Purpose of the Church Pt5 Worship

Worship is a lifestyle

All of life is ceaseless worship. Practically, this means that while worship does include corporate church meetings, singing songs, etc, it is not limited by these things, defined solely as these things, or expressed only in these things because worship never stops. Rather, we are continually giving ourselves away or pouring ourselves out for a person, cause, experience, achievement, or status.

YOU ARE ALWAYS WORSHIPING

Human beings are unceasing worshipers. We are not created to worship, but rather we are created worshiping. Everyone worships all the time. Atheists, agnostics, Christians, and everyone in between are unceasing worshipers. Everyone, everywhere, all the time, is always worshiping. Everyone Worships, the question is what are you worshipping?

What you glory in you will sacrifice for. What you sacrifice for is what you worship.  Example: Drug addicts, porn addicts and alcoholics, they sacrifice family, money, time etc. for what they glory in (drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.) there are many others, football, hunting, video games, sports, etc.

What you glory in you will sacrifice for. If you glory in God you will sacrifice all other aspects of life to make sure you are in His presence.

Worship is a lifestyle. People don’t have sin problems they have worship problems. People continue in their sin because they fail to worship the God of scripture.  The highest we take people most of the time is into sin management.

I have seen people glory in football and sacrifice coming to church so they can worship their idol. Seems harsh? Not to God, God wants all of you not just what you want to give him. If you glory in Hunting you will sacrifice for it, God doesn’t say not to do these things but we are not to esteem them above God.

Paul described true worship in

Romans 12:1-2(NLT)12 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Also in the passage is a description of the manner of our worship: “give your bodies a living and holy sacrifice.” Giving our bodies means giving to God all of ourselves. The reference to our bodies here means all our human faculties, all of our humanness—our hearts, minds, hands, thoughts, attitudes—are to be presented to God. In other words, we are to give up control of these things and turn them over to Him, just as a literal sacrifice was given totally to God on the altar. But how? Again, the passage is clear: “by changing the way you think.” Renewing the mind – Metanoia in the greek means; change of mind it is where we get the word repentance. We renew our minds daily by cleansing them of the world’s “wisdom” and replacing it with true wisdom that comes from God. We worship Him with our renewed and cleansed minds, not with our emotions. We see this all the time as people don’t come to church, they don’t worship unless they “feel” like it, their favorite song is played, or their favorite worship leader is leading.

We are not to let our worship be dictated by our feelings or our emotions.

Emotions are wonderful things, but unless they are shaped by a mind saturated in truth, they can be destructive, out-of-control forces. Where the mind goes, the will follows and so do the emotions. 1 Corinthians 2:16(HCSB) tells us we have “the mind of Christ,” not the emotions of Christ. Worship to God is holy and sacred.  To pervert and corrupt it with entertainment and what we can “get out of the service” in trying to please and gratify ourselves is nothing short of blasphemy!  The sacredness of true worship must not be sacrificed on altars of entertainment-oriented quartets, choirs, and other entertainment groups.  We are as Hebrews 13:15(HCSB) says to 15 Therefore, through Him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of our lips that confess His name.  In worship we must be the participants, not the observers.  We want to please and entertain ourselves.  In Galatians 1:10(HCSB) the question is asked, For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.  Worship is God-centered not man-centered.  When our worship is to please God instead of ourselves, then and only then will our worship be much more meaningful and spiritually uplifting to us and acceptable to God.

When people seek an “emotional high” from worship and don’t get it, they are disappointed and start blaming the song service, the preacher, etc.  The world wants their worship service to be “more entertaining”, thus they are failing to worship God in spirit and in truth.  Where in the Bible can we go to show that our worship is designed to please the worshipper.  The desire to have an experience or an encounter along the lines of mysticism also gives little regard to what God says in the Bible.

