“Jesus replied, ‘The Scriptures say, “You must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.”’” (Luke 4:8 NLT)

Having pastored for many years, I love listening to a good sermon. Yep, you heard correctly, I don’t enjoy listening to a bad sermon. What do I consider a “bad” sermon? Primarily, a sermon not based on Scripture or given in the spirit and light of the Holy Spirit’s presence. It has more to do with being true to the Bible than it does delivery. While delivery may entertain, solid, Biblical instruction feeds my soul. That’s one of the main reasons I love my church, because whomever speaks in any given service or on any given day, I can know with certainty I’m going to hear from the Lord.

But preaching is only part of what I love about public or corporate worship. I’m not sure how this will come across, but I love watching others worship. I sit in the same spot every week, and apparently many others do as well, because I see the same people every week. I know the ones who raise their hands and sing enthusiastically.

We have more than 50 language groups represented in our church, so different cultures bring their own “style” to worship, and I love it! One of our black Pastors dances and sways and exudes energy I only wish I still had – and I love to watch him. Others are quiet and still, but I can “see” that they’re fully engaged. Some shout and clap, while others stand quietly weeping with the joy of God’s holy presence. Some, of course, could care less what is happening, they’re just counting the minutes until it’s over.

I’ll be turning 75 this month, so I’ve been in thousands of gatherings and have experienced worship in many ways and on many levels. I still love the old hymns like this one written by Robert Grant:

O worship the King, all glorious above, And gratefully sing His wonderful love; Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days, Pavillioned in splendor, and girded with praise.

Then the chorus that says:

Frail children of dust and feeble as frail, to Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail: Thy mercies, firm to the end, Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend. Amen.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Corporate worship is truly a joy for me. But I also love the “sermons” and songs of praise I hear every morning on my walk. I watch the sun rise and listen to the beautiful choruses sung by the birds and even the cars whizzing by on their way to who knows where. The sounds of morning in the city remind me that life is unpredictable, and on many levels, inexpressible.

God is so multi-dimensional, as evidenced in the manifold ways He gives expression to His creativity. Through nature and, of course, through human beings. Life is an act of worship. If you want to discover what someone believes, discover what they worship.

Is it their body? Their home and possessions? Their family? Their job? Their money? Whatever their “god” is, it will reveal itself through how they live, how they spend their time and money. Which causes me to wonder – do people in my spheres of influence concur with me that I worship the only True and Living God? Does Jesus “seep” out of my pores as I love my wife and serve my community? Does my life really “look” any different than a person’s life who doesn’t know Jesus? I want it to, but how will I know for sure?

Let’s pick this up in tomorrow’s post.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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