1 - Willingly Worship
QUIZ: How do you know when a worship service was really good?
A. I felt moved or inspired
B. I liked the music
C. I liked the preaching
D. I feel better afterwards
A: None of the above.
Over the next 8 weeks we are going to plunge a little deeper into the topic of W.O.R.S.H.I.P. We’ll look at the aspects of true worship and what the Bible says about it.
You Were WIRED to WORSHIP
From the very beginning WORSHIP has always been an integral part of our design:
Ø In Genesis Cain & Abel worshipped God with sacrifices
Ø Noah’s first act following the flood was to worship Yahweh
Ø Abraham was a man of worship
Ø Jacob wrestled with God and then learned hoe to worship
Ø Moses asked Pharaoh to release the Hebrews so they could worship their God in the desert
Ø After leaving Egypt they constructed a Tabernacle devoted solely to the worship of God
Leviticus 26:11-13 (NIV)
11 I will put my [tabernacle] among you… 12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.
Circle “Tabernacle.” God gave Moses instructions to build a dwelling place where His people would gather to worship Him. God’s presence overshadowed the Tabernacle with a CLOUD by day and a PILLAR of FIRE by night.
this morning I want us to learn a little more about this Tabernacle…
TABERNACLE - video
There were 3 sections:
Ø OUTER COURT – Israelites worshipped weekly
Ø The TENT of MEETING – Levites ministered daily
Ø The MOST HOLY PLACE – High Priest entered yearly (Yom Kippur)
The first thing you see when entering the Tabernacle was the ALTAR of BURNT OFERING – There the PEOPLE OFFERED sacrifices, FIVE different types as described by the Law. Sacrifices for PARDON and sacrifices for PRAISE of God’s goodness.
The PRIESTS of the tribe of LEVI would prepare themselves for meeting with God by washing at the BRONZE LAVER. This helped them to recognize the holiness of God and our continual need for CLEANSING.
The priests would then enter the TENT OF MEETING daily to minister before the LORD.
There you would find the GOLDEN LAMPSTAND (menorah) that was kept lit at all times signifying God’s PRESENCE. Light has always been a metaphor for God. Jesus stated that He is the LIGHT OF THE WORLD – a light which never burns out.
Also inside the Tent of Meeting was the TABLE OF SHOWBREAD where the priests placed bread before the LORD – a constant reminder that God is Jehovah-Jireh – the God who PROVIDES for all our needs.
Also inside the Tent of Meeting was the ALTAR OF INCENSE where a sweet aroma rose day and night representing the prayers of God’s people rising to heaven.
Once a year on the Day of Atonement the HIGH PRIEST would enter the MOST HOLY PLACE where the ARK OF THE COVENANT was kept.
The LORD gave instructions to Moses to place inside of the Ark of the Covenant:
Ø Ajar filled with MANNA signifying God’s CARE for His people
Ø Aaron’s rod or staff that budded – Nu 17 – God told Moses that He would always use leaders to shepherd God’s people. Aaron’s rod was a reminder to the rebellious to follow God’s leaders.
Ø Finally Moses placed the 10 COMMANDMENTS in the Ark and sealed it with the Cherubim cover.
Ø Between the 2 Cherubs / Angels was the MERCY SEAT where God’s COVERING grace receiving the sacrifice of the High Priest.
Is God serious about WORSHIP? Absolutely.
Q: Does God somehow NEED my worship?
Make no mistake – God doesn’t NEED my worship – I DO!
Why God Wants Me to Worship
- Worship ADJUSTS my perspective.
Worship causes me to see things from an ETERNAL perspective…
Psalm 73:1-17 (MSG)
What’s going on here? Is God out to lunch? Nobody’s tending the store. The wicked get by with everything; they have it made, piling up riches I’ve been stupid to play by the rules; what has it gotten me? A long run of bad luck, that’s what—a slap in the face every time I walk out the door…when I tried to figure [all this] it out, all I got was a splitting headache … Until I entered the sanctuary of God. Then I saw the whole picture:
- Worship EMPOWERS me for living.
And Nehemiah continued, “…This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” …So the people went away…to celebrate with great joy because they had heard God’s words and understood them. Neh 8:10-12 (NLT)
- Worship ACKNOWLEDGES my position .
Isaiah saw the LORD:
Then I said, “My destruction is sealed, for I am a sinful man and a member of a sinful race. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord Almighty!” Isaiah 6:5 (NLT)
Two things every person NEEDS to see regularly:
Ø WHO I REALLY AM…
Who God really is…
- Worship DECLARES God’s goodness.
The word “worship” comes from the Latin “worth-ship”
The Lord God is wonderful! He deserves all praise… Ps 48:1 (CEV)
Once I see WHO I am and even more importantly, WHO GOD IS it changes everything.
- Worship DEFEATS negative thinking.
Pessimism vs. Optimism:
ILLUSTR: During a heated battle a young marine shouted, “Sir we are surrounded by the enemy!” The Marine officer said, “Good! Don’t let a one of them get away.”
Worship helps us to get a GOD-outlook on life.
- Worship FILLS me with JOY.
You love him even though you have never seen him; though not seeing him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with the inexpressible joy that comes from heaven itself. 1 Pe 1:8 (TLB)
…I experience absolute joy in your presence; you always give me sheer delight.
Ps 16:11 (The NET Bible)
Nothing on this side of heaven comes close to the sensation that truly Spirit-filled worship.
THESE are some AWESOME benefits of worship.
But WHO can receive these benefits?
