Summary: This sermon is about proper stewardship of the church’s calling.
What is balance? Balance is a tricky thing. The last couple months I have watched Victoria learn the concept of balance when it comes to a bicycle. It was a tricky at first for her. She was constantly leaning to one side. One training wheel was well worn, and the other looked brand new. Slowly but surely she learned not to lean too far one way or the other. About a week ago, I took off the training wheels and she is doing well without them. She learned a valuable lesson: balance.
At pastors’ retreat two weeks ago, Dr. James Diehl shared with us the concept of balance. He shared a verse with us that I had never really noticed before. Proverbs 25:16 says, “If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.” Balance. Honey is one of my favorites, but like anything too much of it is detrimental. Balance is key to our diet. One reason many of these fad diets out there don’t work is because they lack balance. I believe the key to losing weight is a well-balanced diet and exercise. Balance is key.
We get out of balance when we focus on one thing to the neglect of other things. Last week we talked about stewardship of our time. There is a balance in our time. We balance our job, family, and other activities. To overdo one of those areas to the neglect of another is to throw our life out of balance. Excessive work will bring about the neglect of our family. To overdo it on family time will likely have a negative effect our employment.
This week, we are talking about the stewardship of the Church’s calling. Again we must look for some semblance of balance. Churches get off track when they overemphasize one aspect of our calling. We can also get off track by neglecting some aspect of our calling. The measuring stick is the early Church. Turn with me to Acts 2 and 4.
Read Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-37.
There is a lot in these two passages. Some may say, “How can we possibly measure up to what the early Church did?” The key is in separating the essentials from the non-essentials and in reaching a balance. The early Church was a W.E.L.L. balanced church. If you think of the world “well” as an acrostic, you visualize WELL spelled vertically. In these passages, we find four principles of the WELL-balanced Church.
The first aspect is the “W” which is…
A WELL-balanced Church worships. Worship is a verb. It is action. In verses 2:46 and 47, we find that the early Church worshipped. Verse 46 says, “And day by day, attending the temple together…” and verse 47 says that they praised God. That is worship.
They worshipped in both public and private. They met in the Temple of Jerusalem to worship on a daily basis. They also met in various homes and worshipped.
Verse 46 says that they had “glad and generous hearts.” It is impossible to truly worship God and be in a grouchy mood. The New Testament scholar William Barclay wrote, “A gloomy Christian is a contradiction in terms.” Worship brings us into the presence of God, and when we are in the presence of God, we cannot be gloomy. A “gloomy Christian” would be an oxymoron. Worship that is real is vibrant and joyous. Worship points our thoughts toward God. There is a song that goes, “We have come into His house and gathered in His name to worship Him.” When we sing that, it is difficult not to have a smile on your face. We don’t sing it, (sadly) “We have come into His house and gathered in His name to worship Him.”
The other thing that they did was to worship daily. They went to the temple every day. Worship is more than just a Sunday morning occurrence. We are to worship God on a daily basis. That doesn’t mean that we necessarily have a church service every day, but we are to worship God in all that we do. Pastor Warren Wiersbe, who is one of my favorite authors, says, “Their Christian faith was a day-to-day reality, not a once-a-week routine. Why? Because the risen Christ was a living reality to them, and His resurrection power was at work in their lives through the Spirit.” Jesus was so real in the lives of the early Church that they couldn’t help but worship on a daily basis. Is our worship a day-to-day reality or a once-a-week routine? How is it in your life? Is Jesus a reality every single day in your life? Or, is it a matter of going through a routine on Sunday mornings?