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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Ezekiel 44:17

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"WORSHIPPING THE LORD"
I. INSPIRATION RATHER THAN PERSPIRATION.
A. Perspiration speaks of expended energy of the flesh.
1. Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, "God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth."
2. There are times when we might be doing a service for the Lord that will create sweat.
a. In the building of these facilities that we might have a place to come and worship the Lord we put in a lot of sweat.
b. We read of Jesus in the garden as He was agonizing in prayer, that His sweat was as were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
c. After sin entered the world the curse upon man was that he was to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow.
d. When the children of Israel were in the hot wilderness and the cloud would begin to move signaling that it was time to break camp, the Tabernacle had to be dismantled and carried to the new location. I imagine that in that desert heat, there was a lot of perspiration.
3. But when it came to worshipping God, He desired that the worship flow freely from an overflowing heart.
B. The Lord does not want you to feel that serving Him is a heavy burden that He lays on you.
1. Some speak of the great sacrifices that they have made to serve the Lord.
a. They speak of the things that they gave up to follow Christ.
b. I do not find that in the New Testament in those who chose to follow Jesus.
c. The closest thing that comes to a reference to the past life that was deserted to follow Jesus was made by Paul, as he wrote of his former life of a Pharisee and his endeavor to please God through the keeping of the law. He said, and those things that were gain to me I counted loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, for whom I suffered the loss of all things and do count them as dung, that I may know Him and be found in Him.
d. It is like some poor street person becoming the big winner in the lottery, and going out and buying a bay front home in Newport Beach, and a new Mercedes car, and when you come to interview them about their new life, they spend the whole time telling you how they had to give up their life on the streets, their special mattress under the bridge where they slept at night and they had to sacrifice their shopping cart loaded with all of their possessions to live this new style of life.
e. In coming to Jesus, you give up a lot of junk that is destroying your life, and in turn, you become a child of God and if a child then an heir of God. You are never required by God to give up one worthwhile thing to follow Jesus Christ.
2. In the days of Jeremiah, there were false prophets that were going around always saying the burden of the Lord, the burden of the Lord. The Lord warned Jeremiah about using that phrase, He said that He was tired of hearing them say the burden of the Lord when He had not put any burden on them.
3. Some people speak of the heavy burden that God has laid on them, as though they were about to be crushed by the enormity of the things that they were doing for God. Jesus said, "My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
4. God does not want my service to Him to be done in a grudging or complaining way.
a. Paul in talking about our giving to God declared that it should never be done grudgingly or out of necessity for God loves a cheerful giver.
b. I believe that this refers to giving myself in a service for the Lord as well as the giving of my money.
c. Sometimes people have volunteered to do something for me and then I hear from others how they were griping about how much time it took them, or of some inconvenience that they experienced, and I go to them and say, just forget it, I do not want you to do it.
d. We had a fellow volunteer to do some work for the Lord just anything, he wanted to just serve the Lord, then we heard from others how much he was complaining about all that he was doing without getting any reimbursement. We finally figured out approximately how many hours he put in and paid him just to shut up his griping mouth.
e. I wonder just how God must feel when we start complaining about what He has asked us to do for Him?
f. The attitude in which I do a thing is far more important than the thing that I do. God loves a cheerful giver.
II. THERE WAS NOT TO BE ANY SERVICE TO THE LORD DONE UNDER A FALSE STIMULANT.
A. They were told that they were not to drink wine when they entered the inner court.
1. Back in Leviticus we read that when the Tabernacle was all prepared, and they began the worship of the Lord, that as Moses and Aaron came out of the Tabernacle, that the glory of the Lord was manifested before the people as the fire came from the Lord and consumed the sacrifice that was on the altar. A the people were rejoicing over this manifestation of the presence of God the two sons of Aaron, Nathan and Abihu took strange fire in their censers and rushed in to offer the strange fire unto the Lord, and that the fire came from the Lord and consumed them.
a. In context with this event the Lord spoke to Aaron and told him not to drink wine or strong drink neither he nor his sons, when they went into the Tabernacle, lest they die.
b. It would appear that God does not want anything offered to Him under a false stimulant.
2. I see how much strange fire is being offered to the Lord today.
3. There are many who under the pretense of serving the Lord are ripping off the saints of God. They are not motivated by the love of Jesus Christ, but by their own greed.
4. Jesus warned His disciples to take heed that they did not their righteousness before men with the motive of being seen by man. If this were the case, the applause of man would be all of the reward that they would ever receive for their service. He encouraged them to be secret service agents. Go into your closet to pray, and your Father that seeth in the secret places will reward you.
B. I have repented before God for my endeavor in the early years of my ministry to seek to motivate people to serve the Lord under false stimulation.
1. We used to have contests with rewards for the person bringing the most people to church over a given period of time.
2. We used to pit the men against the women, and the reds against the blues to stir up their carnal competitive zeal to bring the most to Sunday School.
C. God does not want any of you to feel pressured to worship Him, He does not want you to be whipped up into an emotional frenzy to praise Him. He desires that your praise and worship flow from a heart overflowing with love for Him because of His manifested love toward us. No sweat, no false stimulant, just a pure natural outflowing of expressions of thanksgiving and love. In the psalms we are told to serve the Lord with gladness, and be thankful unto Him.
Sermon Notes for Ezekiel 44:1-3 ← Prior Section
Sermon Notes for Ezekiel 48:35 Next Section →
Sermon Notes for Lamentations 3:21 ← Prior Book
Sermon Notes for Daniel 1:8 Next Book →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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