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Worship: A Commitment . . . Not a War, Part Two, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
May 4, 2022 7:05 am

Worship: A Commitment . . . Not a War, Part Two, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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May 4, 2022 7:05 am

The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call for Renewal

Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston

Can anyone truly understand how God works? Who has known the mind of the Lord? I've been asking that for centuries, not centuries, but for years.

And I've never had anybody honestly raise their hand. You know why? Because you don't know. You can't describe why the last five years of your life have been like they've been. All you know is it's been for your good. And it's been for him. You wouldn't be the person you are today.

That is, if you walked with him through it. I think it's time that we announce openly and without reluctance that Stonebriar Community Church is a church for our times. But it is not a church caught up in the trends, nor by the grace of God will we ever be.

It is a church I hope that will be marked by balance, always been our goal from the start. We do not play and sing or preach for any man's glory. It is all for the glory of our God. It's a part of our philosophy of worship. And worship has to do with the magnification of our great God, which means I'm not important in the process.

I'm not significant in the act. That's what we firstly once put it. It has been so preoccupied with our God that nothing on this earth gains a significant place in our thinking. Our trials become reduced. The discoveries of life become exciting. And the changes that God brings without explaining his reasons only hold us to him closer.

And we discover there's a dimension of life that is supernatural and unseen and the invisibility of it adds to the invincibility of it. Turn to Matthew chapter 15. I want you to see an example of vain worship. Matthew 15.

I want you to see Jesus as he is on the street, if you will, facing his opposers, his opponents. They're called Pharisees and scribes, verse one. In the Torah, there are 10 commandments. But for the Pharisees and scribes, there were over 650 more that they added, which means such things as this is the way you wash your hands before you eat your meal. And there was a tedious, lengthy process you go through as you fulfill the traditions of men.

And if you don't, you're wrong. They shun you. Ultimately, they judge you. And the final point is they drive you out because you need to do what they are telling you to do. Legalism at its worst.

So here's an example. Jesus is with his men. They've been eaten from the field. They didn't wash their hands. So the Pharisees show up and they're complaining. Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? Notice they didn't say the Holy Scriptures. They are transgressing the tradition of the elders, for they don't wash their hands when they eat bread. And he answered and said to them, Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?

Do you get it? He trumps their criticism by mentioning the sacred text. They may be ignoring the tradition of your list, but here is the word of God that they're not ignoring.

And why do you ignore it while upholding your traditions? Well, he goes on to give them an example. God said, and he describes it, verse five, but you say. So they come in with their interpretation and their addition to the text, and they go further than God ever allowed them to go. Verse seven, he says it like it is. You hypocrites. He says, Why do you act like you're so righteous when in fact you're a bunch of hypocrites?

In fact, rightly did Isaiah prophesy, and he quotes to them extemporaneously from the scrolls of Isaiah. These people honor me with their lips. That's not worship.

But their heart is far away from me. That's not worship. God doesn't want our lips. He wants all of us, hearts, lips, every bit of us. But in vain they worship.

Look at the words. In vain do they worship me, teaching as their doctrine the precepts of men. He called his disciples to him, or the multitudes to him, and he said to them, Hear and understand. Not what enters into the mouth defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth that defiles the man. The disciples said to him, Do you know the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?

You think? Let me tell you, every time you speak the truth, someone will be offended, especially Pharisees. Certainly those who are running from the truth, those who do not acknowledge that God's word is the truth, you will be offended. You will be offended by the frank, bold nature of the proclamation that comes with exposition. The scripture cuts through, cuts into, beyond the soul and spirit, beyond the joints and the marrow. And it is a criticos.

It is a critic of the thoughts and intentions of the heart. That's why when you hear Bible exposition, you feel exposed. And so he says to them, Of course they're offended. Of course. I'm telling them about the word of God.

And I'm exposing the traditions of men. Turn from here to Romans 11. Way back at the beginning of Romans, he reveals us as sinners, lost, undone, without hope. There's no way we're going to reach God on our own. No one seeks God.

No one. No one on his own has any interest in spiritual things. That is certainly not the biblical God of heaven. And so God must intervene. And he did in Christ. And he brought his grace. He reached in and loved us when we weren't very lovely. And we came to know Christ. That's chapter five.

We had the struggles of chapter six, seven and eight. And then finally, in nine, 10 and 11, Paul has been building this doctrinal base. And it's like the crescendo mark on a music score. And if you love music, you know, it gets louder and louder as it gets wider until finally it's marked double fortissimo or triple fortissimo. That means say it or play it as loud or sing it as loud as you can without screaming. When he gets to chapter 11, verse 33, he speaks in what is called a vocative. Oh, the depth of the riches.

11, 33. Oh, the depth of the riches. Both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God. There's nothing among mankind that would ever deserve such a statement.

But with the living God. Oh, the depth of the riches. The depth of the riches.

Both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God. And look at the next two words as he uses them. How unsearchable are his judgments and unfathomable his ways. Aren't those great words? Unsearchable. Unfathomable.

