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How and Why We Worship

Last Sunday, June 10th, Pastor Ed Allen began a new series on Worship.  He interspersed the message with songs led by the Worship Team.

Worship is a whole-self engagement with God on the terms that He prescribes and in the way that He alone makes possible, including adulation, devotion, and reverential acts of submission.

Worship involves our whole lives!

With God, the basic framework for our relationship is Creator/created, therefore the rules of engagement are that we worship Him.

We looked at Psalm 84, which talks about an "at home-ness," a spirit of rest that comes from worshiping God.

"The joy of the Lord is my strength." -- There's a strength in worshiping God.

When we engage our whole lives in worshiping God, we will feel the benefit.

There's also a corporate dimension to worship.  (Psalm 95)

One of the primary purposes for gathering together is encouragement and strengthening.  For US, not just for me.

We give our whole lives - not only our time, but also our will, our mind, our emotions, our bodies.  All are involved in worship.

Music, prayer, service, reading, art, work, testimony -- all can be worship.

And here we heard the testimony of Jason Orr, a young man who grew up in the church but departed from it - and came back.  He was radiantly playing keyboards with the worship team today.

The Scripture calls for worship that is true as opposed to false.  (Isaiah 29:13)

Our hearts need to be right.

Worship must:  Support our unity.  Involve head, heart, will, and body.  Honor God and brag about Jesus.  Be true to God's Word.

True worship is our response to God's activity on our behalf.  (Acts 17:26-28)

We rejected God, but He came after us.  We fall in love with HIm - and worship.  It's reactive communication.

True worship includes the adulation of the true God.  (2 Chronicles 29:3-4)

Worship involves excessive praise -- Singing, playing instruments, shouting, spoken praise, prayer.

And through all of this message, we practiced what was being preached - with worship.

Posted by Sondy Eklund with

The Art of Neighboring - A Special Possession

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Pastor Ed Allen finished up our series on "The Art of Neighboring" today with an overview sermon, taken from I Peter 2:9-12

First we heard the testimony of Sarah, a junior in high school, whose life was changed when someone invited her to Young Life and she gave her life to Jesus.

The message began with Ed talking about great speeches, fictional and actual - they tend to remind us who we are in order to move us to action.  That's what Peter does in this passage.

Who are we?

-- A chosen people.

God picked us.  That we are right here in this place is no accident.

-- A holy nation.

We're unique and set apart.  We're not attached to the culture around us.

-- God's special possession

God has expended great energy to obtain us.

Our Purpose:  ... to declare the praises of the one who has done so much for us!

What has God done?

-- He's brought us from darkness to light.

-- He is turning us into community.

Now we're the people of God.

-- He's made us mercy-recipients.

What's the plan now?

We're a culture that's different from the one around us.  We're foreigners and exiles.  We're also the centerpiece of God's plan.

Part One:  We don't do whatever pleases us.  In fact, we abstain from those desires which are ultimately harmful to us.

This is why our culture is ultimately at odds with the culture around us.  What we desire is not the standard for what is right.

Part Two:  We live consistently and powerfully good lives among our unbelieving neighbors so that they will see our good deeds and ultimately glorify God with their lives and deeds as well.

Live profoundly good, neighborly lives.

If you have trouble with Part One:

Don't be ashamed.  (It's tough.)  Don't give up.  Don't fight alone.

If you have trouble with Part Two:

Maybe God brought you here for your neighbors.  What's your assignment?  Pay attention.

Our Summer Assignment:  Let's have a cookout!

We want to hear stories this summer about what happens when we reach out to our neighbors in this way.

We finished off by remembering what an amazing thing God did when He built a church right here.  That time is now.  We were brought to this place to be a  Light.


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