Why Do You Go To Church?Bro. David Chancellor
12/12/2004 6:00 PM
Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
What are we doing when we meet together to worship God? We come to here to do good, not evil. Be more ready to hear that to speak. Consider the meaning before you speak. (Ex – Peter on the mount of transfiguration). We want to hear what God has to say to us. When we come to the house of God, it is to present ourselves to God and to be heard by him. We aren’t here for show. We’re here to hear what God has to say to us. We don’t come to be entertained. When God speaks, it may not necessarily be what we wanted to hear. He speaks what we need to hear. God tells us what our problems are, because he cares and wants to help us fix them. These things are good for us.
If you bring songs, testimonies, etc., so that others will notice you, you are doing it for the wrong reason. We should bring things for God’s glory.
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?
It’s not enough to draw nigh to God with your mouth. You need to honor him with your heart, too. God wants us to love him with all – of us, and all we have. Serving God out of fear will only take you so far. You need to turn your heart completely over to God. Get into it with everything you have. If your heart’s not in it, you’ll have difficulty seeing much increase in the service of God. God sees us and he knows everything about us. He sees us wherever we are at. Whatever you’re trying to hide, isn’t hidden from God. God has a way of showing us things that we don’t know about ourselves.
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
"Thy Father which seeth in secret…" Jesus wanted them to take it beyond just religion. Alms has to do with helping others. Help out because you want others to receive good, not so that you can receive recognition. Don’t talk about it; just do it and move on. Do a good job whether you’re seen or not. Don’t pray to be seen. If you’ll pray in private, you’ll be able to pour your heart out to God in public also. When you pray in private, and it’s a prayer from the heart, you’re not worrying about words. When you pray, focus on conversing with God. The intent of prayermeeting is to share the burdens. God sees the heart. If God’s presence is with you, it will show. Come to be seen by God, not man.
Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
The scribes and Pharisees said but didn’t do. Make sure that you apply things consistently to yourself and to others. Don’t hold a higher standard on others than you will live yourself. God looks on the heart, not just on the outward appearance. Holiness is the grace of God in the heart. What we wear should reflect our inner character. Many people go to church for social position. This isn’t how things should be. It’s enough to be a brother, not a "master," "pastor," etc. "Brother" (or "sister") is good enough if spoken in love and respect. We should treat one another as equals. Pleasing God and worshipping him is what matters.
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
This explains how we should be toward God. Paul continued to s peak up for God even after he suffered for doing so. Preaching shouldn’t be about psychological manipulation. It should tell us what God has to say. When we come together, we should come with the desire to please God. Compliments are heart-felt; flattery is manipulative and insincere. Paul was there to be a help, not for credit or praise. We should desire to be a blessing and a benefit because we care. We come together to help each other, and to lift up God. Our religion isn’t built on the acceptance of others, but on God’s acceptance of us. We go to church to worship God and to find help for our souls.