In Philippians 4:4 it says: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! So, in worship, we should choose joy. We should live in joy. Paul was in trouble. Paul was in chains. Paul was facing death when he wrote these words.
In Philippians 4:4 it says: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! So, in worship, we should choose joy. We should live in joy. Paul was in trouble. Paul was in chains. Paul was facing death when he wrote these words. "Rejoice in the Lord occasionally." Is that what he says? "Rejoice in the Lord when something really goes your way. When you wake up looking terrific, your hair is fabulous, you get a raise at work, and you win the lottery. "Rejoice in the Lord always," says Paul who knows all about suffering and pain and hardship and loss and death. Then, just in case somebody didn't understand that he meant it, "I will say it again: Rejoice!" This call to joy from a good and powerful God runs all through Scripture. "Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice..." "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."
Let me ask you. How much does it take? How full does your cup have to be for it to produce joy and delight in you? I was watching Edwin the other day, He's about 7 months old now, and he will smile at absolutely anything.
I was reading an article this week that said the average 4-year-old laughs 300 times a day. The average 40-year-old laughs four times a day. What happens to us? Does the world become less beautiful? What if children are right? What if existence itself (your life right now) is a God-created miracle filled with so much wonder that gratitude and delight could be running through us like blood in our veins, and it is our sin and our fear and our lack of faith in God's ultimate power that makes us old and sad and gnarled and ungrateful and withered in our spirits? Maybe that's why Jesus said, "...unless you...become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
You and I are headed for eternal joy that is so powerful that the laugh of that little child is just a tiny little glimpse of it. I wonder if you have made the choice to become like a child that Jesus invites us to. Part of the deal about worship is we all worship something or somebody. To be human makes that inescapable. You will devote your ultimate allegiance and your ultimate devotion to something. It might be money. It might be my job. It might be my appearance. It might be my reputation. I will on purpose or by accident for better or for worse.
Our goal on Sunday and every other day is, we will make his worship glorious. Why should we do that? Because he's worth it. He is worth our best praise. When you're dating somebody, if you're crazy about them and you say that you will get there at 6:00, what time do you get there? At 6:00 or even before 6:00.
Worshiping God is not a casual thing, so when we gather, come ready to make his praise glorious. All I'm saying is worship is like life: you get out of it what you put into it. Life is that way. Worship is that way. Because God is worthy of our best worship, I want to call on me and all of us to intend to offer him the best and to make his praise glorious because God inhabits the praises of his people. It will bless other people. It will bless God.