As I was writing this week, I let my mind wonder back to childhood and Vacation Bible School. My mind stopped its journey as I pondered the Pledge to the Bible, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path,” and we hide God’s Word in our hearts lest we sin against Him and/or others. Then it hit me, we need to worship because we need the Word.
The fifth lesson about the importance of worship is, we go to a service of worship because we need the message of the Word of God for our day and time. As the Bible is read, we sense new meanings in words that have grown familiar with the years, and as our minds are opened through praise and prayer, the Holy Spirit ministers to us.
Sixth, the preaching of the Word takes place in the setting of worship. We make a mistake when we refer to the worship service only as “the preaching service.” It is that, and there is no substitute for the preaching of the Word; but the experience of worship helps to open our minds and hearts to the truth proclaimed by the preacher.
With our hearts attuned to the Spirit of God and with minds open and ready, God’s messenger can give us God’s Word for our day, relate the gospel to all of life, and send us out to better do our Lord’s work in the world.
Humm! Who would have thunk it? That simple pledge from VBS is right! We need to worship because we need God’s Word. The music is great to lift our spirits, but we need God’s Holy Word to light our path and direct our feet.
Have you ever looked at what other people are doing as you ride or drive to church? Some are hooking up their campers or boats, some getting ready to mow their lawn, others sitting comfortably on their deck or porch sipping their morning coffee reading the paper. Well while you are watching them, they are watching you. Studies show that your neighbors watch you as you consistently get up and get ready to go to church week after week. When you go to church, you are in essence bearing a witness.
The worship service is primary because it bears a witness to the world. The very fact that we get dressed in our Sunday best and go to the church service is a witness to the world of the importance of faith in our lives and of the church in the community.
We had a graphic illustration of this during World War II. During these years, the Patent Office was temporarily moved from Washington to Richmond. On the Sunday morning after the move was announced, a host of Washington employees drove to Richmond to seek places to live, at least, temporarily. To their amazement they found that the keepers of most of the boarding and rooming houses were not at home and that real estate places were closed.
Suddenly it dawned on some of them that these people were in church and that Richmond was a churchgoing community. Many who finally moved to Richmond spoke about this and took their places in churches; in part because they were impressed by the fact that Richmond is a churchgoing community and also because they were reminded of their own need. Yes, just going to church for worship is in itself a witness to the Lord in the community.
So, let me ask you. Are your neighbors getting a consistent witness as you travel to and from worship each week? Do they witness you attending church and worship regularly on Sunday Morning, Sunday Night and Wonderful Wednesday’s of Worship? I know I use to think as a boy, “Wonder what all these people think of us?” as we drove by their homes on our way to worship.
Join Us In Worship
As summer comes to an end, the days of outdoor grilling are soon to be passed. I love a good meal cooked on the grill. As one cooks on the grill you have the opportunity to see a good example of how the church works and worships. All the charcoal bricks work together to cook the meal. When you add the starter fluid, strike the match the flame begins to burn and the meal starts to cook. If you notice the charcoal as the meal cooks they are all close together, glowing red hot, each drawing heat and stability from the other. The church is much the same. When we come together, add the starter fluid of the Holy Spirit, get ignited with the passion of Christ, we come close together, all glowing, red hot doing the work of the church and in worship. But take the tongs and remove one brick from the rest of the charcoal and soon it becomes cold. It loses its heat, becomes grayish and chalky. The other charcoal continues to do its work, just slightly less efficient than before because part of it is missing. When one pulls away from the church and worship, they soon lose their passion, they no longer burn for the things of God, and soon they are cold, easily handled by the world, and the work of the church and our worship suffers.
Take then that same cold brick of charcoal and add it back to the others and soon it regains its glow, and begins to help generate heat to cook the meal. The third reason worship is important is because we need each other to effectively help each other worship and serve the Lord.
The third reason worship service is important is because others need it as we do. There is no substitute for such corporate seeking and sharing as is found only in a service of worship. For all too many, this is about the only time in the week for genuine quiet and meditation.
Humbly we confess our sins and shortcomings and renew our covenant with our Savior and with one another in the household of faith. We see our problems and our blessings in true perspective and proportion.
Yes, worship is primary because others need it as we do and because we all need one another in the fellowship of faith, but, most of all, we need God. And God has promised, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am i in the midst of them.” Join with us and God as we worship each Sunday Morning and Night as well as for our Wonderful Wednesdays of Worship on the property.
I remember when Shari was small she would often get caught up in asking why. Her mother or I would say something and she would respond with “Why?” We would answer that why only to hear her ask again, “Why?” and this would go on until frustration got the best of us and we would say something to the effect, “Because that is just the way it is, now stop asking why.”
Last week I said we would look at why worship is so important. Many preachers have spoken of the importance of worship only to hear either verbally or by action of the congregation, “Why?” So let’s start looking at why worship is so important and valuable to us.
First, worship is the best way for us to join with other believers in worshiping the Lord in the beauty of holiness. It is important to set a time apart for worship when we join with others in praise and prayer and in quiet meditation.
But there will only be such services if those who believe in the Lord and call upon His name make it a point to worship together regularly in the Lord’s house.
Second, we worship because we need to. The psalmist said, “My feet had well nigh slipped,” until he went into the sanctuary. How often we have been strengthened in mind and in spirit, saved from temptation, and girded for our duties and responsibilities because we took time to worship.
I am pretty sure we are not all that different. I struggle with temptation and sin every day, don’t you? One of the ways we are able to overcome temptation and a live spiritually healthier and happier life is through worship. So let’s get our worship on and get ready as the Psalmist said, “Let us be glad when they say unto us, let us go into the House of the Lord.
Every young Christian has probably played hooky from church. I know when I was a child as the ole saying goes, “I had a drug problem.” I was drug to church on Sunday Morning, Sunday Night, Wednesdays, and any other time the church doors were open. So, I tried to play hooky from time to time.
Worship however is the privilege and the responsibility of every believer in God, and Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Jesus himself, had the regular practice of worship in His hometown of Nazareth and as He ministered throughout the region.
Any worship service should be of primary importance to every follower of Jesus. To worship the Lord is to remind ourselves and others that we serve a living, powerful and wonderful Savior, who on the first day of the week conquered death and brought eternal life to us through the gospel.
We are in the middle of WWoW, Wonderful Wednesdays of Worship. What a grand opportunity for us to worship in conjunction with our Sunday Services. We can worship and praise our Living Lord, be challenged by His Word, and grow in our faith and service. Yet we live in a day when so many are prone to skip Sunday School, or preaching, or even take the entire Lord’s Day off to engage in other activities. We would do well to ask ourselves, “Why is worship so important?” Over the next several weeks I plan to share several reasons why worship is important. I hope you will make your plans now to be faithfully found in worship on Sundays and Wednesdays and oh yes, bring someone with you!
Together In His Service