ONLY believers. Unbelievers CANNOT worship God. Jesus was crystal clear on this one. You cannot worship TWO gods.
Real worship is EXCLUSIVE. That’s why the 1st commandment is to love GOD ALONE.
The First Offering God Wants Is ME.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
Romans 12:1 (NIV)
HOW do you offer God your LIFE?
How to Offer God My Life
ET GO OF MY PAST – (REPENT)
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ATTENDING A SERVICE and EXPERIENCING THE LIVING GOD
In the Book of ACTS A bunch of people went to a WORSHIP SERVICE and noticed a group of people there who had something different. They were filled with JOY and their lives were changed.
They had discovered the difference between RELIGION and RELATIONSHIP!
When the religious crowd saw the disciples, they WANTED IT TOO and they asked HOW…
Peter replied, “Each of you must turn from your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ac 2:37-38 (NLT)
Q: What is the “gift of the Holy Spirit?”
ANALOGY = idiopathic cardiomyopathy
Doctor: You need a heart transplant.
Patient: I think I’ll opt for the try harder treatment.
Doctor: Fine, I’ll call Holloway Funeral home and make the necessary arrangements.
POINT: You were born with SPIRITUAL CARDIOMYOPATHY.
There is NO alternative treatment.
A dab of religion won’t do it.
You need a total HEART REPLACEMENT.
Only ONE DOCTOR can perform this OPERATION = JESUS CHRIST.
I will give them a new heart and a new mind. I will take away their stubborn heart of stone and will give them an obedient heart. Then they will keep my laws and faithfully obey all my commands. They will be my people, and I will be their God. Eze 11:19-20 (GNT)
The first step is to LET GO of all your past – all of your other treatment plans this world has to offer.
The second step is to…
NVITE GOD TO TAKE OVER - REQUEST
We have titled today’s message WILLINGLY worship because God does not violate your FREE WILL. God calls us to worship but He doesn’t CONSTRAIN us to worship.
His SURGERY is FREE but it is not FORCED.
Q: How? How do you turn your life over to God?
A: Believe and Receive
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Ro 10:9-10 (NIV)
You BELIEVE with your heart and RECEIVE by faith.
The Bible says that…
So whoever has God’s Son has life; whoever does not have his Son, does not have life. 1 Jn 5:12 (TLB)
Once you become a Christian you’re a NEWBORN believer.
Just as God created the PHYSICAL family for PHYSICAL babies to grow in, He also gave us a SPIRITUAL family to grow SPIRITUALLY.
IT’s called the CHURCH
ELLOWSHIP WITH HIS PEOPLE - RELATE
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 1 Jn 1:3 (NIV)
You were FORMED for GOD’s FAMILY.
God wants you to learn how to GROW up in your faith and become an experienced WORSHIPPER.
One of the most difficult concepts for Americans to grasp after becoming a Christian is to completely reject the notion of SOLO CHRISTIANITY.
The Bible says that when you become a Christian you are CONNECTING into a bigger picture. The Bible describes the church as:
They spent their time learning from the apostles, and they were like family to each other. Ac 2:42 (CEV)
Q: Do you have that?
Are you just a spectator or have you joined the TEAM?
Are you still in the bleachers or have you hit the TURF?
Joining the church is one of the MOST IMPORTANT things you can do.
You’re signing onto God’s TEAM to fulfill God’s MISSION on earth.
Jesus gave the GREAT COMMISSION to the CHURCH.
If you haven’t taken this step then this is your NEXT commitment.
God wants you to COMMIT to His body – the church – just as He committed to you.
Q: HOW can I learn to surrender my LIFE to God?
MPTY MYSELF DAILY - RELEASE
A ROUTINE of RELEASE
Most of the rituals in the tabernacle were to be performed DAILY.
Then Jesus said to all the people: If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross each day and follow me.
Lk 9:23 (CEV)
The day you become a Christian you have enrolled in a lifelong journey of change.
I have discovered that in the middle of the night, secretly and quietly, there are little FLESH FIENDS that fill my heart up while I am sleeping. Every morning when I awake I discover that fresh and anew I’m full of Brian again – It ain’t PRETTY.
So, the very first priority of the day is to wipe the BRIAN away!
Each morning I pray that God would fill my Heart and life with His Spirit and His will. That His Word would DIRECT me and His Spirit would
WHERE DOES WORSHIP START?
By GIVING HIM MY L.I.F.E.
Ø Let go of my past
Ø Invite God to take control
Ø Fellowship with God’s people
Ø Empty myself daily
“If any of you wants to be my follower you must put aside your own pleasures and shoulder your cross, and follow me closely. If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.
Mk 8:34-35 (TLB)
Heavenly Father – you WIRED me for WORSHIP. You’ve called me to enjoy all the fullness and benefits of knowing you and worshipping you. As I enter this place of worship each Sunday I ask that you help me to shift my focus off of me and onto you. Forgive me for thinking that worship was what I should get out of it. May my worship be pleasing to You.
I realize now that you want to inhabit my heart as your home. You want my heart to be your living TABERNACLE.
You are a holy God and you will only inhabit a holy tabernacle. You word says that the only cleansing agent that can make a human heart holy is the blood of Jesus Christ. That is the only SACRIFICE that lasts forever. I receive Your sacrifice for my sin by faith.
I ask you to PURIFY me with the washing of the water of your holy word. May my life be daily cleansed by your commands.
Lord, over the next several weeks teach me how to worship you better – because you are so worthy of my praise!
In the name of my High Priest – Jesus, Amen.