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Living a Good Life: The Rhythm of Worship, Part1

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
February 14, 2024 10:12 am

Living a Good Life: The Rhythm of Worship, Part1

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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February 14, 2024 10:12 am

Did God require a different kind of worship in the Old Testament than in the New?  What does true worship look like?


Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Did God require a different kind of worship in the Old Testament than in the New? What does true worship look like? What does it mean to worship God? And what foolish pitfalls must we watch for as we cultivate a rhythm of worship?

These are questions that Pastor Rich answers from Ecclesiastes 5, 1-7 in this sermon series titled, Living a Good Life, Making Sense of the Journey. If you'd like to hear more messages from this series, you can go to Let's listen in. Are you ready to be challenged by God's Word today?

Don't get so excited about it, you might need to put your seat belt on. You go to the doctor and the doctor listens to your heart and you can feel your heart beating, you feel your pulse, but you know, you go to the doctor and the doctor says take in a deep breath and he or she, in my case it's a she, listens to your heart with her stethoscope and she can hear all kinds of things that you have no idea are going on in there. God's got his stethoscope on our hearts this morning.

What's going on in there? In your heart and mind. I went to bridge chapters 4 and 5 today in Ecclesiastes chapter 4, the question is how are we doing? It's better than how am I doing?

But that's our natural bent, isn't it? To be consumed with how I'm doing. How does something affect me? How am I feeling about this? How am I getting along in life? But the better question is how are we doing? Because when we're consumed, when we're preoccupied with ourselves, that's what leads to all the oppression that there is in the world.

People using people for their own pleasure or advancement. But to bridge the chapter, chapters 4 and 5, how are we doing begins with God. It begins with God. But also we can glean as a bridge from chapter 5, chapters 4 and chapter 4 talks about the hardships, the wickedness, all the oppression in life. And many people ask, and I heard it asked even today on the radio, if God is so good, why is there so much evil? Why are things so bad? Well, here's another part to bridging the gap between chapters 4 and 5, and that is that hardship, the wickedness that exists.

It exists inside and it exists outside. Wickedness, hardship drives us to sense we need God. We need God. Now there's something else that I want to do here because chapter 5 verses 1 to 7 is specifically talking about worship. So what we need to do is also we've bridged the chapters here with these two points, but I want to bridge the testaments as well.

The Old Testament and the New Testament because this is written under the Old Testament system, but here we are in the New Testament. And by the way, testament is just another word for covenant. It's the same word. They're not two different words.

They're spelled differently, but they mean exactly the same thing. Old Covenant, New Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant where there was a specifically prescribed form of worship. And here we are now under the New Testament where we are still prescribed to worship, but the form is different.

And yet there are similarities. The form of worship in the Old Testament, there were, as you'll see in the text, there are vows, there's sacrifice. It says you go to the house of God. Listen, this building is not the house of God.

It has been dedicated to worship and service, yes, but it is not the house of God. You and I are the house of God in the New Testament. We are under the New Covenant because Christ has fulfilled the Old Covenant. That's what makes the New Covenant so beautiful. Christ has fulfilled the Old Covenant. That's what he said he came to do.

So the form is different, but the substance remains the same. We acknowledge God. We worship God. We give him the sacrifice of praise. We serve him.

And we're going to see that in today's message. There are two senses to worship. There's the sensing God and there's the serving God. Both of them are equally part of our worship. So worship is not relegated to just what we do in this room. But what is definitely the same in both cases, Old Testament and New Testament, is that we are called to draw near to listen.

Draw near to listen. The key difference then for us in the New Testament under the New Covenant is that Christ is our sacrifice once for all. That's what makes the difference. We don't have to go to the house of God to make sacrifices because a perfect sacrifice once for all has been made. So as we read this text in the Old Testament scripture, it presents the form of worship under the Old Covenant, the Old Testament.

Meanwhile understanding that for us the form is different and yet the substance remains very much the same. We worship God. Now, Ecclesiastes 5 verses 1 to 7 is presented as a warning. It's written as a warning. A warning against foolish worship. There is a danger here. Let's talk about the danger first of all. Guard your steps when you go to the house of God.

