Summary: Second message in a series on church health stressing the importance and attributes of worship
Part 2 of 5
The ability to worship is one of the distinguishing marks of humans compared to animals. A dog doesn’t sit in his backyard and lift his paws to the Lord and bark out his praises. Yes, he barks sometimes, but I guarantee he is not contemplating the wonders of eternity. He’s probably thinking about food, or a stranger passing by, or maybe even his own tail.
In contrast, God has placed eternity in the human heart. That simply means that God has put in us the sense, the awareness, that there is more to this world than we can see, feel, taste, or even imagine.
Unlike animals, we humans have a drive to bow down to something, to pay homage to something, to offer reverence and respect for God. But we have something else animals don’t have-PRIDE! And so God asks us to do what we were uniquely created to do but what our sinful nature rebels against. In fact, many aspects of worship go against our natural tendencies. Worship is a spiritual act with spiritual consequences. And if we’re operating on the world’s principles, then worship probably doesn’t make much sense to us.
When we look at the first century church we see three thing that they did, and three things that we MUST DO in worship.
1. We Must Worship Lavishly & Extravagantly A God Who Needs Nothing
God may not need our worship, but He sure does desire it. He wants a tender intimate relationship with us, and praise is one way we express our affection.
Psalm 63:3, “Because your loving kindness is better than life my lips shall praise you.”
That means that we need to verbally communicate our affection. God knows that worship costs us something-time, concentration, and sometimes, real effort. But that’s also when our gift of affection or affirmation can mean the most to us and to HIM!
Mary & the perfume John 12:1-3
Mary wanted to give Jesus something that was valuable and precious to her. So with complete abandon she poured a year’s wages over his feet. But she didn’t care about that. She was saying with these actions, “Lord, I want to show you in a tangible way my commitment to you.”
2. We Must Worship the Lord Even When We Don’t Feel Like It
We worship God because He deserves our praise-not because we feel like it. You should worship Him because He is always worthy of your praise whether things are going badly or well. This doesn’t mean that you worship and thank Him for the bad things. It means you give thanks in the midst of difficult circumstances.
Ultimately we give thanks for the fact that God is still on the throne-no matter how bad things get. The Bible says “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philip 4:4). And when we praise God in spite of difficult circumstances, that’s when non-Christians will listen to what we have to say.
Anybody can sing when things are going well. But when the bottom drops out, when hardship hits and you keep singing, that’s something unique to the Christian-and it startles the world.
Paul & Silas singing @ midnight
3. We Must Worship With Our Whole Life