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April 28, 2022 7:05 am
Worshiping God has many expressions but what's the major focus. There is one God and one mediator between God and mankind and that is Jesus matter in whom you believe does matter that your sincerely believing in him, but it doesn't matter who the object of your worship is be very clear about that how you came to know the living cross-section of different churches on Sunday is the diversity of worship expressions. Some Christians are quiet and reflective.
Others are animated in emotional so what is it truly mean to worship God in a community of other believers today on Insight for living. Chuck Swindoll helps us understand the essential elements of biblical worship along the way. Perhaps it will help you become more intentional in your worship in the process much more fulfilled. Chuck titled today study, worship my commitment not award this morning.
I want us to seriously about the one essential ingredient and I want you to take it personally. I don't want you to think I'm so glad so-and-so is here to hear that they really need to hear that it may be true but that's beside the point you need to hear. And so it's for us individually and collectively in our hope is that we will love as a result be better worshipers because of time spent together. We want to read from a couple of sections of the New Testament. If you brought a copy of the Bible with you. One is from John four and the other is from acts to will read them in opposite order so have your finger in John chapter 4 and I read first from acts two beginning at verse 41 and will look at the middle of John four moment acts 241 so than those who had received his word were baptized and there were added that day about 3000 souls, and they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Everyone kept feeling a sense of all many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostle's and now from John chapter 4 verse 23 verse 24.
What an hour is coming and now is when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth. For such people the father seeks to be his worshipers got a spirit those who worship him must worship in spirit and don't miss the closing of the previous verse 23, God seeks our worship. The father seeks us to be as worship and now the message from Chuck called worship a commitment not a war part one the little book was entitled the tyranny of the urgent is a book about the difference between what is urgent and what is important in the origin is always a tyrannical master, loud and demanding and forceful in always pushing for first place in our lives and often gets it for this little book in my library this past week and couldn't find it. I carried it for years until it was torn and tattered to remind myself of its message. I may have lost the book but I but I will never forget the message. It's a warning urging us not to allow the urgent to crowd out the important they're not the same. Remember the urgent is tyrannical, but the important usually quiet, always deep, never popular.
They're not all the same.
When our 34th president to Dwight D. Eisenhower's set up his office at the Oval Office to begin his administration. He explained to his aides and his executive assistant. There were to be only two stacks placed on his desk. The first would be a stack of those things right that were urgent. Only the extremely urgent. The other was to be a stack of the important and only the extremely important.
He said years later that it was interesting to him how rarely they were one and the same is right he is right. Not only is that true in the world in which we live. That is certainly true in the church we attend the great temptation is to replace the important but with the urgent and when we do course.
We emphasize work activity, involvement doing, producing, impressing, accomplishing, but it leaves us flat is a satisfying. Furthermore, it smacks of our secularized world where we work. Who knows how many people have been turned off. Longing for the real living God and encountering at their church of secularized substitute. It happened to Jean-Paul Sartre, the well-known French philosopher who did not begin his life hoping to be a philosopher is like became empty and marked by cynicism.
Many wrote of such with a curled lip came across a statement that might explain why that happened. Listen to the words of a philosopher who cared nothing about Christ. I did not recognize in the fashionable God who was taught me him who was waiting for my soul. I needed a creator.
I was given a big businessman. When I read that I wrote in the margin of my book. How tragic I said before and will say it again throughout our series on the church. The church was never meant to be a house of business. The church was never meant to be a structure where business took place, but you stick across on top to make it look religious God's house is a house of worship, we who are parts of his body or bodies of worship.
We are never more fulfilled and satisfied them when that worship is pure and clean and consistent how easy it is to replace worship with some weird substitutes Gordon Dall writing some years ago, put his finger on the issue. He wrote most middle-class Americans tend to worship their work to work at the play to play at their worship. As a result, their meanings and values are distorted, their relationships disintegrate faster than they can keep them in repair and their lifestyles resemble a cast of characters in search of a plot than a profound statement of what we tend to worship our work work at our play and play at our worship.
It was never meant to be that way ever, Jesus addresses the subject of worship in the fourth chapter of John which I like to have you turn for a few moments.
My mind is on a couple of verses tucked away in the center of the chapter, but those verses sit in the context that are helpful to understand in the context we have a Jewish man talking to a Samaritan woman in Samaria. Two things were scandalous.
First, that a man would talk to a woman in the first century in any sense of dignity and honor which he did. And second, that a Jew would be found in Samaria of all places, no geographical spot was more hated than Samaria. But the Jews, but here Jesus is standing alongside a woman who is brought her pot to the well to draw water and he in the process tells her of her life. She's made a mess of her life story can be picked up about verse 16 he said to her go, call your husband and come here. The woman answered and said I have no husband.
