Sermon Summary: How To Worship God

In this sermon on how to worship God, and continuing our series, “Love This City,” Pastor Michael Wittwer says that worship is fixing our attention and affection on Jesus for who he is and what he’s done. It’s not just singing songs together, it’s living a life centered on Jesus. It’s loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Worship is refocusing and training for daily worship with our whole lives! When you worship a God who loves this city, you love this city!

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Full Audio Transcript

We are continuing our series called Love This City. Before we dive into that this is a great moment to give tithes and offerings. As a church we try to be generous not just with our time and our talents, but also our treasure with our whole lives. We want to worship God with everything that we are. And when we give financially and pool our resources we use that to further the mission of Jesus, both here, near and far. So we don’t pass the hat anymore because of COVID, but you can give through text, you can give through our website, you can give through the Dropbox, or through the mail. Thank you for your generosity because we’re using that to help people find and follow Jesus all around the world.

A couple of weeks ago we interviewed a missionary, but we also had two other missionary couples that we support who were here at Life Center. I wish I could have interviewed all of them, but I tell you that because we’re supporting missionaries around the world through our generosity, but we’re also doing mission here at Life Center. Love Week is a great example of that. So thank you for your generosity.

In 1946, Mother Teresa heard a call from God that she was supposed to leave the school she was teaching at and go serve the poorest of the poor and the lepers in the slums. So Mother Teresa answered that call of God, left the school, started serving in the slums and did that for 50 years. And because of her saying yes to Jesus with her whole life and serving the poorest of the poor, serving her city, now her missionary organization, Missionaries of Charity is in 139 of the 195 countries around the world serving thousands of people in Jesus’ name. Isn’t that incredible what God did with mother Teresa’s yes?

Let me ask you this. What city did Mother Teresa serve in? Calcutta. I heard someone say Calcutta. She served in Calcutta. And the reason many of us know of Calcutta is because Mother Teresa served there, but we probably wouldn’t honestly know about Calcutta unless you’re like a geography wiz. We probably wouldn’t know about Calcutta if it wasn’t for Mother Teresa. She made that city famous.

Now, wouldn’t it be cool if Life Center could serve Spokane so well that we made it famous. Like wouldn’t it be cool if people around the world were like, Spokane, that’s that place where there’s that church who serves incredibly in Jesus’ name. Wouldn’t it be cool if we put Spokane on the map not just because we want to make Spokane famous, but because we want to make who famous? Jesus. That’s why we would do it because he has put us here for a purpose. It’s not an accident that you and I live here in Spokane if you are part of our global family. It’s not an accident that you live where you live. God’s put you here for a purpose to love this city, to love God and love people.

I mean, that’s what Jesus said is the greatest commandment. When someone asked him what’s the greatest commandment? This is what Jesus said. Jesus replied, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments. Aren’t you glad that Jesus made it simple? Aren’t you glad that Jesus took the whole Old Testament and was like, you know what? I’m going to condense this for you guys. Love God and love people. Jesus made it simple, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy, right?

Like there are just moments in life when it’s hard to love God. It’s hard to love other people. I’ll give you an example. Last week was my son’s birthday. He turned six years old and we got him a big boy bike, 20-inch wheels, baby. So he was so excited and the bike is a little bit big for him still. So he’s kind of like wobbly on it, but so excited. So Sunday after I’d given it to him after church, I took him out to Fish Lake Trail, just right over there. And we were riding on it. Well, when we get there it starts raining, and it was starting to drizzle, but then three-quarters of the way it was pouring rain. So we stopped. We pulled over. And when it let up we started to go, but my back tire was flat. So my son was so disappointed. So we turned around.

