Summary: Listening to your heart when it comes to worship

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Worship – Vision 2

We’re back to asking the question, Why the church exists? First of five reasons why? – Worship

• Why are we going through this exercise?

1. So we understand what Jesus Christ expects of His Body

2. So we develop a culture within our church that incorporates these five aspects

Last Time

 God is very concerned with the spiritual state of the hearts of his children

 It is our hearts that let’s God know how sincere we are about our Christianity

 Definition: Worship is an active response to God’s grace whereby we declare His worth and majesty

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’

 Or to put it another way – our full and complete adoration

 Or to put it another way – kneel with arms upraised

 It is like the act of breathing - We inhale God’s grace, and exhale worship and adoration

 With the advent of Humanism and the Enlightnment the churches focus began to change

 It was not immune from these influences and Christianity too took on a rational head knowledge approach

 Instead of Jesus being “the way the truth and the life”, it became “man’s way, man’s truth, man’s life”

 Another factor that must be mentioned that has affected the way we think is our own church walk

 The message we were taught by its very nature appealed more to our heads than our hearts

This is the society you and I grew up in. Predominantly we are taught to be rational, thinking human beings

 Yet we know God made us emotional, feeling, beings as well as rational, thinking, beings

 We have a heart as well as a mind

 Mind and the heart were made to work together

 They act as a constraint on extremes

 To much emphasis on the mind leads to a cold rational detached Christianity

 On the other hand, to much emphasis on the heart leads to superficial shallow emotionalism

 Or to put it another way, To much of the mind is like a car without a motor, while to much of the heart is like a car without brakes

 One doesn’t go anywhere, while the other is dangerous and out of control

 We talked about Arnold Schwartzneggar coming to college

 How weird would it have been if Arnold took off his shirt and only one side of his body had been developed and the other side was limp and withered away

 Sometimes this is how we are as Christians

 The most effective Christian is one who has developed both aspects of our Christian walk – grace and truth, heart and mind

 Jesus himself came full of grace and truth

 Grace and truth are like the two arms of a Christian and we need to develop both of them if we are to be like Jesus Christ

 The most effective Christian is the one who develops both aspects of their Christianity – that is our goal

Let me start by sharing this worship experience I came across this week

• It was one of those mystical moments. I was walking on one of the mountain trails through the George Washington National Forrest that makes up more than fifty per cent of our county. The fall leave were dripping with color. The wind came up and blew through the trees, producing a song. And the birds seemed to join in the tune. Even the leaves on the ground rose up and danced swirling dances to the music, music of praise and sheer joy to the Creator. And I joined in, not using words just humming along, raising and lowering my voice in tune with the song of creation until the whole forest was again silent, a reverent silence, a kind of hush, an anticipation of the coming of the Creator among us. And with the birds and trees of the field, with all creation, I, too, bowed my head in reverence, for that silence was praise too.

• Ever had one of those experiences where you just felt close to God? Stars in Currumbin Valley, Greenmount Beach

• Let me ask you, was this your attitude to coming to church services this morning

• Was it one of anticipation, of having an encounter with the living God like this man described in the forest

• Or was it more like this?

• “Its been a busy week, its cold, need a break, maybe I’ll skip church this week”

• How we answered this question is an indication of whether our head or our heart is speaking

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