Worship the Lord!
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Twin Oaks Baptist Church - Sept. 14, 2015
*As I was trying to find what the Lord wanted me to say tonight, I thought about a lot of things, but the thing that kept coming back to me was, "Worship the Lord". So I would like to ask you to open your Bibles to Colossians 1, and as we read vs. 1-18, please think about why we should worship the Lord.
*Fourteen years ago last Friday, Islamic terrorists hijacked four passenger jets. Two of those planes crashed into the World Trade Center Towers. One plowed into the Pentagon across the river from Washington D.C. And the fourth crashed nose first into a field in Pennsylvania. It had been headed toward Washington D.C. but it was stopped by brave passengers, who gave their lives to keep that plane from hitting the White House or the Capitol Building.
*Three thousand people were killed that day. But at first the news estimated that up to 50,000 people had been killed. That's because on a typical weekday 50,000 people worked in those buildings, with another 200,000 passing through as visitors. There were also 2,600 people working near the impact site at the Pentagon. Only by God's grace was the death toll 3,000. (1)
*You know, our world surely changed that day. Petty problems and frustrations were swept away by shock, grief and anger over that vicious attack. Everybody pulled together (at first anyway). We all wanted to do anything we could possibly do to help.
*Another thing I remember about those days was that the churches were full. An unusual number of people gathered in churches to pray and worship the Lord. Unfortunately, that only lasted about three or four weeks. If everybody who could and should come to church did come to church, all of God's churches would overflow every week with people worshiping the Lord.
*For that matter, we ought to worship the Lord every day! When we think about how gracious, kind and merciful, how awesome, mighty and holy our Lord is, we ought to worship the Lord Jesus Christ every day! And tonight's Scripture helps us see why.
1. First: Worship the Lord, because He is our supplier.
*In Philippians 4:19, Paul tells us Christians: "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." And here in vs. 1-11, Paul shows us some of the great things the Lord wants to supply to you and me.
 The first is good friends.
*The Lord wants to give us friends we can count on, faithful friends like Paul and Timothy in vs. 1. In vs. 3, our friends are eager to pray for us. Paul said: "We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you."
*Then in vs. 7, another great friend is Epaphras. Paul said the Colossians had learned the truth of the gospel from Epaphras. Now that's a good friend! I will never forget the friends who shared the gospel to me! Paul also said Epaphras was a "dear fellow servant" and "a faithful minister of Christ" on the Colossians' behalf. Plus in vs. 8, Epaphras encouraged Paul by telling him how much the Christians in Colosse loved him.
*Epaphras was a good friend to them all, and the Lord wants to supply us with good friends.
 He also wants to supply is with good fruit.
*In vs. 5-6, Paul spoke to the church about:
5. . . the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel,
6. which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth.
*The Lord wants to fill our lives with all kinds of good fruit from God. Up in vs. 2, we see grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Then in vs. 4, the Lord wants to fill our lives with faith and love. In vs. 5, He supplies us with the sure hope of Heaven.
*And down in vs. 9-11, the Lord wants to supply us with godly knowledge, wisdom, understanding, strength, patience and joy. As Paul said:
9. For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10. that you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11. strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;
*God wants to supply us with all of these wonderful things that can change our lives. Al Marchand's life was changed by the Lord. He was full of the kind of fruit God wants to supply to us. Al was on the second plane that hit the World Trade Center.
*His wife, Rebecca, saw it as a divine appointment. She said, "I know it was no mistake he was on Flight 175. You see, Al Marchand had heard about the Lord four years earlier. At the time Al was a policeman, but he also worked as a bartender on his days off.
*God had no place in Al's life, but the morning cleaners who came in to clean the bar liked to listen to preaching tapes while they mopped. Al was really annoyed by all of that preaching at first, but the idea of having a personal relationship with God began to fascinate him. Eventually, both Al and Rebecca became Christians! It was a total change, and he often shared his faith with old buddies from the bar.