You know why I like that? It means I don't have the answers. So why do I spend so much of my time wasting it on finding answers when I'm to trust him? Our God knows what he's doing. He planted an eternity past when he knew I would be a sinner and you as well. And we wouldn't have it together. And we would live on this planet surrounded by people who don't have it together. So God's plan was to do an unfathomable, unsearchable work in our lives.

Oh, the depth of the riches of such a thought. That puts God in a completely different category. That's who we worship.

That's why we worship. We bow to no other. We call on no American general or some other general that's fought in any war. We turn to no statesman. We turn to no president. We turn to no king or queen.

None of them are in the category of unfathomable and unsearchable. This is the one and only God. Then he asks some rhetorical questions.

They are wonderful. Who has known the mind of the Lord? Anybody here claim that he knows the full mind of the Lord?

Let me just pause here and give you a chance. I've been asking that for centuries, not centuries, but for years. And I've never had anybody honestly raise their hand. You know why? Because you're intelligent enough to know you don't know. You don't know the mind of God.

You can't even explain last week. You can't describe why the last five years of your life have been like they've been. All you know is it's been for your good and it's been for his glory. Otherwise, you wouldn't be the person you are today.

That is, if you walk with him through it. Who has known the mind of the Lord? Look at the next one. Who became his counselor?

Isn't that a crazy question? Can you imagine beginning of day? Okay, Lord, I'm going to give you a little advice on today.

Or, you know, Lord, this afternoon when I had that situation, you could have done a lot better if you had done so. Why, it's blasphemy. You're not his counselor.

That's why silence is appropriate in his presence. That's why I don't know fits so beautifully when you're asked, why did this happen? I don't know. Why was this child born to that family and not to this family? Why did the flood strike that home and not this home? How come the tornado when it moved through snaked its way beyond my neighborhood and took that house and not ours?

Or harder, took ours and not theirs? I don't know. But I know it wasn't a mistake.

I know it wasn't an afterthought where God flipped a divine coin and said, oh, let's go that house. No, no. You say, well, I can't explain. Well, no one can.

It says you can't. That's why you worship him. Almighty God, worthy of worship and worthy of praise.

I can't describe what this why this is happening. All I know is you have a plan. Help me find my way through it, into it and beyond it.

Do your work in me. That's worship. That's giving God the praise he deserves.

That's releasing your life, your experiences, your struggles, and you're giving them to him whom you cannot advise. Who has given to him that it might be paid back to him again? You give God nothing. That makes God needy. One man put it this way, to admit the existence of a need in God is to admit incompleteness in the divine being. He has no need.

He has no need. It is all on this earth going on for his glory. And our gatherings are time when we acknowledge that. I love Tozer's words, may not the inadequacy of much of our spiritual experience be traced back to our to our habit of skipping through the corridor of the kingdom like children in the marketplace, always chattering about everything, but pausing to learn the true value of nothing.

That cuts us to the quick. We chatter about everything. No wonder we're such strangers to silence. Why else would he say, be still and know that I am God? I urge you before nightfall to sit quietly, television off, lights out, alone in his presence.

Before the week begins, tell him you're his. Of you and through you and to you are all things. To you be the glory.

All this week. Amen. To you, O God.

I place myself. That's what Romans 12 one is about. I regret the chapter break. Paul finishes this grand crescendo with an urgent plea. I plead with you on the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice.

It isn't about you. So sacrifice you yourself. It's a spiritual service of worship. See the last word in verse one, worship.

It's a spiritual service of worship. I crawl on that sacrificial altar. I give you each member of my family. I give you my future. I give you whatever has happened in my past. I give you my worries, my concerns. I give you the obstacles I'm looking at in the future. I give it all to you. I'm on the altar. It's all yours.

I trust you. Now, what's the problem here? Well, we're surrounded by a culture that will call you stupid for doing that.

Nothing in our culture will encourage you to live like that. Check the next periodical you get in your mail. Check tomorrow morning's newspaper. Check the Wall Street Journal. Check whatever may come from your company or from your school. Check it out.

You will get no counsel on how to live or think like that. After all, look at what you've achieved. P.H.D. Whoa! And look at the people who answer to you. Look at the company you've built. Look at that salary. Look at that bank account. That's what impresses our culture. Oh, look at that promotion.

Look at that title. You've got your own parking space. You've got your own bathroom.

Whoa! When you stand before your Heavenly Father, not one of those things will be mentioned. But your time on the altar will be. You see, the world around you wants to squeeze you into its mold, and so verse 2 says don't let that happen.

That's why it appears there. Stop being conformed to this world. Well then, what do I do? I live a mind that's transformed. Mind. My mind must be transformed. My thinking. My thinking that leads to my actions.

Transformed mind. That means I start thinking God's thoughts. I start getting my cues from His written Word. I apply it directly to my situation. And in the process I prove the will of God is good and acceptable and perfect.

