I Will...WORSHIP in Community

I WILL—7 Traits of an Outwardly Focused Christian  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  31:44
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He made the commitment to attend. Nothing would keep him from missing it!
The weather; temps in the 40’s, a slight drizzle, even a frequent downpour wouldn’t keep him away. The setting; it was a long walk, the crowds- people everywhere. The seating was uncomfortable, the view depended on the moment, and the people; they were loud and even obnoxious at times.
The cost for the event was ridiculous; tickets were limited and overpriced, the money spent on refreshments was outrageous. There wasn’t agreement with every decision made; causing tempers to flare as many shouted in protest; unless it helped their agenda.
Nothing would keep him away: A bad week at work, being out late the night before, an opportunity to sleep in, and even his kid’s soccer game. No other event could take its place.
He was joyous the entire time, not afraid to shout out his enthusiasm, and even sing, even though he was tone deaf. And loud he sang, at the top of his lungs, with great enthusiasm, along with the others, many with painted faces and strange headgear or a line of clothing no one would dare wear anywhere else. He loved to show his support. His attitude, his attendance and his enthusiasm all reflected his deep and unwavering commitment. and the experience of being with other like-minded people.
(S2) — WHO IS HE?
He is an I will…be devoted to acting crazy with others, college football fan! Who, by the way, did not attend church the next day. He was to tired, didn’t feel well after many hot dogs and too much adult beverage, and there was a 40% chance of rain.
She was committed to attending—Nothing would keep her from missing it!
The weather; a slight drizzle with a chance of snow. It was a long walk, the crowds, people everywhere. The seating was uncomfortable, the view depended on the moment, and the people; they were pleasant, friendly, and even offered hugs at times.
The cost? No charge, only an opportunity to give from the heart. The gathering after was a blessing, the refreshments were amazing, and they were free! There was no hidden agenda, only to to give praise with all your heart, and be open to receiving an outpouring of love.
Nothing would keep her away: A bad week at work, being out late the night before, an opportunity to sleep in, and even his kid’s soccer game. No other event could take its place.
She was joyous the entire time, not afraid to raise her hands and shout out with enthusiasm! Her gift of singing was a blessing to those around her. And loud she sang, at the top of her lungs, along with the others, many with smiles on their faces and dressed in suits or in jeans . She loved to show her support. Her attitude, her attendance and her enthusiasm all reflected her deep and unwavering commitment. and the experience of being with other like-minded people.
(S3) — WHO IS SHE?
She is an I WILL…WORSHIP in a community of follower of Jesus, who is devoted to loving God, loving people,and to gathering with others for the purpose of praising God!
The picture we get in today’s scripture reading as the first followers of Jesus had gathered...
Acts 2:42-47
Who was at the heart of their worship? (47)
It wasn't about them...but about the good news of God’s saving grace in Jesus who is alive, and how they could get this truth to the world, through their worship.
Series- I WILL…..9 traits of the outwardly focused Christian...
Last week, I presented this truth, that even the best church member has the potential of becoming inwardly focused, where what they do becomes more about them and less about Jesus! This can negatively impact our attitude and our work in the body of Christ
The contrast is of course also true, that when we become more outwardly focused, letting go of our preferences-and focusing on the greater mission in our worship to God in community with others
Whether you are a new Christian, still checking it out or a life-long believer, it begins with attitude; becoming someone whose actions IN THE CHURCH, are more reflective of the attitude Christ OUTSIDE THE CHURCH.
I WILL move from I want to I will. I will MOVE form “I am (right thinking), to I will (right action) attitude.
WHO is at the heart of your worship?

I will…WORSHIP in community with others

Meeting together was an early practice of God’s people—From tents in the wilderness…God’s presence (The ark (10 com)—to the first temple in Jerusalem—People gathered!
Worship was a sacrificial act—Abraham/Issac— Noah —The alter was a place of sacrifice—God was the center of focus
(S7) — Worship was all about giving PRAISE to God!
What has our worship become today? Declining average attendance—Weekly/Monthly
Covid season exposed the truth about commitment to worship...
33% once per week—35% once/twice month—32% Seldom to never. Pew research (MI)
Drive car to church one Sunday a month and get Jesus out of the trunk
Is jesus at the heart of our worship, or do we just pull him out of the trunk when its convenient?
Meeting together was especially essential for the first community of believers so he promised them that they would not be alone in their worship...
Acts 1:4 “Once when he was eating with them, he said, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised...”
Jesus knew that there would be times when they would lose focus—When they were together, Jesus showed them proof (his hands); he was lifted up (look up) to God before their very eyes. And together they returned, to where it all began—all together, they gave themselves to God in worship with others.
Worshiping in isolation can become very inward focused…
Live streaming—I can worship in my boat
One who makes worshipping with others a first priority, is not only partaking in Christ’s grace manifested inwardly, their worship becomes an outward influence onto into the hearts of others
Raising Hand in Praise
(S8)—Your worship INFLUENCES others
it’s not only for your benefit, it builds up the body of Christ for a greater influence of grace, in our community and in the world—Our worship begins in this place, but it is meant to extend beyond...
Senior Center Worship
This was the worship of the first church and because of it, they grew in their numbers.
Alright, let’s be honest with ourselves. There are just some Sundays that, for whatever reason. We just don’t want to go to church. Even I feel this way from time to time. Yet, have you ever missed worship and felt like something was missing the rest of the week?
Unfortunately, there has been an erosion of the priority of worshiping with others that has manifested today into some pretty great excuses for not going to church.
10 bad Excuses for Skipping Church
I’m too tired—got up late—kids need a rest day—Pews are too hard—to hot/cold—Church is full of hypocrites—Preaches to long, loud, soft—I’ve heard it all before—Its boring—I’ll go after I stop…or start...(whatchristianswanttoknow.com) David preach
Some might say the erosion of true worship...began when Christianity became the state church of the Roman Empire in the 380 A.D.
Christians went from meeting secretly in homes to meeting publically in government made structures. The formalization of Christianity- Nicene Creed (apostles creed)—Massive buildings became a place to worship rather than as Jesus had taught the disciples.
Others might say it began with the degradation of moral practice in the church—selling of indulgence for the granting of the remission of sins (a pardon), selling of seats and even position in the church for the purpose of gaining power and influence over the people
Some might say it is also attributed to our western cultural, coming out the industrial age which created great wealth moving to a success oriented way of life.
Yet, we could also attribute it to the events of only recent years as we have seen an obvious moral decline and a lessening of the authority of God’s word in people’s life.
Even the importance of family over worship to God who created us to be a family of worshipers.
“It is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! 17 For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News?” 1 Peter 4:16-17
Meeting together was essential for this new and growing community of believers; it is also a good reminder of what it means to worship and why worshiping with others is to be a priority for us today.
It’s not about us! Our worship first and foremost is for the purpose of directing ourselves toward God. And when we do this together the whole body- manifests the body of Christ to the world.
What did this worship look like?

