When you heard that we shall explore together today the theme of WORSHIP
many of you perhaps are saying: "What do you think we have been doing all morning?" Our bulletin even calls this time 'MORNING WORSHIP SERVICE."
We say we have been worshipping, but what may appear as worship to us, visibly successful in the eyes of men, may not be worship in the eyes of God. He sees and hears much more than we do.
Let me read to you a description of God's reaction to a worship service held some years ago. It is recorded in:
READ ISAIAH 1:11-17
These words indicate that God looks at a worship service differently than we do because he reads our hearts.
These words reveal that WORSHIP IS NOT SOMETHING WE
Worship does not deal with what we make our bodies do, (either singing, kneeling or praying), but WORSHIP CONSISTS of who we OUR HEART IS FEELING. This is the aspect of worship I want to explore with you. The heart is the mind, emotion & will.
PEOPLE a worship service by one standard:
1. If the MUSIC MY STYLE was professional outstanding, pleasing to the ear then it was good worship.
2. If the SERMON was outstanding, Then it was a good worship service.
A visiting minister was substituting for the famed Pastor
Henry Ward Beecher. A large audience had assembled to hear
the popular pastor. At the appointed hour. the visiting
minister entered the pulpit. Learning that Beecher was not
to preach, several began to move toward the doors. The
visiting minister stood and called out, "All who have come
here today to worship Henry Ward Beecher may now withdraw
from the church! All who have come to worship God, keep your
seats!" No one then left!
3. If you enjoyed being there, then it was a good worship service.
We judge a worship service by how WE FEEL.
If our mind was challenged or if we were made to feel good.
Or if the speaker made us laugh or cry, then we say that was a 10, that was a good worship service.
attending church with his father one Sunday morning, before
getting into bed that evening a little boy kneeled at his
bedside and prayed, "Dear God, we had a good time at church
today, but I wish you had been there."
4. But if the music was poor and the preaching was poor & boring, or the preacher went too long then it is a poor worship service!
*BUT THAT IS NOT HOW GOD JUDGES.
What people may say is a 10, But God judges as idolatry.
No worship of Him.
It is startling to realize that everyone worships! Everybody!
Everywhere! Worship is fundamental drive of life.
Atheists worship. Infidels worship. Skeptics worship. Communist worship. Even Republicans and Democrats worship. Lawyers, insurance agents and even Internal Revenue Service agents worship!
All people worship for worship is the fundamental difference between humans and animals. Animals do not worship. They have no sense of the beyond or of the Holy. But God has placed eternity in man's heart, as the book of Ecclesiastes tell us. This urge causes men everywhere to worship. If they are not worshipping the true God, they are worshipping a god of their own composition.
Worship, therefore, is a universal phenomenon.
The word comes from the old English 'WORTH-SHIP" which means to ascribe worth or value to something or someone.
If I tell you how great someone is =that is education.
But if I tell that person how great they are - worship!
Clearly there are of worship. From the Christian point of view there is true worship and there is false. The worship of all the people on earth fall into these two categories.
TRUE WORSHIP is to attribute worth to a real Being, one who is truly there and who is truly worthy. Dr. Francis Schaeffer wrote a book called "THE GOD WHO IS THERE".
To make the point that although God is invisible to our eyes he is actually there.
The function of believers is to learn what God is like and to acknowledge him- to ascribe worth to him, to reflect upon the value, beauty and character of God. This is true worship.
We're here to be worshippers first and workers only second. We take a convert and immediately make a worker of of him.
God never meant it to be so. God meant that a convert should learn to be a worshipper, and after that he can learn to be a worker...The work done by a worshipper will have enternity in it.
The story from the life of Louis XIV of France demonstrates this:
One Sunday when he and his royal party arrived at church, no one was
there except Archbishop Fenelon, the court preacher. Surprised to see all the vacant seats, the King inquired, "Where is everybody?
Why isn't anyone else present this morning?" The minister answered, "I announced that Your Majesty would not be here today, because I wanted you to see who came to the service just to flatter you and who came to worship God."
FALSE WORSHIP, on the other hand, is to attribute worth to an illusion which is not really there, or which is not worthy. It is not worthy of worship because it is merely imaginary.
