Created For Worship

There's one purpose for born-again believers: to worship God by walking in faith in Him through thick and thin. In this week's message, we discover what it means to worship, and highlight three ways our worship can be derailed.

[NOTE: We apologize that, due to technical difficulties, the audio for this week's message is very poor.]

Passage(s): 
Romans 12
1Peter 4:12-19

Comments

Father’s Day - Will - Fathers are very important because none of us would be here if we didn’t have one. [haha] We sing the song “Good, good Father.” Our God is a good Father. None of us will ever be the perfect father. But God has called many of you to be fathers. 

 

[Fathers please stand]

 

God has placed a charge on all of our lives, given us responsibility to care for our families, to make sure our wives, children, those in our care are protected until God calls them out of our home and outside of our protection. It’s a job too big for any of us to do. But He’s promised to be there for us and to be the perfect example to follow. 

 

Because of each of you men, people’s lives are irrevocably changed.

 

[Now, all men, please stand]

 

God has given many of you the role of being shepherds to people around you. You’re fathers too.

 

Prayer: Father God, you’re the good and perfect Father. We trust and love and thank you. You’ve set up this world from the beginning of creation with family and fatherhood. I confess I fail at it every day. But your grace covers a multitude of wrongs. I thank you for giving these men the heart to be the “Daddy” you’ve called them to be. Set our hearts afire, with a desire that doesn’t stop, to point them to you. Not just with words. Not with just taking them to church. But with every second of the way we spend our lives. Our children are watching and we desire to introduce them to You, the Good and Perfect Father. Give us a sense of joy for this tremendous privilege and responsibility you’ve placed in our hands. What can we do but lift it up to you and say, “We trust You. We’ll follow you.” 

 

We pray this together in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

In honor of Father’s Day, a donation has been made to the orphanage in Honduras.

 

Michael Walker - 10:43am.

 

[slide 1 of Rip’s sermon is on the screen.] That’s Rip’s sermon, but Rip’s not preaching today. And I’m not preaching Rip’s sermon. [Rip was on standby to preach today because of all the issues Michael encountered this week.] He was gracious. When we arrived back in the States Wednesday, I get a call from my wife that a tree fell on our house. A million things went through my mind. Probably the thing I won’t have time to do is prepare a message. And obviously we want you to hear God speak.

 

Though Rip volunteered, the Lord spoke to my heart and I contacted Rip and told him about it.

 

The Lord told me to speak, but didn’t give me the message to speak until last night. I truly believe it’s from the Lord. I pray we’ll be willing and open to receive from HIm.

 

I want to pray again and don’t want to hinder what God has for us. 

 

Lord, we wait and worship you. We’re thankful for life. I see shortcomings when I look in the mirror and then think about your amazing grace. And I see myself so differently. I’m the righteousness of God and loved by my creator in a way that goes beyond my understanding.

 

Thank you for the privilege of worship, gathering, fatherhood. I know Father’s Day can be a struggle, and I pray you bring healing, clarity, deliverance. I thank you that you give us strength and ability to be fathers.

 

We open our hearts and minds to be submissive to you and your message.

 

Amen.

 

As we hear from God this morning, the Lord laid something common to us on my heart to drive it home. It’s directed mainly at believers.

 

As Christians, there’s a living purpose for being a believer. What is that? What is our daily purpose? Boiling it down to one thing: we are designed for worship. That’s our sole, singular purpose. Today we’ll look at what “worship” means and what happens if we don’t choose to do so. And what it means when stick to our purpose, even when it’s hard.

 

Romans 12:1-2 tell us what it means to be designed for worship.

 

Romans 12:1-2 -  12:1 ¶ I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

 2* Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

 

As we look at this passage, we see that when you were born again, your life has changed. Your purpose and vision are different. You don’t have to search or struggle about what your path in life is. In general terms, God has set a path before us (see Ephesians 2:10). And as you read Romans 12, it gives specific ways this plays out, showing that we’ve been given a measure of faith to walk in what God’s called us.

 

Paul says, “You are a living sacrifice for God.” You no longer live for yourself.

 

Holy = set apart for God’s service, for the ministry of God.

 

Jesus has presented us to the Father. salvation has come. We’re redeemed. We’re living sacrifice with the purpose God’s set before us to walk in.

 

Worship = /latreia/ = ministration of God for divine service, or any service in ministry to God. So then, your spiritual act of worship is to serve God.

 

Grace = favor or merciful kindness by which God, exerting His holy influence upon our souls, turning us to Christ, then keeping us, strengthening us and increasing us in Christian faith.