By the way, I also have my three-year-old daughter, Capri, in the bike trailer behind my bike. I’ve got a flat tire. So I’m walking back and my son is riding back. And just as we turn around to walk back a lady comes on her bike and she’s zooming on her bike. And she calls out, “I’m coming through.” And Paxton kind of panics and tries to get out of her way, but goes right in her way. And instead of slowing down because there’s a guy with a flat tire with a bike trailer and a kid on a wobbly bike she just keeps going and it’s raining and she just keeps going. And she yells the most angry blood-curdling scream at him. “Go!” And doesn’t slow down and just keeps going.

Paxton afterwards had this, like, deer in the headlights look. And I was, like, “Buddy, are you okay?” And he’s like, “Dad, I tried to get out of the way. I was trying to daddy. I’m so sorry.” I was like, “Buddy, it’s okay.” I was like, “She didn’t talk to you very nice did she?” He’s like, “Uh-uh.” I was like, “She needs Jesus in her heart doesn’t she?” He’s like, “Mm-hmm.” But Paxton wouldn’t ride his bike back the whole way because he was so defeated. Do you think it was easy for me to love that lady at that moment?

There was a narrative of what I was going to say to her when I got back to the parking lot that I can’t repeat here. Like there were things that I wanted to say to that woman, like, I’m sorry that my son got in front of you, but you should be ashamed of yourself. I was so upset at the woman. Can we be honest that it’s hard to love people sometimes isn’t it? There are just moments in life where, like, I don’t get how to love you. You are so hard to love. And yet that’s what Jesus said is the greatest commandment to love God and to love people. Why is it so hard? It’s because of this. What we do flows out of who we are. And so if you and I don’t understand who we are then we’re not going to do what God has made us to do.

Last week Josh started our series by saying that God has made us to be the image of him. We are the image of God on earth, which means we are made to represent him and his love to the world around us. That’s who God made us to be, and when we understand that we are made in his image to show him to the world around us then we can do it because what we do flows out of who we are.

So, today, I want to talk about another facet of who God has made us to be. God has made us to be a worshiping people. We are made to worship, but what happened when sin came into the world it broke our worshiping function. And instead of worshiping God we’ve ended up worshiping other things. We worship people and success and all of these different things. We ended up worshiping wrongly. And when you worship wrongly, you end up loving poorly because what you do flows out of who you are. And when you love God with all that you are with all your heart, soul, mind and strength that’s called worship. It’s fixing your attention and affection on Jesus for who he is and what he’s done. That’s our definition of worship around here.

Everybody worships, but not all of us worship rightly. So worship really isn’t just singing here together on a Sunday, although, I love that. How many else love singing together? That’s an expression of worship, but worship is something that you do with your whole life. It’s living your whole life centered on Jesus. And that’s what you and I were made to do in every moment focusing our attention and affection on him for who he is and what he’s done. And that’s why Jesus says this is the greatest commandment. To love God with all you are is to worship him with all that you are. And when you worship him with all that you are you’ll end up loving the people around you well.

Here’s why. Because we are the body of Christ. The Bible tells us that we make up the physical body of Christ on earth. We are his image, his representatives on earth. And if we’re to image God well then we need to have God’s attitude towards the world. And what is God’s attitude towards the world? John 3:16 tells us. Why don’t you read this with me? Ready? For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. So what is God’s attitude towards the world? Hate? Anger? No, it’s love. And if we want to image God well, we need to love the world that he loves.

Aren’t you glad that God didn’t make you to image his wrath? Aren’t you glad that God didn’t make you to image his anger? God made you to image his love. That’s his attitude towards the world. And that’s what we are to image. And we can do that when we worship him rightly. When you worship a God who loves this city, you will love this city. Worship turns our attention and affection to Jesus. And he in turn increases our attention and affection for the people in this city. So we want to be a worshiping people because we’ll love others well when we do. So how do we worship well?

