It Feels Good To Worship God!
Some things just make us happy, don’t they? And for a Christian, it should make us happy, to worship God. If you love God, why wouldn’t you be glad to worship Him? Why wouldn’t it feel good to pray to Him? Why wouldn’t it feel good to be with God? Of course, we don’t have to be in a worship assembly to be with God. We can walk with God every minute of every day of our lives if we choose. And I hope that IS what we choose!
It makes us happy, to be in the company of someone we love, doesn’t it? Children know that. Parents know that. Grandparents know that. Everyone knows that. And if we truly love God, wouldn’t we be happy to be in the company of God? Now I suppose a non-Christian wouldn’t feel this way, but a Christian would just naturally enjoy being with God. Jesus is God, isn’t He? So then let’s sing a song about being with Jesus. Open you song books to hymn #6, and let’s sing the first and last verses of the song called, “Anywhere with Jesus”.
“Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go. Anywhere He leads me in this world below. Anywhere without Him, dearest joys would fade. Anywhere with Jesus I am not afraid. Anywhere, anywhere, fear I cannot know, anywhere with Jesus I can safely go.”
“Anywhere with Jesus I can go to sleep. When the darkening shadows round about me creep. Knowing I shall waken never more to roam. anywhere with Jesus I am not alone. Anywhere, anywhere, fear I cannot know, anywhere with Jesus I can safely go.”
That’s a pretty good feeling isn’t it? To know that no matter where you are, no matter where you go, you can be with Jesus. The apostle Paul, and his friend Silas, were feeling pretty good one time, even when they were in jail! They knew that no matter where they were, Jesus was with them, even in jail. And so they sang, and they prayed, and they were happy, because God was with them! And God must have been with them, because listen to what happened.
It says in Acts 16, verses 25 & 26; “But about midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. And suddenly, there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the jail house were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were loosened.” I’d say God was with them! But don’t think that a miracle has to happen, to be sure that God is with you. Just take His word for it. God says in Hebrews 13, verse 5; “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” That’s a promise! And as long as you walk with Him, He’ll walk with you.
So then, let’s talk about walking with God in this life. The scriptures say that all God requires of us, is “..to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6, verse 8. And that sounds pretty simple, but walking with God may not be as simple as it sounds. Maybe that’s not what makes you happy.
It’s just like whether you’re happy to be here worshipping God this morning, rather than being somewhere else. It’s pretty easy to be here, if this is what makes you happy. But if other things are what makes you happy, then being here may be a bit of a chore. Is walking with God, something that makes us happy, or is walking with God just a chore?
Have you ever not liked something, at one point in your life, but then later, you began to like it? There’s some foods that I didn’t used to like, but now I do. I was really a picky eater when I was a young kid, but I’ve learned to like a lot of things that I used to not like. Maybe there’s an activity that never interested you in the past, but now, you really enjoy it.
Maybe that’s how walking with God is. Maybe we simply have to “learn” to enjoy walking with God. We have to “cultivate” an appetite for it. And if that’s the way it is, that we still need to learn to enjoy walking with God, then so be it, let’s get to learning, let’s get to cultivating!
King David wrote, in Psalm 86:11; “Teach me Thy way O Lord; I will walk in Thy truth. Unite my heart to fear Thy name.” David wanted his heart, to be united with God’s heart. Unite my heart Lord, to reverence you. In other words; Help me to want that, help me to cultivate that desire.
David wrote in Psalm 51:10; “Create in me a clean heart O God. And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Help me Lord, to acquire, and to have those qualities, and those traits. We might not have those feeling within us right now, but we need to “learn” to have those feelings. We need to learn, to love, to walk with God.
Let’s sing another song, how would that be? Open your songbooks please, to number 300, and we’ll sing the first and last verses, of “Walking Alone At Eve”. Sometimes when we’re alone, is when we’re closest to God. So let’s sing that song.
First verse; “Walking alone at eve and viewing the skies afar. Bidding the darkness come to, welcome each silver star. I have a great delight in the wonderful scenes above. God in His power and might is showing His truth and love.”
“O for a home with God, a place in His courts to rest. Sure in a safe abode with Jesus and the blest. Rest for a weary soul once redeemed by the Savior’s love. Where I’ll be pure and whole and live with my God above.”
Last verse; “Closing my eyes at eve and thinking of heaven’s grace. Longing to see my Lord, yes meeting Him face to face. Trusting Him as my all wheresoever my footsteps roam. Pleading with Him to guide me on to the spirit’s home.”
“O for a home with God a place in His courts to rest. Sure in a safe abode with Jesus and the blest. Rest for a weary soul once redeemed by the Savior’s love. Where I’ll be pure and whole and live with my God above.”
We can walk with God in this life, and He’ll walk with us, but that isn’t anything like it’ll be in heaven! O for a home with God, a place in His courts to rest. Can you imagine being there is heaven? Can you imagine meeting Him face to face? Wow, that’s all I can say.. Wow!
