a) * Going to church every Sunday
b) * Just how we feel about God
c) * Available to anyone – Christians, Buddhists, Moslems, Jews, and even pagans, and it all counts
d) * Vastly overrated – why bother; I have gone to church for 30
years and nothing has ever changed in my life
e) * Vastly underrated – most of us just go through the motions
and don’t take it seriously
f) * A service where we encounter the living God of the universe through prayer, confession, singing hymns, hearing the Word of God and inspired preaching
g) * Available to anyone, but it only connects with our Lord when we repent of our sins, forgive others, and surrender to the Lord.
h) * All about God, not us.
The World says: a through d
The Word of God says: e through h
“Why did Christ come? Why was He conceived? Why did He rise again? Why is He now at the right hand of the Father? The answer to all of these questions is in order that He might make worshipers out of rebels.’ A.W. Tozer
Famous author and statistician George Barna stated: ‘Virtually every church in the nation provides opportunities for worship, yet we rarely worship God. Most Christians admit they seldom feel like they have connected with Him.’ So how can we connect with our Lord through worship?
Worship is the single most important thing a Christian can do, because it means a divine encounter with God. The Greek word for worship is “proskuneo”, which means to bow down, fall down, adore, show absolute reverence, homage, or submission. It means to prostrate oneself or touch one’s nose to the ground. Throughout Scripture we see how the saints always fell on their faces, bowed down, or prostrated themselves before the Lord when they worshiped. [THEY HIT THE DIRT WHEN THEY ENCOUNTERED THE DIVINE, HOLY PRESENCE OF THE LIVING GOD.]
Proskuneo is something that is done on the “inside” – in our spirit, defined by Jesus in John 4:23-24: ‘…the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.’ It’s asking nothing of Him, but losing ourselves in adoration, reverence, and homage.
Worship expresses our realization of the holiness of God, manifests our relationship towards God, and makes everything else secondary. It is not merely an act of our will, but an all-consuming yearning in our spirit, and an overflowing of our gratitude and love. Worship communicates to our Lord that WE ARE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT HIS BEING THAN HIS GIFTS.
Jesus wants us to become so lost in our love for Him that we’re able to experience His presence even in the midst of difficult circumstances in which we find ourselves. Experiencing His presence is what will bring us unfathomable joy, and restores the thrill of our salvation. ‘Only in His presence is fullness of joy.’ Psalm 16:11
The Lord wants us to be so consumed in the fire of His love that we are able to withstand anything that He allows in our lives. We must be passionately in love with the Lord.”*
1) How many of us come into His presence on a daily basis, fall down on our faces, and worship the Lord in our prayer closets – our secret place of the Most High?
2) How many of us have caught fire with the love of God and are being absolutely consumed by it?
3) How many of us are walking around exceedingly joyful (regardless of our circumstances) simply because we are in the presence of the Lord?
4) How many of us come to church on Sunday, spiritually clean of all sins, hungry for the Word and Sacrament, and looking forward to an encounter with the sovereign, living God of the universe?
Most people we encounter do not have an intimate relationship with our Lord; they do not worship Him in spirit and truth. But our Lord invites us all to a close relationship with Him so that we may experience the joy of the Lord, and His wisdom that will take us through the challenges of this life into eternity. So let us reach out to them with the love and truth of Christ, for time is short, eternity is a very long time, and we are not guaranteed tomorrow.
*Excerpts from “Private Worship – the Key to Joy” by Nancy Missler
To God be the glory