Sermons

Summary: Worship isn't about coming to get something from God; it's all about giving Him something. When you bless the Lord, you can't help but be blessed in return.

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INTRODUCTION

I’ve shared some church bulletin bloopers in the past, but churches just keep making mistakes with their announcements. Here are some actual statements that appeared in church bulletins.

1. The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church

2. The Church Council Retreat will be hell May 10 and 11.

3. The Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30p.m. Please use the back door.

4. Weight Watchers will meet at 7 p.m. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

5. All women are invited to the Women’s luncheon. Polly Phillips will give the medication.

6. We extend a worm welcome to all who have come today.

7. The choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.

8. Today’s Sermon: “How Much Can a Man Drink?” with music presented from a full choir.

9. Next Sunday is the family hayride and bonfire at the Fowlers’ house. Bring your own hot dogs and guns.

10. Our departing Pastor will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing “Break Forth Into Joy.”

We’ve been studying the Gospel According to Mark for the past two years. Mark has sixteen chapters and the final six chapters are devoted to events that occurred in the week leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. In chapter thirteen Jesus spoke about the future events surrounding His glorious second coming. When we come to chapter fourteen, we pick up the narrative that will lead us to a cross and an empty tomb. In the previous chapters, Jesus has been involved in an ongoing verbal debate with the Jewish leaders. There was a great deal of conflict as they tried unsuccessfully to get Jesus to incriminate Himself by saying the wrong thing.

Mark 14:1-11. Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him. ‘But not during the Feast,’ they said, ‘or the people may riot.’ While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, ‘Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.’ And they rebuked her harshly. ‘Leave her alone,’ said Jesus. ‘Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.’ Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

There is an account of a woman anointing Jesus with perfume in all four Gospel records. All the scholars agree the account we just read in Mark 14 is the same one we read in Matthew 26 and John 12. These all take place in Bethany a few days before the crucifixion. There is another account of a woman anointing Jesus in Luke 7 that is different from this one. It took place earlier in the ministry of Jesus in Galilee at the home of a Pharisee.

So, when you combine the three accounts in Mark, Matthew, and John you can learn more details about what took place that evening. This is a story of a woman who performed an extravagant act of worship, and Jesus said, “What she has done is a beautiful thing to me.” So I want to share five truths with you about “The Beauty of Extravagant Worship.”

1. WORSHIP IS A PERSONAL ACT OF LOVE

We can worship the Lord with others, or we can worship the Lord individually. Since this message is about worship, let me give you my simple definition of worship. Worship is an expression of adoration to God. That expression can take many forms. The Hebrew word for worship is sagad, which means to bow down; that’s an expression of humility and adoration. The Greek word for worship is proskuneo, which literally means, “to kiss toward.” It’s like throwing a kiss to someone. There are many ways to express your adoration to God.

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