For All Bored Churchgoers
For All Bored Churchgoers John 4:4-24
God is a spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24
Have you ever been in a boring worship service? Be careful how you answer. You may have been in a boring service, but worshipping God is one of the most fulfilling, meaningful things you could experience. Worshipping God in spirit and in truth will turn the monotonous into the momentous. You’ll cheat yourself if you don’t experience true worship.
In Matthew 22 the Pharisees were attempting to trip Jesus up by asking Him a question. Turns out, they were asking the greatest teacher the greatest question about the greatest commandment:
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.38 This is the first and great commandment.
If you commit to what our Lord teaches about worship, you will experience life’s greatest, highest blessing. If you don’t believe that, it’s because you’ve never experienced it.
The fourth chapter of John, I believe, is the definitive passage in all the New Testament on the subject of worship. The Lord Jesus spoke it when He had a divine appointment to meet a woman who came to draw water from a well. He began to talk with her about Himself—the fountain of living water—and drinking from the well of salvation. She began to argue denominations: “Which is the right place to worship?”
She had only two alternatives that she knew of: worship at Mount Gerizim or perhaps Jerusalem. On one hand there was the uninformed zeal of the Samaritans; on the other, dead orthodoxy of the Jews.
Jesus tells her:
21 “Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain [Gerizim], nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father…. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
What is “worship in spirit and in truth”? We must worship—
1. The right person
The Father. “There is but one God, the Father” (1 Corinthians 8:6). Idolatry worships the wrong god.
Jesus called God “Father” more than 70 times in the Gospels. It was His favorite word for God. Think about the nature of God: His omnipotence, His mighty power—He can do anything. His omniscience—He knows everything. His omnipresence— He’s everywhere. Someone has said, “God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” That’s a mind boggling thought. Many of us can’t relate to that, but “Father”— we can relate to.
God flung the stars out into space and scooped the oceans out with His hands. He runs this mighty universe. Yet little children can look to Him and say, “Father.” God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father (Galatians 4:6).
2. In the right place.
When the woman at the well asked, “Where should we worship?” Jesus answered, “Here’s where: within you.” We worship any place, any time. What a privilege we have. The right place, Jesus told her, is not necessarily Gerizim or Jerusalem. God does not dwell in temples made with hands. “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing He is the Lord of Heaven and Earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands” (Acts 17:24).
You don’t have to be inside a building to worship God. When you get saved, every place is holy, every day is sacred. I’m not putting down places of worship dedicated to the glory of God. But if you want to know where the sanctuary is today, it’s right there within you. “What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which ye have of God?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
God lives in me; God lives in you. Friend, you are the sanctuary.
Hebrews 10:19 says, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way which He hath consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, His flesh.”
“The holiest” means the Holy of Holies in the temple or tabernacle where the Shekinah glory of God dwelt. No one dared go in there unless they were the high priest, and only once a year could he go in there, carrying a basin of blood for atonement, lest he be struck dead.
But now to brothers and sisters in Christ, Scripture says, “Having boldness to enter into the holiest.” How do we enter? Not with a basin of blood, but by the blood of Jesus.
Everything in the Old Testament temple was just a picture of our Lord. The veil pictured Him. Even its colors pictured Him. White spoke of His sinlessness. Blue—that He is the Son of God from Heaven. Red—His blood, and that He was a man as well as God. But if you blend scarlet red and blue together, you get purple, which shows His royalty.
Just as His body was torn on the cross, that veil was torn, making a way into the holy of holies.
We now have a privilege Old Testament Jews never had. There is a new and living way in spirit and in truth through the Lord Jesus Christ. We go right into the holy of holies. Worship is anytime, any place you enter into the holy of holies by the blood of Jesus Christ. Every day is a holy day; every place is a sacred place.
Does that mean we’re not to come to a church to worship? No. Every day is a holy day, every ground is sacred ground, but we still assemble together as brothers and sisters in Christ, bringing our worship to our Lord.
There is something significant about our coming together to worship. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together” We come to bring our worship to church, not to get filled up but to celebrate together, saying, “God is important to me. My brothers and sisters in Christ are important to me.” We exhort one another.
3. With the right procedure—in both spirit and truth.
To worship in spirit, the Holy Spirit must be in your spirit. If worship seems boring to you, the problem is in your heart.
It must come from within. Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is in within me, bless His holy name (Psalm 103:1). Paul said in, “God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit” (Romans 1:9). “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, all that worship Him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18).
If you don’t enjoy coming to church, if it’s tedious, a bore and a drag, either you need salvation or revival.
Worship has a theological base. Your worship rises no higher than your concept of God. You worship in spirit, but you must worship in truth, which comes from the Word of God.
4. For the right purpose.
The right purpose is to give God glory. The secret to worship is: Forget about yourself and begin to worship Him. When you stop trying to be blessed and start worshipping God, blessings will be all over you.
People say, “Well I didn’t get anything out of it.” Then you came for the wrong reason. If you came for the right reason, you came not to get anything out of it; you came to put something into it.
If you say, “I want to get a blessing,” read the Bible and see how many times it says we’re to bless the Lord.
A thirsty woman long ago met the Savior, and He satisfied her deepest longing. She finally found what she was thirsting for. There is a thirst in your heart if you don’t know Jesus. If you do know Him, but you’re still seeking satisfaction from what the world offers, you will never find it until you understand, as the writer of this hymn did:
Friends all around us are trying to findWhat the heart yearns for, by sin undermined;I have the secret, I know where ‘tis found;Only in Jesus true pleasures abound.
All that I want is in Jesus.He satisfies, joy he supplies.Life would be worthless without Him,All things in Jesus I find.
To hear this message in its entirety with additional content, please tune to Love Worth Finding’s radio broadcast on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 1-2 and repeat broadcast Saturday-Sunday, August 5-6, or any time afterward at http://www.lwf.org/broadcasts
You may also want to order this CD to have in your own library or to share with a friend. Call us at 1-800-274-5683 and ask for message #1971, “Give Him Glory.”