Friday, April 25, 2014
“Worshiping God in Troas”
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It’s Friday, April 25, 2014, I’m Robert Hatfield and this program delivers daily thoughts for new Christians. This is THE NEW YOU!
Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight (Acts 20:7)
As one who is seeking to restore Christianity to the way that it was practiced in the first century, I am fascinated by passages such as Acts 20:7 that give us a window into the past. No, I’m not saying let’s go back to no air conditioners or other modern amenities (although I do believe that might help some of our 2014 American tendencies of complaining and getting caught up in our church buildings). Instead, I’m interested in a pure, unadulterated way of serving God. I know that those in the New Testament were acceptable to God. The Bible tells me they were. It follows, then, that if I do the same things today – in the same way they did them – I, too, can be pleasing to God. And that’s what life is all about.
In Acts 20:7 we read that the disciples came together on the first day of the week. Inasmuch as every week has a first day, then we understand that they came together weekly on Sundays. The two words “came together” are in the passive voice form, meaning that they assembled by the call of another. It was the divine authority of God that called these Christians to assemble. Notice the purpose that brought them together: “to break bread.” This was not a common meal, it was the Lord’s Supper, the very supper that Jesus instituted before going to the Garden of Gethsemane. That supper is designed, of course, as a memorial of Christ’s death till He comes.
Apparently this first century worship service also included the preaching of the word, because the text says that “Paul … spoke to them.” We know from other passages of Scripture that the first century church would sing when they assembled for worship (Col. 3:16). They would pray together (Acts 4:23-31), and they gave of their funds to meet the needs of the church (1 Cor. 16:1-2).
Worship is about God. In his book Showtime!: Worship in the Age of Show Business, Dan Chambers offers some common misconceptions regarding the purpose of worship (page 139). He mentions that the purpose of worship is not to create a euphoric emotional state within people, nor is its purpose to effect a behavioral change in people. The function of worship is not to make Christianity attractive to the unchurched world or to promote church programs and social agendas. Finally, we must not think that worship’s purpose is to fill pews and swell collection plates. While the byproducts of worship may result in things like stirred emotions, behavioral changes, interest in Christianity, important announcements, and increased attendance, the purpose of worship is not to be found in these activities.
True worship is about God. This Sunday, as you leave this assembly, ask yourself: “Did I praise God and declare His magnificence in my worship?” That’s what it’s all about.
Let’s wrap it up: There’s definitely an urgent need to get back to the New Testament pattern. That is what we, as new creations in Christ Jesus, are called to do and to be – to live what is taught in the New Testament. After all, if we love Jesus, we will keep His commandments.
Over the Weekend: Be sure to worship this Lord’s day. This is an important, reverent, special time when we can commune with God and remember our Savior’s death in our stead. If you need assistance locating a place to worship this Sunday, I’ll put a link in our show notes to an interactive map. Just navigate to your area and I’m sure you’ll find a place with which to worship.
Memory Verse: We return one last time to this week’s memory verse.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.
Thanks for joining today me on The New You. Archives of this program, episode transcripts, and more Christian podcasts can be found online at thelightnetwork.tv.
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I’ll meet you tomorrow for the Q & A Saturday edition of The New You. Have a great weekend!