The Stewardship Of Worship
PURPOSE – Learning to avoid boredom in the worship of our Lord.
Some time back a “Baptist” paper ran an article asking the question of boring churches. Something along the line of, “Are your church services boring?” If we look at the condition of the people of God – called Israel – at the time of Malachi we can find conditions of their heart which we can learn, that we do not want, nor need in our hearts or churches.
INTRODUCTORY OUTLINE –
I. GOD CHOSE JACOB, RATHER THAN ESAU, TO BE IN THE LINEAGE OF JESUS CHRIST (vv. 1-5).
They Had Questioned God’s Love.
II. THE PEOPLE OF GOD ARE CHOSEN AND CALLED UPON TO GIVE GOD THE BEST IN OFFERING AND SACRIFICE (vv. 6-11).
They Had Questioned God’s Character and Word.
III. DISRESPECT, BOREDOM, CONTEMPT IS NOT BECOMING FOR THE CHILD OF GOD (vv. 12-14).
They Had Questioned The Value of Worship.
I. REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE; THAT YOU WERE CHOSEN BY GOD (vv. 1-4).
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” 1 Peter 2:9.
A. There are many who are troubled by this phrase, “I loved Jacob and hated Esau”.
1. “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” Luke 14:26.
2. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” Romans 9:13-16.
B. We should not be so amazed that He ‘hated’ Esau, but that He loved Jacob.
1. Jacob was chosen by God and Esau rejected before either one was born; “And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger” Gen. 25:21-23.
“ And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Rom. 9:10-13.
2. This in itself is a picture of grace – God’s unmerited favor.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit…” Titus 3:5ff.
II. SINCE WE HAVE BEEN CHOSEN BY HIM AND PURCHASED WITH HIS OWN BLOOD, WE CANNOT AFFORD TO GIVE ANYTHING, EXCEPT THE BEST (vv. 6-11).
A. If we are to avoid boredom in worship then we must give Him our full attention in our worship – personal and corporate.
B. If God is our Father we ought to honor Him as Father.
1. If Jesus is our Master we are His servant.
2. You fear and obey your father, and master, or you are disciplined. “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons” Heb. 12:7-8.
C. When we cease to give our best, that is when we begin losing the fire [excitement, enthusiasm] of worship for God.
1. Worship begins to be ‘Contemptible’ to us.
a. It starts becoming something of lesser importance – other things become more important.
2. We begin looking for places to place blame for ‘Dull and boring’ worship services.
3. We attend ‘Worship services’ more out of habit or duty, rather than desire and love for Jesus.
4. If the spiritual leader(s) shows contempt toward these things; it will trickle down into the congregation.
a. These were calling the ‘Table of the Lord contemptible’ – basically referring to the total ministry.
b. These were also offering blemished, unholy offerings compromising the Word of God.
c. The spiritual leaders are to commit sound teachings to ‘Faithful men’ – that includes right worship.
“ And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2.
D. God will not, does not accept half-hearted worship (v. 10); “Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.”
E. God’s name will one day be great among the nations of the world.
III. BOREDOM IS THE POISON OF THE CHRISTIAN SOUL (vv. 12-14a).
A. To overcome ‘Boredom’ in your worship you must come giving yourself first of all.
1. If you come to worship corporately with brothers and sisters in Christ and offer nothing, then you will be bored and receive nothing.
2. No one ought to ever come to worship without giving, and expecting God’s presence, power and glory.
3. When you see the cross of Jesus, His death, burial, and resurrection you can give yourself and all you possess.
B. One of the biggest parts of worshipping our Lord is loving the Lord Jesus.
1. When you love Him nothing you commit to Him will be a waste of time nor will it be boring.
2. There is nothing more exciting than serving and worshipping our God and Savior Jesus Christ.
C. Overcoming boredom will come when we treat the Name of God and His Word with great awe and respect.
IV. REMEMBERING THE GREATNESS OF OUR GOD, HIS NAME, AND HIS WORD WILL KEEP US FROM BOREDOM (v. 14b).
A. We will learn to show the utmost awe and respect for God and His Word by daily hearing it and applying it, by the power of the Spirit of God to our lives.
B. By God, His Word, and His creation we are constantly reminded of His greatness.
C. By calling on His name daily for fellowship, and directions for the day we can avoid becoming stale and bored.
D. If you experience boredom; get into God’s Word, get involved in someone else’s life for their good; develop an active sense of mission.
E. Be sure Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior.
I. REMEMBER YOU WERE CHOSEN BY GOD.
II. ALWAYS GIVE GOD THE VERY BEST OF YOU.
III. AVOID BOREDOM BY CARING, AND BEING INVOLVED IN GOD’S WORK – OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES FOR THEIR GOOD.
IV. REMEMBER THE GREATNESS OF GOD, HIS NAME, AND HIS WORD.
V. IF YOU HAVE BACKSLIDEN; COME BACK TO THE PLACE WHERE YOU LEFT GOD: IF LOST – BE SAVED TODAY.
THE CURE FOR BOREDOM: 1.) Know the Lord Jesus Christ; 2) Study His Word and pray; 3) Have an active sense of mission; 4) Read regularly from Christian materials that are in keeping with Scripture, and glorifies Jesus, and builds your faith; 5) Be a part of other’s lives.
-Tim A. Blankenship