baked answer.

It gives the challenge - joy-filled worship - and then provides the needed background and direction to

make it happen. You’ll find that in verses 3 & 5.

Verse 3 gives the foundation on which we can build joyful worship.

Verse 5 provides the driving force to keeping worship joyful; the engine for joy-filled worship.

Know, says verse 3..... know that the Lord is God.

The old Hebrew word for know is a word that means solid truth - in other words, “bank on it; build on it”

truth - absolute truth.

You may be aware that there is a huge movement underway in Canada today which tries to tell us that

there is no such thing as absolute, take-it-to-the-bank truth. You think what you think; I think what I think. And

whatever works will function as truth for each of us.... even if it’s very different.

It’s the key understanding of Post-Modernism. You can’t nail down ultimate, definite truth; there is no

such thing, says the Post-Modern thinker.

Which is relatively easy to work with when you’re dealing with the unseen – with values and morals, or

teaching about God. Because we can’t nail it down with our senses, we try to convince ourselves nothing is

absolutely factually true.

Much harder to say that about stuff we see - it’s true that each of you came here this morning. That’s

just the way it is. End of story. It’s true that the World Trade Centre towers are no more. You can’t say -

“Well, they’re down if you think they’re down. And if you think they’re still standing - well, that’s OK, too.” You

simply can’t say that. It’s nonsense.

I want to challenge the idea that truth only works for what you can see and measure. Reluctant though

we may be to admit it, there is absolute truth beyond what we can measure or sense.

There is truth beyond science and math.

Psalm 100 tells us that the ultimate truth on which to build our lives is the truth that God lives, and this

God created all that lives - us included.

Beyond creating us, He claims us. And He cares for us, takes a protecting interest in us as a shepherd

takes a protecting interest in his sheep.

Let Us Worship And Bow Down (IV): In Joy p.2

Truth statement - know it, people at Calvin:

We.....

matter....

to.....

God!

AND

The Creator to whom we matter is good;

His love is a love that never quits;

the commitments He makes He keeps forever.

You can take that to the bank.

Wherever you go,

and whatever challenges or victories,

storms or sunny seasons,

growth periods and times of decay -

whatever you face

you face it with your life firmly in the care of, and under the watchful gaze of this faithful, good,

loving Creator to whom you belong.

Let that be the foundation for joy, and joyful worship in your life!

Now compare that with what is getting pushed into our face with increasing pressure over these pre-Christmas

weeks.

Joy - where does it come from? What keeps it going?

I want to submit to you that in our day and age we are making a fundamental error; there is a huge

confusion, a terrible swap that has occured.

We’ve become confused and blurred the distinction between

joy

and

pleasure.

Can you think of a time when you’ve experienced real joy?

I’ve asked that question of a variety of different people. And while the results aren’t scientifically reliable, 3 % 19

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