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Why Do We Go To Church - Part 1

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SERIES: CLARITY

MESSAGE: Why Do We Go To Church? - Part 1

John 13:34-35 & selected scriptures

November 5. 2006

 

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35

 

Our Mission

“The Mars Hill Baptist Church of Chicago exists to turn the Unchurched into fully devoted followers of Christ.”

Guiding Question

What does a fully devoted follower of Christ look like?

A Radically Transformed Life!

When a person has an authentic relationship with Christ, a radical transformation takes place.  The change is characterized by a departure from the former life (old way of thinking) to a new life (A way of thinking is a transformed mind – The Mind of Christ).

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Philippians 2:5

 

Fully Devoted Followers of christ

  1. A fully devoted follower of christ worships god individually and corporately.

Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'  Matthew 22:37

To be radically transformed means that the believer views worship, both individually (private) & corporately (with other believers) as a way of life.  We encourage our members to attend one of our weekend worship services.

“Expressing my love to God” is called WORSHIP

 

§         The essence of the Christian life can be summed up in two words “love affair”. 

 

§         God wants to have a love affair with you.

 

§         We’re Objects of God’s Love

 

§         God made you to love you.

 

§         He wants to have a relationship with you. 

 

§         We are created for the purpose of having a relationship with God.

 

§         The most important thing we can know in life is that God loves us.

 

§         The most important thing that we can do in life is to love Him back.

 

§         If we do this we will fulfill our primary purpose in life.  TO LOVE GOD!

 

Worship is not a ritual or routine.

 

§         Not something we “JUST” do at church. 

 

§         Worship simply means expressing love to God.

 

§         Any time we’re expressing love to God, we’re worshipping.

 

§         That could be anywhere

 

§         When you express love to God in any way you are worshipping.

 

It’s Hard to Express Love (esp. MEN)

 

§         Sometimes we feel it; we just don’t know how to get it out, how to say it.

 

§         So we don’t know how to express our love to our children

 

§         To our wives/husbands

 

§         To our friends and neighbors/Co-workers

 

§         Even to God – It’s difficult. 

I'm going to encourage you to take a self-test on each of these 3 and

evaluate yourself.

 

·         By the end of this message I pray you will feel loved by God more than you ever have in your life. 

 

How Do I Express My Love to God?

1.    BY SINGING TO HIM

“Sing out your thanks to Him; sing praises to our God…” Psalm 147:7 (Living Bible)

Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.   For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all godsPsalm 96:1-2

A.                  Music and Love Go Together

1.                    MOST music comes from THE HEART.

2.                    It’s not intellectual.  

3.                    It’s something that comes out of your soul, your emotions. 

4.                    There are many love songs in the world. 

B.                  Radio Stations Dedicated to the love song format.

1.                    More songs have been written about Jesus Christ than any other topic in the world? 

2.                    Nothing even comes close in second place.

3.                    Over the last 2000 years there have been more love songs and songs written to Jesus Christ than any other subject.

C.                  Christianity is a singing religion, a singing faith. 

1.                    Why?  It’s not about religion.

2.                    It’s about a love affair. 

3.                    It’s about a relationship with God. 

4.                    God loves you so much that He sent His Son to die for you and He wants you to love Him back.

“Sing out your thanks to Him; sing praises to our God…” Psalm 147:7 (LB)

D.                 SINGING MAKES Us Aware of God’s Love & Presence in our Lives.

1.         “I don’t sing.”

2.         The Bible says, “make a joyful noise.”

3.         Basketball Game – “we make joyful noises.”

4.         Weddings – “we make joyful noises.”

5.         You don’t have to hit the right note – make a joyful noise.

E.                  Some Intentionally Come Late

1.         “I’ll miss the warm-up”

2.         “I’ll miss all of the preliminaries.”

3.         I’m coming for “THE WORD.”

We need the Word for our heads and music for our hearts. 

Music inspires, it refreshes, it rejuvenates, it revitalizes.

4.         If you’re depressed, you need a song!

5.         Worship has a healing element in it!

When I least feel like singing that’s when I need to do it the most.

