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Summary: *God says to those who come near Him that He ‘must’ be regarded as holy and that He ‘must’ be glorified

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“Our Purpose”

Matthew 22: 37

SERMON OBJECTIVE: To inspire a more powerful worship experience by encouraging the people to open their hearts to God and allow Him to help their worship to come to life

INTRODUCTION:

Tonight we are going to discuss ‘worship’

The word comes from the root word “worth ship” which is essentially attributing all worth to something

ILLUSTRATION: “Why seek a living Christ amongst a group of dead Christians?”

Luke 24: 5 - Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?

The women who found Jesus’ empty tomb that first Easter morning were faced with a powerful question: “Why are you seeking the living among the dead?” The angels asked this because Jesus wasn’t dead, He was alive! When reading this during this week, and praying over my sermon, I had this thought:

“Why would someone seek a living Savior amongst a group of dead Christians?”

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VIDEO CLIP – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off [Start Time 10:45 – End Time: 12]

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A high school girl wrote the following letter to a friend:

I attended your church yesterday. Although you had invited me, you were not there. I looked for you, hoping to sit with you. I sat alone. A stranger, I wanted to sit near the back of the church but those rows were all packed with regular attenders. An usher took me to the front. I felt as though I was on parade.

During the singing of the hymns I was surprised to note that some of the church people weren’t singing. Between their sighs and yawns, they just stared into space. Three of the kids that I had respected on campus were whispering to one another throughout the whole service. Another girl was giggling. I really didn’t expect that in your church. The pastor’s sermon was very interesting, although some members of the choir didn’t seem to think so. They looked bored and restless. One kept smiling at someone in the congregation. There were several people who left and then came back during the sermon. I thought, "How rude!" I could hear the constant shuffling of feet and doors opening and closing.

The pastor spoke about the reality of faith. The message got to me and I made up my mind to speak to someone about it after the service. But utter chaos reigned after the benediction. I said good morning to one couple, but their response was less than cordial. I looked for some teens with whom I could discuss the sermon, but they were all huddled in a corner talking about the newest music group.

My parents don’t go to church. I came alone yesterday hoping to find a place to truly worship and feel some love. I’m sorry, but I didn’t find it in your church. I won’t be back.

We need to remember that when a person comes into the church they expect to experience a living God –

But too often all they experience are dead Christians

I. Worship should be Honoring

READ: Leviticus 10:1-3 [have page marked in Bible]

A. God said, “By those who come near me I must be regarded as holy”

[EVERYONE SAY “MUST”]

i. We all have a responsibility to be careful about God’s holiness

ii. God’s holiness should never be regarded as anything less than magnificent

iii. If we come into God’s presence in an irreverent manner, we are obviously disregarding His holiness

iv. APPLICATION: It amazes me sometimes to see the things people do during church [and it is not just the youth] Sleeping, talking, passing notes and making noises are just a few of the ways we disregard the holiness of God

B. God said, “And before all people I must be glorified”

[EVERYONE AGAIN SAY “MUST”]

i. This is still a good measure for us to measure worship today

ii. Anything that does not glorify God is not worship and should not be allowed in our worship gatherings

iii. The NIV says, “be honored”

iv. Ask this question to yourself:

1. When I come into this place of worship, have I really come to ‘honor’ God?

2. If not, then why am I here?

a. Is it the nice people?

b. Is it the clean atmosphere?

c. Is it the fun activities?

3. Am I here to fulfill the purpose of worship in a way that gives God glory and honor?

C. ILLUSTRATION: “It is all in the attitude” A man once walked by a building site and saw three stone masons side by side, sweating over their work in the hot sun. He asked the first, "What are you doing?" "Laying bricks" came the reply. He asked the second stone mason, "And what are you doing?” Building a wall" came the reply. Then he asked the third mason, "And what is it you are doing?” I am raising a great cathedral."

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