From Pastor Johnny

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Does Your Church Have the Right Signature Part 6 - Powerful Worship

          Amazing things were happening as the believers gathered.  They gathered to exalt Christ and worship Him.  As they did, their worship was characterized by five responses:

  1. There was a deep reverence out of a fear of God. -- “sense of awe”
  2. There was a drastic revelation out of a focus on God – “wonders”
  3. There was a definite reminder of the presence of God – “signs”
  4. There was a daily reunion of the people of God – 46 - “continuing the temple (corporate)..and from house to house. 
  5. There was a detailed response to the goodness of God – “praising”

             For them, gathering was not about getting what they needed personally, but it was pouring out their hearts toward God.  There is no doubt in my mind that every believer NEEDS to be in worship much worse than he or she needs to be in a deer stand, shopping mall, horseback, golf course, or sleeping in.  Yet, our need to be in corporate worship is not the primary reason for gathering.  The primary reason for gathering in corporate worship is God Himself.

            Suppose an elementary school caught on fire, and you happened to be driving by. You stopped and acted quickly. You realized that there were two classrooms of students and teachers trapped by the fire.  They would all die if something were not done. Without any consideration of your own life or well-being, you climbed on to the roof of the building and rescued all 45 people in those two classrooms.

            You were so brave and so heroic, with no regard to your own life, that the county throws a banquet for you, and you can invite 100 of your friends.  The banquet is for the county to honor and award you for this amazing feat of bravery.  They are going to have a meal, honor you with songs, and speak of your heroism.

            You give the organizers the names of 100 friends to invite to the banquet. Only 50 of the 100 say that they will come. The other 50 have cars to wash, fish to catch, deer to kill, relatives to visit, overtime to work, and grass to mow.

            In addition, suppose that out of the other 50 who come, 30 of them do not notice you at all.  They complain because it is too hot.  They talk about it being too cold.  Others in that group of 30 complain that they could not read the menu properly or that the food was new recipes that they did not like.  Still others said that the food was too old-fashioned and they were bored with it. 

            Finally, there is a group of about 20 people who come to you and tell you what a great thing you did in saving those lives.  These people hug you, pat you on the back, and speak of the amazing things you accomplished by your selfless act.  Some of this 20 even bring you gifts and give you rewards because you saved their children.

            After it is all said and done, an amazing thought crossed your mind.  You realize that out of 100 people invited to be at a banquet honoring you, only about 20 realized it was for you.  The other 80 people seemed to think that the banquet did not matter, or that the banquet was for them.

            Weekly Christians have the opportunity to gather to praise God, recount God’s goodness, revere His power, and reveal His greatness.  We have an opportunity to honor Him and Him alone. Too often, many of God’s people view corporate worship in terms of what they can receive.

            How many believers really understand worship is about God?  How many believers who sit at home, find other things to do or go somewhere else fail to realize that it is about God?  How many believers who do walk in the doors for corporate worship on Sunday mornings really think worship service is really about their needs rather than about God’s glory?  

            Powerful worship in corporate worship is God’s people gathering to express God’s greatness and praise Him. Powerful worship happens when God’s people know that it is about God.