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The Art of Going to Church-Part B

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October 16, 2021 2:00 am

The Art of Going to Church-Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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October 16, 2021 2:00 am

If you're reading this, chances are you've come to church! But why are you here? What is your intention? Don't get me wrong, we're glad you're here today in this place of worship. But for a moment, think about your motivation and your experience--why you've come and what you'll do while you're here and even afterwards. There really is a right way and a wrong way to come to church. Let's consider the words of Solomon--the ancient Preacher.

This teaching is from the series Church? Who Needs It.




This week's DevoMail:

Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
Cross the Bridge
David McGee

Visual relationship to God. Have a PS attached to our Lord until community you last was on anger when I thought I should get from you in this relationship is relationship with God. Yes, most surveys report that around 40% of Americans attend church on a weekly basis.

However, there are some questions as to just how accurate that number. Maybe many people in order to present themselves in a better life by just lie about going to church. Some consider attending regularly as being there on Christmas and Easter well on today's broadcast pastor Skip explains how we should be so concerned with other people's church attendance.

But how often do you go to church and more importantly, why do you will explore some answers to those questions in a moment, and correctly Skip weekend edition.

First, here's what we have for you this month that, New York Times best-selling author Joel Rosenberg is now based in Jerusalem and he's releasing the new nonfiction book enemies and allies I traveled with Joel to the middle of the cities to meet with Kings Crown Prince. We sat together on the east lawn of the White House for the signing of the historic Abraham accordance and I previewed his new book enemies and allies. I can tell you it contains never before published quotes behind closed door meetings with some of the most powerful and mysterious leaders in the Middle East. You will want to read enemies and allies by Joel Rosenberg includes insights and analysis. The authors conversation is what meet's howls, language means company, the most cost leaders enemies and allies by Joel Rosenberg insights and analysis from the authors conversations with some of the most controversial leaders in the world will send you a hardcover copy of enemies and allies.

Thanks for your gift of $35 or more to give. Visit or call 819 to 1888 your Bibles to Ecclesiastes chapter 5. Let's join Skip the rest of this message on the art of going to church.

I heard about one famous Rabbi from the New Testament era, whose prayer was recorded and had 918 adjectives before God was even mentioned some like holy rights is magnificent splendor is omnipotent on the present God.

19 adjectives before God is even mentioned thinking that if I just add more flowery words that that's what God requires is a little boy in church and everybody was praying and yet his head bowed and he was praying and loud enough for the pastor to hear him, here's here's his prayer. Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo pastor. Afterwards, excuse me, I'm glad you're praying. First of all, but why Tokyo he said look preacher, I just came from school and took my geography test and I'm asking God that he will make Tokyo the capital of France. He got the answer wrong on the test but but if I just say it long enough maybe Gotto get it done. Some folks I think when you get them around church. It's like a switch goes off the God talk turns on hallelujah thank you Jesus.

Praise the Lord that can also just be shallow enough to cover up something else.

John Bunyan who wrote Pilgrim's progress said in prayer. It's better to have a heart without words than to have words without heart. The third approach is the sincere approach is the right one back to verse one and notice the opening command walk prudently when you go to the house of God walk prudently.

If you have an old change.

Jimmy version it says keep thy foot. Keep thy foot. We would say watch your step, or walk carefully when you go to the house of God. The ideas to come prepared by the question unanswered out loud just in your heart how do you prepare for coming to church.

Besides doing her hair up and I'm not fit cologne and perfume. Whatever. How else do you prepare how you prepare inwardly and may I just suggest that just the basic when you open your eye's in the morning, you're on your bed, your eyes open Sunday morning before your feet up and hit the ground as the Lord, I commit this debut I commit this week to you. I pray that you would speak to me through your word. I pray that you would deal with me through your word. I want to hear from you and why is it so important to be careful or to walk prudently or to be prepared. Verse one it says draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil. We should be prepared because God wants to speak to us.

That's why God has something to say to us, that's why if you were to go to the White House or to Congress or to the United Nations and bring a request. I guarantee you would you would just come you come prepared, you think about what you say you think about the attitude the truth in the brain you would think about your proper behavior in that setting. So why not be prepared before God when we gather the new living translation renders verse one of chapter 5 as you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. You don't get any clearer than that.