*After retiring from the police department, Al started a new career as a flight attendant. He felt like it was his life's calling and once told his wife, "What if there is a time when a flight is going down? What if I am the only one who can share the gospel?"
*One month before 9-11, Al was talking to a passenger named Linda Links and he told her: "I became a flight attendant so if a plane went down I could have 30 to 40 seconds to speak the gospel to people so they could receive Christ."
*Al's wife is certain those passengers heard the gospel before they crashed, because nothing gave Al greater joy than speaking about the hope we have in Jesus Christ. Al Marchand's life was totally transformed by the Lord. Jesus supplied all of his needs, even when that plane was about to crash. (2)
*And Jesus will supply our needs too! So worship the Lord because He is our supplier.
2. And worship the Lord because He is supreme.
*Jesus Christ is supreme! This is the great truth that Paul proclaims to us down in vs. 15-17.
 And in vs. 15, Jesus is supreme, because He "is the image of the invisible God."
*This Scripture means that Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God. As John 1:18 says: "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him."
*And no one can know God the Father except through God the Son Jesus Christ, because He is the image of the invisible God. In John 5, Jesus healed a man who had been seriously ill for 38 years. And some of the religious leaders wanted to kill Jesus because He healed the man on the Sabbath day.
*But listen to what happened next from the New Living Translation:
17. . . Jesus replied, "My Father never stops working, so why should I?"
18. So the Jewish leaders tried all the more to kill him. In addition to disobeying the Sabbath rules, he had spoken of God as his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.
19. Jesus replied, "I assure you, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.
20. For the Father loves the Son and tells him everything he is doing, and the Son will do far greater things than healing this man. You will be astonished at what he does.
21. He will even raise from the dead anyone he wants to, just as the Father does.
22. And the Father leaves all judgment to his Son,
23. so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. But if you refuse to honor the Son, then you are certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.
24. I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life."
*Jesus Christ is Almighty God, just as the Father and the Holy Spirit are Almighty God. Jesus has always been God the Son, but 2,000 years ago He became a man, in part, to reveal God to us. So in John 14:9 Jesus could even say: "He who has seen Me has seen the Father."
 Jesus Christ is supreme! -- Because He's the image of the invisible God, and because He's the cause of all creation.
*In the last part of vs. 15, Paul said Jesus is "the firstborn over all creation." That word "firstborn" doesn't mean the same thing it means when I say, "Becky is our firstborn child." The idea here is that Jesus is "foremost, the best, first in rank, influence, and honor". That's why the AMP Bible says Jesus is "the preeminent one, the sovereign, and the originator of all creation." The New Living Translation simply says Jesus "is supreme over all creation."
*Next in vs. 16, Paul said: "By Him (i.e. by Jesus) all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him." Jesus Christ created the universe and everything in it! Stop and think about that. Think how great Jesus must be to have created everything in the whole universe.
*In Job 38, the Lord spoke about being our Creator. God was chastising Job, and in the New Living Translation, God asked:
4. "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much.
5. Do you know how its dimensions were determined and who did the surveying?
6. What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone
7. as the morning stars sang together and all the angels* shouted for joy?
8. Who defined the boundaries of the sea as it burst from the womb,
9. and as I clothed it with clouds and thick darkness?
10. For I locked it behind barred gates, limiting its shores.
11. I said, 'Thus far and no farther will you come. Here your proud waves must stop!'"
*Nobody but God Almighty could ask those questions.
 And Jesus is supreme! -- Because He's the cause of all creation, but also because He keeps everything connected.
*As Paul said in vs. 17, Jesus "is before all things, and in Him all things consist." The idea behind that word "consist" is to put things together, and hold them together. In Jesus all things "consist". This means that Jesus is the power holding everything together in this universe. Jesus is like glue holding everything together physically. There are somewhere between 50 and 75 trillion cells in my body, and right now, the Lord is keeping them from flying all over this room. Praise God!
*Jesus is holding everything together physically, and He is holding everything together spiritually. Sometimes we may feel like we are being ripped apart. But we should keep trusting in the Lord, because He is supreme. And He will hold everything together for us.
