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Worship Sermon Series (part two)

Working Toward Worthwhile Worship 
Part two

Today I want to talk to you about worship again.

What does it mean to really worship?

1. We put forth the effort to have a place to worship – it costs a lot of money – takes a lot of time – expends a lot of sweat equity (hard work).

2. We put a lot into coming to worship.

  • Getting up on Sunday morning.
  • Getting kids up – dressed – fed – in the car – in the church – checked into the kids’ center/nursery – in the sanctuary.
  • And after all that, we are to be instantly engaged. Let go of our cares. Have faith to believe for our needs. Praise the Lord without inhibitions. And then listen to me yell at you for 40 minutes and you’re expected to jot down a few meaningful points and even say, “Amen” at the expected times.

That’s worship.

3. Meanwhile, what you don’t know is the musicians have met on a Thursday night and worked for 2 hours on the music, they’ve been here since a little before 8:00 this morning – and then rehearsed again from 10:15-10:45.

The Praise Team met Tuesday night and then again this morning at 8 and 10:15.

The choir has worked for weeks on Wednesdays and Sunday mornings – learning the music, the dynamics, the parts, and prayed much.

4. And then there’s the sound techs and the media team who have spent countless hours working these systems and providing us with the essentials of a worship experience.

And in addition, all the people spend countless hours practicing their music and skills throughout the week.

5. That doesn’t count the few minutes it took me this morning to find something to preach because, as you all know, I only work on Sundays.

6. So, you see this morning, this one hour and 15 minutes of quality worship takes an army of dedicated – competent – hard-working folks who have a gift that they’ve given back to Jesus and we get the full benefit of it.

But listen to me, what I love about all these dedicated people down to the very person, is if you were to ask them, “Is this worship service about you and your gift?” I promise you not a one would say, “Yes, it sure is.”

No, not a one.

Now, that brings me to one of the strangest illustrations I’ve ever brought to you to prove a point.

Matthew 21:1-11 NLT
As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.” This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said, “Tell the people of Jerusalem, ‘Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt.’” The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it. Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Praise God in highest heaven!” 10 The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked. 11 And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

1. Pastor, it’s not Palm Sunday!

2. Pastor, that’s not a strange story. We are all familiar with it.

3. But wait, look at this. There’s a very prominent character in this story. There’s one there that could almost – or could win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor – he has a lead role.

4. It’s not a disciple. It’s not one of the crowd or the crowd saying, “Praise God for the Son of David.” Actually, this bunch crying “Praise God” on Sunday, were probably silent on Friday when no one stood up for Jesus.

5. This leading character is mentioned at least 11 times in 11 verses.

This Academy Award Winner for Best Actor in a Supporting Role is: The donkey!

Oh boy, Pastor. Where are you going with this?

Just listen. Jesus started His trip down the Mt. of Olives through the Kidron Valley up to the Temple area by first waiting on the donkey.

Not only so, but the Bible takes great caution to tell us about this donkey hundreds of years earlier. He’s a donkey with a purpose. He’s a “destined donkey.”

6. With all the hullabaloo made over this donkey, it wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t strut down the hillside thinking, “It’s all about me.”

  • The Master picked me.
  • He’s riding on me.
  • “Now listen, these people are cheering me. I think I hear them saying, ‘What a donkey!’” “I wish I had a donkey like that!”
  • Hey, you know, it’s all about the donkey you ride. It’s all about the donkey you put forth. Isn’t that what we’ve learned from modern church?
  • Why, in today’s church gone creepy – I’m surprised there’s not a First Church of the Donkey.

7. But you’re thinking, “Come on Pastor, everyone knows it’s not about the donkey. Everyone knows it has nothing to do with how great the donkey was or is.”

And that, church, would be my point!

It’s not about the donkey! It’s not about the donkey in the pulpit!

It’s not about the beauty of the building.

It’s not about the comfort of setting.

It’s not about the time or the place or the dress or the style of music or the wow of the video or the color of the lights or all of those combined.

They are just…Again, they are just the vehicles to bring the main character into our gathering. And that is, as the Prophet said, “Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey – riding on a donkey’s colt.”

8. This is why we are here today.

  • This is why all the effort.
  • This is why all the expense.
  • This is why all these people give their time and share all this talent.
  • This is why I live and breathe and eat and sleep this church…

It’s not about us! It is about Him! It is about Jesus!

9. It is why the entire Bible from Genesis through Revelation is about Him.

In Genesis He is the Seed of the Woman.

In Exodus He is the Passover Lamb.

In Leviticus He is our High Priest.

In Numbers He is the Pillar of Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night.

In Deuteronomy He is the Prophet like unto Moses.

In Joshua He is the Captain of our Salvation.

In Judges He is our Judge and Lawgiver.

In Ruth He is our Kinsman Redeemer.

In I and II Samuel He is our Trusted Prophet.

In Kings and Chronicles He is our Reigning King.

In Ezra He is our Faithful Scribe.

In Nehemiah He is the Rebuilder of the Broken Down Walls of our human life.

In Esther He is our Mordecai.

In Job He is our Dayspring from on high and our Ever-Living Redeemer.

You see, it’s not about the donkey.

In Psalms He is the Lord our Shepherd.

In Proverbs and Ecclesiastes He is our Wisdom.

In the Song of Solomon He is our Lover and the Bridegroom.

In Isaiah He is the Prince of Peace.

In Jeremiah He is the Righteous Branch.

In Lamentations He is the Weeping Prophet.

