Church draws faithful for many wonderful reasons

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 29, 2005

Every week, thousands of families get up, get ready and go to services in the church of their choice.

The reasons we go are many. Some go just out of habit. Their family has always gone, therefore, it's Sunday, so here we are again.

Some go because they have been pressured by a wife or husband, so to keep from having trouble in the family, they agree to go to church. Many of us go because we're hurting.

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Maybe it's been a tough week at work or we've been having some physical problems, so we go to church hoping to find some answers to life's problems or encouragement or healing.

But if we were to ask most folks why they go to church on Sunday, they would reply, "We have come to worship God."

What do we mean when we use the word "Worship?" The English word for worship means "to ascribe worth to." In other words, when we worship, we are simply saying "God, you are number one in my life. You come before anything else. I have come to tell you that you are worth all the praise and gratitude I can give you."

The Hebrew word for worship means "to bow down to." To humble ourselves and show reverence to God and to recognize His sovereignty.

Maybe that's what the angel in Revelation 14:7 had in mind when he said, "Fear God, give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and sea, and the fountains of waters."

The prophet Isaiah went into the temple to worship and came away with a sense of awe. He said, "I saw the Lord! He was on His throne! Angels were singing Holy, Holy Holy! I felt the ground shake! I came away feeling so unworthy because God is so worthy of our worship."

The Psalmist said in Psalms 100, "Shout to the Lord! Make a joyful noise to the Lord! Clap your hands, all ye people! Lift up holy hands to the Lord!"

So not only should we have a sense of awe when we worship God, but we should also be joyful as we sense the presence of God. I'm glad we can enjoy the worship services.

As I came home the other evening, I was greeted at the door by my little 3-year-old granddaughter, Haley Dawn. Her words were, "Papaw, are you happy to see me here at your house?"

As she reached up her hands for me to hold her, I thought, maybe that's how God feels when we come to His house on His day. We lift up our hearts and hands in praise to Him. I can't help but think, God must be pleased that we have come.

For whatever reason you go to church, I hope you come away with the very things that worship provides for us. A sense of awe. Joy deep down inside even in the midst of all of life's troubles and problems. And the satisfaction of knowing that maybe it pleased God that we have assembled ourselves together in His name.

There's a long week ahead of us and we're going to need all the strength God has to offer for us to face life's many problems. Lets start our week by worshiping God in the church of our choice.

Ironton resident Dale E. Maddy is Senior Pastor of Carter Avenue Community Church, 2020 Carter Ave., Ashland, Ky.