F.                   Can you worship God more than just at church? 

1.         YES you can !

2.         Worship is just simply expressing your love to God.

3.         Wherever God is you can worship. 

Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.   For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.  Psalm 96:1-2

The Principle:

God Wants to Give EVERYONE

Their Own Song of Praise to Him.

 

 

 

Regularly – Occasionally – Rarely – NEVER

 

 

2.    BY LISTENING TO HIM

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me…I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.  I must bring them also.  They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherdJohn 10:14, 10:16

A.   Listening is 1 of the greatest gifts you can give to somebody. 

A.   We all want to be understood. 

B.   We all want to be listened to. 

When you listen to someone, you’re saying,

“You matter to me.”

 

B.   When I don't listen to somebody I'm saying

1.    You don’t matter to me. 

2.    You’re not important to me. 

3.    What you have to say I don’t value.”

 

 

One of the ways you express love to anybody is by listening to them.

    1. Listening is the most misunderstood and left off part of prayer. 

1.    By listening to God you’re saying, “God, You matter to me.  I value what You have to say.”

2.    Talking to God – 50% of prayer

3.    Listening to God – 50% of prayer

How Does God Speak to us?

  • The Bible  

If you’re not spending any time in this book obviously He’s not going to speak to you through this book because you’re not reading it.

  • God speaks to us through the experiences we go through in life.

  • God speaks to us through trials.

We’re not reading these principles in this book and you’re not being aware that God may be trying to tell you something through that irritation.

  • God speaks to us through other people

Through the advice of Christians and godly people who will say, “What about this?”  God will often speak to you through another person.

  • God will speak to you through impressions

God puts ideas in your mind.

 

Where do you think they come from?

God put it there.

 

Not every idea we get comes from God. 

C.    Ideas from God – An Inspiration

D.   Ideas from the devilTemptation

E.    Ideas from ourselves – we just call it dumb

 

How do you know if an impression is from God or not?

The Bible says you’re to test it.

 

 
The Ability to Listen to God is the TRUE Test of whether you’re really a true believer or not.

“I am the good shepherd I know My own sheep, and they know Me… and they listen to My voice.”  John 10:14, 16 (NLT)

 

The Principle: 

When God has my ear,

He has my Heart

Regularly – Occasionally – Rarely– NEVER

 

3.    BY GIVING TO HIM

 

“Just as you excel in faith, in speech, in knowledge and in complete earnestness… see that you also excel in the grace of giving.  I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love.” 

2 Corinthians 8:7-8

 

Giving, at its core,

is the essence of love.

1.              You spell “love” G-I-V-E because that's what love’s all about. 

2.              When you love someone you want to give to them. 

3.              If we say we love God, then it’s going to show up in our generous lifestyle. 

4.              I can claim to be a Christian, a follower of Christ & I can claim to love God. 

5.              The Bible says there is 1 way to really test the sincerity of your love

 

6.              God tests the sincerity of your love by looking at your giving

Why does He do that?

1.              God doesn’t need your time. 

2.              He doesn’t need your money. 

3.              God wants your heart

4.              He wants what your giving represents.

5.              He wants us to become like Him. 

 

“God so loved the world that He gave…”

6.              You can either become like God or become a generous giver.

7.              Or you can become like Satan and become a stingy hoarder. 

I have discovered that there are really basically two kinds of people in life

 

cheerful givers and fearful givers.

4.         Cheerful givers say, “I'm going to give.

 

5.         It all belongs to God anyway. 

6.         He gave it all to me. 

7.         I wouldn’t have anything without God.

8.         So I'm going to give it all to Him and He can take care of all my needs.” 

9.         Cheerful givers – that’s the kind that God loves. 

G.          Fearful givers: 

1.         “I can’t afford to do this. 

2.         I can’t afford to give. 

3.         I’ve got to hoard. 

4.         I’ve got to watch what’s for me. 

5.         I’ve got to protect my selfish interests.”

 

Cheerful or fearful –

You make the decision. 

Like God?  Like the devil? 

 

God tests the sincerity of my love by how generous I am in life.

The Principle:

You can give without loving

but you cannot love w/out giving.

Which word best describes your giving lifestyle? 

 

Regularly – Occasionally – Rarely– NEVER

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