Better Together: How to live a rich and satisfying life
Living a rich and satisfying life is not a destination; it’s a journey to be enjoyed and lived. Jesus describes this life in John 10:10, as a full, abundant life as good as it can be and beyond what we can imagine. This life is one that lived on a higher plane because of all that is available through Him and begins today.
Bottom Line: How must I gather to worship:
Something To Talk About:
Jesus said His purpose was to give us “a rich and satisfying life.” But sometimes it seems our life is a lot less than satisfying. How do we go about doing that?
- I must sing praise to God with others: I can show my love to God by singing to Him. Remember, God loves wholehearted worship. Psalm 32:11 says this: “Celebrate God! Sing together everyone! All of you with honest hearts; all of you raise the roof” (MSG). Worship is meant to be a celebration. It’s meant to be a festival of joy where we sing together and celebrate God. The Bible says to make a joyful noise. Anybody can do that. So you don’t have to be on key; you just need to sing with your heart. You’re missing out on an important moment of worship if you don’t sing along to the song. So learn to sing the songs. Praise is a mood lifter.
- I must respond to God with others: The Bible says in Deuteronomy 31:12 in the New Century Version, “Gather all the people together: men, women, children, and immigrants living in your towns …” He’s talking about visitors, people who are not citizens here. Gather all the people together: men, women, children, and immigrants living in your towns so that everyone can listen and learn to respect the Lord and carefully obey everything in His Word.” Notice He says this is something we do together. We worship together. We’re to gather together. Taking notes helps. The shortest pencil is longer than the longest memory. But it’s not enough to take notes. If you’re going to worship, you must do what He says. The Bible talks about being doers of the Word, not hearers only.
- I must submit to God with others:
- Communion every first Sunday or Monday: Jesus gave us two symbols of His death, burial, and resurrection. One is the Lord’s Supper, and the other is baptism. In 1 Corinthians 11:25, “Jesus said, ‘This cup,’” the cup of communion that He was going to pass around to His disciples; He said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and you, sealed by the shedding of my blood. So do this often in remembrance of me.” So, what should be my attitude toward communion? Jesus did three things. It paid for your forgiveness; every sin you’ve ever done wrong is completely forgiven. It’s wiped out, washed away. Think of the most guilty thing you’ve ever done, the thing you’re most ashamed of in your past, and thank God that that’s forgiven. It’s not only forgiven; God wiped it out. It’s forgiven and forgotten.
- Baptism every third Sunday: We are baptized as an expression to the world. It’s not in secret. It’s kind of our coming out party. You’re saying, “I’m not ashamed to say I love Jesus Christ.” It symbolizes what Jesus did for us. But it also has a much greater significance. Colossians 2:12 tells us that baptism symbolizes our dying to an old lifestyle. Colossians 2:12 in The Message says: “Going under the water was a burial of your old life and coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead just like he did Christ.” So it symbolizes Jesus’ death and resurrection. It symbolizes dying of all your old sins and being given a new life. Then, it symbolizes our new life in Christ.
- Offering every Sunday: Giving is one of the most important spiritual practices. The attitude we have toward our money and finances directly influences the condition of our relationship with Jesus. How we feel about tithing and sharing our finances can also reflect the level of giving in other areas of our lives. Generosity is contagious, as it spreads from our money to our time, talents, abilities, and presence. Our lack of generosity and the willingness to share is also contagious. We know as Christians, we are taught to share what has been given to us with those who have less. We share our gifts, talents, time, ourselves, and, yes, even our financial resources. I show my love to God by giving back some of what God has given me. You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.
- I must listen and obey God with others: One of the many ways to worship and glorify God is through obedience. Living in obedience to God in all things, even the mundane, is a great way to show your love and respect for Him. Obedience is also a way to draw near to Him and grow in your relationship with Him. For many reasons, obedience is integral to a Christian’s relationship with Christ. God gives us community as a way to become more like Him. God’s Word reminds us that we are in relationships to encourage one another to pursue God and His Kingdom. There is something real about the concept of power in numbers. When surrounded by other believers, we feel empowered in our faith and may even be more sensitive to God’s presence in our lives. There’s something powerful about believers joining together, making each other accountable, and witnessing one another’s lives. We need people checking in on us, asking the hard questions, and challenging us to live out our faith.
- Take a moment and reflect on your experience of attending and participating in worship services. How would you briefly summarize the history of your own experience worshipping God with other believers?
- Read Mark 12:29-30 aloud together. What kind of worship does God love?
- What degree of importance or value on worship?
- Worship can be defined as expressing our love and gratitude to God. What are you grateful to the Lord for?
- Why not just worship God on our own at home?
- How does the Word of God function in providing the fuel for your worship?
- Think of a time when you remember being taught as you sang together with your church. What can you do to increase the frequency of those times?
- What role do you play in teaching and admonishing others during a worship service?
- Does God want every Christian to sing? What do you see as the best answer to that question? When you sing with the church, how engaged are your emotions?
- Why is giving back so important?
- How is baptism a form of worship?
Take One Thing Home with You:
True worship is God-centered worship. People tend to get caught up in where they should worship, what music they should sing, and how their worship looks to other people. Focusing on these things misses the point. Jesus tells us that true worshipers will worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:24). This means we worship from the heart and the way God has designed. Worship can include praying, reading God’s Word with an open heart, singing, participating in communion, and serving others. It is not limited to one act but is done properly when the heart and attitude of the person are in the right place.
True worship acknowledges God and all His power and glory in everything we do. The highest praise and worship is obedience to Him and His Word. To do this, we must know God; we cannot be ignorant of Him (Acts 17:23). Worship is to glorify and exalt God.