Grace turns us to Christ, strengthens us in Christ, and enables us to walk in faith in Christ.

 

Your life has been transformed and you were designed for worship. This is your life. What does this mean practically?

 

There’s a plan and path God has purposed for your life. And with that plan and path, he’s equipped you with the grace and faith needed to walk that path.

 

God has a different path for each of our lives. It’s not one-size-fits-all. We may look at another person and find their path easy. Or at someone else and find their’s too hard. But God’s given you and me the measure of faith to walk the path He’s purposed for us individually. He’s able to guide and counsel and give wisdom and strength and faith to walk in the purpose and path he’s called us to.

 

Our life is designed to be an act of worship.

 

The opportunities, talents, struggles, hardships, sufferings that God’s put in you are there to give you opportunity to worship. And we can choose to walk in the path of worship, with the right attitude, or walk according to our own selfish desires.

 

Rom 12:3-21 -  3* For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

 

Don’t look and compare our struggles, opportunities, path with others. Understand that the path for you is designed for you. And he’ll give you the faith for that assignment.

 

 4* For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

 6* Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

Continue on with the path God’s purposed for us.

 

 9* Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

 11* Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

 16* Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited.

 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.

 18* If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

 19* Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’’

 20* To the contrary, ‘‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’’

 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

When this passage talks about burning coals, he’s talking about the shock value of doing good instead of getting revenge. They expect one thing and you give something completely the opposite.

 

God has called us to a certain path and has given us the grace and faith to walk down that path. Then he give specifics. and he’s pretty self-explanatory.

 

If someone does something to you that causes you to be angry, don’t lash out. 

 

This is how you’re supposed to respond in all those situations.

 

God places us on different paths and gives us different challenges and sufferings.

 

1P 4:12-19 -  12 ¶ Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

 13* But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.

 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

 17* For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

 18 And ‘‘If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’’

 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to [whose will?] God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

 

There’ll be times we’ll suffer. When those times come, we are given a choice. We may be tempted to divert from the path. Don’t do that. Don’t start walking down your own path. That’s a bad choice. And when you make bad choices, don’t blame the consequences on God. 

 

Instead, count those times as an opportunity to worship.

 

Two of my sons, along with 11 others were ministering in hot, muggy Philippines until just this past Wednesday. It was a wonderful time. Our journey home took 51 hours from hotel to home. When the plane landed in Atlanta, I’m thinking, “I’m so ready to lay in my bed.” 

 

And then I get the phone call. My wife is frantic. A tree had just fallen on our house and on my bedroom and on my bed!

 

When there’s a tree on your house and rainwater is pouring into your room, it’s natural for that to cause a little anxiety. On the way home from Atlanta, I call members of our church who live near our house. And they dropped what they’re doing and came to Heather’s aid.

 

That’s a good thing about Southside. As a member of this church, you don’t pay 50 cents to get a 25-cent message. We’re all part of the family of God.

 

It’s a Wednesday night. And because my wife is seeking to walk in the path God has for her life, she’s at church for Bible study and praise practice. My kids are here in the children’s ministry. My two sons and I are on our way back from the Philippines. So when the tree fell on our house, no one was there because we were all where we’re supposed to be as we’re walking with God.

 

As the tree fell on our house, glass shattered throughout the bathroom and there were shards everywhere. And we weren’t there because we were walking on the path God had for us.

 

Though this is a trial and a struggle, because we’re walking in God’s purpose, we can give honor and glory to God.

 

For example, last year about this time, I began developing a relationship with a man. he’s an unbeliever, and that relationship was hindered and somewhat broken.

 

Because of our situation with the tree on the house, I was able to call him and work through the issues and start healing the relationship. I’m thankful that God used this situation to heal the relationship. It could be that God wants us to develop this relationship so we can walk in a way that brings this man into relationship with God.

 

There’s a neighbor across the street who looks out the window at us and doesn’t talk with us. They turn on their car alarm in fear of us.

 

When the wife saw the tree on the house, she came across the street and started a conversation with Heather. She wants to help somehow and brings some diet Pepsi and Pringles. So that tree on our house opened up the relationship. We’re praying God opens up the way more.

 

Over and over, we are seeing God has a purpose in this tree. Yet we could easily have been selfish. We could’ve said, I’m too tired and I’m not going to do it. 

 

Even before the tree, as we were getting ready to go to the Philippines, when my back was hurt, I could’ve said, “my back hurts. I’m not going on the trip.” But we chose to walk in the way God set before us, not in our own desires.

 

And now, though the house was damaged, we are safe and God is receiving glory.

