Dead-End Applause – September 26, 2016

Thought’s for Today…

Since the first presidential debate for this election is this evening, I thought I would share this blog for today.

When the President of the United States comes to speak, it’s a rare opportunity.

I still have my ticket from May 11, 2004 when President George Bush came to Van Buren to speak to our community. You get there hours early because of the mass of people that will be there, and it’s hard to find a place to park. Once you get inside, you have to wait until he arrives. Finally, you can hear a ripple go through the crowd as they hang the presidential seal on the podium. “Ladies and Gentlemen – the President of the United States.” Everybody gives him an ovation that lasts quite a while, and when the applause dies down, he begins to speak. While he speaks, nobody leaves. When you go to hear someone important, you don’t just applaud and leave. You stay after the applause to hear what they have to say.

You can find in Isaiah 6 perhaps the greatest worship scene in the Bible. The Prophet Isaiah says in Isaiah 6:1-4 “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphims and they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.’ At the sound of their voices, the doorposts and thresholds shook, and the temple was filled with smoke.”

That is true worship! It is praising the Lord, getting lost in who He is, and being overwhelmed by Him. There’s a wonderful new emphasis on praise and worship in many places today. It really brings the Lord close. It makes the Lord the focus when we so easily forget Him, and helps us finally take time to forget ourselves and experience just how big God is. That’s sort of our standing ovation for God.

Unfortunately, too many of us leave after the standing ovation, not realizing that it is only the beginning. God wants to say something; He wants to speak to us.

Isaiah 6:5 says, “Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” Worship is supposed to lead to repentance. When you are in the presence of the Lord, you should see His holiness and the sin that you have not dealt with. You need to make things right with this awesome God. Worship that doesn’t lead to cleaning up your sin is just dead-end applause, and we should not leave until God has spoken.

Verse 8 says, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!'” When we see our sin and get God’s forgiveness, then we should see the people who don’t have a Savior yet. Your heart should ache for those who haven’t seen the King. Worship is not just getting a good feeling because you got close to God. When you see the Lord, it will help you see the lost people who haven’t gotten close to Him. Worship that is really worship will lead to repentance and then to evangelism.

“Here am I, Lord. I will go for You into the lives of the people around me who have yet to see the King as I have.” You don’t just go to God’s presence to applaud, though that’s a great place to start. You go to hear Him speak and then to act on what He says.

Have a “Wonderful DAY in Christ,”

Pastor Terry

Family Worship Center

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