Sermons

Summary: With the example of John chapter 4, Christ provides clear imagary of the aspects of worship the Father seeks.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism, The Westminster Confession of Faith and The Westminster Larger Catechism are three documents that are considered by many Protestants to be the grandest doctrinal statements to come out of the English Reformation. It was completed in 1647; and it was presented before Parliament in 1648. The purpose and intent of the Westminster Shorter Catechism was and is to educate laypersons in the matters of faith and belief. The catechism, in and of itself, contains and consists of 107 questions and answers.

The most famous of the questions is the first:

Q. What is the chief end of man?

A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

It is the chief aim of every human being to worship God. What God desires out of every human more than anything is your worship.

- More than your money/materials is your worship.

The truth of the matter is you and I were CREATED to worship and glorify God. Everything that was made, in some form or fashion, worships God. ‘When I consider the stars in the heaven which thou hast ordained; oh Lord our God how excellent is thy name in ALL the earth’.

• To worship God is, in your living, to declare the isness of God. The other thing that I have discovered is that worship is not based upon religion; it is based on relationship. Because you can be in religion or religious backdrop and never worship God.

- Religion is about coming to church; relationship is about worshipping while you are AT church. Because you can come to church and never worship. Because worship is not an EVENT, worship is an ENCOUNTER. And a whole lot of folk come to the EVENT but never have an ENCOUNTER.

The truth of the matter is that if worship is an encounter and not an event, I don’t have to be IN church to have worship. Because I can have an encounter with God without having an event.

Brothers and sisters, the truth of the matter is that whenever I have an encounter with God, it BECOMES an event. I don’t have to have an event for it to be an encounter. When I have an encounter it BECOMES an event.

- Which means that sometimes I have an event in my shower.

- Sometimes I have an event in my kitchen/riding in car.

And the beauty of the events that I have with God is that I ain’t got to invite nobody to it. It’s an event with nobody but me and God.

• Because an encounter with God can become an event.

To be totally and completely and transparent—I’ve been to some events called church but never had an encounter.

• Ain’t nothing worse than coming to church and sitting on the pulpit and nobody has an encounter with the most High God.

• I don’t want to be a preacher who just so happens to be in worship; I want to be a worshipper who just so happens to be on to proclaim the message for the hour.

- You ought never want to be a choir member whose just there to do your thing; but you ought have a desire to be a worshipper who participates in singing during the worship.

- You ought never want to just be a spectator who sits and watches us do our thing; but you ought to be sitting there having your own encounter with God; having your OWN event AT an event. Which means it ought not matter whose sitting next to you/what their doing/their sucking their teethe/rolling their eyes/acting like they don’t want you sitting next to them and their row.

Because what they fail to realize is that you aren’t at THIS event, you are at your OWN event having your OWN encounter.

• And Brothers and Sisters, that is why I stopped worrying about what people think about me when I come to church. I used to have an inferior complex, worrying about whether or not the girl I liked would think I was effeminate if I bowed in worship or if somebody would be offended if I ran around the building or screamed in the middle of the message; but then I realized how they didn’t shed their blood for me/didn’t die for me/didn’t give their life for me.

Can I tell you the other thing I discovered, something that I never gathered in my study. We have often heard it said that you can have praise and not have worship; but I discovered that theologically that is not correct. I read and I read and studied for the past several days and discovered an astonishing truth; and that is that you cannot have praise until you first have worship. The reality is that you can not have praise until after you’ve HAD worship.

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