 

 

Zine and Karen, time and again when I’ve wanted to have a pity party…when we go through suffering and hardship, we say “I have a right to be angry and frustrated and a right to my own pity party, to withdraw from fellowship. to sit at home and pout. But it’s when we’re alone, that’s when enemy comes to seek to devour us.

 

But if we’re suffering and in the path of God and in fellowship with one another, when I’ve struggled and grown weary, you guys (Zine and Karen) have been a constant encouragement to me.

 

When i think about you guys, i think about the line in Hebrews: “Consider the saints that have gone before you.” When I think about the things you guys are walking through, I think, if they can walk through that, then I can walk through this. Your life is an act of worship. And it’s a huge help not only to me but to others as well.

 

Byron, Laurel, the same thing. I truly mean this. Heather and I are going through something now that’s heavy on our heart. And we’ve all seen as you walk even though you hurt to the core of your being. Your walk is a constant encouragement to me, to all of us. As you walk the path of suffering, that’s an act of worship that glorifies God. And I thank you for that.

 

I’m going to be honest with you. I don’t know I could walk the path either of these families are walking through. And I don’t know whether they’d be able to walk it without the measure of faith God’s given them.

 

For all of us, God has a path. His path for us will have times of joy and times of suffering as you worship him. Sometimes, it’s not walking but crawling, inching along. As you stay on that path, that act of faith and trust worships God and glorifies him.

 

Gal 6:7-8 -  7* Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

 

If we choose to turn our backs and walk in the flesh instead of staying on the path of God, that’ll bring destruction.

 

But as we inch along on the path, it’ll reap eternal life.

 

James 1:2* ¶ Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,

 

There are 3 things that’ll keep us from walking in our purpose on the path God has for us:

 

1. The first thing is we can derail ourselves from the path God’s set before us by allowing our emotions or self-made thoughts derail us from his sovereign plan.

I use “derail” on purpose. When you think of a train derailing, you think of a crash, destruction. that’s what happens. We see it all the time. Believers distracted by circumstances, influenced away from the path of God. They say, “I don’t want to worship and live for you. I have my own desires and visions. So instead of your path, I choose to walk in my own.” And that derails us from God’s purpose.

 

Proverbs 14:12 -  12 ¶ There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

 

When we have our own purpose, that will lead to destruction.

 

2. The second way we can be derailed is when we want to be the sovereign one in our own life. “sovereign” = supreme master. That’s God’s place, not our place. When we say “God’s sovereign will”, we’re saying that He’s the supreme, master, Lord.

 

Often, we try to make our own plans and TELL God about them and then EXPECT God to bless our plans according to what pleases us.

 

Thsi’ll make us double-minded in all our ways, as James says. We want God’s blessing, but we don’t want to walk in obedience, to be the living sacrifice.

 

John 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

 

Here, clear as day, if you want to gain eternal life, you must lose your life in this world. if you say you’re going to serve him, you must follow Him. He alone is sovereign. 

 

3. The third thing that hinders our worship, is we want to choose our responses to the situations God’s given us. though he’s given us the Word and Spirit to direct us to the right response.

 

When a difficulty comes, and we KNOW the difficulty is from God, we choose our response that we know is different from what He has directed in His Word and by His Spirit.

And when I know what I’m SUPPOSED to do, feel, and respond, and then I choose to have my own thoughts and ideas and secretly harbor my own response.

That is, you will see me faking it on the outside, but inside I’m choosing a different, unsubmissive response. 

When we do that, we hinder the act of worship.

 

This is why, for many of us, life seems miserable. We’re double-minded Christians.

 

Listen the Romans 12 in The Message paraphrase:  12:1 ¶ So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

 2* Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

 3* I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.

 4* In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around.

 5 The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body,

 6* let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t. If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else;

 7 if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching;

 8 if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.

 9* Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.

 10 Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

 11* Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master,

 12 cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.

 13 Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

 14 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.

 15 Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down.

 16* Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

 17 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone.

 18* If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody.

 19* Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

 20* Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.

 21 Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

 

I know some people are thinking, if someone hadn’t done this bad thing to me…

 

But there are no buts. God has a plan for you. Walk his path. He’ll be honored and glorified.

 

If you’re living in a derailed place right now, there’s a Redeemer. He can create a new path for you. All you have to do is confess and surrender.

 

Brothers and sisters, our purpose in life is to live in worship. That’s our sole purpose. Each day you must choose to worship or derail. YOU have that choice.

 

11:40

As we play this last song, if you know you need to get on the right path. Or, if you’re here knowing you’ve never walked with God and you don’t know how, if perhaps God is prompting you to come forward for any reason, come forward and respond to what God’s doing in your life.