Jesus said to her, you have well said, I have no husband for you have had five husbands and the one you, whom you now have is is not your husband. This you have said truly she suddenly exposed. She doesn't even know the man he chose were the secrets of her life. She struggling with the tyranny of the urgent. If you will kill is wrapped itself around her.
She's uneasy. She's embarrassed. She's especially uneasy, talking to this Jew in her land and in her uneasiness. She decides to sort of ship the subject were she says to him, Sir, I perceive you are a prophet.
People do funny things when their lives are exposed to. Suddenly she was to talk about his role. He wants to talk about her life, as I perceive your profit.
Indeed, he was see is you knew everything about her. He knew every thought she had ever had since birth, but she doesn't know that she sees him as a prophet. How else would he know these things that she goes on to say some religious things. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship makes me smile when I read that we just got back from the holy land on our trip we heard again from a friend of ours that it it be if if you want to party you go to Tel Aviv you want to do business you go to Haifa if you want to worship your Jerusalem goes all the way back to the first century Jesus were told that a people worse of the need to worship in Jerusalem she wants to get off the subject of her life so he decides he will address worship as a matter of fact there is something amazing about the ancient city of David only. There is the Temple Mount when you look across the landscape, or I should say the skyscape of the city. You can't overlook the Temple Mount golden dome if you look closer you will see of the Western side of Wailing Wall or Orthodox Jews gather and others as well and there through the day. They pray they pray and pray and pray. She says if we understand that Jerusalem is where you go to worship. We believe it's at this mountain of the first thing Jesus clarifies his worship is not connected with the place Jerusalem mountain wherever his words in verse 21 woman. Believe me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem shall you worship father there come a time when you realize another's will have transcendent worship is worship isn't connected to a place. It is the contemplation of God.
It is being absorbed in him and him alone who is of supreme worth and therefore worthy of our attributing it to him are praying about now. Her mouth is open, I would suspect he goes further, you worship that which you do not know.
He has the audacity to tell her you're not connecting with the living God you worship one whom you do not even know we worship that which we know, for salvation is from the Jews. That isn't an arrogant statement. It's an accurate one.
Trace it all the way back to Abraham and fast forward to the days of Jesus, and you will find the line of the Jews as the line of salvation came first to the Jews and through the Jews only by God's grace did expand to Gentiles like us. But it began with them and he speaks the truth. So the second thing he clarifies is that worship is not a mystical groping in the dark, hoping to reach some deity, whoever he or it may be, it is a clear, definitive, conscious connection with the living God.
That sounds pretty narrow.
You got it. It is no be afraid of the narrowness. It isn't politically correct but it is biblically accurate to say the Lord Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and humanity. There is one God and one mediator between God and mankind and that is Jesus Christ narrow narrow is the way that leads to salvation. It isn't bigoted, but it is narrow and were living in a pluralistic arrow where it doesn't matter what your God is just so your sincere great Hebrew word for that is called hogwash nonsense. It doesn't matter in whom you believe it does matter that your sincere and believing in him, but it doesn't matter who the object of your worship is be very clear about that. Don't let our times sweep you into that kind of heretical thinking. Don't be afraid of that. That's how you came to know the living God is what you have peace in your heart. That's why you're ready to live and also necessary when it happens, ready to die for you worship the living God. He says to her you worship what you don't even know he's not being ugly he's being accurate. People need accurate information told him with compassion that he goes on to say, an hour is coming and now is when the true worshipers will worship the father there. It is worship the Father in spirit and in truth, but he doesn't stop there. For such people at you and me. That includes you and me such people the father seeks to be his worshipers. What a great thought, God seeks my worship I wake up in the morning, God seeks my worship. I'm living my life for the day, God seeks my worship I come to us Saturday afternoon and I'm at work in my yard. God seeks my worship in my work I can do Sunday morning and am involved in preparing for and delivering his message God seeks my worship in doing so in your life is saying whatever the details may be he seeks my worship. He wants me to worship him as I drive my car. He wants me to worship him as I career my family wants me to worship him as I work alongside my what he wants me to worship him when I am alone or when I'm with others.
He wants my worship, what's my worship. That brings us to the question of what is worship.
What is he mean when he says the father seeks worshipers worship comes from the old Anglo-Saxon worth ship W ORT H ship worth ship TH was dropped and is becoming worship means to attribute worth to someone or something. More specifically, when referring to our God.
It is attributing supreme worth to him who alone is worthy of when we worship we do that we do it in silence. We do it in our hearts we do it with our words we do it with our songs. We do it when we play our instruments.
We do it corporately. We do it individually, but we come before him attributing to him supreme work see the purpose of the church is to cultivate worshipers isn't a place to make business contacts.
It's a place where we learn about our God, so that our worship of him. It becomes increasingly deeper and more meaningful and understandable. God is reachable God's love is is a pervading our presence and it is is there for us to respond to him in our praise and in our our worship when I sing my song I sing for him and when I listen to that song. Some like I may be for a moment, impressed with and grateful for the voice but as I hear the message it makes me worship when one plays the instrument, whatever it may be one, please it for the worship of God.
