CHURCH. WHY BOTHER?

Part 1

You go to school to get an education so you can make a living. You go to work to make money to pay bills.  You go to the track for exercise and better health. You go to the mall to shop for clothes and to the grocery store to buy food. you go to the lake to fish, the ball game to cheer, and the golf course for fun.

But church services? Why go there? Why get up early on one of your few off-days? Why do through the hassle of dressing up and getting the children ready? Why go to the trouble of finding parking space (preferably in the front) and pew space (preferably in the back)? Why sing, bow in prayer, put hard-earned money in the plate, take communion, and listen to the preacher’s sermon?

Why bother with church?

Some look upon church attendance as a bother–an unnecessary burden to be avoided when possible–a perfectly good hour wasted in order to keep a wife or a preacher or a parent off their backs. They go out of a sense of duty–they don’t want to, but they have to. It is seen as a tolerable exercise in spiritual attainment–sort of like punching a spiritual clock or getting brownie points with the Marker. At best it is a time to socialize–see and be seen. To someone who understands worship, though, these four services a week are different. It is not about me and what I want. It’s about God and what He wants.

Why bother?

“BOTHER” WITH WORSHIP BECAUSE GOD “BOTHERED” WITH CALVARY.

If you had given your child to die for someone, would you expect him to be appreciative?  If you loved someone so much that she never left your thoughts, would you be hurt if she considered it an inconvenience to come around you (cf. 1 Chronicles 28:9)? If you were a judge who would soon handle an admittedly guilty person’s case, would you expect him to show you respect in an appeal for leniency (Revelation 20:12-15)?

Now put yourself in God’s place. Stand at Calvary’s cross and tearfully recall that dark hillside where God heard a pitiful cry from the bruised, cracked lips of His only Son. Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”  (Matthew 27:46).  As the Father listened to that plaintive cry, one can almost picture the tears blurring His vision, the flush in His cheeks, and the quivering in the Almighty’s chin, Yet, the Omniscient One did not say a word; the Omnipresent God left the scene (Mk. 15:34)

God endured that heartbreak so my sin-cursed soul could be saved. Is it a “bother,” then, for me to attend a service in His honor? Is it too much to ask that I give praise and adoration to such a wonderful God? How can we but join Paul in exclaiming, “Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). What a privilege to give, to praise, to adore, to worship, and to prostrate one’s soul before the throne of such all-consuming, sin-destroying, everlasting love. When we look back to Calvary, we are brought to our knees in worship.

“BOTHER” WITH WORSHIP BECAUSE GOD “BOTHERED” TO MAKE YOU.

Despite evolutionary claims, sensible people still acknowledge to God:  “Thine hands have made me and fashioned me” (Job  10:8).  Unlike the animal creation, God made us in His own image and after His likeness (Genesis 1:26, 27), demonstrating His unlimited power (Romans  1:20) and boundless wisdom (Proverbs 3:19).

Consider how He made you. Your skeleton has 206 bones more durable and longer lasting than the best steel. Your ear can distinguish over 2,500 different keys (a grand piano has only 88). Your eye is the most perfect camera known to man. Even Charles Darwin said,  “That the eye…could have been formed by natural selection seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.”  Yes, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) by a fearful and wonderful God (“Who is like unto thee…glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?,” Exodus 15:11).  We agree with John:  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and powerful: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11). “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker” (Psalm 95:6).

“BOTHER” WITH WORSHIP BECAUSE GOD “BOTHERS” TO SUSTAIN YOU.

Imagine you are rich. After hearing of a starving, destitute family’s need, you decided to give them a house, a weekly supply of food, a constant quantity of clothes and whatever else they needed. Would you expect them to say “thanks”

God is worthy of our worship because He does this for us…and more. Every bite of food, every drink of water, every breath of air, every ray of sunshine, every drop of rain, every harvested fruit, every medical treatment, every thread of clothing, every square foot of house, every yard of land, every gravitational pull, every smile, laugh, and moment of peace and safety we have ever had is because of God. We depend upon Him for “life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25); He “upholds all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). Yes, we work to pay for these things, but who gave us health and strength to work? Who made the earth inhabitable? Who sends sun and rain for the crops that grow upon it? God, our Sustainer!

“BOTHER” WITH WORSHIP BECAUSE GOD “BOTHERS” TO SAVE YOU.

If you are saved, it is only because of God’s astounding grace (Ephesians 2:8-10). If you are still in yours sins, it is no fault of God’s.  His offer–and longsuffering patience to see it accepted–stands ready  (2  Peter  3:8).  John heard a crowd of ten thousand times ten thousand angels, beasts, and elders say, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory and blessing” (Revelation 5:12). Since sin separated us from God (Isaiah 59:1, 2), and books us a reservation in Lucifer’s Lakeside Inn (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15) until Jesus came we were without hope of anything better than an eternity in hell with a sadistic Satan.

God saw our predicament, and at great cost to Himself, provided a way for us to be snatched from Satan’s grasp and ushered into the Master’s mansions (John 14:1, 2). Jesus, His very own Son, took our place at the whipping post, the cross,a nd the hopeless grave, He carried the burden of our sins in His body as he hung upon that cross, where He poured out His blood as the price of our forgiveness (1 Peter 2:24; Matthew 26:28; 2 Corinthians 5:20).  God did that while we were yet rebels (Romans 5:8-10). He still waits at the window for the prodigal boy’s figure to appear on the distant skyline (Luke 15:20).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s