• “I Do Not Enjoy Church”
• Anyone who has been around the church for any length of time has heard
• As Christians, we are instructed to live our lives with joy.
• Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will
• That joy is to be reflected in everything we do.
• It doesn’t mean we never face problems or disappointment, but it
does mean our perspective causes us to keep moving forward and we try to be as
upbeat as possible.
• When it comes to assembling with the saints, one might think that would
be one of the more enjoyable times in our lives.
• We are assembled together with others of “like precious faith”
who genuinely care about our souls, and we are gathered together before God, our
Creator and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
• We are here to render due worship to them.
• Some of us actually like coming to church and it truly is the highlight
of our week.
• Psalm 122:1 ““I was glad when they said to me, “Let
us go into the house of the Lord.””
• You look at the life of David and you see one who looked forward to worshipping
• It is reflected in many of his psalms of worship.
• Psalm 42:1–4 says, “As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me, “Where is your God?” When I remember
these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With a
multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.”
• Psalm 95:1–3 “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout
joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God, And the
great King above all gods.”
• Psalm 84:1–2 “How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.”
• One of the first prophecies in Isaiah refers to the establishment of the
kingdom in Jerusalem.
• Isaiah 2:2-3 says, “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house Shall be established on the top of
the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow
to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain
of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And
we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
• While this text doesn’t use the word joy, you can see it reflected
in the attitude of those headed that way.
• They want to be in the house of God and learn His will.
• In the New Testament our singing is to be with melody in our hearts (Ephesians
5:19) and with grace in our hearts (Colossians 3:16).
• But even though our worship ought to be a joy, for many that joy is lost.
• It is treated as drudgery.
• Malachi 1:13 finds an ungrateful people who saw worshipping God as a weariness.
• Is that a problem with us?
• Do we dread worshipping God?
• When we are here do we find ourselves disinterested and bored?
• Do we find ourselves complaining more than worshipping?
• Do we find ourselves making excuses to NOT attend as we ought to?
• If so, we need to do some examination.
• For the rest of our lesson, we want to note some reasons why we might
not find our worship a joy.
• Some reasons we might not find joy are because:
• Our Heart Is Not Right With God
• We sometimes hear the expression that our heart is not in the right place.
• When we find no joy in serving God, it is very likely related to our heart.
• The need for a pure heart is emphasized in scripture.
Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Hebrews 10:22 calls upon us to draw near to God with a true heart in full assurance.
• We may be serving God with divided loyalties (Matthew 6:24).
• Our heart may have become corrupted with weeds that are choking the word
of God out.
• James 4:8 calls upon us draw near to God, to cleanse our hands and purify
• 2 Corinthians 13:5 – perhaps we need a good heart examination.
• IF your heart is right with God, you will find joy in worshipping Him.
• We Do Not Fully Understand The Purpose Of Assembling
• We need to remind ourselves that we are here to worship God.
• We are not here to entertain ourselves.
• We strive to follow His instructions in how we do that, as we have continually
• We are commanded to assemble – Hebrews 10:24-25.
• And there are numerous passages that imply the need for assembling (Acts
20:7, 1 Corinthians 11:20; 16:1-2, etc.).
• The same was true with David under the Old Law.
• All those passages in the psalms demonstrate an understanding of why we
• Why are we here?
• First and foremost to worship God.
• Secondly, to build each other up – exhorting and edifying one another.
• Both of these principles are outlined in Scripture.
• If we find no real joy in assembling with the saints, maybe we see some
other reasons for why we assemble – to please friends and family, to keep
the elders off our backs, to keep up appearances, etc.
• This is never acceptable before God.
• We Are Not Spiritually Minded
• Continually we need to remind ourselves of our first loyalties.
• We are citizens of heaven (Ephesians 2:19).
• Here we are sojourners and pilgrims (1 Peter 2:11).
• We must never forget this.
• Colossians 3:1-2 reminds us to set our mind on things above!
• Romans 8:5-8 describes the difference between those who set their minds
on carnal things and those who are spiritually minded.
• Perhaps one reason we find no joy in worshipping God is that the world’s
entertainment and distractions has taken root in our hearts and lives.
• We are so used to glitz and glamour, thrills and having our senses tantalized,
that worshipping God according to His instructions becomes boring and tedious.
• Thinking of the worship assembly becomes drudgery rather than a joy.
• The answer to such a dilemma is NOT to see how entertaining we can make
the worship, but to refocus our minds and hearts where they need to be.
• Romans 12:1–2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by
the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable
to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that
good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
• We Have Not Made Adequate Preparation
• Ezra 7:10 reminds us of the example of Ezra the scribe.
• Before teaching the people we are told, “For Ezra had prepared his
heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances
• The attitude of David, as seen in Psalm 122:1 was anticipation for worship.
• He WANTED to do it.
• Often we don’t get more out of our Bible studies because we don’t
put anything into them.
• We don’t get adequate rest to be alert as we worship God.
• We don’t prepare for class.
• And, we don’t prepare for worship.
• 2 Corinthians 9:7 in dealing with our giving says it is to be done, as
we have purposed in our heart.
• We make preparation!
• Acts 10:33, when Cornelius heard that Peter was coming he made ready for
• They were all there when Peter arrived and gladly received the word with
• Acts 17:11, “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica,
in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures
daily to find out whether these things were so.”
• We Have Improper Attitudes Toward Our Brethren
• The Bible is clear that we are to love our brethren!
• We ought to prefer them over the world.
• Jesus taught His disciples – John 13:34, 35.
• In 1 John 4:7-11, we are called upon to love one another, with God and
Jesus our example.
• This is in a letter where such was a concern.
• In 1 John 2:9-11, 4:20-21, we find that to hate your brother is to walk
• Sadly, many have problems with their brethren and these stand in the way
of properly worshipping together.
• Sometimes attitudes toward brethren keep us away from the assembly and
at other times they taint our attitude while together.
• Such attitudes can cause our assembling together to be a drudgery.
• Philippians 2:3-4 calls for us to esteem others better than ourselves.
• Romans 15:1-2 calls for us to bear with the scruples (weaknesses) of the
• The attitudes in such verses ought to be the goal in our lives, if they
are there, we will not let others deter us from proper worship.
• Our Desire For Heaven Is Not As Great As It Ought To Be
• There are some who live their lives without any hope beyond this life.
• Some are not truly convinced of heaven and/or hell.
• Others have not duly considered the wonders of heaven and the horrors
of failing to make it there.
• They are not living with a strong desire to depart and be with the Lord.
• Hebrews 11:13-16 spoke of those examples of faith that died “not
having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them,
embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”
Vs. 16 says, “Now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly country.
Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city
• 1 Peter 1:3-5 speaks of our incorruptible inheritance in heaven.
• It has been said that our worship assemblies are (or at least they ought
to be) a taste of heaven.
• If you don’t find pleasure in worshipping God (as He has commanded)
here on earth, you must know that heaven will be a place where you will be miserable.
• But that is not possible because the word of God declares that those who
go into heaven will be joyful forever.
• It will last throughout eternity.
• So if you do not enjoy church here, you will not make it there.
• When it comes to our attitude in worshipping God, there are many excuses
given for it not being a source of joy.
• But if truth be known it all boils down to this –
• is YOUR attitude what it ought to be?
• The attitude of others doesn’t matter, yours is the only one you
• Let us strive to find real joy in serving God when we assemble and throughout
By Carey Scott from an outline by Thomas Thornhill
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