Posts Tagged 'reason for living'

Purpose Driven Plus One: Worship

Purpose Driven Plus One: Worship Sermon Audio Here

John 4:19-26; Deut. 6:1-9

Perhaps you’ve not heard of the difference between praise choruses and hymns. This story explains it well:

An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended the big city church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was.

“Well,” said the farmer. “It was good. They did something different, however. They sang praise choruses instead of hymns.”

“Praise choruses?” asked the wife. “What are those?”

“Oh, they’re okay. They’re sort of like hymns, only different,” said the farmer.

“Well, what’s the difference?” asked the wife.

The farmer said, “Well it’s like this … If I were to say to you, ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ well that would be a hymn. If, on the other hand, I were to say to you, ‘Martha, Martha, Martha, Oh, Martha, MARTHA, MARTHA, the cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cows, the white cows, the black and white cows, the COWS, COWS, COWS are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn, in the CORN, CORN, CORN, COOOOORRRRRNNNNN,’ then, if I were to repeat the whole thing two or three times, well that would be a praise chorus.”

As luck would have it, the exact same Sunday a young, new Christian from the city church attended the small town church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was.

“Well,” said the young man, “It was good. They did something different, however. They sang hymns instead of regular songs.”

“Hymns?” asked the wife. “What are those?”

“They’re okay. They’re sort of like regular songs, only different,” said the young man.

“Well, what’s the difference?” asked the wife.

The young man said, “Well it’s like this … If I were to say to you, ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ well that would be a regular song. If on the other hand, I were to say to you,

Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cry
Inclinest thine ear to the words of my mouth.
Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by
To the righteous, glorious truth.

For the way of the animals who can explain
There in their heads is no shadow of sense,
Hearkenest they in God’s sun or his rain
Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced.

Yea those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delight,
Have broke free their shackles, their warm pens eschewed.
Then goaded by minions of darkness and night
They all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn chewed.

So look to that bright shining day by and by,
Where all foul corruptions of earth are reborn
Where no vicious animal makes my soul cry
And I no longer see those foul cows in the corn,

then, if I were to do only verses one, three and four, and change keys on the last verse, well that would be a hymn.”

– worship MUST go beyond the mere methods we use to recognize God

What IS Worship?

an Act of Spirit ~ John 4:19-24

  • 19/23 Samaritan(non-Jewish) Woman(socially unacceptable); yet, Jesus calls her to faith THROUGH WORSHIP
  • 24 an Act of Spirit (inspiration – check your intake: what do you regularly watch-read-listen that helps your spirit?)

an Act of Truth ~ John 4:25-26

  • 25/6 an Act of Truth (doctrine – check the Word – If Messiah explains everything, how do you get His Word into you?)

an Act of Listening ~ Deut. 6:1-4

  • 1-4 HEAR O Israel~ Worship: an Act of Listening (check your direction; what helps you plan your life?)

an Act of Loving ~ Deut. 6:5-9

(check your actions; what do you DO in your life of worship?)

  • 5/6 Love with all you’ve got
  • 7 Love God into your children
  • 8/9 Love God onto your world (it’s NOT a private thing!)

“There is an inborn urge in each person to worship. If we don’t worship God we will find something else to worship, whether it be a job, a family, money, a sport, or even ourselves.” Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church, pg 116

Snapshots from Mark: The Main Thing

Snapshots from Mark: The Main Thing Sermon Audio Here

Mark 12:28-34

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Steven R. Covey, Scott Krippayne But ZEROING in on the main thing is no easy thing: the Choice is between good, better, and BEST…

What’s The Main Thing?

Love God ~ Mark 12:28-30

  • 28 Good question: what IS most important? Let’s be honest: we spend a LOT of our lives searching for meaning and purpose… and all too often, we leave God out of the picture
  • 29 Reminder: LISTEN (Shema) Important to listen to what God says to us
  • 30 Love God with EVERYTHING you have: not just a Sunday/Easter/Christmas thing. ALL IN (you can’t be a little bit pregnant: you either are, or you’re not)

Love People ~ Mark 12:31-34

  • 31 Shema was the most famous OT quote to Israel; Leviticus 19=more obscure (e.g., don’t wear clothes made of two kinds of material; don’t shave; don’t eat fruit from a new tree for 3 years) AND YET nestled in this obscure chapter Jesus says is found the second most important part of the entire Torah: love of neighbor
  • 32/33 the questioner agrees with Jesus: LOVE more important than religious duty
  • 34 “not far from Kingdom of God” – not enough to KNOW – we actually have to CHOOSE LOVE DAILY

Not a typical Easter sermon. We’re in the midst of a study in the book of Mark, and this is just what came up in the text. But it’s incredibly appropriate for Resurrection Sunday: Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross showed how much God loved us to make a way for us to love Him back; Jesus’ Resurrection showed that God loved us enough to show us that He wants us to know Him as FRIEND, not just Savior.

The Steadfast Engine

The Steadfast Engine Sermon Audio Here


Ecclesiastes 12:9-14
To Deal With Despair, Remember

The Point to Our Purpose
Ecc. 12:9-14 After all is said and done, WHY?

  • v9/10 gather wisdom to give it away
  • v11 given wisdom is from the Shepherd
  • v13 “the whole of man” not duty, but purpose
  • – to love God is why we’re here!

The Steadfastness of the Shepherd
John 10:11-18 look at who He is; what He does; and what He has

  • who He is: v11,14 He is the good Shepherd (protector, provider, pathfinder)
  • what He does: v14,15 He knows us, He knows the Father, He lays His life down for us
  • what He has: v16,18 He has ONE flock, He has ONE life, He has authority lay it down and take it up (cf. 10:10) ABUNDANT LIFE!

Mars Rover Opportunity was only designed to function for 90 days using solar power. When its solar collectors got covered by dust, it would shut down; whenever a strong wind would blow the dust off, it could once again receive energy from the sun. It’s now been going almost 11 years past its expected duration.

Our lesson: no matter how tough life gets, let the wind blow, and stay in the Son!


Pastor Ed Backell

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