Summary: There are many ways to offer worship to God, but without this one form of worship, everything else we do is lip service.
OPEN: Reporters and city officials gathered at a Chicago railroad station one afternoon in 1953. The person they were meeting was the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize winner. A few minutes after the train came to a stop, a giant of a man - six feet four inches with bushy hair and a large mustache stepped from the train. Cameras flashed. City officials approached him with hands outstretched. Various people began telling him how honored they were to meet him.
The man politely thanked them and then, looking over their heads, asked if he could be excused for a moment. He quickly walked through the crowd until he reached the side of an elderly black woman who was struggling with two large suitcases. He picked up the bags and with a smile, escorted the woman to a bus. After helping her aboard, he wished her a safe journey. As he returned to the greeting party he apologized, "Sorry to have kept you waiting."
The man was Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the famous missionary doctor who had spent his life helping the poor in Africa. In response to Schweitzer’s action, one member of the reception committee said with great admiration to the reporter standing next to him, "That’s the first time I ever saw a sermon walking."
APPLY: What is worship? Over the past few weeks we’ve covered several aspects of worship: Singing Praises, Taking of Communion, Studying Scripture…
AND all of these different methods of worship were expressions of love to God. But if one particular form of worship is missing, the form of worship we’re talking about today:
– Our worship will be incomplete
– Our expression of love for God will inadequate
In our text today, Jesus tells us it is not enough for us to say “Lord Lord” (in other words, attempt to offer worship). It takes more than expressions of worship to be pleasing to God.
We can do all the religious things we want & still offer up empty expressions of love to God if our worship doesn’t yield a specific result = a “sermon that walks” (repeat)
Worship that pleases God is a worship that makes a difference in how we live.
I. Without a “sermon that walks,” we have a dead religion.
There are many Christians that feel that worship is “showing up on Sunday Morning” and going through the motions.
1. Singing the songs
2. Taking Communion
3. Listening to the sermon
4. And so on, and so on
Now, these are all good things to do in worship. But if that’s ALL our Christianity turns out to be – we can become a lot like Jeremy Bentham, founder of London’s University College. Before he died in 1832, he left instructions that when he died, his body was to be preserved and placed on display in the meeting room of the board of governors for the college. So, when he died, his skeleton was reconstructed, given a wax head, dressed in his best suit, and placed in a glass case in the meeting room of the college’s board of governors.
For several years after his death, Jeremy Bentham faithfully attended every meeting of the board and was described in the minutes as “present, but not voting.”
If our worship doesn’t lead us to have a “sermon that walks,” we might be present in worship, but we’re not voting. Our worship isn’t doing us any good.
Jesus said, You know a tree by its fruits. You can tell whether you’ve actually worshipped, by the fruit it produces in you
II. One of the least understood forms of worship found in scripture doing good to others.
It’s true – turn to Hebrews 13:14-16
"For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that confess his name.(a description of worship) And do not forget to do good & to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Thus, when we do good & share with others – we’re worshipping. To drive that point home, Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, taught His disciples that very lesson.
(Read John 13:1ff and bring out basin of water and towel).
I need a volunteer from the audience (I volunteered our youth minister). When Jesus was finished washing his disciples feet he said:
"Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you." John 13:14-15
Now, there are churches that read this and feel that Jesus intended to set up ritual. There’s nothing wrong with that, I suppose but… aside from fact that there’s no evidence the early church performed such a ritual, I think it misses the point.