I member somebody once told me Skip God gave you two ears and one mouth. Follow that ratio. In other words, we should be listening twice as much as we are talking and you know that you can worship with your ears. I don't mean that you have to make your ears got it like this like you're praising the Lord like little hands lifted up when I say worship with their ears talking about Lord, I am going to listen to what you have to say to me that is my worship to you worship with your ears, Walt Whitman, a great American poet said to have great poets. We must have great audiences.

I would say to have great preachers. We must have great audiences listening like Samuel who said speak, Lord, your servant here's that is the sincere approach I meant to do it carefully, to prepare carefully because God is in the speak at her so much you can do besides just uttering that prayer before you get up in the morning.

If you have a computer go to website our website and we always post what were gonna cover before Sunday morning.

We give an outline you could read to the passages meditate on a once before the Lord, have your heart ready to listen, reinforce, second, we should watch our affirmation of God. Verse four. When you make a valid not if but when you make about to God.

Do not delay to pay it for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed better not to valid and devour, not pay, do not let your mouth because your flesh to sin your say before the messenger of God that would be the priests in the Old Testament that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands. This is referring to an ancient practice that happened in the temple was the making of valves and couple places in the Old Testament law in Deuteronomy and Leviticus cover making a bow before God.

Here's the thing. They were never forced guidance that you have to come and make a vow never said that but he gives the regulations forgiving valves and the most important regulation is this. Once you make a vow what you make a promise you do it you keep you don't have to say it you should do it not to force you to do it. It should be out of your own heart.

But once you make that valve that affirmation that commitment now. You keep you do it Solomon. Here's warning about two sins one is making a vow with no intention at all of keeping that which would be lying to God.

The other one is making a vow but delaying to keep it so that eventually you can get out of it, but here's a point. The place of worship when we gather together like this week by week. It ought to be. I believe it ought to be a time of commitment.

It ought to be a time of making our vow to the Lord our affirmation, so whenever we sing songs and read Scripture and hear a sermon we should always ask every week.

What now we should assess what now and the answer should always follow now I do what God spoke to me about doing that's what I do with I think it always should come to a decision. When Joshua gave a great sermon to the children of Israel.

In Joshua 25 or Joshua 24 he said now choose for yourselves whom you will serve the prophet Elijah confronted the prophets of bail in first Kings 18 he said to the people of Israel. How long will you falter between two opinions of bail is God worship him. If God is the Lord.

Worship him.

Even Jesus did this in Matthew 16. We've Artie covered that he asked his followers who do men say that I am they gave various opinions.

Many said who do you say that I am suited it you make it personal. Now you make a decision now, not what they say.

But what about you, what you say.

Well, consider some of the valves that we've already made one now that we've already made is that thou to him to God.

We've all said are most of us have said I make you my Savior I make you my Lord, I want you in control of my life I give you my life, consider that the you made it before the Lord consider another vow that you may before the Lord. If you're married to your spouse. I don't exactly know what you said but I bet it was something like this for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health to love and to cherish until yet not debt, there's an agent at word you said you said it death you set it was a vow you made before God to your spouse maybe you made another vow to the body of Christ may be said to small group leader all be here every week will help you set up role be involved. You can count on me, something you have to do it once you do it you do it once you say it was a man who was in love with a girl. His name is Tom.

Her name is Diane.

She had a picture that he wanted. She gave it to him, but she wanted a copy of the pictures we took it to a studio to get a copy as he took it to the studio there to take it out of the frame and they noticed on the back of the picture was the sweetest love note from Diane to Tom said this, my dearest Tom I love you with all my heart I love you more and more each day. I will love you for ever commitment I'm yours for eternity. There is the promise eternity that beautiful sign. Diane Bennett said PS if we ever break up. I want this picture back so much for forever so much for eternal love. Here's my question.

Is your relationship to God. Have a PS attached to it, will you, my Lord until learning community you unless unless I don't get what I thought I should get from you in this relationship that I'm to take my spiritual ball and go home is your relationship with God, of a PS or are you like those who try to bribe God.

God you get me out of this mess. Give $500 to missions.

I promise. Lord, if you heal me I'll serve you the rest of my life I have seen so many people in distress make commitments to God. Only when they get better to forget that they made any kind of commitment to God.

Now right about now you might be thinking, you know, I think I agree with Solomon is better not to make any commitment all. I won't make any promise at all that I don't to keep any of them will and that would place in the category of ceremonial or superficial approach to God.

