Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Four Essential Ingredients: Worship


We continue to look at the four essential ingredients for a thriving Christian life represented in Acts 2. This is where we see the very first church focused on the four ingredients necessary to grow together – nurture, worship, community, and mission. In order to grow as vibrant Christians, we need to make sure we place these as a priority in our faith journeys.

In Acts 2:42-47, it says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

From the outside looking in, one could surmise that there are a lot of “oughts” in Christianity. We ought to love one another, we ought to be a community, we ought to witness, we ought to obey God. But the things that motivate a follower of Jesus Christ to be obedient, live in community with other believers, and witness is not a sense of “I ought” but rather a sense of “I want.” When we are motivated from the heart and not out of duty, we are enthusiastic in our approach.

When you read the New Testament, a natural result of worship is to "do church." In the book of Acts we see the experience of the resurrection bringing about worship and an enthusiastic zeal for God. The disciples devoted themselves to prayer after Jesus ascended to the Father. They were filled to completeness and could not hold in their worship.

In John 4 Jesus speaks to a Samaritan woman about worship. She seems eager for an abstract talk about theology, but Jesus brings the discussion down to a personal level. He emphasizes two things about worship. First, God is looking for worshipers (John 4:23). He has taken the initiative. He wants us to know Him more so He seeks us out. Second, God wants us to worship Him in spirit and truth. God is more concerned about our heart than He is how we do it. He sees the spirit with which we approach Him.

As a church, we want worship to permeate through all we do. If people are getting together as Disciple Groups, we want worship to be the central theme. If a Discipleship Class gathers, worshipping the Lord by bringing Him honor and glory ought to be the flavor of our time together. Experiencing the presence of God as we live a life of worship is the key.

I always enjoy coming together as a church on Sunday morning as we worship. Each Sunday is unique and I always come away encouraged and blessed. I am excited to see what God does through the seed money given out this past Sunday. We have been praying as to how God wants to meet a need through our faithfulness.

Don’t forget to come for Worship this Sunday at 9:15 a.m. We will not have Discipleship Classes. Following that service we will go to the Family Life Center (10:45 a.m.) for our Kinder Choir presentation, "The Best Gift of All," followed by the Family Musical “Bethlehem Bound.”

May you be like the Wiseman who sought Jesus out to worship Him. He is worthy of all of our praise and worship…

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike

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