First Baptist Church Marshallville
Friday, November 22, 2019
Rooted in the Past -- Growing Into Our Future

From the Under Shepherd, Aug 3, 2014

       Question 1 of the Westminster Larger Catechism asks "What is the chief and highest end of man?"  The answer is "Man's chief and highest aim is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever."  Isaiah 43:7 supports the catechism as it declares that "everyone...called by (God's) name" has been created for (God's) glory" (ESV).
 
      Worship is central to what we do as humans.  Adam and Eve enjoyed fellowship with God in the Garden, but the earliest explicit worship is that of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4.  Beginning there and continuing throughout the Bible, the attitude of the heart is the most important part of worship.   Ritual, or liturgy, can assist us in our worship (as it did in the Tabernacle and Temple of the Old Testament and has for 2000 years in the Church), but it cannot substitute for the attitude of the worshiper.  Saul was painfully reminded of this by Samuel when he was disobedient to Samuel's command to dedicate all captured people and animals of the Amalekites to the LORD through sacrifice.  For his disobedience Saul was rejected from being King over Israel (1 Samuel 15).
 
      The most important thing we do as a church is to worship God.  The focus of our week should be the time we come on Sunday morning to join together as the people of God in this place to life our voices in joyful praise and humble confession to the LORD.  However, though our corporate worship ends when we leave the sanctuary, our worship as the  people of God continues as we are obedient throughout the week to the word we hear from the LORD in this place.  Our lives become the "living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God" that Paul describes in Romans 12:1; this is our "spiritual worship."  That is, discipleship, evangelism, mission, and ministry flow from our worship.  Each is enriched in its practical application as our worship takes us into the wonderful presence of the LORD.  Amen.