I think the whole point is think through carefully what you say before the Lord, let it be real, but be committed to when you here to do by God's grace and you know will happen if you do that if we by week you make those kind of applications I can guarantee you you'll be happy you'll be joyful. Jesus said to his disciples after you wash their feet and serve them and he said you guys need to do this is what he said if you know these things.

Happy are you if you do them get that not if you know these things. Happy are you if you know these and then by the way, you guys should know more things and then go to a place and take more notes and no more things and go to school and get a degree and no more things. He said if you know these things will be happy if you do them. You do them is a commitment to take knowledge and move it into action. Third, and finally we are to watch our attitude toward God. Verse seven for in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity, but fear God or have a reverential all before the Lord, and I think that attitude is the crowning virtue. I believe that attitude will make or break a church attitude in general impacts everything. Somebody once said life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90% of how you respond to what happens to you. I think church is to I think the most significant decision we can make every Sunday morning is to make a choice regarding our attitude before the Lord now some people and thankfully there's just some people, but some folks just have a bad attitude in general about life, about everything and they hear something not work or anything about that. I like it.

The good food could be better. We call them know first people rather than yes. First, people always know it's always negative bad attitude so if they have a bad attitude about life guaranteed to have a bad attitude about church say some else God wants to fix that only say it even better.

God is committed to fixing that attitude with God. It's all about our attitude is all about our attitude is that Jesus notice. He said two men went to the temple to pray, one was a Pharisee.

One was a tax collector. The Pharisee lifted up his eyes and prayed with himself. Pray to God he prayed with himself. He said words out loud. He thought boy I sound pretty good, but the third guy, the tax collector bowed his head beat his breast and said God have mercy on me a sinner different attitude different attitude Jesus was all about. That attitude said that man went home justified. Jesus also noticed that people were coming to the temple coming to church would be the equivalent and they were giving their funds in summer doing it very ostentatiously to be known and seen by men.

But there was one little widow who gave us a few cents she according to Jesus gave more than the rest of all those guys is the attitude, the attitude was the sacrifice you gave notice the wording, speaking of attitude here.

Don't miss the wording in verse one, for example, the temple is called the house of what God is not just a stone building set Solomon. This is the house of God. Verse four. When you make not just a promise but it says you're about to God. In verse seven. Fear God, here's the key in coming to church this time. This place is for God. It's all about him is not about me it's not about us. It's not about what I get out of it though. You will get out what God speaks to you but we must never allow church to simply become another consumer driven commodity. It is become that it is becoming become that in our country to become better in our culture. I first heard the song a few years ago. I know that when I say that you'll remember it. I first heard it. I stopped in resin something resonated with it was just so right on it said, I am coming back to the heart of worship because it's all about you. It's all about you.

Jesus and I heard that I thought yes I resonated with that I need to get back to that about about him.

It's about my relationship with him know if some folks were honest, really honest, they would be singing because it's all about me. It's all about me Jesus that would be honest people have made worship about them and how they feel about what it does for them other than about honoring him but when we gather when a passage is read. We listen we listen because it's the word of God. And when a covenant is made or a promise is made. We keep it because it's a vow before God and when we sing a praise song or we utter a prayer we realize were praying to God not anybody else God RA Torrey Ruben Tori influence my early Christian walk said we should never utter one syllable of prayer in public or in private until we are definitely conscious that were coming into the presence of God and actually praying to him so this morning what what we walk away with. I pray is a healthy self-examination, examining our approach to God, we have to ask ourselves is it just duty is informal and I just doing and going to the motions. Is it superficial.

We want to examine our hearts. That's very healthy nuts as examiner approach, but what about our affirmation covenants that we make Dewey do we commit ourselves consistently with the verbal integrity of following through on the promise. And third is the attitude, the attitude what attitude do we have. We gather with God's people is the house of God, these are prayers to God. I do this out of the fear of God the respective God. All of that Solomon would would warn his listeners and his readers the art of gathering for public worship part of coming may never be part of any fine art of RAM church is one of the finest arts any of us can engage in this study is encouraged you to pursue that are to learn how to enjoy more fully the great beauty it produces that if you like a copy of today's teaching the art of going to church is available on CD for just four dollars plus shipping.

When you call us at 1-800-922-1888 hello and join us next time. As we begin several teachings that will help us grow and help our churches right here and correctly Skip weekend edition the presentation of connection you guys never changing and ever changing time

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