Edited: Sep 24, 2018
날짜: 2018년 9월 23일
제목: 예배 드리러 갑시다
올리브연합감리교회 김배선 목사
20180923 Sunday Worship sermon
Let us worship the Lord
John 4: 23-24, Hebrews 13:16
If we are Christians and true believers, what should be the true life of Christians?
Let me ask you a question.
What is the best thing we can do for God?
What is the best thing we can give to God?
What does God want from us?
Yes, it is love.
It is to love God.
God pleases when we show our love for Him.
What is the best thing we can do for God?... It is to love God.
Then, how can we show God that we love Him?
What could be the specific expression of loving God?
Most Christians including us are confessing that they love God.
But how do we know if we truly love God?
I can say and confess, "I love God."
But how can I prove my love for God?
Love can be an abstract and just a word if we do not express it in action.
So, our love for God must be expressed in concrete terms.
Then, what is the best expression of loving God?
It is worship.
Worshipping God is a visible way of expressing our love for God.
Today, I would like to talk about Worship.
What is worship?
Worship takes place when we gather together to pray.
Worship takes place when we gather together to sing praise songs.
Worship takes place when we gather together to dedicate our services and hearts to God.
Worship takes place when we love God together.
You may read the Bible every day alone.
You may pray to the Lord every day alone.
You may sing praise songs every day with your sweet voice.
But if you do this alone, it could only be partial love for God.
It cannot be whole.
Our partial love for God can be whole when we worship the Lord together as a church.
Those individuals who pray, praise, read the Bible and serve together to open the doors of heaven, yearn for the grace from heaven, and worship.
Then, together, we will be made whole to love God completely.
We gather together and pray.
We gather together and praise.
We gather together and listen to the word.
We gather together and serve.
Then we will experience the opening of the heaven.
True worship of gathered Christians opens the heavenly gates, and we experience the pouring of the grace of heaven to us.
To meet with the Lord who has been forgotten until then, to be thrilled with the Lord's wonderful grace, to rejoice in His passionate love, so your heart becomes full of thanksgiving... That is worship.
That is why this kind of worship is the best and most right way to express our love to God which pleases God.
So when we gather together and worship God with all our heart and soul, then our abstract confession of “God, I love you…” becomes real in our lives.
Brothers and sisters, whom does God look for?
God looks for a worshiper.
This is the story in John 4 which we read today.
God wants to find those who worship God and bless them.
This is truly amazing.
We worship God, even if God does not reward us for our worship, it is our duty to worship God.
Nevertheless, when we have worshiped God, God blesses us.
We worship God which we should do, and God blesses and loves us even more.
How else could it be better?
Let's take an example.
A man loved a woman.
The man thinks that the woman is so beautiful.
He really loves her.
He really loves her in his heart.
And he always confesses his love to her, saying "I love you so much, I love you more than anything else in the world ... "
Yes, he always confesses his love to her.
But he always adds these words to the confession of love.
"I love you so much, but I am too busy. I have so much to do and I wonder if I can even spare an hour for you in a week. In fact, it cannot be guaranteed. But I love you so much. I really love you… "
Now, if you were the woman whom this man loves dearly and hear this confession, how would you feel?
Do you feel that you are loved?
Do you feel that his love is true for you?
You will probably think that his love is nothing but just words.
Even if someone says, “I love you” thousands of times, if that person is not willing to spend even an hour with you a week because he is so preoccupied with other things, how can you accept his love as truth?
Yes, if you really love someone, you would want to spend every available moment with whom you love.
Here is another example.
Some people love their hobbies.
If you like fishing or golfing, wouldn’t you make time in your busy schedule to go fishing and golfing?
Even for a hobby, we will find time for what we love.
That is how love works.
If we say we love, we should give our hearts and time and effort.
Now, I would like to ask you a hard question?
Do you love God?
How is your heart before the Lord?
“God I love you but I am so busy. I have to work hard to make my ends meet. I am tired and I have so much to do. You may need to excuse me if I need to skip worship.”
Do you think our God is so generous and He will think “it’s ok. You say you love me so I am fine. No problem?”
Of course, God will understand our circumstances and situations.
But even if God accepts us as we are, we should show our love to Him.
We need something.
Even if we are at a disadvantage, hurt or blamed, we must show our love to God.
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.
Let us all worship the Lord.
Then, how should we worship the Lord?