Worship was EXPECTED of ALL believers

“42 ALL the believers DEVOTED themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.”
Worshiping with others was where they were TAUGHT…and where they CAUGHT, the fresh wind and fire of God’s spirit. The apostles taught Jesus’ word, and all were caught up in the presence of God.
Their DEVOTION grew, out of their EXPECTATION of what God would do in them, in their worship.
Acts 2:46 “They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity”
All believers, every day…not when they felt like it or it fit their schedule….
Does your devotion to worship co,me out of your expectation of what God will do in your heart?

Worship was beneficial because...they shared a COMMON bond

44 And all the believers were together in one place and had everything in common
Their joy, their struggles, their celebrations, their suffering; their courage and their fears; what they knew and what they didn’t yet know; they shared it all; this was their common bond.
Unlike so many around them. It wasn’t just going to church; it was all about praising God for what they shared in common. Our worship: beliefs, praises, songs, word, our sharing in this meal, is the bond that unites us in the body of Christ
What common bond do you share with this worshipping body?

Worshiping with others was essential because...it was how they HELPED those who in need

How they offered hope to their communities
Acts 2:45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.
They gave their offerings to care for the needs of those around them, and to care for the life of the church—its leaders, and those who would go out into their neighborhoods and share the message of Good news! (evangelism)
Philippians 4:15-18
Worship was how they met the needs of the body and their community; their generosity fed it, their joy filled it, all their praise glorified God.

Worshiping with others was vital to its GROWTH for the purpose of SAVING lives.

Acts 2:47...And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
Our worship offers both present life-giving benefits, and future eternal reward!
We worship with others so we will offer what we know…about Jesus, to those who don’t know, or are far from God.
Grace that frees people from the bondage of sin, to bring hope where there seems to be none.
Suicide victims—only thinking of themselves
Worship is a way of looking away from ourselves and looking up to God while pointing people to Jesus Christ.
This attitude of early believers (the church), is an example of worship as it was meant to be; the people of God alive and enthusiastic about gathering together so that their witness would be a sign of hope and wonder to the world.
They were (JCM’s) before church had membership, simply because it was less about them and more about Jesus.
Their devotion to worship came out of their EXPECTATION of regular worship. They shared a common bond—helped those in need—and grew exponentially, because they knew Jesus was SAVING life's through their worship—All because of the PRAISE of God in His Holy presence.
Does that change your outlook on why worship with others is essential to the church today? Why we should make it a priority and do it as often as you can! Put Jesus in the drivers seat of our praise?
is your worship about you, your wants needs and desires? Or is it about what God has done and is doing through Jesus Christ in the church who is out in the world?
Your worship INFLUENCES others—Your devotion sets an EXPECTATION of regular worship—You share a COMMON bond that benefits the body, and HELPS the community—Bringing GROWTH only because our focus is on bringing people into relationaship with Jesus who is SAVING lives!
A church of Grace-filled praise—Together in truth, of one mind, for the sole purpose of praising God!
(MSG abr.) 46 They followed a daily discipline of worshipping together followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, 47 as they praised God. People liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.
So, what can we do to make certain we are truly committed to worshipping with others? How can we start a corporate worship revolution right here in this church?
1. I WILL attend worship as often as I can
It’s just that simple- for some of us it is and for others we have neglected to continually meeting with others. I challenge you to see what happens when you up your commitment to attending church with others.
2. I WILL pray before I attend worship
Pray for my own attitude, pray for God to open my heart and speak to me. Pray for the one who is thinking about making an excuse not to go to church. Pray for the one who this will be their first time in worship with others.
3. I WILL pray while i’m preparing to worship
Pray for the one who I first meet and for the one who I don’t get to meet. Pray for the person who sits next to me and across from me. Pray for my friend’s and pray for the ones I don’t know, pray for their families, their marriage, their finances; you don’t need to know the details to pray for someone. Pray that someone will come to know Christ today! That someone will recommit their life to Christ today!
4. I WILL pray that God will be the center of my praise
Pray that together will be filled with the love and grace of Christ and the power of the holy spirit; just like the first community of believers. And pray that the lord will add to our numbers; those being saved!
The picture of a church of Grace-filled Praise...and filled with JCM’s who loved God , love people and love to worship!
Praying for those who are not there yet!
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