WHY DO I NEED CHURCH? You Need Frequent Celebrations of God

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist   Gainesville, FL   02-19-17
 
“Why Do I Need to Go to Church?
You Need Frequent Celebrations of God”
Habakkuk 3
 
INTRODUCTION:  Why do I need to go to church? What difference does it make? The prophet Habakkuk discovered that we need a fresh word from God in the middle of everyday problems and national crises. Regular worship provides us with new insights into who God is and puts life’s problems into perspective. Habakkuk learned that we may not get all the answers but “the righteous person will live by his faithfulness” (Hab. 2:4). Habakkuk ended his book with a prayer (Hab. 3:1). Chapter 3 has several musical notations (Hab. 3:1, 3, 9, 13), was written to be played on stringed instruments, and was given to the music director for the choir to sing (Hab. 3:19). The prayer is a hymn of worship and praise to God. Habakkuk encouraged his people to worship. Why do I need to go to church? You need frequent celebrations of God.
 
WORSHIP PROVIDES A PLACE OF PRAYER.
 
*The prayer of petition asks God for something. In this case the prophet asks God to intervene in the present day like he did in the past. He asks for a fresh manifestation of God’s power and deliverance. He asks for mercy in a time of judgment. A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth.
Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy (Habakkuk 3:1-2).
 
It is okay to ask God for help. Church is a place to pray.
 
WORSHIP PROVIDES AFFIRMATION OF GOD’S TRUTH.
 
*We gain answers to our prayers and new insights into who God is when we enter his presence in worship. God answered Habakkuk’s prayer with a vision of a future intervention by God to deliver his people (Hab. 3:3-15).
God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth (Hab. 3:3).
*Worship leads us to change our attitude and will to align with God’s truth and promises. Habakkuk learned submission to God’s will. He accepted God’s verdict and timing. Faith requires patience as well as obedience.
I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay
crept into my bones,  and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us (Hab. 3:16).
 
God reveals himself to us and gives us insights into his purposes when we take time to wait for him in worship.
 
WORSHIP PROVIDES A SETTING FOR PRAISE & TRUST.
 
*The worship experience leads to confession of faith, repentance, commitment and renewal. Habakkuk moves from complaint in chapters 1 and 2 to an unconditional trust in God in chapter 3. He is willing to trust in God no matter what the circumstances.
 
Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior (Hab. 3:17-18).
 
*Joy and strength for living are found in God alone. Worship gives us the opportunity to express our thanks and praise to God for his goodness and blessings. I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights (Hab. 3:18-19).
 
We can express our thanks to God for his blessings and commit ourselves to his service as we celebrate in worship.