The prophet Amos asks a question, in Amos 3, verse 3; “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” God has called us into a covenant with Him. But unless we agree with His covenant, how can we walk with Him? His covenant says that if we believe His word, and confess the name of Jesus Christ, and repent of our sins, and if we will be immersed in water for the forgiveness of our sins, then He will forgive us our sins, and He will add us to His kingdom, the body of Christ. And He will also, at the same time, give us the promise of eternal life with Him in heaven, if we will remain faithful to Him, unto death. That’s the covenant, that’s the agreement, which we must enter into with God. Then we can walk with God, but not before we enter into the agreement, by becoming a Christian.
Jesus said in Mathew 18, verse 20; “For where two or three have gathered in My name, there I am in their midst.” When you’re a Christian, and when you “gather” with other Christians, even with just one other Christian, in “Jesus name”, you’re agreeing with Him, and you’re submitting to His authority. That’s why He’s there in you midst, because you’re all in agreement.
Now that verse isn’t specifically talking about gathering in a worship assembly, although a worship assembly wouldn’t be excluded from that scenario. Jesus is teaching a principle here. And the principle is, that as long as we stand in agreement with His word, He’s right there with us. It says in Romans 8:31; “..If God is for us, who is against us?” If God is for us, it’s because we’re in agreement with Him. And if He’s for us, He’s right there with us!
Now let me show you how that verse in Mathew 18:20 gets twisted around. The verse says; “For where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in their midst.” And people say; That proves that you don’t need to attend worship services, because two or three people can go anywhere and be with Jesus. You don’t; have to be in a church building to be with Jesus.
But like I said; Neither that verse, nor the context around that verse, is saying anything about coming together to worship God. It’s talking about Christians being in agreement with God. It says; “..where two or three are gathered IN MY NAME..” If you are acting by the authority of Jesus Christ, then He is with you in your actions, no matter where you are, and no matter what you’re doing, as long as you’re doing something BY HIS AUTHORITY. “In My name” as Jesus said.
Do we come together for worship, “In His name”? Of course we do. Do we come together for bible study “In His name”? Of course a bible study is “in His name”. What else do we do “in His name”? Well, just for an example, we sometimes eat meals together, “in His name”. We enjoy one another’s company “in His name”. We help to bear one another’s burdens “in His name”. We can pray together “in His name”.
God gives us the authority to do all those things, and lots more things too. We don’t even have to be with two or three others, to do things “in His name”. We can go to work and do our individual jobs “in His name, He’s commanded us to do that. And when we do, we’re guaranteed that Jesus is there with us.
What about when we “take up our cross daily”, and follow Jesus, Like we’re told to do in Luke 9:23? Do we have to be with someone else to do that? Of course not. And when we DO take up our cross” and follow Him, Jesus there with us. We’re following Him, so He must be there with us. Or we’re with Him. The point is, we’re together with Christ.
The one who thinks that they don’t have to assemble with the church for worship, just because Jesus is with us, OUTSIDE the worship assembly, is an unbeliever! They’re an unbeliever, because they don’t believe the words of the bible; Like Acts 20, verse 7; “And on the first day of the week, when we came together to break bread.” We’re instructed to ALL come together. And they don’t believe the words of 1 Corinthians 14:23; “If the whole church should assemble together..” Not just two or three of us, but “the whole church”!
And what about verse 26.. “What is the outcome brethren? When you assemble..” 1 Corinthians 11:18 says; “..when you come together as a church..” In other words, “as a congregation”. And verse 20 says; “Therefore when you meet together..”
Is there any doubt that we are commanded by God to come together as a congregation? As “the whole church”? No, there’s no doubt about it. And only unbelievers, don’t believe it!
And when we do come together to worship, we should be happy to do so. We should be glad, for the opportunity to gather ourselves together, as Christians, to worship God.
Psalm 22:22 says; “I will proclaim Thy name to my brethren; In the midst of the congregation, I will praise Thee!” And Psalm 35:18 says; “I will give thanks in the great assembly; I will praise Thee among a mighty throng!”
But not everyone feels that way. Some just aren’t happy about assembling on the first day of the week, or on any day of the week. And that’s why we need to cultivate a better attitude. We need to “invest” in our future. We need to start investing our treasures, in God! Jesus said in Mathew 6:21; “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Maybe if we start investing our time, and our money, and our abilities, in walking with God, and in serving God, and in worshipping God, then maybe our heart will follow us there.
I can guarantee you one thing. If we’re not happy, about the opportunities we have to come together, to worship God, in this life, then how could we possibly be ready to live with God eternally? As long as something else brings us more happiness than God does, we’re not ready. We’ve got some cultivating to do.
Our closing hymn is #389; Hilltops of Glory. This song talks about rejoicing NOW, in this life, as we look forward to being with God forever, on hilltops of glory. If we’re a Christian, we’ve got everything to be rejoicing about. So then, we ALL need to be Christians. And remember, the only way to be a Christian, is to believe that Jesus is the Christ, and to be willing to confess that faith. And to repent of your sins, and to be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you’ll be a Christian, with every reason in heaven and on earth, to be happy, and to faithfully gather together and worship our God, till the end.
Let’s all stand and sing.