Importance Of Sunday Morning Worship Services…

praising God (10-8-17)

Most are aware of the shooting massacre that took place recently in Las Vegas.

Before this coming weekend when Christians around the world will gather to sing praises to the LORD, I want to address this briefly because

It’s easy to think, “Here we are singing praises to God—and listening later to yet another sermon—when we need to be out there doing something productive for those suffering in Las Vegas…or in any city/country where there is suffering.”

My dear friends, we are to address the practical needs and practical suffering of people–praise the LORD that you have a deep desire to do that!

But we are to do that only as we also address the root of those needs & suffering. We must be careful that we don’t get busy mowing down weeds on the surface but leaving untouched the roots of the weeds beneath the surface. Mowing by itself makes the lawn look healthy temporarily but the only way to truly make the lawn survive & thrive is to dig and get at the roots of the weeds.

Loved ones, what Christians will gather to do this weekend—praise the LORD through music, pray to Him individually and collectively, listen to His Word, repent to Him genuinely—is root work: it’s not only the most productive way to respond to tragedy and suffering…it is the ONLY way to truly address the root of such tragedies and suffering.

Please consider these following Bible passages:

James 4:1-10:What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

[That’s it, loved ones–it’s our desires that are broken, that are evil.
Our problem isn’t above the surface but beneath the soil of our souls…]

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity [hatred] against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”

[The LORD uses the Bible yet again to diagnose our true root problem–our hatred against God’s right to rule both the universe and us. Our primary problem isn’t that we treat other humans as enemies (though of course that is a secondary problem!), but that we treat God Himself as The Enemy to our desire to be in charge of ourselves]

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

That’s the root issue, loved ones—our sinful hearts, our sinful desires, our sinful beliefs.
We need to repent of sin & submit to God to be washed & purified in our hearts
(desires, choices, feelings, emotions, beliefs, etc.). And non-Christians need to know that as well–that is their root problem too…

Please also consider this passage–the Lord Jesus said,

Matthew 5:18-20:  “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person…”

[Again, it is our hearts that are defiled, and our evil and sinful actions flow from those defiled hearts. Focusing only on external situations/symptoms will never change our hearts, just as treating the symptoms of a disease will not cure us of the sickness…]

1 Corinthians 6:9-11: Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

That is what all humans need from the Lord Jesus Christ: to be

sanctified (made holy/set-apart), and
justified (have our sinful criminal record wiped clean)

by the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit from the inside out.

That’s root-work, loved ones...

And so Christians will gather this weekend to praise the LORD both for HIS diagnosis of our true condition as well as His CURE for our condition: repentance & faith in His Son Jesus’ death & resurrection, the free gift of a NEW heart by faith: the Gospel.

And we gather this weekend to continue to learn what the Gospel really is so that we continue to be transformed by Him and so that we accurately share that Gospel with others so that they too can be completely forgiven & transformed.

As we gather together to praise the LORD for Who He is & listen to His Word for what He says, by faith in the Lord Jesus we are filled up with the Gospel & are launched from local church buildings out into the harvest field, from

Le Seuer to Las Vegas to Liberia to Luxembourg,
Mankato to Mongolia to Madagascar,

to spread that Gospel, to invite people to bring both

their surface weeds—sinful habits—and
their roots of such weeds—sinful desires & rebellion against God Himself—

to the Lord Jesus

in repentance from sin,
in confession of sin,
in faith in the Savior Jesus

to receive a brand new heart,
a brand new set of desires, beliefs, goals & dreams,
to have a new God (Christ!)
to replace the old god (self)—

to have peace with God thru the blood of Jesus &
then to have peace with others thru that same blood of Christ.

So let’s praise the LORD thru music together this weekend,
let’s listen to Him through His Word,
let’s be full of Him & His Word
& be launched from this local church building to

go out & push back the darkness with the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ…

listening to sermon (10-8-17)