Unity in Worship

Here are the sermon notes from Sunday, July 22nd, 2012.

The scriptures that are used today are from the dedication of the temple that was built by King Solomon.

I.  Worship is Offered: II Chronicles 5:11-14

11 And it came to pass when the priests came out of the Most Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without keeping to their divisions), 12 and the Levites who were the singers, all those of Asaph and Heman and Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, stood at the east end of the altar, clothed in white linen, having cymbals, stringed instruments and harps, and with them one hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets— 13 indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying:

“For He is good,
For His mercy endures forever,”

that the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, 14 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.

When they were as one in praising and thanking the Lord, then the glory of the Lord filled the house.  Who knows what would happen, if the whole congregation were in unity as we worshiped?  I would encourage you all to seek the Lord with all of your hearts during our times of worship and prayer.  Who knows what God might do in our midst?

II.   Solomon Prays:  II Chronicles 6:12ff

A.  Hear and Judge:  vv22-23

22 “If anyone sins against his neighbor, and is forced to take an oath, and comes and takes an oath before Your altar in this temple, 23 then hear from heaven, and act, and judge Your servants, bringing retribution on the wicked by bringing his way on his own head, and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.

We should be aware that God does indeed reward the righteous, and punish the wicked.  We should seek in our lives to cease to do evil, and to learn to do good. Sometimes it may seem as though the wicked prosper, but we should know that the judgement of God will come upon all those who have rejected His ways.

B.  Hear and Forgive:  vv26-27

26 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, 27 then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.

When we repent and turn to God, He does indeed hear our prayers and forgive our sins.

    C.  Hear and Act: vv32-33

32 “Moreover, concerning a foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel, but has come from a far country for the sake of Your great name and Your mighty hand and Your outstretched arm, when they come and pray in this temple; 33 then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this temple which I have built is called by Your name.

We can trust that God hears us when we pray, and that He is able to intervene on our behalf.  We can trust Him to help in times of need.  That help may not be in the way that we hope, but help will come.  God’s grace is sufficient for us.

III.  God Responds:  II Chronicles 7: 1-3

When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.[a] And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying:

“For He is good,
For His mercy endures forever.”

When people worship and pray in unity, God responds.  We cannot predict how God will respond, but we can trust that God hears us and is able and willing to respond to our worship and our prayers.

IV.  Everyone Gives:  II Chronicles 7:4

 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the Lord.

The people worshiped, Solomon prayed, God responded, and the people gave.  It is appropriate for us to give back to God a portion of what He has given us.  All good gifts come from God.  It is good for us to give back to God a portion of  our money, our time and our talents.  Actually, our whole lives and all that we have, should be dedicated to God.

V.  Gladness Filled Their Hearts: II Chronicles: 7:10

On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people away to their tents, joyful and glad of heart for the good that the Lord had done for David, for Solomon, and for His people Israel.

When we come together to worship, pray and give to God; as God responds and touches our hearts, we can be filled with the joy and gladness that comes from being in the presence of the Lord.  The joy of the Lord is our strength.  It does not come from worldly things, but from the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “Unity in Worship”

  1. plasso design Says:

    Excellent thoughts. I created a piece with a similar theme during a trip to the Dominican while worshiping with the local church. Here is the image that resulted: http://plassodesign.com/2011/10/25/diversity-unity-worship/

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