To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools for they do not know that they are doing evil. That's a warning, isn't it? It sounds very much like a warning and it is because there's danger in this.

There's danger in this. I remember as a missionary kid, we were so used to just pretty much going wherever we wanted to. We didn't have the limits like we do here because we have such a fetish with safety in this culture.

As a missionary kid, you don't grow up with that. And we were touring. We were on furlough. It was 1972, not 1968, I'm sorry. I don't remember it all that well, but I remember what my parents tell me about it.

It was 1968 and we were touring around the country, visiting families, supporting churches and all this kind of stuff. And of course, we go through the west out there and we stop by the Grand Canyon and we, four boys, four boys, we jump out of the car and we run towards the edge of the Grand Canyon and we climb up on the fence that was there. And of course, there's a park ranger there observing and mom and dad are just calmly gallivanting out of the car. Meanwhile, us four boys are climbing on this fence and there's a park ranger there about to have a coronary.

Get those boys off that fence! Right? Well, when you're around something as grand and majestic and dangerous as the Grand Canyon, you need to act wisely.

Now, a four-year-old doesn't normally act wisely, right? So it is with God. He is majestic.

He is absolutely holy. And the warning here, the danger is this compartmentalized worship and life. That we have different compartments in our lives.

There is the sacred and then there is the secular. And what we're doing here and now is the sacred. But here's the danger. Here's the danger. That what we're doing here and now is in a separate compartment in your life or my life and it has nothing to do with the rest of my life.

The other part of my life. That's foolish worship. If there's no connection, that means we're divided worshipers.

We come in here and I could be, and it happens way too many times, I could be a person if I'm in business, I am engaged in dishonest business dealings. I have been lying to people, I have been mistreating people and yet I can come in here and I can curse man out there and in here I can bless God. That's the sacrifice of fools. It's divided worship. And what that shows is that I believe that performing rights of worship is a substitute for a God ordered life. That's foolish worship. And God takes no pleasure in the sacrifice of fools.

It says that in verse 4, he has no pleasure in fools. This is a warning to us. This is the danger.

This is what we need to watch out for. Because I could be coming in here and I could be sitting down and then we're going to pray and then we're going to stand and we're going to sing some songs and we sing some majestic songs with powerful truth and substance to them that affirm the truth of God and the grace of God and all of His goodness and holiness. And I can be singing them and meanwhile in the back of my mind, I'm utterly preoccupied with something else or I'm preoccupied with someone else. I might even be preoccupied how someone else is worshipping. Let's be very careful that we don't engage in the sacrifice of fools. If you are singing praises to God and yet you're preoccupied with how someone else is worshipping, you're a divided worshipper. What are the characteristics of foolish worship? Look at verse 2. It says, Do not be rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter word before God. For God is in heaven and you are on earth.

Therefore, let your words be few. For a dream comes with much busyness and a fool's voice with many words. And a dream, the idea here is you're so preoccupied with what's going on in your life that it occupies you even your dreams. I mean, you've been there, haven't you? You've got some big, even momentous thing going on and you even dream about it at night.

It's a preoccupation. And one of the characteristics of foolish worship is that a worship can become contractual. God, if you do this, then I will do this.

Don't go there. That's not who God is. Listen to me. You don't come to God on your terms. It is foolish worship. It is the sacrifice of fools to think that you can come to God on your terms. God, if you do this, God, if you show yourself, if you give me this sense, if you give me this experience, if you do this for me, if you rescue me from this, then I will.

I mean, how many times have that been done in history? Thanks for joining us here at Delight in Grace. You've been listening to Rich Powell, the lead pastor at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The Delight in Grace mission is to help you know that God designed you to realize your highest good and your deepest satisfaction in Him, the one who is infinitely good. We hope you'll join us again on weekdays at 10 a.m. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-14 12:15:43 / 2024-02-14 12:20:33 / 5

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