Summary: Jesus confronted the complex. His message was and is simple. Let’s get back to the basics He taught us! Why make it difficult?
Some things are complex and complicated. People's choice in music (Bob Dylan). The cloud (all this stuff up there somewhere and somehow we can access at will). Commitment to soap operas and reality shows. Oklahoma weather.
However, faith was never supposed to be complex or confusing. Man has this propensity to make things harder than they should be. When Jesus arrives on the scene man had severely complicated matters. So, we have been trying to get back to the simple things Jesus called us to do. I have been asking you to wrestle with whether you are really a disciple. We said disciples are disciples because they choose to obey. A local local church has properly defined “disciple” in what may be one of the best and most succinct ways. They say a disciple is a “fully devoted follower of Christ.” I think they are right. But my question is what then is a disciple fully devoted to? What are the simple things these first followers did? Fortunately for us we are told.
Acts 2:42-47 (NIV)
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
I talked about disciples being devoted to study. We mentioned fellowship, and last week prayer. These men and women gave their lives to these things. The final thing I want to see in the simple approach the disciples had was that devoted . . .
You will remember that last week I said that we when we hear someone talk about prayer we tend to check out because we have heard about it so much. It that is true regarding prayer it is true a thousand times more in regards to worship. We are in a moment of history that may be the most saturated with worship resources than at any other era. And yet it is my contention that we have a few issues in spite of the availability of worship.
1. We have turned worship into a spectator sport. We watch other people worship and we say we have worshipped. Never open our mouth or sing a song but because we listened to them sing we treat worship like we treat football/basketball teams . . . they played but we won.
2. We are apt to get caught up in worship of worship. So that it becomes about style and preference rather than the object of the worship.
So, if we want to become fully devoted disciples we must learn some things about how disciples worship!
Disciples are holistic in worship!
I thought about how to say this and I could have just as easily said, "the disciples worship as a lifestyle." But we are too familiar with worship as a lifestyle statement without actually embracing it. So, I chose the word holistic which means " characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole."
Worship was a part of their everyday experience and life. It wasn't reserved for just Sundays. Nor was it confined to involving music. Notice in our text there is no mention of their praise being connected to music. It simply says they praised God.
You know I have no issue with music. That isn't the point. The point is their worship wasn't defined or determined by accompaniment. There are times you have no band. No worship team. No sound track. Paul and Silas worshipped in the dungeon and their weren't recessed Bose speakers in the ceiling cranking out Bethel Worship or Tye Tribbett. Yet the silence didn't drown out their worship.
There are basically two types of worship that the disciples involved themselves as worship became holistic in nature. Paul addresses these two types of worship in
In Colossians 3:16-17 . . .
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Paul addressed corporate worship . . .
Paul knew that is as worship becomes a part of our daily experience that we lose the need to be coerced/prodded to worship. Worship becomes second nature or natural and it also becomes essential to our growth. In fact, Paul says that corporate worship is necessary because we teach and encourage each other as we worship. We need to worship together! There is instruction on how and when to worship. There is strength and courage that comes when we worship together!