Get Plugged In Sermon Series Part 2
Get Plugged In To the Meetings
(This is the Feeding of the Church)
Intro: One of the key functions of the church is to have services where God’s people can come and be fed by the Word of God.
One of the preeminent duties of the pastor is to FEED THE FLOCK of God.
This is done in the church services.
For a child of God to be PLUGGED IN, they need to understand the importance of getting plugged in to the meetings.
I could have looked at several New Testament passages for this message, but I felt led to look at Nehemiah.
There are several ways that you and I can GET PLUGGED IN to the meetings.
I. By our Attendance
Notice the emphasis placed on who was there in Nehemiah 8 –
- Vs. 1 “…and all the people gathered themselves together as one man…”
- Vs. 2 “…the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding…”
- 11 times we find the phrase “…and all the people”
The key to getting plugged into the meeting is being there.
- Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Bottom line: It is IMPOSSIBLE for you to be plugged into the local church if you are not here during the meetings.
Whether its Sunday School, Sunday morning worship, Sunday evening worship or mid-week service.
That includes revivals, mission’s conference, any time that the church gathers together – NOT FORSAKING!!
During any given church service:
- Somebody could get saved – and you’d miss it.
- Somebody could get right with God – and you’d miss it.
- Someone could surrender to the mission field, or to preach – and you’d miss it.
- Someone could join the church – and you’d miss it.
- God could reveal a life changing truth, and you’d miss it.
- A missionary could present his burden for the field, and you’d miss it.
- We could vote to take on a missionary, or start a building project, or hire a staff member – and you’d miss it.
The fact is – if you’re not here, you’re NOT PLUGGED IN.
Turn to John 20:19-25
By not being in church on Sunday night, Thomas missed:
A. The Lord’s Presence – vs. 20 …then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord (see vs. 25a)
B. The Lord’s Peace – vs. 21 (they were sore afraid of the world, but He brought them peace)
C. The Lord’s Purpose – vs. 21 …as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
D. The Lord’s Power – vs. 22 …he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.
II. By our Attentiveness
- Nehemiah 8:3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.
Christians today are plagued with a short attention span.
Pastors and worship leaders are racking their brains trying to find new ways to keep people’s attention.
This service in Nehemiah 8 didn’t have lights, fog machines, dance teams – it didn’t even have a song service.
All they did was read from the Bible – and the ears of all the people were attentive!
A. It Demonstrates Seriousness – the word of God is worthy of our undivided attention. Put the phones up!
B. It Demonstrates Sensitivity – God is speaking. You don’t want to miss a word! Matt. 4:4 “every word…”
C. It Demonstrates Surrender – It is preeminent. Nothing supersedes the Word of God!
- Psalms 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
Pay attention to the words in the songs. Grab a song book and sing along.
Pay attention to the announcements. Know what is going on.
Pay attention to the prayer requests. People need you to pray for them!
Pay attention to the missionaries that present their work.
Pay attention to the choir songs and the specials.
And definitely pay attention during the preaching and teaching of the Word of God.
III. By our Anticipation
There was a lot of preparation that went into this service.
They had made a pulpit for the purpose – vs. 4
They had assembled a group of men to stand beside the preacher – vs. 4
They watched Ezra open the book and all the people stood up – vs. 5
There was an air of anticipation. A readiness. A willingness. An excitement.
David said it like this:
- Psalms 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
- Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
IV. By our Affirmation
There are several things in this passage that tells me that the people in attendance affirmed the preaching.
First of all, they answered AMEN, AMEN in verse 6.
NOTE: All four Gospels end with the word “AMEN”
IN FACT – every book in the New Testament except for James and III John end with AMEN!!!
It’s biblical for New Testament Christians to say AMEN!!!
AMEN means: that is the truth – let it be so!
Look back at Nehemiah 5.
- Nehemiah 5:13 Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise.
We aren’t only supposed to say AMEN at the parts we like, we are supposed to say AMEN at the TRUTH!!
FIRST MENTION PRINCIPLE: The first time we find the word AMEN in our King James Bible, it is in the Old Testament, and it comes in a verse where a priest is cursing an immoral woman for committing adultery. S
he is supposed to say AMEN, AMEN at the curse.
- Numbers 5:21, 22 And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.
Look at Deut. 27:15-26 at the list of curses and forbidden activities followed by AMEN by all the people.
Saying nothing in response to the man of God demonstrates uncertainty and indecisiveness.
- 1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
Secondly, the Bible is clear that they UNDERSTOOD the Word. (see vs. 7, 8 and 12)
How did the preachers and teachers in verses 7-9 know the people understood it?
It only make sense that there was some kind of affirming response to the preaching.
LOOK AT I Corinthians 14:23-25
- 23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
- 24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
- 25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
He is convinced of all – how?
How can EVERY member in the church be a part of convincing an unbeliever?
ANSWER: By agreeing with the word that is being preached, instead of acting like they have to be convinced.
The unbelievers and the unlearned will be convinced of all during the prophesying if everybody is involved.
Conclusion: One of the biggest dangers is to be a “forgetful hearer” as described in James 1.
Being PLUGGED IN to the meeting in the 4 ways we preached about this morning will go a long way toward curing that problem.