November 5, 2007

Monday Morning Message - The Call to Worship

There are some things you just can't do by yourself. Exhibit A, have a good argument. I know, I know, some of you argue with yourself all the time. However, to engage in a robust disagreement you need another party involved. Exhibit B, be in a relationship. As the old wag states, "It takes two to Tango." I could go on here but you get the idea. (Feel free to submit your own exhibits in the comments section.)

Worship is something that we need to do together. Gathering with others in times of worship is a necessary spiritual discipline. There is certainly a place for worship in the daily life of the believer. In fact, all that we say and do, every circumstance we encounter, and every relationship in which we engage is an opportunity for individual and personal worship (See Colossians 3:17). It is my firmly held belief that if our personal, daily worship is not lively then our times of corporate worship will not be lively. That said, there is a call for God's people to gather in worship on a regular basis.

Throughout Scripture there is the repeated call for God's people to gather together. Psalm 95 is one such instance. "Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." (Ps. 95:6-7) Why do we need these reminders to worship God together?

One reason is that we are a forgetful people. I don't know about you, but the memory thing is getting worse for me. Those who are older than I tell me it's going to get still worse in the years to come. I'm in trouble. I'm the kind of guy that can go to the grocery store with a list in hand and still manage to forget something on the list! If I can be forgetful about simple things in my life I'm fairly certain that I am prone to forgetfulness about the truly important things in my life. I can even forget to worship God. Deuteronomy 6:10-12 stands as one of the most relevant warnings in all of Scripture for the church in America. "Take care lest you forget the LORD" Prosperity, comfort, and ease can easily cause us to forget the only one worthy of our worship.

Another reason we need the reminder to worship God together is that we tend to wander. Even after we experience all the marvelous benefits of knowing and following God we can wander away from Him. Following their miraculous deliverance from Egypt the people of Israel began to wander away from the One who had delivered them. God, speaking to Moses, asks, "How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them?" Remember these are the people who saw the Red Sea parted. These are the people that picked up manna every morning. These are the people who saw water flow from a rock. These same people saw a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They saw all kinds of evidence for the presence and provision of God in their lives and they STILL turned their backs on Him. Incredible, I know, but it's still happening. We need to be called to worship on a regular basis because we tend to wander away from Him.

Finally, we need the reminder to worship because we need to worship. We are created to worship. It is an anthropological note of interest that in every culture there is a system of worship. There is within mankind a need, a hunger, an understanding that worship is necessary to our existence. St. Augustine famously and eloquently stated, "Our souls are restless until they find their rest in thee, O God." Alan Reynolds writes, "Worship is essential to our humanity because it gives us insight into who we are and why we are here. But gives be what we are not yet but yet may be, that which we become by God's grace."

We need to worship. We need to get together with others to worship. It is a vital spiritual discipline that will shape our life of faith. Don't miss the opportunity to get together with others and encounter God among His people this week.

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