Worship – Evangelism – Justice
· What does it mean today?
o terms that we use
§ I got a lot out of it?
§ my (preferred) style?
· There's nothing wrong with benefiting from coming together to worship!
o but... are we starting to forget why we worship?
o is our focus shifting towards how we benefit from being worshippers, rather than finding ourselves lost in wonder, love and praise?
· The Church, quite rightly, is emphasising the importance of personal relationship
o God loves me
o the Bible is for me to use to know God
o Jesus came and died for me
§ ‘Jesus found me’
§ Jesus died for us
o the Church is for me
· It's easy to forget that the very centre of the universe is God, not ourselves!
o each sentence is fine, but the emphasis is wrong
o leaves us with the potential to talk about worship in an inaccurate way:
§ ‘I didn't get a lot out of it' – it wasn't for you!
§ 'Thank you for the worship' – no-one to thank but God!
§ ‘It was too quiet/loud, long/short, fast/slow, new/old'
· What did God think of it?!?!
· Songs, sermons, dances etc., are all tools of worship, not worship in and of themselves
· All this has been about when we meet together to worship
o we all know the phrase ‘Worship is a lifestyle’, but is it more than just a phrase?
o is it how we live our lives?
· Romans 12:1-2
o does that sound familiar?
o can we really say that every part of us, every moment of every day, every thought, word and deed is offered up in worship?
§ ‘reasonable’ worship?!
· Old Testament
o worship at certain times in certain places
· New Testament
o John 4:21, 23
§ not a 'proof text' as such, but the NT strongly suggests that we are free from the constraints of OT worship laws
§ but linguistically, you might not notice ...
· We don't have to look far to get our focus right again…
o there is a perfect example of worship
o the Cross – ‘Perfect Worship’?
· Parallels between OT worship – ‘sacrifice’ and the Cross
o Jesus accepted as a sacrifice by God
o consumed on the cross
§ 1 Kings 18:36-39
§ Matthew 26:26-28
§ Leviticus 9:23-24
Marcus Green – Salvation's Song pp.54-55
· Jesus was consumed and accepted by God
o we are accepted by Him as a result
o for His glory!
· We should be consumed in worship
o not as a sacrifice, but as an offering
o God is saying ‘I accept you because of the cross.’
· All too often we find ourselves as the consumer, not the consumee!
· So what is it to be consumed in worship?
§ personal, spiritual, Word-soaked devotion
· There is something separate about worship as distinct from evangelism and justice
o the spiritual encounter with God is one of the greatest gifts the Church has received
o coming before the throne of grace
§ not limited to ‘times of worship’, but including
· The universe shouts God's glory
o as part of that creation, God has shown mankind special favour, for His glory (Ezekiel)
o He has revealed Himself to us
§ we have done everything in our power to ensure that we never see the face of God again
§ God has done everything in His power to ensure that we do
· If we never saw, we would never know
o if we never knew, we would never worship
· Prayer to close