1997-09-26 - Worship Weekly
The Balancing the Gauges Series, Part 3
Eph 5:18-20 (NRSV) Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, 20 giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It helps me tremendously to balance my gauges by stopping at least once a week and worshiping our Holy God. The purpose of church is to worship God. It is my opinion that if you are not part of a local church, you are denying the "Body of Christ" the opportunity to minister to you and to be ministered by you. God has uniquely wired each of us up in a special way, so that together we can carry out His unique plan for our lives.
I was at the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, NC a few months ago, taking a course on 1 Timothy. On the grounds is a beautiful chapel, and during the tour the question came up, "What time is the Sunday Service?" The tour guide informed us that Billy Graham is such a strong believer in the local church that he will not allow Sunday Services to be held in the chapel. That really struck home to me, the importance of being a viable contributing member of a local church.
Below are four reasons I see for us to worship Weekly. You may have other reasons as well.
Ps 138:2 (NKJV) I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
1. To Worship God. The church is a special place to humble ourselves before our Holy God, to praise Him, to respect Him, and show our reverence to Him. The Greek word for worship literally means "to kiss, like a dog licking a master's hand." Worship is blocking out the world around us and simply experiencing God.
Col 3:16 (NRSV) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.
2. To learn about God. Church teaches us about God and more importantly how to apply God's truths to our lives. Maturing in Christ is becoming not only more knowledgeable, but also living a more applied life for Christ. If we are not learning, we are not growing. Remember, if you are only coasting, you are going downhill!
Acts 2:42 (NIV) They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
3. Fellowship with God's people. Church should be a place where we can count on a group of like-minded Christ-followers to give us spiritual, emotional, social and prayer support. A vibrant, healthy church is a large family. It is a family much larger than any family we can be a part of in any other manner -- a caring, loving family that gives us encouragement as we encourage others.
Eph 2:10 (NIV) For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
4. To do good works for God. Your spiritual gifts can be discovered and matured at a local church. The church is an outlet to serve the Body of Christ with the good works that God has prepared for us. The body only functions well when all the parts are working together in harmony.
Dear Lord, we thank You and praise You for the local church. Thank You for allowing us to be a part of the Body of Chirst. Lord, we pray for those among us who are not a part of a local church due to one reason or another. Guide them and direct them to where You want them to be, s that they may receive the benefits of worshipping You in a local church. Father, we pray for those who are unable to attend church due to physical reasons. We pray that these people can find a church home that will bring church to them, that will care for them and have communion with them wherever they reside. Mostly we thank you for Sour Son Jesus who died in our place, so that we are reconciled with You Father. It is out of this gratitude and love that we worship and praise You. In the name of Jesus, Amen