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Dangerous Worship

We must avoid dishonest worship, calculated worship, and thoughtless worship in order to truly present ourselves at Jesus' feet.


Have you considered that many of the things we do every day are inherently dangerous? Yet we hardly think about it. Every morning, I take my life in my hands when I steer my car onto the entrance ramp of the Dan Ryan expressway. Not long ago, the Chicago Sun-Times described the Dan Ryan as "one of the busiest, most dangerous highways in the nation."

I was acutely aware of this fact when I first moved to the area from a small town in central Illinois 12 years ago. My commute to work each morning seemed like an exercise in fear—60 minutes of wide-eyed terror, sweaty palms, and heart palpitations. But after about six weeks, I found myself pulling into the parking garage, barely aware of how I got there.

Some of you have dangerous jobs. You work on a machine or in a plant or a mill where one misstep could cost you an arm or a leg or even your life. Even in the relative safety of home, we are beset by dangers that might paralyze us with fear, if we thought about them. Lean the wrong way when you clean the leaves out of your gutter, and you might tumble off the roof. Forget to wash the counter when preparing that chicken dinner you plan to eat this afternoon, and you might poison the whole family!

We are surrounded by danger every moment of the day. But we're not stupid; we take precautions. But have you ever considered that the spiritual life has its own dangers? Chief among them, believe it or not, is the practice of worship.

Worship—true worship—is one of the most dangerous things we do. Whenever we move into worship, we enter a realm of risk. We cross over into territory where the primary risk comes, not from God, but from ourselves.

Dishonest worship

For example, whenever we move into worship, we face ...

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John Koessler is professor and chair of the Pastoral Studies Department at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois.

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Sermon Outline:


Worship—true worship—is one of the most dangerous things we do.

I. Dishonest worship

II. Calculated worship

III. Thoughtless worship


When we cross the sacred threshold of worship, we run the risk of having our masks torn away and our true motives exposed, leaving nothing behind except our naked devotion.