FALSE WORSHIP usually took the form of bowing before IDOLS OR IMAGES.
People created representations of gods, usually in the form of a human being or animal. Then they ascribed worth to it and regarded it as extremely valuable in their lives.
They thought the god either helped them in causing their crops to grow or it protected them from some danger or evil. It kept their children from getting sick. Thus they ascribed great worth to speechless images and idols.
. Sometimes they worshipped DECEITFUL SPIRITS, DEMONS. Without the help of a visible image, they worshipped an invisible spirit-being.
**The American Indians did this.
You may have seen the picture of the three Blackfoot Indians on
horseback worshipping the rising sun with their arms outstretched
and their faces turned upward. They saw the sun as a spirit-
being, and they also worshipped other spirits such as those of
the mountains or the waters. They assumed that some being was
there even though they could not see it.
IN OUR MODERN WORLD, MEN STILL WORSHIP.
Either they worship the one true God, or often they worship some idealized view of themselves.
It is amazing how many millions of people WORSHIP THEMSELVES.
You may be familiar with the bold words of the poem 'Invictus':
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
. They worship their BODIES
. They worship their MINDS.
(2) Some worship Objects.
A young man may worship his toys
Remember how important that 1st car was to you & how you felt when you saw the first scratch?
Many of the adds to sell cars project that if you buy this car it will make you powerful, popular, but we know it will
only make you POOR!
Sometimes worship is expressed in looking to some projected
exaggeration of a LIVING PERSON.
many make idols of ACTORS & ACTRESSES ATHLETES
. They even refer to these people as
. They want to become like them.
***YOU WILL BECOME LIKE THE PERSON OR THING YOU WORSHIP.
Many dress, and act like the person they worship.
They imagine what they are like, and then ascribe worth to that
purely imaginary image. It then becomes a driving force in their
Think of how many people are still worshipping Elvis Presley. The
cheap tabloids even try to convince us that he is still alive by
showing pictures of him at some shopping center or rock concert.
This is a form of idolatry, for it is ascribing value to him
which is totally imaginary.
There are many today who are caught up in the New Age
movement and who worship invisible sources of
believe in strange spirit-being that appear to them, they say,
and give them advantages or special insights into the secrets of
life. This form of worship is widespread.
These examples show you that worship is indeed a universal
practice. Everyone does it!
THE ONLY QUESTION IS: ARE WE
PRACTICING TRUE WORSHIP OR FALSE?
YOU WILL BECOME LIKE THE PERSON OR THING YOU WORSHIP.
A Nigerian missionary arrived at a Communion service in which 4
towns were combining, and heard an African addressing the crowded
church in a meeting: "I cannot tell you the gladness that is in
my heart today. As I walked along the path with the other members
from my town I saw that each man held in his hand his Testament
and his hymnbook. No man carried a knife or a gun. No man walked
with fear; every man with faith in you. And yet it is but four
years ago that no man from my town would have walked through your
town without a knife in his hands, and even then he would not
have walked alone. Nor would any man from your town have come
unharmed through ours. What is the reason for this difference? At
that time we
the same gods as you did. Today we worship
the same God as you do, but the God we worship today is a God of
peace. We have learned that He is our Father, and that we are
brothers in Christ.
Worship is continually happening. It underlies every action and
attitude we manifest. It colors all our life and goes far beyond
a couple of hours on Sunday morning. Worship touches us all the
time. Everything we do springs from our concept of what is
important and valuable to us.
2. WHAT YOU WORSHIP, YOU WILL INVEST IN.
ANOTHER WAY TO SAY IT.
TELL ME WERE AND WHAT YOU SPEND YOUR TIME
AND MONEY UPON AND I WILL TELL YOU WHAT YOU WORSHIP!
If you worship a ROCK
you will spend as much
time as you can learning about and watching that star.
If you worship your
you will spend as much time and
money as you can to fix it like you dream.
If you worship your
you will spend as much time and money to
get in shape.
Tell me how much you Give of your time & finances to God & I will
tell you how much you worship Him. The less you worship the less
you give. The more you worship Him the more you want to give.
