Part 2 of 4 – Rethinking Church Series
Last week, we discussed the sermon. This week we uncover what it means to worship. True worship is a valuing or an admiring of God above all things. We have a number of differences when it comes to worship: religious differences, age differences, cultural differences. Whatever your take, worship is very important in our relationship with God.
Worship Is A Spiritual Discipline. It is meant to help us grow in faith. It’s like working out, but for our beliefs. When we build up the spiritual discipline of worship, we grow closer to God by responding to Him and experiencing Him in new ways. But this term “worship” can be confusing right? So let’s find out what the Bible has to say about worship.
Worship Is Not About Us
The reality is, worship is not about you! It’s not about “getting our needs met”. It’s not whether you like the performance of the music team. And it’s not about the pastor and the message.
“We have become a generation of people who worship our work, work at our play and play at our worship.” -Unknown
Worship Is About Our Father God. Worship is about the Lord. Its purpose is to honor and exalt Him. It is a time to put all of our focus, attention, and praise on bringing glory to His name.
Psalms 95:6-7 (NLT) Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, 7 for He is our God. We are the people He watches over, the flock under His care. If only you would listen to His voice today!
BUT WORSHIP IS MUCH MORE THAN YOU MAY THINK. You can’t contain this to a mere day of the week! If for you, church or worship is merely a Sunday, singing a few songs, and listening to a message, you are missing it. We long for worship; we need awareness of the goodness and greatness of God!
Despite our need and longing for worship, we get distracted by the things we have to do: time spent with family, responsibilities, bills, jobs, books to read, movies to watch, games to play, and outdoors to enjoy. Then Sunday rolls around and it’s time to “get your worship on” – Jamie Grace.
If your focus is on yourself when you enter the church building (getting your needs met, hearing a lesson that blesses you, being lifted by the singing), then you are missing it! Those things are vehicles we use to enter the presence of God. But the real focus should be on God. . . His goodness, His holiness, His worth, and above all, glorifying His name.
Worship Is A Response To Who God Is
Psalms 9:1-2 (NLT) I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things You have done. 2 I will be filled with joy because of You. I will sing praises to Your name, O Most High.
We Worship When We Recognize God’s Goodness. David is not thanking God in this Psalm because it is what is required of him or because he knows this is the right thing to do. David is having a revelation that God has been so intimately and personally involved in His life. As a response, David cannot help but thank and praise God for how good He has been.
When we truly experience God, we cannot help but want to give back to Him. As a response to His goodness, we ought to offer our hearts back to God. The first step is to recognize who God is and to give glory to God for all things in our lives.
We Worship When We Value God Above Everyone and Everything Else
There are a lot of people who hold value in our lives: a spouse, friends, family, coworkers, etc. Yet, we do not worship them. We worship God because He is the only one who is worthy and supremely valuable. There is no one like Him! Jesus was asked which was the greatest of all the commandments (Mark 12:29 – 30) and this is how He responded:
Mark 12:29-30 (NLT) Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’
No one and nothing should be of higher value to us than God!
We Worship God In Everything We Do
Worship Is Life! Yes, we can worship in praise. We can worship in serving on Sunday. We can even worship at church. But, it should not be confined to Sunday morning, in this building. In everything that you do your goal is to honor God. As a believer, you are called to live a life of worship, a life that brings glory to God.
Worship Is Sacrifice!
Hebrews 13:15-16 (NLT) Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. 16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.
These 2 verses begin and end with the term “sacrifice”. Sacrifice here is an echo from the Old Testament sacrifices which were at the center of their worship. They gave up something of value to worship God. For us today, through Christ we can value His redemption that comes to us through His death on the cross for our sins (the ultimate sacrifice).
Through Christ, these things become worshipful sacrifices in our life:
- The fruit of lips that acknowledge his name – worship services, singing, prayer, confession, and repentance
- The goodness of our deeds – share what you have, lead people to Jesus, help each other in life/faith
Essentially in everything that we do, we worship God; we are worshippers. Everything that we do and say displays the worth of God above all things and makes us worshipers in our daily lives.
Adapted From PursueGod.org
Talk About It
- What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
- How would you describe worship? Explain.
- How has worship impacted your life? Explain.
- What are some ways that people can make worship more about themselves instead of God?
- The Bible contains over four hundred references to singing and fifty direct commands to sing. Why do you think worship in song is so important?
- Read Psalm 9:1-2. Is worship this easy even when life is difficult? Discuss.
- Think of a time when worship was difficult for you. How did you worship?
- Think of a time when worship was most meaningful to you. How did you worship? Explain.
- Read Romans 12:1. How would you define worship after reading this passage?
- What are some practical ways that you can demonstrate your worship of the Lord?
- After this discussion, would you change your definition of true worship? Why or why not?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.