Well, what we’re going to do today is we’re going to look at a part of scripture where God tells his people how to live a life of worship. Not just how to sing songs, or sacrifice animals like they did in the Old Testament, but how to live a life of worship. It comes from the story in Exodus. How many of you know the story of Exodus when God brings the people of Israel out of Egypt? They were slaves in Egypt and now he’s made them a free people. So during that story there’s all of this stuff when Moses tells Pharaoh, let my people go. And the reason he wanted to let his people go, Moses was asking that was so the people could go and worship in the desert. It says that, “come worship in the desert,” 18 times between Exodus 1 and Exodus 19.

And then Exodus 20 comes. And in Exodus 20, we see the people of God at the mountain of God with God’s presence there. You think this is the moment where they’re going to worship. This is the moment where they’re going to get the stage out, and the band and the lights, and they’re going to start singing songs together. And that’s not what happens because it’s not just about singing songs or sacrificing animals. What God is showing in Exodus 20 when he gives the Ten Commandments, when he’s showing us how to live a life of worship.

So what we’re going to do today is we’re going to look at three ways. The first three commandments, three ways that we can be a worshiping people who God made us to be so that we can love God well and love other people well. And here’s why this is so important because you become like what you worship. You become like what you worship. And if you want to be like Jesus then we need to know how to worship Jesus well. So we’re going to look at that today in Exodus 20, starting in verse three through seven. So just for context in verse two, here’s what God says.

He says, I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Here’s the first commandment then. You shall have no other gods before me. The second one. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above, or on earth beneath, or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them, for I the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children of the sin of their parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commands. Here’s the third commandment. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

Heavenly Father, I pray that you would help us to hear this morning. You are speaking. We believe that. So God help us to hear and receive what you have for us. God, give us a sensitivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit inside us right now. Help us to hear you. We pray this in Jesus’ name. And everyone said Amen.

So here are these first three of the Ten Commandments. And we’re going to look at these in their context and then in our culture and how we can apply these today to worship Jesus rightly so that we can love others rightly. So this first one, you should have no other gods before me. If you think about the Israelites and the culture that they were coming out of, they were coming out of Egypt. And if you remember that one lesson in high school when you learned about Egyptian mythology, you remember that Egypt had multiple gods. They had a whole pantheon of gods. There was Ra the sun god and all these other gods. And Yahweh, the God of Israel said, “It’s not going to be like that for you. I’m your God. You’re my people. I’m your one and only. It’s just me. You should have no other gods besides me. It’s just me.”

So how does that translate to our culture? Well, what culture do we live in and how do we translate this for us? Well, here’s how it works. So we have a culture where we end up worshiping a lot of other things, don’t we? People worship all sorts of stuff. They fix their attention and affection on all sorts of things. And they center their life on all sorts of things and we all are made to worship, but we don’t all worship rightly. So I think the biggest thing that people worship in our culture, the biggest religion in our culture, do you know what it is? The cult of self. We worship ourselves. We worship our own desires. We serve our own wants. We make sure that we’re comfortable, that we get everything we want and need.

And if you look at people’s Instagram who are they promoting on their Instagram? Themselves. It’s just become a platform for their self-idolatry. And that can be true of any social media platform, or any other thing like that we can make it all about ourselves because we live in an individualistic culture. And that’s what we tend to worship is ourselves. So point number one is this. Worship God, not yourself. When God says you should have no other gods besides me how does that translate into our culture? Worship God, not yourself because when you worship yourself you become the worst version of yourself.

I mean, you know that to be true because you’ve seen it in someone else, haven’t you? You’ve seen people who just fulfill everything they want and need, and because of that they’re not very enjoyable to be around. I’ve had friends, marriages who have imploded because of this because one person is worshiping themselves. I’ve seen friendships break apart because of this because one person is worshiping themselves. It just happens when you worship yourself you become the worst version of yourself. And it’s a sickness in our culture.

Jesus came to get our eyes off of ourselves and onto God. Jesus came as the image of the invisible God. Jesus is God himself come to earth to get our eyes off of ourselves and onto him so that we can worship him rightly. And when we do we’ll end up loving other people well because you become like what you worship and God loves this world. God loves the people around you. God loves this city and he wants the best for it. So when we worship him we’ll become like him and his love for the city, and for the people around us. Hebrews 12:2 says, Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. that’s why we fix our eyes on Jesus so we can become like him.