And you know what? I lose my worry list and I pick up a worship lifestyle. And that is what we want to cultivate at Stonebriar Community Church. Not a group of people who enjoy being entertained, but a body of people who are learning how to worship as a lifestyle. Worship is a commitment never meant to be a war. I'd like you to bow your heads, please, and just sit quietly there. Just sit alone for a moment with your thoughts.

I acknowledge that some of you hearing this are probably thinking where on earth did this guy get off? Saying things like that. If you think that, chances are good you're new among us and you haven't been exposed to the teaching of the Bible. So, you don't need to go out and buy a big Bible. You need to make a journey. It's a mental journey. It's a heart-driven journey to the cross where there's life waiting for you. Because you see at that ancient cross on which Jesus died, the complete penalty for your sins, all of the things that you struggle with, all the stuff that led you to those habits that became unbreakable, all the stuff that led to the mess. It's called your sinfulness. Christ paid the complete price for those sins.

He wants you to know a life that's different. And by trusting in Him, He will bring you across that bridge that you walk across by faith, and He will bring you into His family. It's too important a decision to make thinking you can just walk down an aisle of a church or stand up front and say a few words and it's done. This is an in-depth decision. This is life-changing. This is a decision of your heart that you need to think through.

That's why we have people who are seasoned, mature individuals who will not preach. They will listen and they will help you come to terms with this decision. Before this day is over, come to terms with what you've heard. Simple prayer, Lord, I confess I'm a sinner. I'm lost. I can't find my way.

I've got everything from consequences to addictions, just a big mess. And I bring it all to you. And I trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

I take Him now. You're surrounded by people who have done that. You won't see lightning or hear thunder.

You won't suddenly have sky writing happen. But down deep inside, God will begin to do a work as He brings you from darkness to light, from death to life. I want you who know the Lord to pray for those sitting near you. Just right now, pray for them. And as you pray for them, make sure you've searched your own soul and answered the question, Am I truly a worshiper of the living God?

Am I cultivating a life of worship? In this wonderful moment of quietness, our Father, I want to express to you my gratitude for helping me say these things today. I've been so dependent on you for this message, and I feel that you have done it, and I give you all the credit for that. Help me to continue to do so in the power of your Spirit. Protect our church, Father, from the war.

Guard us from any encroachment of the secularization of ministry. May this anniversary soon to be celebrated be marked by Stonebriar Church at its best, leaning on our faces before you, doing what we do for your glory. I remember the little children who will fill this room this week, and I pray for the presentation of the gospel. I pray that you'd bring many of those little lives to faith in Christ.

Encourage the teachers, help them to speak a word that is in touch with their lives, that they might trust Him. And for any who've never met Christ, may that become a reality this day. Now to Him who is able to guard us from stumbling and present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding great joy, to the only wise God, our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion, power, forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever.

And all the people said, Amen. And with this closing prayer, Chuck Swindoll concludes a five-day study on an all-important topic. He titled his message, Worship, a Commitment, Not a War, Part 2. To learn more about Chuck Swindoll and this ministry, visit us online at As a complement to Chuck's signature series called The Church Awakening, we're also pointing you to a helpful biography that he's written on the Apostle Paul. It's called Paul, a Man of Grace and Grit. A pioneer of the early church, Paul's contagious enthusiasm for Christ has shaped the way we gather and worship to this day. And his dramatic story continues to shape church culture.

To purchase a copy of Chuck's biography on Paul, go to slash offer. At Insight for Living, we're pleased to receive notes, letters and phone calls from friends who affirm the value of this daily program. You might be encouraged to hear this one. It said, I am a pastor in southern Texas.

I'm 70 years old but going strong. Preachers need to have a preacher too and Chuck is my preacher. Insight for Living brings me daily inspiration, accountability and instruction in God's Word. Thank you and God bless you.

Isn't that great? When we inspire the pastor of a church, we're impacting all the people who attend that church as well. And when you give a contribution to Insight for Living, you're making these moments possible. To give a donation right now, call us.

If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. Or to give online, go to slash donate. . Cruise ships leave the harbor for Alaska all the time, but there's only one that's hosted by Insight for Living Ministries. You're invited to travel with Chuck Swindoll this summer. Every moment of your vacation is thoughtfully prepared and protected so that you can enjoy the perfect balance of rest, adventure, relaxation, sightseeing and just plain fun. All in the company of those who share your respect for God's Word and God's creation.

Yeah, I'll put it this way. God had a very good day when he created Alaska. I was awestruck by the majestic mountains, the wildlife, the quaint little seaports. All my life, I've wanted to see a glacier.

When I stepped out on the deck of our ship and witnessed the massive wall of ice, wow, it was truly breathtaking. Escape with Insight for Living Ministries to the great frontier, July 1st through July 8th, 2023. Call 1-888-447-0444. That's 1-888-447-0444. Or learn more at slash events.

The tour to Alaska is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Bill Meyer, inviting you to listen when Chuck Swindoll continues his teaching series called The Church Awakening, tomorrow on Insight for Living. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-23 17:07:38 / 2023-04-23 17:16:29 / 9

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