Summary: Discovering the art of true worship despite difficult circumstances you may be encountering in your life. Find out how two buddies who love God deeply, literally brought the house down around them while finding their true worship to God.
I read a story this week of a little boy whose parents were avid sports fans. They didn’t miss a game.
On the other hand, they went to church services only sporadically.
In his mind the little boy was attempting to learn what was alike and what was different about the two meeting places which his parents took him to.
Finally he found the one thing that is done both at the ball field as well as in church.
On the Sunday before Independence Day, they began the worship service with the “Star Spangled Banner”.
The boy recognized this song from the ball games and sang his heart out.
He loved the ending where they were able to sing loudly as they wanted.
This morning it was GREAT!! The entire congregation roared, “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
As the congregation became quiet - and - right on cue the little boy shouted, “Play ball”.
Then there was a little boy who didn’t really want to go to church service.
He wanted to stay home and do something else.
When he arrived at the church building with his parents, he noticed pictures in the lobby.
Being a little boy, he didn’t realize there was a war going on and that these pictures were honoring those men and women who had lost their lives on the field of battle in defense of our nation.
He asked, “Who are these people?”
The head usher said, “These are pictures of people who have lost their lives in the service.”
With a questionable yet fearful look the boy shyly asked, “Was that the morning service or the evening service?”
To the little boy who said, “Play ball” we should say that worship is not a game.
And to the other boy who was afraid of dying in the service, we should say that “worship should not be like a funeral.”
Vance Havner, a famous early revivalist of the 1940’s, said, “If things are quiet and undisturbed in your church, it is not necessarily a good thing. Things are generally pretty quiet around the sick and the dead -- especially in the grave yards.”
In John 4:23, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”
So What is Worship? Why bother going to church?
Everyone’s take on worship is different. Ask a Pentecostal; an Anglican; an Episcopalian; a Catholic; a Wesleyan/Methodist; ask young people; or older saints…
However you define it; or whatever your take or viewpoint is; one thing is I think we would all agree on is that:
We need to rediscover the dynamics of worship in our services once again.
Because you can’t find deadness in worship anywhere in the Scriptures.
Someone has well said of American Christians, “We have become a generation of people who worship our work, work at our play and play at our worship.”
And when our worship grows stale, so does our passion for God.
Because worship is the furnace of the spiritual life.
Too many come to worship because it’s Sunday, rather than coming on Sunday to worship.
This morning, I would like to show you in scripture, how two close friends show us the art of discovering true worship.
Today, let God shake your foundation – Rattle your cage – and roll away the door that confines your view of worship as you know it
Shake, Rattle n’ Roll!
Developing the true worship, wherever you are – Acts 16:16-34
1. Worship awakens a hungry spirit (vs. 25) - “other prisoners were listening to them”
Worship is not AN EVENT – because you can attend a worship service without worshipping.
Jesus echoed the words of Isaiah when He said of the Jews of His day, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me” (Mt.15:8).
Illustration: Dressed Up For Sunday
One Sunday morning an old cowboy entered a church just before services were to begin.
Although the old man and his clothes were spotlessly clean, he wore jeans, a denim shirt and boots that were very worn and ragged.
In his hand he carried a worn out old hat and an equally worn out bible.
The church he entered was in a very upscale and exclusive part of the city.
It was the largest and most beautiful church the old cowboy had ever seen.
The people of the congregation were all dressed with expensive clothes and accessories.
As the cowboy took a seat, the others settled down in areas away from him.
No one greeted, spoke to, or welcomed him. They were all dismayed at his appearance and did not attempt to hide it.