August 29, 2010
TO OUR VISITORS
The family of God here at Dowagiac Church of Christ wishes to extend to you a warm welcome. If you have questions about our worship services and why we do what we do, we will be glad to give you a biblical answer. The uniqueness of the Church of Christ is that we are trying to restore to the best of our ability those things that we see the first century Church doing. We are also working hard at building the spirit, unity, and love that Jesus taught and prayed for. We have no clergy, but are working together as equal co-workers trying to serve one another and the area in which we live. Come study with us, grow with us, and serve with us as we strive to do God's will in all things.
REMEMBER CHILDREN'S WORSHIP. Our services today will start with singing, prayer, and communion. After the communion our children will be dismissed to the fellowship area for a lesson at their level while the adults listen to the sermon for today. Parents need to decide whether they want their children to stay with them or go to the children's worship, but we would encourage all younger children who cannot understand the adult lesson to go and have a lesson which will be at their level. Our goal is to have 100 percent of what we do here understandable by 100 percent of us.
POTLUCK NEXT SUNDAY. We have a tradition of eating the first meal of each month together, and next Sunday is the first Sunday in September. Please plan to come and, if possible, bring a dish of something to share. We always have a surplus of food, so if you cannot bring anything that is fine--just bring yourself. Acts 2:46 tells us that the first century church ate together every day. That is not feasible in today's world, but the example is there and we try to follow what our first century brethren did.
Another reason to emphasize doing this is that we talk about plans for the future during and after the potluck. A lot of good things have gone on in the past month as well as some significant challenges. We use this time to talk about how we can do things better and what we plan to do in the future. We need your input, so come and be a part of the work here. We need everyone present.
TRUE WORSHIP OF GOD
INTRODUCTION--We all want to worship God in a way that pleases Him. How do we know what will do that? The Greek word for worship is literally "To kiss the hand towards." The idea is that of homage, adoration, reverence.
FIVE KINDS OF WORSHIPVAIN WORSHIP
Matthew 15:9 "In vain do they worship me ... "
Vain worship--"made up of rules taught by men"
What do we do? Is it in the Bible?
Acts 17:23 " ... the one you worship in ignorance."PERVERTED WORSHIP--Romans 1:21-25
There is no such thing as "God's house."Ignorant worship is vain, but not all vain worship is done in ignorance (some is deliberate)--2 Peter 3:5.
Crosses are not sacred.
Worshipping nature in place of worshipping GodWILL WORSHIP--Colossians 2:20-23
Humanism--worshipping the achievements of man
Pornography--worshipping the body
Asceticism--whipping our bodies (physically or symbolically).TRUE WORSHIP--John 4:23
Any self-designed worship by our own rules--Guru, etc.
True worship is simple, universal, uncomplicated, non political.
1 Corinthians 14:15 - Key word is "UNDERSTANDING."
If everyone cannot understand it and participate, it is not TRUE.
Why do we greet?Is everyone edified including the children?
Why do we sing?
Why do we give?
Why do we study?
Why do we pray?
SCHOOL STARTS FOR US ALL
It is that time of year again, when our kids and grandkids start back to school. The kids gripe about it, but in reality they are glad to get back to friends and the activities that school provides. Parents make jokes about getting the kids out of the house, but in reality good parents know how important education is, and they are glad that their children can learn skills that eventually will enable them to be self sufficient and able to determine their destiny in life in a positive way. We are all reminded of the start of school because we see school buses on our streets, know about athletic events, and see a change in what drives our economy and controls the activities around us.
The Church is very much like school in many ways. Some parents ship kids off to church to get them out of the house. We all learn things that build our spiritual skills and shape our destiny in this life, but more importantly in eternity. Church or the lack of church controls the activities around us.
In the late 1800s a group of men decided to build a town with no churches. They called the town Liberal, Missouri, in the southwest part of the state. The town charter decreed that there would be no churches allowed within the city limits, and the predictions were that this would become the largest and most successful town in Missouri. In less than five years the town collapsed and was dissolved because alcoholism, crime, prostitution, and violence had grown to such a point that no police force could be maintained. The main leader of the group said he never again wanted to live in a town with no churches. There is a Liberal, Missouri, today and the story titled "The Story of Liberal Missouri" by O.E. Harmon is available from the Liberal Area Civic Group.
People say that they do not need religion, and claim that they do not gain anything by going to church that they could not get on the lake. The fact is that without people who believe and try to follow God's word, society collapses. Every day we live should be a day in which we go to school. God's Word is our teacher, and while we can read it at home just as kids can learn at home, an organized study with people who have experience and/or training greatly expands our knowledge of how we should live and what God calls each of us to. Our Sunday morning class on biblical living and our Wednesday and Sunday night study in Ephesians are classes we all need. Do not skip class!