Bob and Sue, 20 years ago got a divorce. They weren’t following Jesus, and they split up. Their two high school sons 20 years ago started coming to Life Center. And these boys, these high school boys loved Life Center so much that they went back and told their mom about how excited they were about this church. And Sue was like, “Hey, high school boys don’t get excited about a church. Is this a cult?” So she came to Life Center and checked it out. And she sat through worship and God was impacting her. She listened to the message. And at the end she gave her life to Jesus that very first week because one encounter with God can change your life. Amen. We believe that.

And this changed Sue’s life. She started living differently. And even though they were divorced, Bob started noticing you’re different. Something’s changed about you. So Bob asked her, he said, “Hey, why are you different? What happened?” And she said, “Well, the boys were going to this church. And then I went too, and I met Jesus and I’m following him now.” And she invited Bob to come. So Bob started coming to Life Center, too.

And then Pastor Joe, our founding pastor did a series called Superglue Your Marriage. And Pastor Joe talked about how Jesus is the superglue for your marriage. That if you put anything else in the center of your marriage you’re going to come apart, but with Jesus in the center of each of you that is what keeps your marriage together through the ups and downs of life. And while they were both sitting in this series, God said to them, you need to get remarried. And so they had Pastor Joe remarry them after being apart for almost seven years. Isn’t God amazing in what he can do?

And here’s why I tell that story because before they weren’t worshiping Jesus and that caused division in them. They weren’t able to love each other well, but when they started worshiping Jesus, they were able to love each other well. And the same is true for you and me. When we worship Jesus, we’re able to love the people around us better because you become like what you worship and God loves the people around you way better than you ever can. So we want to fix our attention and affection on Jesus for who he is and what he’s done.

So we’re going to do a little exercise right now. As a group we’re going to call out who he is and what he’s done. Okay? So be bold and courageous. And I know there’s a lot of people in here, but just say it out. And if you’re online, you can type it out in the chat. So here we go. Who is Jesus to you? Savior. Shepherd. Father. What else? Friend. Love. Brother. Guider. Peace. Healer. Everything. That’s a pretty good answer. Jesus is all that and more. That’s who he is. What Has Jesus done for you? Redeemed everything. Okay. Come on people. Let’s be a little more specific. I know that’s a good answer, though. Loved you, yeah. Rescued. Forgiven. Gave you life. Gave you hope. Gave you right-standing with God. Sobriety, yeah. Love. Wisdom. He’s given you a testimony, a story. He’s changed your life. Jesus has done all that and more hasn’t he?

And for who he is and what he’s done we turn our attention and affection to him and we worship him. And out of that connection with God we end up loving people well. We were made to be a worshiping people. And when we understand that and worship Jesus it changes the way we love people and it will change the way we love our city. So that’s why the first commandment is worship God and not yourself. It will change the way you love others, the way you live.

The second commandment is this. You shall make no other images. You shouldn’t make an image for yourself in the form of anything in heaven above, or on earth beneath, or in the waters below. You shouldn’t bow down to them, or worship them for I the Lord, your God am a jealous God.

So again, the culture that the Israelites were coming out of was a pluralistic pantheistic culture. They had multiple gods and the way that they worshiped these gods was through idols. They would carve things out of wooden stone to represent this God that they worshiped. And these idols acted as tokens of trust. So there’s multiple examples of when someone in the Old Testament has an idol stolen from them they panic and they go after the idol because that’s the thing that they put their trust in to bring them security and hope and peace and satisfaction in life. And these idols are what they placed their trust in. It was a physical representation of their trust.

