It is reported that more people attend Church on Easter Sunday than any other time of the year. In 2018, a National Retail Federation study indicated about half of Americans plan to go to Church on Easter Sunday. The current population of the U.S. on April 17, 2019 was 328,608,560. Half of those people will attend Church on Easter Sunday according to this poll. You do the math! That is a lot of people who will have their eyes focused on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. No wonder pastors all over the world stress and jump for joy at this holiday. That population number is really mind blowing isn’t it? Of course, the glass half-full perspective will celebrate the large number who will be in attendance, while the glass half-empty perspective will be concerned for the number who aren’t present. Regardless, of which perspective you hold, it is for sure Americans can get excited at Easter time.
During Easter, the question most Pastors, Theologians and Christian leaders focus on is, “How do we get people to attend Church and worship God all year long as much as they do at Easter time?” It really is an age-old question that remains unanswered. We know this to be true because the question is still being asked among leaders today. I recall serving on numerous Leadership Committees where this question was discussed. Of course, I heard those who said that is the way it will always be because of the sin that exists in the hearts of man. In which there is validity in that fact. But what I have discovered in serving for 30 plus years in ministry, is that often it is not as simple as the sin in man’s hearts as the cause of hindering their worship. I have discovered that many times the cause is more so a need of stewardship. We focus on the need for salvation and we should equally focus on the need for worship. I have found through my years in ministry that people need to be discipled in their knowledge of the Truth and what it scripturally means to Worship God.
I believe the number one place to begin discipling on worship is to start with answering why we should worship God in the first place. The simple answer is we were created specifically to worship Him. But we leaders need to disciple deeper and teach others that not only were we created for worship, but we absolutely have a need to worship. Our life and joy and spiritual walk literally depends on it. We must help people grow in our knowledge of worship and understand that God doesn’t need us because absolutely and completely He is enough on His own. However, we must grasp and help others see God desires our worship of Him and more than that we have a deep dark unseen need to worship Him.
God loves us and wants us to know Him not just at Easter but at all times. He teaches how to worship Him. He wants us to spend appointed time focused on Him. He wants us in an intimate, that is a close and familiar relationship with Him. A relationship that is based solely on worship to a Holy deserving God. It is a fact that our soul thirsts for God. The scripture tells us in Genesis 2:7, “…the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;”. Did you catch that? The bible just said God was the original inventor of CPR! Who knew that right? God’s very breath is what gave us life. Are we teaching others how to worship and where the heart of worship begins? God just laid it out for us. Don’t miss it. The first reason to worship our God is His breath became our living soul. Without His breath we would still remain dust.
That deep yearning began once sin entered through Adam. We had a separation from our Creator when our worship was broken from God. that is when our longing became a deeper and a black hole need for God. We needed a Savior to restore us back to Him. When you are away from a loved one you yearn for them. In the same familiar way, we also yearn for our God. He is our Father, and whether we realize it or not we have need of Him. The scripture tells us like a deer pants for water we hunger for God. What we need to understand is this yearning for God can only be filled through our continual worship of Him.
“O, God you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So, I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live; In your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth
will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:1-8
That beautiful passage of scripture my friends, depicts our yearning our need to worship God. He is the only true God who is worthy to be praised every day of every year. For an eternity, our lips will sing praises and we will for an eternity worship him. It is the only way to satisfy the hunger that lives in our souls. Not just at Easter should we hunger for Him, No! We should hunger for our Lord everyday with every breath we exhaust. We NEED to worship God. It is a longing from deep within our being. It exists in the deep realm of our soul. We are nothing but dust if we can’t worship our Creator. Worship is why He created us period! This is what people should know about worship.
People also need to understand God not only desires our worship but He requires our worship. In scripture God gives us the requirements of worship. Scriptural worship of God requires we worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. The bible says in John 4:23-24, “but the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth for the Father is seeking such people to worship him, God is spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” God desires our authentic selves our authentic and heartfelt worship. Not just a worship of prayer, attending church or reading your bible; although these are very good spiritual disciplines necessary for our growth and understanding of God, this is not all that God wants from us. God wants us to worship Him in spirit as He is spirit and in truth as Jesus Christ is Truth. From the depths of our souls and to the core of our strength. From the deepest thoughts in our minds, to the strongest desires in our hearts, God wants us to worship Him there. He doesn’t want us holding back anything in our worship of Him. Worshipping God is how we draw near and get to know Him on an intimate personal level. And worshipping God is also how we can learn more about ourselves and our purpose. That is how God designed worship to be for us. There is no other acceptable way except an authentic heartfelt worship of God in spirit and in truth.
This Easter Celebration, as we reflect upon His sacrificial death, His burial and His resurrection, let us do so with a heart and attitude of gratitude toward worshipping Him. Let’s teach others why we worship God every day not just at Easter time. Our Lord is worthy of all our praise! I encourage you to take time to get alone this week and dedicate some time of just worshipping God in spirit and praising our Savior in truth, Jesus Christ. Teach and disciple others of the importance to worship God.
If you still wonder why we should worship God, then take a moment and read Psalm 111 and let scripture speak to you. The Psalmist is crystal clear on why we should offer praise and worship to God, the Creator of this universe…
“Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.
Full of splendor and majesty is His work, and His righteousness endures forever.
He has caused His wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear Him; He remembers His covenant forever.
He has shown His people the power of His works, in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
The works of His hands are faithful and just; all His precepts are trustworthy;
they are established forever and ever, to be performed in faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is His name! The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
All those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!”
Don’t you just love the Psalms? I know I do. The words there always hit me right in the center of my heart felt emotions. These last few years have been challenging for me, but I wouldn’t change one thing that has happened. Through my challenges in life, I have learned to praise God on a larger plane of worship. A plane of worship like none other that I have ever seen or experienced before now. God redeems and He restores my soul faithfully every time I stop and dedicate my worship of Him.
My hope on this Easter Sunday, is that ALL 328,608,560 will flock the Churches in the U.S. My dream is to see 100% of Americans, as well as all the rest of the world stop and learn the value that comes to us as we worship The One…The True… Almighty God. Imagine what a celebration we could have, not just at Easter, but on every day of every year, if we committed to a continual worship of Him. That is my hope but, if we can’t celebrate 100% of the world worshipping God this Easter Sunday, then I will hope and wait upon the Lord. For the bible says there is day, a near time, when every knee will bow, and every mouth will confess Jesus Christ is the Lord of this world! When that moment happens, then we will truly celebrate the Author of Easter…the best thing about that day is it won’t require colored eggs.