Summary: Third in a sermon series looking at who benefits from your worship

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The JOY of Worship – What You Get from your worship –

Gladstone Baptist Church – 6/3/05 pm

What is the fastest growing religion in this world?

No religion seems to be spreading faster today than the religion of selfishness. It goes by many names, but most of them make little effort to hide the underlying philosophy of self-worship. Call if self-actualisation, self-awareness, self-sufficiency, self-esteem, assertiveness training, or whatever... the basic message is that living your life for others is too much like hard work. It’s more fun and less stress to be selfish.

Here are some advertisements which show what I mean …

- There are adds that focus on what gives you value … “When Diamonds are no longer enough” – there are gummy bears.

- There are adds that focus on your feelings – “Get this feeling” with a Europcar hire car.

- There are adds that focus on your desire to be human - Work Hard, Be Successful – Go somewhere where none of that matters … “There are places in this world where you are not a CEO, a mogul, a player or even a hotshot. Places where you are a human being. The question you must ask yourself is “How do I get there?”

- There are adds that focus on your desires and satisfaction … “Remain Calm, I think there is a McDonalds on the way home”

- There are adds that tempt you to spoil yourself … “Should I, Shouldn’t I … For the love of Dove, treat yourself”

- There are energy bars that help you out perform the competition

- There are energy bars that help you live out your dreams in life

- Then there is the motorcycle that holds the meaning of your life. The caption reads … “You could eat up a lifetime pondering what to do with your days on earth. Or you could take one look at a machine like the Wide Glide. And let gut instinct take it from there”

Our whole life is centered around the me’s of this world. I am taught from an early age that I am the only one in the world that is important. I need to find things that satisfy me, that help me to gain an edge in this life. People tell us that no one will look after me if I don’t, so we spend all our life looking after No. 1. We look for what we can get out of every situation – how we can gain from friendships – why something will benefit us.

Often we do this in our Christian lives too. We say – what am I going to get out of it. If the answer is nothing – we’re not interested. Think about some of our purposes for living

Take ministry or Service as an example – The first question we ask is “what’s in it for me?” You young people know what I mean. Before we agree to help, we want to know whether we will get something out of it. Will it give me exposure on the stage? Will I get enjoyment from it or will it be hard work? Will others be impressed by what I do? Will I learn something about the sound system? We will only get involved if we can find some benefit for us – we are self centred.

Think about discipleship – I only want to be like Jesus in those areas of my life that won’t affect how I live my life. What a ridiculous thing to say. We say “I don’t want it to affect my friendships, or my hobbies or my desire for independence”, but becoming like Jesus Christ will affect these things. The reason why we don’t want to become like Jesus is because we are selfish.

Take evangelism – The reason we are not prepared to tell others about the good news is because we are selfish. We are more concerned about what people might think of me, than the fact that people will go to hell for eternity when they die. Talk about selfishness.

Selfishness pervades all aspects of our life – even Worship.

When we think about worship – one of the first questions we ask is “What will I get out of it?”

I want you all here tonight to begin to see the error of this statement. Worship is not about us. It’s about Jesus.

Definition of Worship

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been looking at what is Worship. We’ve said that worship is a life that is SURRENDERED to God. It is when we bow down or fall down before someone more worthy. That is what makes God pleased.

Rom 12:1&2 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

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