Now in our culture, we don’t carve images out of wooden stone. We’ve got idols in different ways, don’t we? We’ve got physical tokens that we put our trust in. Maybe we don’t carve it out a stone, but we might print it on paper. Some people put their trust in money and it’s easy to, isn’t it? Like an extra zero in the bank account feels pretty darn good. And it’s easy to start trusting money for your security instead of Jesus, but as Christians we’re meant to trust Jesus with our whole lives, with our finances, with everything. Just say, Jesus, I trust you over and above all this stuff.

Some people trust political figures like, hey, this political figure is going to take us to the promised land. No, they’re not. Only Jesus can. This political figure is going to fix everything. No, they’re not. Only Jesus can. This political ideology it’s the one to follow. Hey, there’s been multiple all throughout history and not one of them has gotten it right. Only Jesus has. So why don’t we trust him instead of all that other garbage?

We can trust Jesus because Hebrews 13:8 says, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is the rock on whom we can build our lives. All that other stuff, the political figures, money, political ideologies, cultures, all of that stuff changes. All of it is fleeting. All of it will be here today and gone tomorrow, but Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is worthy of your trust. He is faithful and true. Deuteronomy 32:4 says, He is the rock. His works are perfect. And all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. Jesus is just. He’s upright. He’s faithful. He doesn’t do wrong. His works are perfect. He is the rock. You can trust Jesus.

So this is point number two. If they trusted in idols, here’s what we need to do. Trust God, not stuff. Trust God, not stuff. Stuff fades away. Stuff will disappoint you. Stuff will mess it up. People will mess up and disappoint you, but Jesus never will. Trust God, not stuff. See, when you trust God with your life you just end up worshiping him. When you turn to him and put your life into his hands you’re going to turn your attention and affection to him for who he is and what he’s done. He’s faithful. He’s true. He’s just. He’s upright. And if you trust Jesus you’re going to end up loving like Jesus.

David Opap is an owner here at Life Center. He lives in Spokane, attends Life Center, but he has a ministry called Spring of Hope International, one of our partner organizations here at Life Center where he does incredible work in Adiedo, Kenya. So if you’ve ever heard of David, if you know David ask him his story, it’s amazing. He came from Kenya when he’d just gotten out of high school. He came to the United States to get his college degree. And he went to the Kenyan airport without any money because he was trusting that God was going to get him here. And God got him here. He went to college without any money trusting that God was going to get him through and God got him through.

And when he got through college, he said, “Michael, I felt this call of God on my life to go back and serve my community, to go back and serve Adiedo, Kenya, and make a difference. Bring them clean water, education, sanitation.” All these things that they lacked he felt God calling him to go and serve, but he said, “It was hard.” He said, “Michael, I could have done what other international students did. I could have stayed in the United States and lived the American dream. I could have trusted in money and comfort, and all of those things, but instead I chose to trust Jesus with my life. And I went back to my community.”

And he’s been going back to his community multiple times every year. And he’s made a huge difference by bringing clean water, sanitation, education to thousands of people. And the coolest thing is that he’s brought the message of Jesus to thousands of people in his community, Adiedo, Kenya, and all around because he chose to trust Jesus with his life. I think we need to hear this. David chose to trust Jesus instead of the American dream. We need to hear that don’t we? Because it’s easy to trust the American dream. It’s easy to trust that this stuff is going to satisfy and fulfill you, but it never will, but when you trust Jesus with your life you turn your attention and affection to him. You put your life in his hands. That is worship. When you do that you will live a life without regrets.

When you trust Jesus with all of your life you’re going to get to the end of your life, and you’re not going to be like, “Oh man, I really wish I would have done that, or that. I wish I would have chased money.” No, you’re going to be like, “God, you helped me live an amazing life. Thank you so much. I have no regrets.” Come what may I’m going to trust in Jesus, not stuff because it doesn’t satisfy. What are you trusting in? Do you trust Jesus? Because when you trust him, you will worship him, and when you worship him you’ll become like him. And then will be able to image him to our community around us showing his love to the world that desperately needs it. So trust God, not stuff.

