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How to Relate to God: Corporate Worship

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Last Sunday, Pastor Ed continued the series on "How to Relate to God" by talking about Corporate Worship.  The series is focusing on one of our core habits:  Practice creative devotion.

The service began with a joyful baby dedication of twins.

I am not healthily relating to God if I am not worshiping him gladly.

We're ordered to rejoice in the Lord, to delight in Him.  If there's no gladness, I may not know God.  I've got a connection problem.

We looked at John 4:19-24, where Jesus talked with the Samaritan woman.  The critical thing about worship is not the mechanics.  We need to worship in spirit and in truth.  Our heart needs to be engaged.

Worshiping isn't worship unless the heart's engaged.

Isaiah 29:13 -- It's possible to worship in vain.

Matthew 15:7-9  If our hearts aren't engaged, the form is meaningless.

Worship also engages our head.  We need a fully engaged understanding.

Idolatry is essentially to think wrongly about God.  Truth matters.  Sincerity isn't enough.

Real worship involves the heart and the head, spirit and truth.

Where does this come from?

When people experience God for who He is:

That experience drives them to confession.

That experience motivates them to offer themselves.

That experience launches them into praise.

This is the essence of Biblical worship.  It comes from seeing God for who He is.

How can we do this?  Offer ourselves to God, singing praying, bowing down, speaking truth about God.


HIStory - We Worship Christ

Last Sunday, the second Sunday of Advent, Pastor Ed Allen continued his series "HIS Story" from the passage Luke 1:26-38 about the angel's announcement to Mary of Jesus' birth.

In a real sense, the Solution to our messed-up world is Jesus.

If you're a Christian, what you do is worship Christ.

We worship Jesus Christ!

We are not religious pluralists.  Not every picture of God is equally right.  We believe Jesus is the exact representation of God's being, squeezed into human form.

We worship Jesus Christ because we believe the biographical accounts of his life are true!

The gospels are based on historical, factual occurrences.

If they're not true, let's quit!  But let's struggle together with this.

We do affirm everyone's right to believe as they believe.  Tolerance is a Jesus value.  He was a Friend of Sinners -- prostitutes, tax collectors, etc.  He made it not so much about following the rules.  But Tolerance isn't the supreme value, love is.

Why do we worship Jesus Christ?

Because he is profoundly humble.

Born in a stable, to working-class parents.  Sometimes God sets the odds against Himself to show His greatness. (Philippians 2)

Because he is utterly unique.

Announced by an angel, born of a virgin.

Because he is God's Son.

Made by the Holy Spirit.

If you doubt it, ask yourself, Why?  Be willing to doubt your doubts.

This is the time for us who believe to stop and wonder.

Because he is great.

Luke 1:32a -- "He shall be great."

Luke 1:39-45 -- The encounter with Elizabeth demonstrates how great Jesus was even in the womb.

Because he is the Messiah.

Luke 1:32b -- "The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David."

He overthrew sin and spiritual darkness.

A Messiah for all people.

Luke 2:10-12 -- "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."