In Ezekiel He is the Wonderful Four-Faced Man.

In Daniel He is the Fourth Man in the burning fiery furnace.

In Hosea He is the Faithful Husband, forever married to the backslider.

In Joel He is the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost and Fire.

In Amos He is our Burden-Bearer.

In Obadiah He is the Mighty to Save.

In Jonah He is our Great Foreign Missionary.

In Micah He is the Messenger of Beautiful Feet, of carrying the Gospel.

In Nahum He is the Avenger of God's Elect.

In Habakkuk He is God's Evangelist, crying, "Revive thy work in the midst of the years."

In Zephaniah He is the Savior.

In Haggai He is the Restorer of God's Lost Heritage.

In Zechariah He is the Fountain Opened in the House of David for sin and uncleanness.

And in Malachi He is the Sun of Righteousness, rising with healing in His wings.

In Matthew He is the Messiah.

In Mark He is the Wonder-worker.

In Luke He is the Son of Man.

In John He is the son of God.

In Acts He is the Holy spirit.

In Romans He is our Justifier.

In Corinthians He is the Gifts of the Spirit.

In Galatians He is the Redeemer from the curse of the law.

In Ephesians He is the Christ of Unsearchable Riches.

In Philippians He is the God Who Supplies All Our Needs.

In Colossians He is the Godhead Bodily.

In I and II Thessalonians He is our Soon-coming King.

In I and II Timothy He is our Mediator between God and Man.

In Titus He is our Faithful Pastor.

In Philemon He is a Friend that Sticketh Closer that a Brother.

Again, it’s not about the donkey!

In Hebrews He is the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant.

In James He is the Great Physician.

In I an II Peter He is the Chief Shepherd who soon shall appear with a crown of unfading glory.

In I, II, and III John He is Everlasting Love.

In Jude He is the Lord Coming with Ten Thousands of his Saints.

And in Revelation He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

You understand, I’m trying to tell you – it’s not about the donkey!

He is Abel’s sacrifice, Noah’s rainbow, Abraham’s ram, Isaac’s wells, Jacob’s ladder, Joshua’s sun and moon that stood still, Elijah’s mantle, Elisha’s staff, Gideon’s fleece, Samuel’s horn of oil, David’s slingshot, Isaiah’s fig poultice, Hezekiah’s sundial, Daniel’s vision, Amos’ burden, and Malachi’s sun of righteousness.

You see, it’s not about the donkey.

10. And worship – true worship – genuine authentic worship – is when we “Turn your (our) eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face…”

That’s what worship is. It’s not the vehicle, it’s the victorious King of Kings and Lord of Lords high and lifted up in this place!

Quickly, how do we do that? I’ll talk about this the next 2 Sundays. But today, staying with this story, let me just say, to truly worship

Drop your inhibitions.

A. I’m serious. Some of you are just too hung up on yourselves or what others may think or looking foolish. So, you just observe others.

B. I’m not saying you have to worship like me to worship. Or you have to worship like someone else to worship. You don’t have to be quiet to worship. You don’t have to be loud to worship. You don’t have to cry to worship. You don’t have to sit, stand, or kneel to worship.

But what you have to do is express your heart in your own way to Jesus.

What we have to do is take our eyes off of perfecting the donkey and creating the donkey to fit our ideals, and realize it’s in Jesus we live and move and breathe and have our being.

C. And you know what happens?

10 The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked. 11 And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

When the people on the hill worshiped the Jesus on the donkey, the masses in the area starting asking questions.

Did you get that? It still works that way.

If we get it right in here, then the questions will start being asked out there. Not, “What’s going on?” But, “Who is this Jesus?”

Worship Set

Open Up Our Eyes 

- Mack Brock, Chris Brown, Stuart Garrard, London Gatch, and Wade Joye 

Verse 1 

Greater is the One who's in us
Greater is the One who calls our name
He will never fail
Stronger is the One within us
Stronger is the One who fights for us
He will never fail
You will never fail 

Chorus 1 

For Your love endures forever
Oh Your love endures forever
Open up our eyes surround us with Your light
Your love endures forever 

Verse 2 

Mighty is the One who's for us
Mighty is the One who's strong to save
He will make a way
You will make a way 

Misc 1 (Bridge) 

Our God is fighting for us always
Our God is fighting for us all
Our God is fighting for us always
We are not alone
We are not alone (yeah)

Here In Your Presence 

- Jon Egan 

Verse 1 

Found in Your hands fullness of joy
Every fear suddenly wiped away
Here in Your Presence
All of my gains now fade away
Every crown no longer on display
Here in Your Presence 

Misc 1 (Pre-Chorus) 

Heaven is trembling in awe of Your wonders
The kings and their kingdoms are standing amazed 

Chorus 1 

Here in Your Presence
We are undone
Here in Your Presence
Heaven and Earth become one
Here in Your Presence
All things are new
Here in Your Presence
Ev'rything bows before You 

Misc 2 (Bridge) 

Wonderful, beautiful, glorious
Matchless in ev'ry way


- William Batchelder Bradbury, Eric Liljero, Reuben Morgan, Edward

Verse 1 

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus' Name (REPEAT) 

Chorus 1 

Christ alone cornerstone
Weak made strong in the Saviour's love
Through the storm
He is Lord Lord of all 

Verse 2 

When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
My anchor holds within the veil 

Misc 1 (Interlude) 

He is Lord Lord of all 

Verse 3 

When He shall come with trumpet sound
Oh may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless stand before the throne