Our worship to God requires commitment on our part.  People had rather worship Christ as a baby in a manger than Christ as their crucified savior.  Their worshipping Christ as a baby in a manger requires no commitment on their part.  They feel they can put Him in a box and live the rest of the year as they please.  But worshipping Christ as our crucified savior requires commitment, a complete change of our life, and a willingness to do all that He says. Jesus says in Matthew 10:37-38(HCSB) 37 The person who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; the person who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And whoever doesn’t take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.  God and Christ must be first in our lives, and this requires that we be committed to them.
There is only one way to renew our minds, and that is by the Word of God. It is the truth, the knowledge of the Word of God, which is to say the knowledge of the mercies of God, and we’re back where we began. To know the truth, to believe the truth, to hold convictions about the truth, and to love the truth will naturally result in true spiritual worship. It is conviction followed by affection, affection that is a response to truth, not to any external stimuli.

Anything Other Than Jesus

1John 5:21(HCSB)“Little children, keep yourselves from idols,” John ends his first letter. with keeping yourself from idols. In other words, don’t see anything but God’s glory in Christ as the source of your greatest joy, deepest satisfaction, and highest authority.

Idolatry can be active in our heart even when we are gathered with the church. Whenever we think we can’t meet with God unless “this or that” is present, we are making a profound statement. If “this or that” is anything other than Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, We have moved into the territory of idolatry.

Of course, God uses means to reveal himself. We encounter him through his word that is read and preached, the Lord’s supper, fellowship with one another, and our songs and prayers. But when we make those means — or more specifically, the execution of those means — the basis of our fellowship with God, we’ve added an unnecessary barrier to meeting with him. We attend the gathering of the saints as idolatrous consumers and judges rather than grateful receivers and servants.

Some of us have Sunday Morning Idols that hinders our worship to the Father.

What are some of the idols we might battle on Sundays?

Musical Excellence

It’s easy to be distracted by sloppy playing, unsophisticated songs, an out of tune guitar, a vocalist who sings sharp, a drummer who drops a beat, or a mix that’s out of balance. That’s why skilled musicianship is commended in the Bible.
Psalm 33:3(HCSB)Sing a new song to Him; play skillfully on the strings, with a joyful shout.. But rather than just internally criticize what’s going on, I can thank God he uses the weak things of this world to confound the wise.
1 Corinthians 1:20–31(HCSB)26 Brothers, consider your calling: Not many are wise from a human perspective, not many powerful, not many of noble birth. 27 Instead, God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong. 28 God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world—what is viewed as nothing—to bring to nothing what is viewed as something, 29 so that no one can boast in His presence.

1 Peter 2:5(HCSB)5 you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ., We can remind ourselves that Jesus perfects all our offerings of worship through his once and for all sacrifice and that even the most polished performance is insufficient on its own to merit God’s favor.

Musical Preference

Our Worship leaders don’t always pick the songs on our personal playlist. And they shouldn’t. The best music for congregations serves both the lyrics and the unity of the congregation, not our personal likes and dislikes. No song needs to keep us from glorying in our Redeemer. We gather with the body to edify one another. We bring more glory to God by rejoicing that others in the church are benefiting from a song, even if it’s not our personal preference.

Music can’t produce worship, Music helps facilitate an atmosphere of Worship, although music can certainly produce emotion. Emotion is part of the “Soul” We are Spirit, Soul, and Body. Soul is mind, will and emotions.  Worship must come from our spirit and soul. Not just soul, Concerts are in the soulish realm. They make us feel “good” that’s why concerts sell out but worship nights only have a handful of people.
This means we worship from the heart and the way God has designed. When we say “That’s not my style of worship or the music is not my style” you are being self centered and focusing the attention on you.

We live in an “Entertain Me” world. Most of us think the musicians on the stage are there to entertain. The musicians/music is a tool to express praise and adoration to God. The worship team is there to help guide you to an intimate place of worship. They are there to lead you into your own worship to God.

Preaching Skill

Would that every preacher were as gifted, trained, and skilled as some of the more well known preachers of our day. They aren’t. But as long as they’re preaching the gospel and seeking to communicate God’s word faithfully, they’re obeying God — and we can rejoice 2 Timothy 4:2(HCSB)Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. As Charles Spurgeon’s grandfather reminds us, someone might be able to preach the gospel better, but they can’t preach a better gospel.

Experiences

We all love “worship experiences” with God. But the goal of gathering as God’s people is not simply to feel butterflies, but to see and remember something, with true affection. That “something” is the word, works, and worthiness of God, especially as he has revealed himself in Jesus Christ 2 Corinthians 4:6(HCSB) For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ. If I pursue goose bumps or mere heightened emotion during a meeting, God becomes simply one of numerous options I can choose to seek them from.

Liturgy

Forms and practices are significant when we meet as God’s people to worship him. Our gatherings both reflect and shape our beliefs. But there is no “liturgical perfectionism” we can achieve that will ever make our worship more acceptable to God than it already is in Jesus. Our goal is to do in faith what magnifies God’s glory in Christ most effectively and scripturally. We can and should use biblical elements and proportions in corporate worship. But liturgies should serve us, not rule us. Since God has seen fit to allow freedom in form, so should we.

Every time we gather is an opportunity to glory in God’s grace revealed to us in the crucified and risen Savior. Let’s not let idols keep us from reveling in the inexpressible joy that our sins are forgiven and we have been reconciled to God.

True worship is God-centered worship. People tend to get caught up in where they should worship, what music they should sing in worship, and how the worship looks to other people. Focusing on these things completely misses the point. Jesus tells us that true worshipers will worship God in spirit and in truth John 4:24(NLT)For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”


It’s also important to know that worship is reserved only for God. Only He is worthy and not any of His servants When the Angel was talking in Revelation 19:10(NLT) Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers and sisters who testify about their faith in Jesus. Worship only God. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.
We are not to worship saints, prophets, statues, angels, any false gods, or Mary, the mother of Jesus. We also should not be worshiping for the expectation of something in return, such as a miraculous healing. Worship is done for God—because He deserves it—and for His pleasure alone.

The Bible is absolutely clear that we are to worship God alone. The only instances of anyone other than God receiving worship in the Bible are false gods, which are Satan and his demons. All followers of the Lord God refuse worship. Peter and the apostles refused to be worshipped (Acts 10:25-26(NLT)As Peter entered his home, Cornelius fell at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter pulled him up and said, “Stand up! I’m a human being just like you!”

The holy angels refuse to be worshipped (Revelation 19:9-10(NLT) 9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.” 10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers and sisters who testify about their faith in Jesus. Worship only God. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.

Revelation 22:8-9(NLT) 8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw all these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me. 9 But he said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers the prophets, as well as all who obey what is written in this book. Worship only God!”

The response is always the same, “Worship God!”

Now we get to Praise.Praise is the joyful recounting of all God has done for us. It is closely intertwined with thanksgiving as we offer back to God appreciation for His mighty works on our behalf. Praise is universal and can be applied to other relationships as well. We can praise our family, friends, boss, or waiter/waitress. Praise does not require anything of us. It is merely the truthful acknowledgment of the righteous acts of another. Since God has done many wonderful deeds, He is worthy of praise
Psalms 18:3(NLT) I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.

Worship, however, comes from a different place within our spirits. Worship should be reserved for God alone (Luke 4:8(NLT) Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say,‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him). Worship is the art of losing self in the adoration of another. Praise can be a part of worship, but worship goes beyond praise. Praise is easy; worship is not. Worship gets to the heart of who we are. To truly worship God, we must let go of our self-worship. We must be willing to humble ourselves before God, surrender every part of our lives to His control, and adore Him for who He is, not just what He has done. Worship is a lifestyle, not just an occasional activity.

Worship can be public praise to God in a congregational setting, where we can proclaim through prayer and praise our adoration and thankfulness to Him and what He has done for us. True worship is felt inwardly, and then comes out through our actions. “Going through the motions” out of obligation is displeasing to God and is done completely in vain. He can see through all the hypocrisy, and He hates it.

He demonstrates this in Amos 5:21-24 (NLT)“I hate all your show and pretense—the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.

Another example is the story of Cain and Abel, the first sons of Adam and Eve. They both brought gift offerings to the Lord, but He was only pleased with Abel’s. Cain brought the gift out of obligation; Abel brought his finest lambs from his flock. He brought out of faith and admiration for God.

Abel was the worshipper and Cain was the religious brother, religion will kill worship.  Religion worships out of obligation, true worship is done out of adoration. True worship is not confined to what we do in church or open praise (although these things are both good and we are told in the Bible to do them). It is the acknowledgment of God and all His power and glory in everything we do. The highest form of praise and worship is obedience to Him and His Word.

To do this, we must know God; we cannot be ignorant of Him. Worship is to glorify and exalt God—to show our loyalty and admiration to our Father.

Worship and preaching go hand on hand with one another.  We worship God for who He is. We listen to the preaching to get a better understanding of who He is so we can worship Him more intimately.
Matthew 7:21-23(NLT)“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Luke 1:34 (NLT)And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man

That word know, “ginosko” in the Greek, refers in this context to an intimate relationship of union and approval. That is the kind of relationship a believer needs to have with Christ.

1 Corinthians 8:3 Paul said, “But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.”. Jesus will not say those words of condemnation in Matthew 7:21-23 to someone who truly loves Him and seeks intimacy with Him.

To begin with, worship is only determined by God Himself, and not everything we do is acceptable to God as worship just because we are sincere or it makes us feel good.

Hebrews 12:28 (ESV)tells us that we must “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” .The Greek word translated “serve” here is a form of the word “worship” and is used 21 times in the New Testament in the contexts of service and worship. Another form of the word “worship” is the Greek word therapeuo—from which we get the English word “therapy”—and this is most often seen translated “heal” in reference to the healing of others. In the New Testament, this word is seen in every case of Jesus’ healings.

When God is truly worshipped He will show up, when he shows up, darkness has to flee, any ailments has to flee, demons flee, people are saved, people enter into a deeper love and intimacy for Him, people are healed and bondages are broken. The majority of healings and salvations happen during a worship service.

True biblical worship is to be first and foremost reverent. This means it is to be done with the understanding of who it is being worshiped. God is holy, just, righteous, perfect, powerful, loving, wrathful etc.

Those who wish to worship biblically must worship God as He is revealed in Scripture. Second, we must worship in truth John 4:23-24 (NLT) But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”. This means that it needs to line up according to the truths in Scripture. Adding our own version of worship and “expressing ourselves” is not true worship if it does not accord with the Word of God. Personal expressions of worship are not indicated anywhere in Scripture and can lead to activities that are not God-honoring. True worship is worship in Spirit. Because God is Spirit, true worship is a pure, holy, spiritual worship, the offering of the soul and the homage of the heart rather than merely that of the lips. Finally, true worship will always produce a change in the heart of the worshipper, causing a greater desire to love and obey the God we worship.

If worship does not propel us into greater obedience, it isn’t worship. Unless we come out of it with a greater commitment to obedience, it isn’t worship. Jesus said those who love Him will keep His commandments. If we say we love and worship Him, but do not obey Him, our worship is worthless.

True biblical worship of the one true and living God is to be a lifestyle, not a moment in time. Just as they will be in eternity, our lives now are to be lives of total worship of God. When we eat, sleep, work, serve, and live from sunup to sundown, all that we do is to be in a spirit of worship of God. We are not to offer temporary, experience-oriented worship on Sunday, and then lead a secular life the rest of the week. True worship is offered to God from the depths of our inner being in praise and prayer, in song, in giving, and in living, but always based upon His revealed truth.

Worship is a lifestyle, and our manual to this lifestyle is the Bible. God wants an intimate relationship with us. Worship is everything we do, Love people,love our spouse,take care of our family, shine Christ’s light unto the world, help people, etc. It is not just the musical portion of our weekly gatherings. It is supposed to be encapsulated into our whole life. We must lead a life of Worship. Worship is what we will be doing in heaven for eternity. The angels cry Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God almighty. WE will be doing the same.

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