When Our Worship is Genuine Gen. 22:1-14 EBC 9/13/09
The word “worship” means devotion or reverence to a deity. It means ascribing worth to a person or thing. When we “worship” God, we are saying “God is worthy of all my love, my attention and my devotion. He is worthy to receive all that I can give Him.”
V.5- worship- to bow down before. People have some strange ideas of worship. Some think if the singing is good they have worshipped, some believe if the testifying is good they have worship.
V.1- God tested Abraham. Stuart Briscoe- Modern man, if he believes in God, has a tendency to think of the God in whom he believes as a benevolent figure whose main concern is to make man feel good about himself. This God is regarded as something like the recreational director on a cruise ship whose task is to give everyone a good time with no expense spared. The idea that God might initiate a test is therefore foreign to many people both outside and inside the kingdom
Warren Wiersbe- At the age of 75, Abraham enrolled in the “School of Faith.” Now he was over 100, and he was still having soul-stretching experiences. We are never too old to face new challenges, fight new battles, and learn new truths. When we stop learning, we stop growing; and when we stop growing, we stop living.
Actually Abraham shows us the true meaning of true worship.
I. Genuine worship is submissive (1-3)
A. God’s command was hard and almost unbelievable but it was very clear.
1. What was Abraham’s response- he got up and left- no hesitation. Isaac was between 30-33 years of age at this time. Pretty good act of obedience on Isaac’s part also.
B. A true heart for God is marked by obedience
1. John 14:15- If you love me keep my commandments
a. John MacArthur- Safe in the arms of God- list eight purposes for trials- one being- To reveal what we really love. Abraham’s willingness to obey God was not only evidence of his faith in God, but also of his supreme love for the Lord. Do we love God more than any human being? Do we love God’s glorious purpose in heaven for our child more than our earthly plans? That is how God calls us to love Him. Do we love God to the point that we are willing to obey Him in all things? That is what God calls us to do.
b. Robert Butler- How very few are willing to go so far as to give their all in obeying God. Many cannot even tithe, though they have good incomes. Others cannot sacrifice weekends at their cabins by the lake to attend a worship service. A good number find the price too high to give up a few weekday nights to attend a week-long series of special meetings at church. Sad to say, many professing believers are not willing to pay much of a price to obey God. Yet, they still claim to be a follower of the One Who gave His all for their salvation on Calvary.
C. Every obedience thing we do is an act of worship. Someone said,” Our faith is not really tested until God asks us to bear what seems unbearable, do what seems unreasonable, and expect what seems impossible”.
D. Abraham understood that God’s will never contradicts God’s promise. Faith never demands explanations, faith rest son promises.
E. John Morris- “To worship God is simply to bow down to His will, recognizing and acknowledging that His will is best. What He does is right, by definition, whether we understand it now or not. His will may involve waiting and suffering, even dying; but if it is His will, then we must bow down to it and accept it with thanksgiving. It is then, and only then, that we worship God”.
II. Genuine worship is Steadfast (2)
A. Gen. 21- we see Abraham in a time of worship because of the blessings of God.
1. It is easy to worship God when things are going well. Genuine worship looks beyond the crisis of the hour and sees a God Who is worthy of worship regardless of how life is going. Genuine worship sees a God Who is in control of all the situations of life and it bends the knee to Him.
a. Psa. 37:23-
B. Robert Butler- Many times we make the mistake of counting things which God does not count. Someone has said, "Only one life 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last." We could change the last line to read, "Only what's done for Christ will count"; and it will give us the message here. We count Ishmaels but God does not. Preachers often count a lot of decisions, which God does not count, in order to pad their statistics. God only counts Isaacs, not Ishmaels. Others count up their works for salvation, but God does not; for they are only Ishmaels. The works of the flesh will never save a soul. Learn to count as God counts, if you wish to count correctly.
III. Genuine worship is Sacrificial (5-10)
A. This worship was going to cost Abraham greatly. Abraham never waivers. He gathers what is needed and heads for the mountains.
B. He never says “why Lord”. He never grips. He just obeys.
C. Genuine worship is always costly because it requires us to make sacrifices. Things like time, plans. They usually require sacrifice.
D. Why do so few worship genuinely- because it is not cheap.
E. Genuine worship requires all to be placed on the altar. Robert Butler- we see little sacrifice today- young people will not give up their unholy friends and activities for the Lord.
1. Rom. 12:1-2-
IV. Genuine worship is Secure (5)
A. Abraham didn’t know exactly what was going to happen but he went on to that mountain expecting a miracle. As we can read he just continued making the arrangements for the sacrifice expecting all the time for God to work a miracle.
B. Genuine worship does not understand all of life. It is not pleased with every twist in the road. Genuine worship gives itself unreservedly to God, in spite of the things it cannot comprehend, and it bows before Him in the face of everything. Genuine worship knows that its earthly expression is merely practice for what will be perfected in Heaven.
C. Genuine worship bows before God because it realizes Who God is.
1. Heb. 11:17-19-