Since worship is the driving force of all human existence then
when it is lost, whether it be true or false, life becomes dull,
drab, and cheerless. Men and women ultimately sink into despair
because life appears to be no longer worth the living. This fact
alone indicates that worship is the most important and
fundamental aspect of our existence.
Millions today are turning to drugs because they have been
disillusioned in the god they have been following, especially the
god of their own selves. Out of their emptiness and absolute
despair, out of their worshipless lives, they turn to anything
that promises them a return of the feeling of significance. That
is what drugs appear to offer them.
On the other hand, when true worship occurs, life becomes vital,
real, exciting, daring and adventurous. It is felt to be emi
nently worthwhile. Those of us who have learned to worship the
true God know this is true. Worship is the foundation to all we
do and say, and we find ourselves worshipping in some form or
anther all day long.
It is clear, therefore, we must give close attention to what true
HOW DO WE LEARN IT?
HOW DO WE PRACTICE IT?
these questions we must turn to the Scriptures.
I want to explore the nature of Worship now, and next week we
will look at some of the methods of corporate worship.
Jesus tells us what real worship is when he speaks to a
of Samaria who was lonely and minserable after 5 failed
marriages. Obviously she had tried to satisfy herself and her
longings by marriage, but it was all to no avail. Obviously she
was thirsting for something and had probably reached the place
where she no longer expected to find it. Without bothering with
marriage she was now living with a man. Reading her lonely heart,
our Lord offered her new life using terms derived from the spot
where they were gathered. As they sat by the well, he offered her
a well of living water which would constantly be flowing, spring
ing up to giver her continuous life. He told her she could come
to it any time and it would refresh her. She did not need to re
turn to the physical well for the slaking of her soul's thirst.
Finally, Jesus said:
[GOD IS A SPIRIT; AND THEY WHO WORSHIP HIM MUST WORSHIP HIM IN
SPIRIT AND TRUTH]
With these words, Jesus indicated the fundamental elements of
God is a Spirit and so are we! We are spirits dwelling in bodies,
which in the design of God creates a third entity called, soul.
We have personality because we are spirits dwelling in bodies.
Our human spirit is designed to communicate and interrelate with
the Spirit of God. This is what Jesus means when he says we must
worship God in
. He is referring to our human spirit which
is usually referred to in Scripture as the heart.
We talk about doing things with our whole heart. By this we mean
our spirit is fully engaged- we are functioning at the
fundamental level of our humanity We are said to be involved
means that our worship must be genuine and
mean it and feel it deeply. We must be fully committed to what we
are doing as an expression of what we actually feel.
AN INSTRUMENT OF TEN STRINGS
An elderly gentleman at a midweek meeting offered this prayer:
"O Lord, we will praise Thee; we will praise Thee with an
instrument of ten strings!" People wondered what he meant, but
understood when he continued, "We will praise Thee with our two
by looking only unto Thee. We will exalt Thee with our two
by listening only to Thy voice. We will extol Thee with
by working in Thy service. We will honor Thee
with our own two
by walking in the way of Thy statutes. We
will magnify Thee with our
by bearing testimony to Thy
loving kindness. We will worship Thee with our
only Thee. We thank Thee for this instrument, Lord; keep it in
tune. Play upon it as Thou wilt and ring out the melodies of
Thy grace! May its harmonies always express Thy glory!"
We can also express this truth negatively, as Scripture sometimes
does. Worship is not to be phoney or a put-on. It must not be
mechanical. We ought not go through the motions of rising,
standing, kneeling or praying saying words without these actions
reflecting what we are thinking or being. That kind of worship
is unacceptable in God's eyes. It is a mockery.
If we recite words that do not say what we really mean we are
insulting God and treating him with derision and scorn.
, God was reading the hearts of the people who were
performing an outwardly beautiful service. But their hearts were
wrong, and their worship was not "
," Therefore it was
totally unacceptable to Him.
If a visitor were to watch their worship, He or she would have
said, Wasn't that worship service simply wonderful, I felt
goose bumps all over.
But God said: I hate your ceremonies, celebrations. I am weary,
they are a burdon. I have had them up to here.
