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Summary: A service designed to refocus the church on worshipping the Lord.

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Worship Service 4-30-2006

West Glendale Baptist Church

Pastor Don Jones

Today’s service is going to be different. It has been specifically designed to teach and lead you in worship. The message has been integrated with the music and all that you need will be provided on the screens in the front. We have, over the past month, settled into a comfortable routine in our worship services. So much so, that at times I sense we have lost the awe and wonder of God and the purpose of why we are here.

Gordon Dahl said, "Most middle-class Americans tend to worship their work, work at their play, and play at their worship." I fear that we, as a church may be falling into the latter category. I would like you to break out of your comfort zone this morning and encounter our living Lord.

Back in 1992 when the Dallas Cowboys were preparing to play the San Francisco 49rs for the NFC Championship in San Francisco, the Cowboys had a pep-rally at Texas Stadium. The audience cheered wildly for each player when he was introduced. The fans carried banners. They painted their faces and proudly wore blue- and white outfits. They tried to get autographs. Not one fan walked away saying, "That event was a dud. It did nothing for me." The event was a success, not because the performance was great (they didn’t play any football at all) or the player’s speeches weren’t inspiring (most of them weren’t very good speakers), but because everyone understood why they were there. The purpose was not to please the fans but to honor the team. The people walked away saying, "That was great! I hope the team understands how much we appreciate and support them!"

Why did you come to worship today? Was it to check on your friends? Was it to catch up with so and so and see how their week went? Are you trying to get some church business taken care of before it time for lunch? First and foremost we need to understand that worship is a choice.

Cue Slide I. Worship is a choice.

It is an act of the will. It is volitional. It is a matter of obedience to God. We must decide to sacrifice 60 minutes out of 10,080 minutes given us this week to God. That means that we turn off our cell phones, pagers, and I-pods and focus on Him. If you are unwilling to do that then you are in the wrong place and for your sake I would ask you to leave until you are ready to give God your complete attention.

In Psalm 95:1, David offers the invitation, "Come". David as God’s instrument offers us the choice to come, bow down and worship him. We have truly come into his house to worship Him.

Cue Song: We have come into His house. 224

Once we have made the choice, what is it that we are to do? David tells us in verses 1-2,

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;

let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving

and extol him with music and song.

Cue slide II: Worship is praise and thanksgiving.

Our worship is to be a time of praise to our Lord and give thanks to Him for all He is and all He has done. Think for a moment what God has done for you. John 3:16 says he gave His only son for you.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,

that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Through Jesus we have finally been set free. We are free from sin, guilt, and worry. We are finally at peace with God. We now have a hope that will not fail. We can live our lives with joy and love because of what He has done for us. It is truly a time of praise.

Rod Cooper puts it this way. He says, "I used to be the chaplain for the Astros and the Oilers when I was in Houston, Texas. After I’d do a chapel, they’d give me tickets. One time in the Astrodome I watched Earl Campbell run over everybody, his own men included, to get to the goal line. When he got to the goal line, he put the ball down. The place went crazy. People were giving high fives and jumping around. The scoreboard went off. The same thing happened when the Astros hit a home run. It was a ringing shout, because their man scored a touchdown.

I’m not saying that when you come to church you need to give each other high fives or do cartwheels down the aisle, but worship is a time of anticipation and expectation. We come together because all week God has been knocking home runs and scoring touchdowns in our lives.

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