Summary: A message about honoring the Lord with true worship, both individually and corporately. Text, outline, and audio will be placed at www.sermonlist.com
Today, I am going to be talking about worship, both in our private lives and in our church. I am going to do a lot of comparing between worship in the Old Testament to worship in the New Testament. And I am going to be using two main scriptures to do so. Let me start by reading them to you and then I will explain them more in detail as I go along.
‘Do you not know that you body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.’
‘Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?’
A dog food company’s latest product was not selling very well, so the president called a board meeting to discuss why.
The advertisement department said the ads were great and going full speed ahead. The research and development team said the product was designed to sell with the latest of technology.
The president of the company wanted to know why the dog food was not selling if everything was so great. One manager timidly stood up and said, “It’s those stupid dogs, Sir; they won’t touch the stuff.”
Consumers want their money’s worth of whatever it is they are buying. They don’t want to be bamboozled. You can have the greatest marketing campaign in history, but if the product itself is not good, it won’t sell. And that is not just limited to the things we might buy in a store.
That can be extended to almost everything in our lives; even the church. We have all seen churches that have the slickest ad campaigns going, and everybody walks around with big smiles plastered on their faces and they reach out to grab your hand in wonderful handshakes, but you can tell there is just something that isn’t right.
We belonged to a church in Arizona that had greeters at the door. One gentleman would smile, look right through you, grab your hand, and as he shook it, he pulled you through the door so he could hurry and get to the next person coming in! I really didn’t like shaking this man’s hand because I knew it was not sincere; it was surface only.
Why are some churches filled with people like this? I believe it is because most people look at themselves, not as Christians who have to walk through this world on their journey to heaven, but as people of the world who also happen to call themselves Christians. Almost everything we do is benchmarked against what we do in the world: Are we good neighbors, good employees, or do we think people look at us as good people?
When we start to understand the promises that are given to us through Christ Jesus, we will start to view our existence here on earth, not against the backdrop of what the world expects, but against the backdrop of what Christ expects. And that will help us to better realize just who we really are. We should fully be who we say we are.
There is a story of a man in Nigeria that went around telling everyone he was in the military. He wasn’t really in the military, but when people heard him saying he was, they would give him many benefits only due a soldier.
He received discounts at different stores and many things were just outright given to him for his service in the military. (If Americans would only look at our men and women in uniform with the same amount of respect.)
This went on for several years and then one day the military police came and arrested him. They charged him, not with impersonating a soldier, but with being AWOL from his duties. Why did they do this? Because they took what he said at face value and expected him to be who he said he was.
And that is what the world expects from us as a church, and from you as a Christian, to live up to our words. In the book of ACTS, there was a very noticeable difference between the way Christians looked and acted compared to how the world around them looked and acted. Today, however, there is no appreciable difference. The world may hear an occasional word from us indicating that we are Christians, but do they see us in action?
So tell me; who are you? Are you a Christian who really tries to live for Christ, or are you a person who goes to church, claiming to be a Christian, but continuing to do the same things you have always done?