*Jesus is supreme! So worship the Lord because He is supreme.
3. And worship the Lord because He is the Savior.
*Jesus Christ is the one and only Savior of the world! Remember that there are many religions, but only one Savior: Jesus Christ!
*Paul made this truth clear in vs. 12-14, where he talked about:
12. giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
13. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of (His dear Son),
14. in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
*In these three short verses, God gives us five great truths about His salvation. In vs. 12, He qualifies us to share in His everlasting inheritance. We can never qualify ourselves for salvation! God has to qualify us by His grace, mercy and power.
*In vs. 13, God delivers us from the power of darkness, and He transfers us into the everlasting Kingdom of His Son Jesus Christ. Then in vs. 14, God has redeemed us. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the full price for our freedom. He died on the cross to take the full punishment for our sins, so that we could be forgiven forever!
*There were many Christ-like examples on 9-11, echoes of what the Lord did for us, people who risked their lives and sacrificed their lives so that others could live. One of those heroes was Rick Rescorla. The History Channel called him "The Man Who Predicted 9-11."
*And Bruce Ferris explained that: "Long before 9-11, Rick Rescorla developed an evacuation plan for the Morgan Stanley Bank. Rick was the 62-year-old head of security at the bank. Their offices were situated high up in the South Tower at the World Trade Center.
*Rescorla was convinced that Osama Bin Laden would use jet planes to try and destroy the World Trade Center. Rick's plan and its preparation were hugely unpopular with the Morgan Stanley staff, many of whom thought Rick was crazy.
*On September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 hit World Trade Center Tower 1 at 8:46 am. Rescorla ignored building officials' advice to stay put, and began the orderly evacuation of Morgan Stanley's 2,800 employees from 20 floors of Tower 2, plus 1,000 other employees in WTC Building 5.
*Rescorla reminded everyone to "be proud to be an American. He said 'Everyone will be talking about you tomorrow.' Rick also sang 'God Bless America' and other songs over his bullhorn to help evacuees stay calm as they left the building.
*He had most of Morgan Stanley's 2,800 employees as well as people working on other floors of Tower 2 safely out of the buildings by the time United Airlines Flight 175 hit their tower at 9:03. That was just 17 minutes after the first plane hit.
*After having reached safety, Rescorla went back into the building to rescue others still inside. He was last seen heading up the stairs of the 10th floor of the collapsing Tower 2. His remains were not recovered.
*As a result of Rescorla's actions, only 6 of Morgan Stanley's 3,800 employees were killed on 9-11. Four of the 6 were Rick, and 3 of his men who followed Rick back into the building.
*The rest of this very moving documentary focused on Morgan Stanley employees who, now in tears, were praising and acknowledging Rick Rescorla for saving their lives on 9-11. Many apologized for thinking that Rick was foolish to keep pushing them to get ready. They said they would never forget Rick Rescorla. He was their hero." (3)
*Rick Rescorla saved their lives, but Jesus Christ has done so much more for us. Jesus died on the cross to save our souls!
*But what do we have to do? We have to wake up to our desperate need for Jesus. We have to see that we are on a dead end road, and hopelessly lost without Him. We also have to see that Jesus loves us, died on the cross for us, and rose again from the dead!
*That's why vs. 18 tells us that Jesus is "the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence." Death did not conquer Jesus! Jesus conquered death! Jesus conquered death forever for all who trust in Him!
*But we have to see that Jesus is alive. We have to see that He offers His salvation to us. And seeing these things, we have to turn to Jesus. We have to trust Him enough to receive Jesus Christ as the Lord and as Savior of our lives.
*So put your trust in the Lord, and worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Worship the Lord as we go to God in prayer.
(1) Multiple sources, including:
September 11 attacks - Wikipedia
(2) New Man, January/February 2002, p.12 - Source: In Other Words - Fall 2002 - Part 1 - Produced by Dr. Raymond McHenry - www.iows.net
(3) SermonCentral illustration contributed by Bruce Ferris - August 2006