It is clear in the Scriptures from beginning to end that the one
above everything else is
. We do too- in
other people! We do not mind it in ourselves, but we do not like
it in others. If we treat God this way in worship, he is deeply
offended, just as we are when someone is hypocritical toward us.
The second phrase Jesus used in talking about worship was
," This refers to our view of God. The God we worship
must be the true God. He must be the God who actually exists-the
true and living God.
***This is the danger of films such as "The last Temptation of
Jesus' which caused such a stir. It drew a false picture of
Jesus. It portrayed a Jesus who never existed, a being distorted
and even perverted. this film gives people the wrong impression
of Jesus. Not only films do this; many books and sermons do the
same. Even sermons about God can give a wrong impression as to
what kind of a being He is. Any worship based upon these false
conceptions is not "
" Our worship must be in line with
what is actually there.
You many well be asking: How do we know the true God? As we sing
in a great hymn, God is:
IMMORTAL, INVISIBLE, GOD ONLY WISE, /IN
LIGHT INACCESSABILE, HID FROM OUR EYES."
If God cannot be seen
touched, felt or heard, how do we know the true God? The answer
is that God has revealed himself to us. He discloses himself in
three basic ways.
1ST. GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IN THE WORLD OF NATURE.
2ND. GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IN SCRIPTURE.
GOD REVEALS HIMSELF TO US PERSONALLY.
TWO MAJOR FACTORS
that we learn about God are his
HOLINESS AND HIS GRACE.
. The basic nature of God is
Many people when they hear of Holiness you become uncomfortable.
I knew some people whom others called holy, and I found them to
be very disagreeable. I came to associate the word with grimness.
they were the kind of people who seemed constantly worried that
someone somewhere was having a good time! But that is not
holiness at all!
4 Different times the Scriptures use the phrase
"THE BEAUTY OF
True holiness is beautiful and attractive: it
The word is difficult to define. Often it is defined as
'SEPARATENESS" and refers to something or someone who has
integrity: who cannot be torn apart or easily manipulated. Holy
people are strong and steadfast. Used of God, the term is the
exact opposite of sinfulness. Sometimes the word is translated as
"distinctiveness," or "UNIQUENESS" ore even 'PERFECTION." This is
the meaning of God's holiness. He is a perfect being. All his
attributes are in harmony and balance. There is nothing eccentric
about God. he is flawless and remains unchangeable.
That holiness becomes the ground of our stability. We are not
dealing with a capricious God whose mood is different every time
we come to him. We can trust God. Therefore, his holiness becomes
the basis for our worship. It is such a beautiful holiness that
it is awesome. Those who glimpse it usually fall on their faces
in awe and even fear. They marvel at such a glorious, holy God.
the prophet suddenly saw a vision of the greatness of
God while in the temple. he saw God lifted up and seated on a
throne. The smoke of incense filled the temple and he heard
seraphic beings, angels, burning creatures, bowing down before
God and crying out endlessly,
'HOLY, HOLY, HOLY!
something very impressive about this scene.
2ND CHARACTERISTIC OF GOD IS HIS GRACE.
Grace is God's love in action. This becomes the feature that
draws our hearts to God. We read of his love in Rom.
5:8 and 8:32
"GOD COMMENDS HIS LOVE TOWARD US, IN THAT WHILE WE WERE YET
SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US," AND "HE WHO SPARED NOT HIS OWN SON
BUT DELIVERED HIM UP FOR US ALL, HOW SHALL HE NOT WITH HIM ALSO
FREELY GIVE US ALL THINGS?
The more we read of God's love manifested toward us, forgiving us
at infinite cost to himself, thorough much pain, agony and
sacrifice to satisfy the demands of his justice, the more we are
drawn to him. We are able to come to him, not as suppliants
crawling on our knees pleading for help and mercy, but as beloved
children, as part of his family. We are cared for & protected by
a tender Father's heart. This is God's grace as seen in the
When we begin to see God in his holiness and grace, it strikes
deeply into our hearts. We find that our worship, our response to
him, becomes the driving force of our life. It touches everything
we do affecting our actions, words and attitudes.
