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Posted on Thu, Sep 29, 2016

a message from Pastor Bob Norton

 Regular worship.  How important is this to the spiritual health and well-being of the follower of Christ?  I spend a lot of time trying to convince people why regular, weekly worship is vital to our connecting with God.  What are the benefits of worship?  I would like to give you some insights into why one would want to be a regular worshipper and why one would want to enable unchurched friends and relatives to experience God’s grace through this gathered community as well.

Pastor and author Herb Miller reflects on the subject and helps believers to see a more comprehensive approach to the benefits of worship.  He writes:

People obviously believe that worship helps them.  Otherwise, why would more Americans be in church every month than go to vote in presidential elections every four years?  Why would more Americans attend worship services in a single month than attend any sports event during the entire year?  But how exactly does worship help?

The short answer to that question:  People believe worship strengthens, repairs, and refocuses their lives.  The long answer:  Worship benefits people in at least ten ways.

1.  Worship dispels loneliness….

2.  Worship brings hope….

3.  Worship counters self-centeredness….

4.  Worship reminds us of important  values we tend to forget….

5.  Worship strengthens courage….

6.  Worship gives us the opportunity to  express thanksgiving….

7.  Worship brings us a sense of for-  giveness….

8.  Worship renews our faith….

9.  Worship is a transcendent experience  which helps God call us out of what we  are to what we are yet to become….

10. Worship is a highly organized form of  corporate prayer that brings positive  change to people….

We tend to continue in whatever state we are in, until we are influenced by forces outside ourselves.  Worship enables us to pay attention, so that God can strengthen, repair, and refocus our lives.

Recently, I had a significance coffee conversation with one of our members at Late-for-the-Train.  She had worshipped once in the last six months, but did not see the need for regular worship.  She spoke of feeling overwhelmed by her work and life.  Her family members were going through major challenges in their lives and she wished that she could help them, but felt powerless to do so.  Although she is a believer in Christ and seeks to bear witness, she lives the life of a practical atheist.

Years ago I spoke with Steve whose wife Ellen was a faithful, vibrant Christian.  Steve never darkened the door of the church, but his life was strained to the max.  I encouraged him to become a regular worshipper letting God grow in his life to help him with his problems.  Glory be!  Steve took action.  Six months later after having worshipped the Lord every Sunday for those six months, he radiantly spoke of the difference it had made in his life.  He had become a new man in Christ.

A young couple who had recently come to faith in Christ wrote:

We have been coming to church for a year now and it already feels like home.  The atmosphere of love, friendship, and excitement is impossible to find elsewhere.  The joy of it far exceeds any evening at a bar, party, or restaurant…I am shocked to say (although I continue to enjoy all three).  Both of us find that Sunday’s service and our small group involvement are the two high points of the week.  At times, it feels like coming up for air as it is easy to be drowning in the deep waters of working life!  If we miss either, we feel somehow “diluted.”  Of course, we can keep talking to God together and alone, but I feel that the act of meeting together is the bellows that keep on fanning the flames of our faith.

Are you a regular worshipper?  Are the flames of your devotion to Jesus Christ burning brightly?  If not, remember, our primary purpose for living upon the earth is…to glorify God by enjoying Him forever!  If not, why not turn to Him today in repentance and faith and become a vibrant, radiant Christian living for His glory.





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