The third command is this. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. Now a more traditional translation of this is you shouldn’t take the Lord’s name in vain. And we’ve all heard that, right? Like don’t take the Lord’s name in vain. And typically what we think of that is that when taking the Lord’s name in vain is when someone says, “Oh, my God.” And “I can’t believe you said that.” Is that what this is talking about? Is it just talking about that? I think partially it’s saying like, hey, don’t use God’s name flippantly. His name is powerful. His name means something, but I think it’s more than that.

I think there’s something else to it as well. Vain means useless, or without effect, without results. And I was reading a commentary and it said this. That what is behind this idea is that people wouldn’t take on his name, disconnected from his presence, power and purpose. That people wouldn’t say, oh, I’m a follower of God without actually being connected to his presence, power and purpose. See, Jesus has given us his name. And when you say that you’re a Christian you’re taking his name. And yet so many people take the name of Christian without being connected to his presence, power and purpose. That’s why people look at Christians and call us hypocrites, right? And even when you’re connected to his presence, power and purpose, we’re going to get it wrong because we’re not perfect, right? But when you are connected to his presence, power and purpose, people will see it in you.

Let me give you this example. When Sara married me, she took on my last name. So now she’s Sara Wittwer. Now imagine that she married me. She took my last name, but she didn’t live with me. She didn’t receive help from me. She didn’t really like me at all. And she basically ignored me all the time. How do you think I would feel about her taking my last name? There’s a lot of feelings I’d have, but really it would be a farce, wouldn’t it? We wouldn’t be married because we weren’t connected at all. We weren’t living together. We weren’t loving each other. We weren’t doing life together.

And so many Christians have taken the name of Christ, but are disconnected from his presence, power and purpose. We’re doing exactly that. We’re saying I’m with Jesus, but we’re not with him. We’re basically ignoring him. God is calling us into a relationship with him where we would have his presence, his Holy Spirit in us each and every day. We would allow his power to flow through us and meet us every single day. We would walk in his purpose every single day because we hear his voice every single day. God is calling us into something.

So here’s point number three. Take God’s name successfully, not in vain. Don’t take God’s name in vain. Don’t just be disconnected from his presence, power and purpose. Take it successfully. Take it for how God intended you to take it. Christian, do you know what it means? Do you know what the word Christian means? It means little Christ. It means that we’re supposed to be little Jesuses walking around this world. Just picture I’m just a little Jesus walking around. We’re meant to be little saviors, little messiahs, not that we do it, but that we point people to Jesus. We would be his images in this world showing people who Jesus is, and have you taken that name successfully? Do you really image him by worshiping him connected with his power, presence and purpose?

There’s a story in Acts 19 where these guys take the name of Jesus in vain. Here’s how it goes. There are these seven sons of a Jewish priest named Sceva. Isn’t that a funny name? Poor guy. “My name is Sceva.” “What?” Anyways, sorry, that was really random. These seven dudes heard that Paul was doing incredible miracles in Jesus’ name and they didn’t know Jesus. These seven Jewish sons of this Jewish priest they didn’t know Jesus, but they’d heard that Paul was doing incredible things. So they went to this demon-possessed man, and they come into the house and they say, “In the name of Paul and in the name of Jesus who he serves we command you to get out of this man.” And the demon looked at them and said, “I know Jesus. I’ve heard about Paul, but who are you?”

And then the demon went on to beat them up so badly, one against seven, that all of these seven men ran out of the house naked. Now I don’t know how you get beat up that bad, but that’s bad. What they were doing is they were using the name of Jesus disconnected from his presence, power and purpose. Is that what you’re doing? Are you claiming to be a Christian disconnected from his presence, power and purpose? That’s taking God’s name in vain. So let me encourage you, Christian. Don’t go without his presence. Don’t go anywhere without his presence each and every day say, “Here I am, God. Fill me up and go with me wherever you want to go. I’m going with you.” Don’t move without his purpose. Don’t try without his power because when you do you’re going to fail. We’re made to be filled with his presence, power and purpose. So when you go to your job, go with his presence. When you move from your spot, move with his purpose. Say, “What’s next Jesus?” When you try, try with his power, not just yours, and watch what Jesus does.