So it's attributing to him our praise and our gratitude in our expression of worth, because he still worth why is it so significant. I can give it to you in simple terms, because it turns our full attention to the only one worthy of wood you have worship there is something so deeply satisfying and gratifying. Words cannot describe. Give an example on our journey. We paused occasionally, often in the evening for our times together as a group.
Here we set 600 or more in number. On one occasion at the sea of Galilee, sitting in a large patio area. Tables for eight and sitting up front were Stephen Nielsen and Ovid Jang on electric pianos. We brought Andrew Richard Allen farmer leading us in worship and I really mean that I wouldn't hurt to have a sea of Galilee nearby in a narrative, a full moon with its reflection off the water, but neither the sea nor the moon was what we worship fact I close my eyes and even put in turn my back to the CSI listen to what we were singing in the words of Wesley. I was lost in wonder.
Love, pray I for a moment. Forgot there was a full moon forgot that I was in Galilee.
What was happening, I was focused and my thoughts were of him and him alone and I and some various ways. My mind reflected on how much he means to me and I wanted him to know that I meant every word of singing one of them was surely the presence of the Lord is in this place that reminds me of acts chapter 2.
If you go there with me for a moment.
Yours will not a moment, but for the next period of time. We would get to these verses and 41 through 43 of four and you will see a body of people who worship acts 241 comes on the heels of Peter's sermon where he's delivered the gospel. What is the gospel. I always need to remember to give that clearly it is that Christ died for our sins on the cross.
He paid the complete penalty for our sins. Nothing left to be paid by anyone. Christ paid it all. It means also that when he went to the grave after he died shortly thereafter he was raised from the dead, bodily and miraculously, and he still lives. He died for my sins and the sins of the world and he has been raised victorious over sin and the grave and that by believing in Jesus Christ who died for me and was raised. I am born again and so were all do so. Peter has presented the message and we read in verse 41 that they received his word. The term means to welcome they heard it I understood it, they believed it and we read they were baptized as a result of believing the gospel. They were then baptized.
Now imagine, it says at the end of the verse.
There were about 3000 soul. Think of the crowd at the Jordan River. Think of them praise and glory that accompanied that time of sharing and new life in the joy of of these multi-cultured people coming together. Some of them, not even knowing the language of the others but they all have Christ in common and so they believe they receive the message they been baptized and there were added that the 3000 souls. Now we have over 3000 believers in and around the city of Jerusalem and what did they do they worship how I know they continually devoted himself, if I may play off those words so worship is not a halfhearted haphazard activity where with a short of a shrug.
I think about religious thing know it's a devoting of myself when I prepare my message because I am a worshiper. I prepare with devotion, I work over words I shape the word so that they fit together in a way that makes sense as best I can I do it through prayer. I do it through research, do it with time not to call attention to me, but you deserve that. More importantly, God deserves that. Because this is an act of worship. The delivering of this message and you involved in listening to it.
You are involved as well.
So we are devoting ourselves, not halfheartedly but with a full heart to those things that are worthy of our time and attention so they're doing that.
Also, to the teaching as I'm going through this passage of Scripture. If not literally, at least mentally. You have your finger on the text in your leaving it because you are serious about the word of God. That's an act of worship because of the importance of this topic.
Chuck Swindoll will spend the next several programs talking about worship in our churches. He titled his message worship, a commitment not a war part one you're listening to Insight for living and this nine part series comes under the banner of the church awakening to learn more about this ministry. Visit us firstname.lastname@example.org and then to dig deeper on your own and take notes along the way. Remember, you can access the online resource called searching the Scriptures. This is a free Bible study tool and we encourage you to interact with Chuck sermon notes online order print out the PDF insured with friends this series on the church. Awakening is perfectly suited for small group discussions with your friends at church. It's free. When you go to Insight.org/studies then as the international news continues to focus on the intense conflicts in Eastern Europe will remind you that for many years Insight for living has been speaking into this part of the world we done so through Chuck's Bible teaching translated into languages such as Polish and Romanian. These ministries are part of our long-range strategic plan to make disciples for Christ in all 195 countries of the world we call it vision 195. When you get a good after helping us provide Chuck's teaching in your own country, and a portion is applied to going beyond our borders, where clear Bible teaching is desperately needed.
So thank you for supporting the ministry of insight for living to get your donation today. Call us if you're listening in the United States, call 807 seven 288. One more thing Chuck has a daily email devotional. It sent to your inbox each morning to help you start your day with thousands are taking advantage of these daily inspirations come from some of Chuck's best writing and you can to the email devotional is free to sign up, go to Insight.org/devotional about de-escalating the worship wars in church Friday on Insight for living. The preceding message worship, a commitment not a war part one was copyrighted in 2008 and 2010 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2010 by Charles R. Swindoll. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited