"... the joy of the LORD is your strength." (Neh. 8:10)
B. Worship is the Biggest Rock of all and must have Top Priority in our lives.
1. Every time you read of Worship in the Bible you will find Two things --- Praise --- Sacrifice.
2. In These messages we will attempt to cover the "Praise" aspect of "Worship."
C. It is In the process of being Worshiped that God Manifest His Presence To Us.
Psa. 22:3, "But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel."
Neh. 8:10, "... neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
D. Most of us feel that we have spent Enough of our life "Playing Church" or being "Week-End Christians."
1. We have a deep Desire and Hunger to Experience something More Powerful than Religious Entertainment.
2. Much of what happens in our Sunday Morning Services Is Not Worship --- many churches Never experience Real Biblical Worship.
3. It is True --- We Donít have to be in Church to Worship God.
a. We can and should Worship Any Time and Any Place.
b. Unless we learn to Worship God During The Week, we are probably Not Worshiping Him on Sundays.
c. Likewise, if you are Not worshiping God --- with Godís People --- in Godís House --- on Lordís Day --- you are probably Not Worshiping God At All.
d. If you find it Hard To Center Your Thoughts On Christ during the worship service --- chances are great that you have Not Spent Much Time Alone With God During The Week.
4. Are you just "Playing Church" or is God Real In Your Life?
E. We are All Different --- we may worship God Differently.
1. My Expression and Adoration to God may be Different than yours.
2. However, We Cannot Worship God When We Are Judging Each Other.
F. True Biblical Worship is Not about the Songs, Vocals, Choir, or the Preaching.
1. We often Judge the church based on Performance.
a. Music, soloist ...
b. Sound or lights --- temperature: too warm / too cool.
c. Sermon --- good / bad --- interesting, etc.
2. If that is your thinking --- you are Not Worshiping God.
3. We need to take the Priority Off Performance and put it On Praise.
a. We do Not Applaud in Church For The Same Reason people applaud during a Secular Performance.
b. Psa. 47:1, "O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph."
G. The Question is Not, "How did the musicians do?" or "How well did the preacher preach?" --- But Rather, "Did I Worship God Today In Spirit And Truth?"
I. You Are Not The Audience ---God Is The Audience --- You Are The Performers!
A. Worship Is Always Active Never Passive!
1. Worship is Not A Spectator Sport --- Worship is Not something Done To Us or For Us but By Us.
2. Eph. 5:19, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;"
3. Worship is my spirit adoring the Lord and being Repaired, Restored and Refreshed in His presence.
Psa. 23:3, "... He restoreth my soul: ..."
B. You can be Married Without Intimacy but it is a Cold, Sterile Existence.
You can be a Christian Without Intimacy With God through Worship --- but you will Never have the Full Spirit-Filled Life God wants you to have.
II. We Were Designed For Worship --- It Is The Most Meaningful Endeavor In Life.
A. God Created Man To Worship Him.
1. The art of Worship has Not been Cultivated in This Generation.
2. We have Impressive Organization --- Magnificent Architectural Buildings --- Majestic Beautiful Music --- Wonderful Preaching and Bible Study --- but Little or No Worship.
B. Worship is the Ultimate Priority for which all of us Were Created.
1. It is the Priority Commandment of God.
Matt. 22:37-38, "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment."
2. It is the Pattern of the O.T. --- Everywhere you look, there is worship.
3. It is the Practice of the N.T. --- Likewise in the N.T.
Acts 17:11, "... they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
They wanted to get it right.
4. It is our Primary Responsibility before God.
Jesus said in Luke 10:42, "But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."
5. It is the Place where God Lives because He Inhabits the Praise of His People --- (Psa. 22:3)
6. It is the Prerequisite for Effective Service.
Matt. 4:10, "... Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."
Worship Comes Before Service
7. It is the Panacea for Discouragement.
We have been offered the Opportunity to trade in the Spirit of Heaviness for the Garment of Praise
8. It is the very Passion of God Himself.
2 Chron. 16:9, "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him."
Zech. 4:10, "... they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth."
John 4:23, "... the Father seeketh such to worship him. --- in spirit and in truth."
C. If Worship is of such High Priority --- If it is the One Thing for which we have been Created --- It behooves us to Understand What Worship Is.
1. How shall we worship?
2. What does it really Mean to worship?
3. What Kinds of worship does God Accept and what does He Reject?
4. What ways of Expressing our worship to God are Legitimate and Scriptural?
5. What kinds of worship is Not Legitimate and Not Scriptural?
III. Worship That Is Not Acceptable To God:
A. Ignorant Worship.
1. Jesus told the Woman At The Well --- John 4:22, "Ye worship ye know not what: ..."
How can you worship something when you donít even know what it is?
2. Paul on Mars Hill --- Acts 17:23, "For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you."
3. Worship is Knowing God and Praising Him --- If you do Not Know God --- How Can You Worship Him?
B. Improper Worship.
1. Man has taken the Creative Work of God, which was given as a Testimony of the Greatness and the Power of God, and Worshiped It Instead of The Creator!
2. Rom. 1:21-25, "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."
3. They did not see that Behind The Creation Was The Creator to whom worship was to be given.
C. Idolatress Worship.
1. An Idol Is Anything You Use To Try To Worship The True God!
Icons and articles of worship by which to worship God.
2. Aaron and the Golden Calf.
Exo. 32:4-5, "And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD."
a. It was not that they Worshiped the Golden Calf Instead of God --- They use it as a Means By Which To Worship God.
Isa. 42:8, "I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." --- 48:11, "For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another."
Thousands Died Because They Violated The Biblical Concept of Worship.
b. They wanted something they could See, Feel and Touch --- and it was Idolatry.
3. An idol is anything that you allow to get between you and the true God --- even if you merely use it as an Aid To Worshiping God.
Images --- Beads --- Statutes --- Crucifixes --- even the Bible ..... (Example - KJV)
God wants to be Worshiped from the Pure Heart Only --- Anything we put Between Us And God becomes an Idol.
D. Inferior Worship
1. Mal. 1:6-8, "A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? 7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. 8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts."
2. Are we giving God our Leftovers --- our Trash .....
3. When we buy something for the church, do we Get By as Cheap as we can --- After all, itís only for the church.
No! Ė No! Ė No! --- It Is Not --- It Is For God!
4.If God Was Physically Present In Our Services --- Some of You Would Change Your Mind About Finances Real Quick:
a. You Wouldnít Bring Him Just Any Old Thing.
b. You Wouldnít Be So Negative Any Time The Word Money Is Mentioned.
c. You Attitude About Giving To or Spending Money In The Church Tells Me A Whole Lot About Your Love For And Relationship With God.
E. If God Does Not Accept Inferior Worship --- Just What Does He Accept?
1. That is a good question and one that needs to be answered because of the Severe Consequences of Worshiping God In An Unacceptable Manner.
2. Nadab and Abihu offered Strange Fire.
Lev. 10:1-2, "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. 2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD."
They did so in worship unto the Lord --- but they did Not Have The Authority to do so --- they were soon history.
This Same Attitude is what cause Miriam to get Leprosy.
Num. 12:1-2, "And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. 2 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it." --- V. 10, "And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous."
3. The Golden Calf --- we have already mentioned.
4. King Saul got impatience because Godís Prophet was late for the sacrifice --- Saul decided to offer the sacrifice himself.
a. Because of this Improper Worship Service --- Saul Lost His Kingdom.
b. When confronted by Samuel, Saul said:
1 Sam. 13:12-14, "... I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. 13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. 14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee."
5. Do These Three Examples Impress Upon You The Importance of Proper Worship Unto God --- I Certainly Hope So!
IV. True Biblical Worship Is Our Response of Obedience To Godís Command For Us To Worship Him.
A. God has Not given us the Option of To Worship Him or Not To Worship.
Worship is not an Option --- It is a Responsibility --- It is a Duty, all of us have.
B. Examples from the Psalms:
Psa. 29:2, "Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness."
Psa. 95:2, "Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. 3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. 5 The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. 6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker."
Psa. 96:1-13, "O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. 2 Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. 3 Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. 4 For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. 6 Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 7 Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. 8 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. 9 O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. 10 Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously. 11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. 12 Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice 13 Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. "
C. If you read through the Scriptures, you will find that God Is To Be:
Loved --- Praised --- Blessed --- Gloried In --- Exalted --- Feared --- Rejoiced In --- Extolled --- Thanked --- All of that and hundreds more .....
D. You may say, "Travis, Some of Us Are Not Into This Worship Thing. We Come Primary To Get More of Your Teaching From Godís Word."
If that is true, then My Teaching Is Not Doing You Much Good --- If that is your attitude, then you are Disobedient to God.
E. Your First Priority In Coming To Church Is Not What You Are Going To Get Out of It But Rather What You Are Going To Give Back To God Through Your Exercise of Worship In Obedience To His Word.
Not To Do That Is To Miss Everything God Has For You In This Service.
V. True Biblical Worship Is A Reverent Submission Unto God.
A. Worship comes from a word meaning Worth Ė Ship.
B. To Worship is to Give Worth Back To God --- to Reverently Bow Before Him.
1. Worship is Recognition and Celebration of Who God Is.
2. Giving Back To Him the Glory that He Alone Deserves.
3. Honoring Him with our Lives and with our Words.
C. A great Example of Worship is found in:
Rev. 4:10-11, "The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
About the time that the book of Revelation was being written --- In Rome --- Caesar would require Captured Kings to Bow before him and Cast Their Crowns At His Feet.
D. True Biblical Worship Is The Results of The Death of Christ On The Cross.
1. We are Redeemed By The Blood of Christ.
2. Do You Remember What Happened When Christ Died On The Cross?
a. The Vail of The Temple .....
(1) The way into the Holy of Holies has been Opened up by Christ.
(2) No Longer does a man have to go to a Priest.
(3) No Longer does he have to be in a Special Place.
(4) Heb. 4:16, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
3. If we Really Understood This --- we would Understand that Worship is a Celebration.
a. If you Really Understood that:
b. Christ Died on the Cross for your sins.
c. He Forgave All of your sins completely --- Past --- Present --- Future ...
d. In the place of our sins --- He Gave Us The Righteousness of Jesus Christ.
e. A Home In Heaven
f. The Holy Spirit to live in your heart
g. The Word of God to guide you day by day.
h. Christian Friends to fellowship with and encourage you
4. And then you Come To Church To Celebrate Your Redemption ---
You canít sit there Stone Faced singing slow Somber songs all the time --- You Just Canít Do It.
5. If you Truly Know The Lord --- there is a Response in your Heart that says --- I Must Celebrate My Redemption And Give Praise To God For What He Has Done.
6. Our Corporate or Church worship will only Grow and become more Vibrant as our Personal and Individual Worship grows and become more vibrant and God Become More Real To Us On A Daily Basis.
E. Your Public Worship Is a Reflection of Your Private Life.
1. What happens in the Worship services on Sunday is a Microcosm of All that You Are and all that You Do during the rest of the week.
2. Rom. 12:1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
a. "Sacrifice" is a worship word --- a "Living Sacrifice" is speaking of "Living A Life of Worship."
b. Everything I Do, and everything I Say, and everywhere I Go, and everything I Think, and every Relationship I Am Involved In:
Is an Outgrowth of My Love For God And Is An Expression of My Worship of God.
3. Then when we come to Church on Sunday, we Ready To Worship God In Spirit And In Truth.
a. The Quality of our Worship in Church is a Reflection of our Worship during the Rest of The Week.
b. The One Focus of our Worship is that Jesus Christ might be Praised and that God The Father might be Honored and Glorified.
A. If Godís Word does in deed Commands Us To Worship and gives us what we need to know about How To Worship ---
Then we are going to have to make some Very Difficult Choices To Make .....
B. Matt. 15:1-9 gives us Guidelines by which to Decide How We Are Going To Respond To What God Says To Us.
1. In this Scripture, Jesus is being Interviewed by the Scribes and the Pharisees --- Needless to say, He Is In Conflict With Them.
2. Matt. 15:1-9, "Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
C. The Pharisees said to Jesus, "Your disciples are Transgressing The Traditions of the elders."
1. Jesus replied back, "The problem is not that my disciples are transgressing the traditions --- The Problem Is That, By Your Traditions, You Are Transgressing The Commandments of God."
2. Sooner or later each of us is going to have to Make A Choice:
Am I Going To Make The Word of God Supreme & Dominant
3. But preacher, "We Have Never Never Done It This Way?"
That sounds like Tradition to me.
4. There is Nothing Wrong With Traditions as such.
a. However, when Traditions Are Contrary To Godís Word --- We Must Make A Choice:
b. Are We Going To Give Up Godís Word or Are We Going To Give Up Our Traditions?
5. Some peopleís ways are so Set In Concrete that they Donít Care What Godís Word Says.
I hope that none of you fall into this category, because when we stand before God we hear Him say:
Luke 6:46, "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"
D. Notice what Jesus said in V. 6, "...Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition...."
1. In other words, "You Canceled Out Godís Word By Your Tradition."
2. Matt. 15:7, "Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
a. A lot of stuff that is passed off as being "Thus Saith The Lord," is reality "Thus Saith Tradition."
b. The real question is Not "What I Am Comfortable With?" or "What Is My Tradition?" --- but "What Does Godís Word Say?"
May We Ever Learn To Worship More Effectively,
So That The Honor And The Glory Will Be To Our God !
There Is No Second Chance After Death!
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