Next Steps: Week 2

Next Steps: Week 2 Day 5

Video Transcript

Before we talk about one more aspect of our spiritual life that will help us draw closer to Jesus, I want to let you know about one more resource that we have on the Sagebrush app that will help you grow spiritually as well. That resource is called our Daily Devotional. When you open the app, scroll down on the main page, and you should see a banner that says Daily Devotional.

If you click on that banner, you will see a devotional for each day of the week. If you click on one of the days, that devotional for that day will pop up on your screen. Each devotional is written to remind us of what the message was about this past weekend. Suppose you are like me; you probably forget most of what was discussed on the weekend in just a few short days. The devotional is there to remind us of what was talked about, and the devotional shares with us how we can apply God's word to our day to day life. Each devotional takes about 2 minutes to read, and there is always a short passage of Scripture to read for that day as well. Thousands of people read our daily devotionals, so give those a shot. I think our devotionals are excellent.

Today I want to talk to you about the importance of coming to church and giving your best worship to Jesus.

In Matthew 15:8, Jesus said these horrifying words.

"These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by man."

In this verse of Scripture, Jesus tells us that it is possible to come to church week after week and just go through the motions. It's possible to say with our mouths that we love Jesus, but our hearts are just not that into it. It's possible to come to church and sing songs about how Jesus means everything to us and then leave the church building and live like He doesn't mean that much to us at all.

It's possible just to be a spectator and watch the worship service rather than truly participate in worshipping Jesus.

How does a person know if they are a spectator or a worshipper? A spectator is someone who comes to church to get something from the worship service. They leave critiquing the service. A spectator says things like, "I didn't really like that song we sang." "I wish Todd was a little bit funnier today." "That sermon didn't do much for me."

A worshipper comes to church to give something to God. They come to give their best singing, their best offering, and their best attention to the word of God so that God might speak to them through what is being said.

When we leave our worship services, we should be asking these types of questions.

  • Did I give God my best today?
  • Did I give God my best attention?
  • Did I listen intently to hear a word from God, or did I drift in and drift out?
  • Did I make the people I sat by feel welcomed, or did I almost run them over as I ran out to get to my car?
  • Was I rude to others around me because I got up to go to the bathroom during the service?
  • Was I rude today to the singers who practiced all week when I got up to leave before the service let out so I could get out of the parking lot faster?
  • Was I distracting others around me because my cell phone went off because I didn't put it on silent?
  • Was I distracting others when my baby began to cry, and I sat there rather than removing the baby from the service?

What we do in our worship services matters. Eternity is at stake. Heaven and hell are in the balance. There are people who brought a friend with them today. They are hoping that something is sung, something is done, something is said, something happens that would cause them to want Jesus in their lives, and we don't want to do anything that would get in the way of that, so when we come to church to worship the Lord, we want to give Him our best.

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 5:1, "Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know they do wrong."

Let me give you a few pointers on how we can give our best worship to Jesus.

1. Come prepared.

Come with the right mindset. Set your attention and your affection on Him. Spend some time before you even get here praying for the service and for the pastor who is giving the message. Pray for yourself that you would be humble and ready to hear and do what God is calling you to do.

There is perhaps no basketball rivalry as intense as that between Duke and North Carolina. The campuses are only eight miles apart. Both teams have different shades of blue for their primary color, so North Carolinians are told, "Choose Your Blue!"

Duke fans take their allegiances seriously. Every fan is a cheerleader. When the two teams recently played each other in Duke's Cameron Arena, home fans (or "Crazies") were given instructions.

"This is the game you've been waiting for. No excuses. Give everything you've got, and we will walk away the victors. Cameron should never be less than painfully loud tonight. At Coach K's request, please focus on our team tonight. Better to bring our team up than put theirs down. Especially coming out of timeouts, we need to be incredibly loud. During their free throws in the second half, forget the novelty stuff; just be unbelievably loud. This is a huge game. Stay in the bleachers and go nuts."

This is the worship service you have been waiting for all week. Give God the best that you have got. No excuses. Come prepared.

2. Engage in the service.

When it's time to sing. Sing. Listen, I don't like all the songs we sing here, and I'm the pastor, and the older I get, the more the music bugs me, but worship isn't about my preferences. Worship is about giving God the honor and the praise that is due to Him, and there is not a single song that we sing that does not give honor and praise to God. I refuse to let my personal preference stop me from worshipping my Lord and my Savior with all that I have got.

Engage in the message. Ask God to speak to you through his word. Be ready to write down what you hear him say to you and make a commitment to act on what he asks you to do. When the pastor prays, don't just listen to his prayer but pray to God and pour out your heart to him.

Remember that God is here among us. Jesus said, "Where two or three come together in My name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20. Tell God, "I am here to meet with You."

God is worthy of our best worship.

  • God created us; He knows the number of hairs on our heads, and His thoughts of us outnumber the grains of sand on every seashore.
  • God is powerful. There is nothing that our God cannot do. All He has to do is say the word, and it happens. There is no problem too big for Him; there is no situation that brings fear to His heart.
  • Our God is consistent. He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, which means you and I can count on Him. He is never late and never early.
  • Our God loves us with a never-ending love. There is nothing I can do today that will cause God to love me a little bit more, and there is nothing I can do today that will cause God to love me a little bit less.

He has forgiven us for every foolish thing we have ever done. For every sin, for every habit, and for every addiction. And our God will never give up on us. He believes in us and has put inside of us His precious Holy Spirit that guides our life, so I will not come into this place casually. When I come in here, I will give God my very best. I will not be a spectator, but I will be a worshipper. I will give Him my best singing and my best attention. I will be eager to hear His voice, and I will be moved by His presence. I will get here early, and I will come prepared. I will get here consistently, and I will show my Lord my love and devotion more here than at any sporting event I have ever been to. He is worthy of the best that I have got.