See, worshiping Jesus is all of these things and more. It’s not just singing songs. It’s a whole life that’s centered on Jesus, fixing our attention and affection on him. It’s every day in every way in all the things that we do. So let me make it really clear. All the things in everything you can worship Jesus. As you’re doing the dishes, you can fix your attention and affection on him. As you’re riding your bike. As you’re writing a paper, whatever you’re doing, you can fix your attention and affection on him for who he is and what he’s done.

Colossians 3:17 says this. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Whatever you do. Are there any exceptions there? No, just everything in all that you do. Do it in his name, in his presence, in his power, in his purpose. Be filled with him in all that you do. Worship him in everything that you do. A lot of times we think that if we’re going to worship God and love people that it’s got to be extravagant, it’s got to make this huge difference. And sometimes we’re going to love people and we’re not going to see the fruit, right? You’re going to do things and you’re going to be like, “What difference did that make?”

So Bryant and Stacy are some of our resident church planters here. And they were driving down the road a while ago. And while they were driving down 29th they saw a young man crying on the side of the sidewalk, just sitting there. The Holy Spirit nudged them, and they looked at each other and they said, “We need to turn around.” So they turned around and they went and talked with this man. And they said, “Hey, what’s going on?” He said, “I got kicked out of the place I was living. I don’t have anywhere to go.” And they said, “Hey, can we get you a safe place?” But surprisingly, he said, “No, thanks.” So kind of that’s the last thing, like, “Okay, well we tried. We don’t know what else to do.” They said, “Can we pray for you?” And he said, “Well, I don’t know how to pray.” And Bryant said, “I don’t care. We’ll pray with you. We’ll teach you.” And he said, “Well, I’m agnostic.”

And Bryant said, “I don’t care. We’ll teach you. We’ll show you who Jesus is.” And he said, “Well, I’m gay. And Bryant said, “I don’t care. Let’s pray.” They realized that God had put them there on purpose to love this young man in that moment. And so they prayed with him and because he didn’t want to receive any of their help they don’t know what happened to him. And there are going to be moments in our lives when we do the same thing. When we answer the call that Jesus has on us we’re going to sow the seeds. We’re going to water it. We’re going to do what Jesus puts in front of us, and we don’t know what’s going to happen with it, but what we know is that for love to be genuine it doesn’t need to be extraordinary.

So you don’t need to do this crazy stuff. You just need to do what God puts you in front of. Love your kid. Love your spouse. Love your crazy uncle. Just love the people in front of you. And the way that you’ll be able to do that is when you worship Jesus well. When you fix your attention and affection on him for who he is and what he’s done.

So what would happen if we love and worship Jesus this way? I can tell you what will happen. If we worship Jesus well like we’re made to our city will never be the same because we’ll end up loving our city in Jesus’ name in ways that will change it forever, big and small. Large groups and individual people they’ll change because of the way we worship Jesus and love the city, but are we going to do it? That’s the question.

One of the ways that they worshiped in the Old Testament was animal sacrifice. And that was an expression of worship to God. And then in Romans 12, it says that now our true act of worship is to be a living sacrifice to God that we would just offer our whole selves right here, right now. Here I am Jesus. I’m going to worship you. And I told you that we’re going to respond by singing some more. And what singing does on the weekend is it trains our hearts to turn our attention and affection to God, not just in this moment, but in every moment, all week long. So consider this a training moment to build up your spiritual strength, to point your heart towards Jesus. And if he’s done anything for you, if he is who he says he is to you then I would love for you to respond with your whole self. Respond physically. Respond with your voice. Respond in a way that expresses your love to Jesus.

Life Center
Life Center
How To Worship God