There are two stages of worship.
What is the first step?
When we say "worship," we often wonder “what is the true worship? What is the worship that God will receive?”
But this is not the first thing we should consider.
The very first thing you need to do is to come to worship.
It is useless to worry about "How can we give God a true worship?" when we don’t even come to worship.
We must first come to worship.
You have come to worship the Lord today, so you all have already passed the first stage of worship.
What is the second stage of worship?
We may find the answer in today’s scripture.
In John chapter 4, Jesus talks to a Samaritan woman.
It began with a simple everyday dialogue but it turned into a talk about worship.
The woman complains to Jesus in verse 20.
“Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
Yes, she is asking now, "Do we have to go to Jerusalem to worship God?"
In verses 21~24, Jesus replies,
“A time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
It is more important that we have a right kind of mind when we worship, not the place where we worship.
"We must worship in spirit and in truth ... "
Now, the beginning of worship is to come to worship.
From there, worship begins.
And the completion of worship is to worship God in spirit and in truth.
If so, now we have to worship in spirit and in truth, how can we worship God in spirit and in truth?
The first thing we need to do to worship in spirit and in truth is to come to the Lord and ask for His help for our weaknesses, and His grace for our sins.
In Isaiah 1, God rebukes us through the prophet Isaiah.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me…” (Isaiah 1:11-13)
Then it continues and shares how we are supposed to come before the Lord.
“Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong…” (Isaiah 1:16)
God does not care how much we would bring before God.
He cares about us, how we are before God.
When we wash, clean ourselves, and abandon our evil deeds before God, we can give a true worship to God.
The prophet Isaiah also tells us this.
“The Lord says: These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught…” (Isaiah 29:13)
It is meaningless if we only confess our love with our mouth without heart.
King David confesses his sins to God and makes these confessions.
“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart God, will not despise…” (Psalm 51:17)
When we come to God with broken hearts and confess all our faults to God, and seek God's grace and God's help, then our worship can be the true worship.
It means that God is pleased.
God is pleased when we are broken before God.
Second, how can we worship the Lord in the spirit and truth?
We must restore the clogged and tangled things before we come to the Lord.
What does this mean?
The first thing to do is to make peace and then join the worship.
It means you should not come with a heart full of hatred.
Please have a joyful heart, an open heart, and a good and clean heart.
Then God will receive our worship.
Did you argue with someone recently?
Is something bothering you?
Then, please make a phone call and reconcile before you come to worship.
Do you hate someone?
Please pray and let go of your hatred before you come to worship.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:24,
”Leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift…”
When we are full of anger and hatred, no matter how good we offer, God does not accept our worship.
If there is something that you need to solve, make it right before you come to the Lord.
Make peace with everyone before you come to the Lord.
At the time of reconciliation, we can worship the Lord in the spirit and in truth.
However, there are people who misunderstand when we say such a thing.
They use this as an excuse for not attending the worship service.
“Why didn’t you come to church?” When asked, "O Pastor, I did not go to church because I had a hatred in my heart ..."
There are those who would say such.
You should not use it as an excuse for not coming before the Lord.
If you have a hatred in your heart.
You should get rid of that hatred before you come to the Lord.
When do we worship?
Isn’t there a designated time for worship?
We don’t randomly come for worship, right?
So, before we come to worship service, we look at our heart and clean ourselves, reconcile if we need to, before we come to the worship service.
And one more thing, to learn from the words of Hebrews what it means to worship in spirit and in truth.
In Hebrews 13:16 we read today,
”And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
A good deed that we do, and a heart that loves to share with others...
These things are said to be a sacrifice pleasing to God.
Just as we open our hearts toward heaven, when our hearts are opened and enlarged to other people, then our worship become the worship in spirit and in truth.
Today, we shared about the meaning and importance of worship.
Our faith and our passion for God can be shown through our gathering together and worshiping God.
Without worship, every act of faith we confess may be nothing more than a meaningless pretext, or just incomplete.
I hope that we will be able to gather together and worship in spirit and truth that can be truly pleasing to God.
Do not forget that worshiping God should be central to our lives, even if we are in a difficult situation.
And when we live and worship God, I want you to be convinced that worshiping the Lord is the most precious thing in this life and in the world, which cannot be compared to anything.
May God love us more than anything else and bless us.
With this belief and confidence.
Let us worship the Lord together. Amen.