Why do we go to church? (14 Oct 2012)

I enjoyed John MacArthur’s book on Worship – the ultimate Priority. Through the book I was led to a clear discovery of Bible passages on whom and how to worship. I learnt that worship can mean any expression of service rendered unto God, by one who loves and extols Him for who He is. Real worship should therefore be the full-time activity of every believer.
We have to reset our priorities, aiming higher than just entertaining worshippers on Sunday mornings. Our ultimate priority must always be to worship the true and living God, with a radically different type of living that seeks to worship Him continually.
It is quite often that we hear someone say, “I didn’t get anything out of church this morning” or “I didn’t get blessed by the message”. If we go to church selfishly to seek a blessing, we’ve probably missed the point of worship.
We go to give glory, not to get blessed. This should be our objective and understanding of our church experience. And since blessing comes from God in response to worship, if we aren’t blessed, it isn’t usually because of poor music or preaching (a common “justification”), but because of a selfish heart that does not give God glory.
Worship can be intensely personal, yet there is nothing self-centred about it. If we maintain a consistent lifestyle of continuous worship, we need the fellowship and encouragement of other believers as we gather for Sunday worship. Individual and corporate worship feed each other. On the one hand I need the fellowship of the saints, yet on the other, the community of saints needs me to live a consistent life of worship.
The writer notes that the source of most of our problems in our Christian lives relate to two things: either we are not worshipping six days a week with our lives or we are not doing it on Sunday with the assembly of saints. We need both.
Some of us go to church only when it is convenient, this will never help us to be fruitful Christians. We need to have the spiritual stimulation of fellow believers to thrive spiritually.
The church is not the brick-and-mortar building in which Christians meet; it is God’s people in whom He dwells. In church – among God’s people – is where our worship is like the worship of heaven. Why would we not want to participate?
We must bring worshipping hearts, in order to be a spiritual stimulus to others while we ourselves are being encouraged to pursue love and good works. Let worship be truly a way of life for us. For that we are redeemed.
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place.
Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
1 Chron 16.27-29

Deacon Henry Leong