David express this kind of worship in I Chronicls 16:23-31
As Christians, we need to carefuly distinguish between prayer,
praise and worship. They are not the same.
is our occupation with our human needs and problems. We
come to God with our needs and ask Him for his supply.
is the occupation of our minds with his blessings. We are
thinking of all that God has done for us and give thanks for
how he has blessed us.
is our occupation with god himself, With the greatness of
Our hymns reflect this.
When we say, "Lord, save me" =
When we say, "Thank you, Lord, for saving me." =
When we say, "Thank you, Lord, for being such a great Savior." =
1. As you take a shower in the morning, as the water washes away
the dirt of yestdery, Pray Lord, cleanse me inside as well a
2. As you go though the day, Praise the Lord for providing your
3. Spend some time singing, While your in the Car, or just befor
you go to sleep "HOW GREAT THOU ART."
If you do this when you come on Sunday morning & sing the great
words of the hymns and hear the words of Cript, you mind wil not
wander. You will be caught up in the Praise and Worship of God,
Sing How GREAT THOU ART # 16 V1
TWO WAYS TO WAIT
Dean Frederic Farrar was a personal friend of Queen Victoria of
England. On one occasion he told of a conversation he had with
Her Majesty after she had heard one of her chaplains preach on
Christ's second coming. She said, "Oh, Dean Farrar, how I wish
that the Lord would come during my lifetime!" When he asked why
she desired this, her countenance brightened, and with deep
emotion she replied, "Because I would love to lay my crown at
His blessed feet in reverent adoration!"
1ST. HE REVEALS HIMSELF IN THE WORLD OF NATURE.
Scripture tells us and experience confers that we get a sense of
God's wisdom, majesty, and power in the world of nature. You
cannot study this marvelous universe-with all of its complexity
of design, its interrelatedness and its universal manifestation
of the same laws- without coming to some comprehension of a Great
Designer. There is a Master Designer involved in creation. It is
incredible to me that some scientists who work in these area
never grasp this simple fact. Everything in nature is shouting at
us that there is a Mind of great intelligence, wisdom and power
behind it. The majesty of God is visible in the beauty of his
world, These all evoke a sense of worship.
GREAT IS OUR LORD
Nearly 200 years before Christ, the astronomer Hipparchus
cataloged about 850 stars. He thought this was the total number
that existed, and some 300 years later his figures were still
considered accurate. But with the invention of the telescope by
Galileo, millions of new heavenly bodies could be viewed, and
the world soon learned that the earlier count was incomplete.
No one today can tell us exactly how many there are, but
astronomers estimate that an average of 100 billion stars are
found in a single galaxy, and that 10 billion galaxies are
within range of the largest telescopes. It's almost
2ND. GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IN SCRIPTURE.
The Bible is the most amazing book in the world. No other
religious book has the qualities and characteristics of this one.
Even though it has come from many different sources across
hundreds of years, it presents anunusual manifestation of
harmony. All of the books blind together and confirm each other.
When you search deep into its pages, you discover that there are
no errors or contradictions. yet it speaks far beyond the
understanding of the profoundest mind.
The bible carefully tells us that God has spoken in His Word. It
reveals His character, it tells us of his work both in creation
and redemption, and it unfolds the great ultimate purposes of
God-what he is doing with the universe in which we live. We would
know none of this without the Word of God.
When we take the facts of nature and the revelation of Scripture
and begin to respond to them in prayer and obedience, this is
Obedience is the water in the battery that makes it work.
Praising God praying to Him and ascribing value to Him, do
something to us. Our mind becomes illuminated and we begin to
understand the words of His great book more clearly. They
sometimes glow with life and seem to leap off the page to grab
your heart. We are enormously impacted by these great words of
Scripture or even by standing on a Mt. top looking out over a
beautiful vista at a glowing sunset, we are moved by the majesty
and greatness of God to know him in greater vision.
This is God's self-revelation through His Spirit to Our spirit,
and it is another way of knowing God. The saints who have lived
with God for years and years begin to reflect that knowledge by
taking on his character. YOU WILL BECOME LIKE THE GOD YOU
If you worship a God of
Health, Wealth, Popularity.
become very selfish.
If you worship a God of
Holiness, Majesty, and Power
. You will
become very righteous.
If you worship a God who always has to perform a miracle, then
you will become very emotional.
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