One of the beauties of corporate worship is that it gives us a means to encourage one another to believe the gospel. We gather together to help each other believe. D.A. Carson has said that one of the primary functions of corporate worship is edification. Mutual edification is the one thing we don’t receive when the church is scattered. During the week, we have access, through the Holy Spirit, to every rich grace that God provides through Christ except each other. But, what happens if we all arrive on the weekend with a sense of disillusionment about life, worship, and God?
You enter the worship gathering, and I (or any other worship leader) leads you to sing this lyric:
“I hear the Savior say, ‘Thy strength indeed is small.
Child of weakness watch and pray, find in me thine all in all.'”
And we all ask, “Is he really our all in all?” That statement, if true, affects everything between what we live for to what we hope in - it affects everything. If Jesus is our ‘all in all,’ then that truth is enough to lift us out of our spiritual fog. It’s enough to lead us into a rich time of worship where we sing from the heart to God and each other, “Find in him, believer and non-Christian, your everything. Your satisfaction, hope, and joy."
So, we ask, "Is he really all we need? What do we mean by that? Can we really find everything we need in Jesus” Jesus says we can. Here’s a quick overview of how he does that in the book of John:
I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE
“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.’” - John 6:35
I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” - John 8:12
I AM THE DOOR
“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” - John 10:9
I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep…” - John 10:11, 14-15
I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.’” - John 11:25-26
I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” - John 14:6
I AM THE TRUE VINE
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser…” - John 15:1
This is the Jesus of the Bible. He is our bread, light, access to God, loving and tender Shepherd, resurrection and life, way, truth, and life, and the true vine from which all spiritual fruit is born (including the very joy that Jesus has in God). Let me encourage you to read back over the seven “I AM” statements in John and ask, “How do these statements affect and inform my response of worship when we gather?”
When you show up for worship this weekend, ask God to stir your heart to love him. No matter if you show up ready to worship with affection for Jesus, or if you show up with indifference, what we all need to remember is that Jesus is all we need. Then, respond in worship.