Sermons

Summary: This sermon clarifies what real worship is, as was described by Jesus in John 4:23.

Ten Marks of a Prevailing Church

Mark #7: Uncommon Worship

Isaiah 6

August 5, 2001

Intro:

A. [2 jokes]

1. 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."

2. A young Christian went to his local church usually, but one weekend attended a small town church.

He came home and his wife asked him how it was.

"Well," said the young man, "It was good. They did something different however. They sang hymns instead of regular songs."

"Hymns," said his wife, "what are those?"

"Oh, they’re okay. They’re sort of like regular songs, only different," said the young man.

"Well, what’s the difference? Asked his wife.

The young man 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 regular song. If, on the other hand, I were to say to you: ‘Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cry. Inclinest thine ear to the words of my mouth. Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by, To the righteous, inimitable, glorious truth. For the way of the animals who can explain? There in their heads is no shadow of sense, Harkenest they in God’s sun or his rain Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced. Yea those cows in glad bovine, rebelious delight, Have broke free their shackles, their warm pens eschewed. Then goaded by minions of darkness and night They all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn have chewed. So look to that bright shining day by and by, Where all foul corruptions of earth are reborn. Where no vicious animal makes my soul cry, and I no longer see those foul cows in the corn. AMEN!

"Then, if I were to do only verses one, two, and four and do a key change on the last verse, well that would be a hymn."

B. [Worship in Spirit and in Truth, by Leann Gabel of Amarillo, TX]

In Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman, it didn’t take long before their conversation turned to worship.

I would guess that was as hot a topic then as it is today.

The woman’s question was sincere, "I know there are two ways to worship…the Samaritan way and the Jewish way…but which is the right way?"

Jesus dealt with that question once and for all as he explained that the true God is seeking after worshippers to worship in spirit and in truth.

The Samaritan religion was characterized by enthusiastic, lively, and highly emotional worship.

Although this kind of worship was stimulating and left the worshippers feeling good, they were missing something.

They did not have information about God and the Messiah that had come.

They lacked the basic truths of God that should motivate us to worship Him in the first place.

The Jews had the opposite problem.

They believed the truth as revealed to them by God and literally built their entire culture around this truth.

Unfortunately, this kind of belief became as routine as lacing their sandals or washing their hands.

They lacked a spiritual, emotional experience that should accompany knowledge of such great truth.

The same kind of thing is happening today in worship.

Some people worship totally in the spirit.

It’s true that worship happens from the inside out.

Sincere worship begins within the depths of a person’s heart and overflows into every area of life, bringing blessing and joy to those around.

But with all this emotional charge, it’s easy to set our emotions above God.

That places us in danger of making an idol out of worship.

On the other hand are people who worship primarily in truth.

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