On October 23rd, 2014, we updated our
By continuing to use LinkedIn’s SlideShare service, you agree to the revised terms, so please take a few minutes to review them.
To elevate our style of worship is the rawest form of idolatry. Worshiping worship grieves the heart of God.
Worship is the expression or act of ascribing worth to the One worthy of it. Worship is not an end in itself; rather it is a response of the created (us) to the Uncreated (God). Worship can be creative; however, it must be theologically accurate. Jesus said to the woman at the well, "An hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth" (John 4:22).
Are we coming to worship with our spiritual stomachs empty?
, "What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment" (I Cor. 11:22, 34).
Today, I believe many of us are coming to the worship service with our spiritual stomachs empty. Divisions, fighting and selfishness occur because everyone is trying to get his or her fill of spiritual food at the worship service. As a result, I believe the modern day Church needs to be told to hear a pointed message—Do we not have homes in which to worship through prayer, meditation, Scripture, singing and fasting? If anyone is spiritually hungry, let him worship at home, so that you will not come together for judgment.
Is our worship a lie?
"Our central lie is in the discrepancy between the language of worship and the actions of worship. We confess “Jesus is Lord” but only submit to the part of Christ’s authority that fits our grand personal designs, doesn’t cause pain, doesn’t disrupt the American dream, doesn’t draw us across ethnic and racial divisions, doesn’t add the pressure of too much guilt, doesn’t mean forgiving as we have been forgiven, doesn’t ask for more than a check to show compassion. We “sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” expressing our desire to know Jesus, but the Jesus we want to know is the sanitized Jesus that looks a lot like us when we think we are at our best. Despite God’s Word to the contrary, we think we can say that we love God and yet hate our neighbor, neglect the widow, forget the orphan, fail to visit the prisoner, ignore the oppressed. It's the sign of disordered love. When we do this, our worship becomes a lie to God." - Mark Labberton
The transforming experience of a believer in worship.
“ But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in mirror the glory of the Lord, Are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” II Cor 3:18
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Rom 12:2
What are the acclaimed secrets of a successful church in the past 60 years?
When separation, personal evangelism, world missions, and style of worships are divorced from worship of the living God there is spiritual emptiness. George MacDonald said, , “In whatever man does without God he must fail miserably or succeed more miserably.”
We worship God because He is worthy!
“ You are worthy, 0 Lord, to receive glory and honor and power” (Rev. 4:11). “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain” (Rev. 5:12). We aren’t worthy of worship, and certainly the idols that we make are not worthy. Only God is worthy of our worship. What people worship is a good indication of what is really valuable to them.
AW Tozer wrote, “God is trying to call us back to that for which He created us, to worship Him and enjoy Him forever.”
What is the meaning of worship?
“ The Hebrew word shachah, means “to bow down, to do homage.” It is first used in Scripture in Genesis 18:2, where Abraham bowed down to the three visitors, one of whom (he discovered) was the Lord from heaven.
The key Greek word is proskuneo, which literally means “to kiss toward.” It conveys the idea of showing reverence or doing obeisance to God (John 4:21—24), humans (Matt. 18:26), or even Satan (Rev. 13:4). Another important Greek word is latreuo, which basically means “to serve, to minister” (for examples, see Matt. 4:10, Heb. 9:9 and 14, and Rev. 22:3). A related word is leitourgos, which means “a priestly ministry” and gives us our English word liturgy.” Warren Wiersbe
Worship involves both attitudes awe, reverence, respect and the actions of bowing, praising, serving.
Evelyn Underhill has defined worship as “the total adoring response of man to the one Eternal God, self-revealed in time.”
Worship defined by William Temple, archbishop of Canterbury 1942.
“ Both for perplexity and for dulled conscience the remedy is the same; sincere and spiritual worship. For worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose—and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin. Yes—worship in spirit and truth is the way to the solution of perplexity and to the liberation from sin.”
“ The worship of God is not a rule of safety—it is an adventure of the spirit, a flight after the unattainable.” “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God,” wrote the psalmist. “When shall I come and appear before God (Ps. 42:2). Think of the dangerous experiences David went through in order to give us the psalms! Isaiah’s vision of God’s glorious throne eventually cost him his life, and Paul’s experiences in the heavenlies brought him a thorn in the flesh. True worship is not cheap entertainment; it’s a costly experience.
Worship is not some kind of escape!
“ I confess that I sometimes feel pain within when I hear someone pray, “Oh Lord, thank You that we can come apart from the world to worship You, that we can leave our cares and burdens outside as we enter Your house.” I may be wrong, but I carry my cares and burdens with me right into the worship service, because it’s there that I can get the perspective I need to deal with them successfully. “When I thought how to under stand this,” Asaph wrote about his problem, “it was too painful for me—until I went into the sanctuary of God” (Ps. 73:16, 17). “He did not merely forget his problem for the time being,” wrote D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones; “he found a solution.”
“ God is our refuge and strength” (Ps. 46:1). God hides us so that He might help us. We aren’t refugees looking for escape; rather, we’re wounded and weary soldiers who need rest and rehabilitation so we can go back into the battle. People who worship for “escape” don’t know what true worship is, and they’re wasting their time. True worship should lead to personal enrichment and enablement, the kind of spiritual strength that helps the believer carry the burdens and fight the battles of life.
Worship as escape becomes a selfish experience.
Worship as escape becomes a selfish experience. Granted, all of us at one time or another have identified with David’s groan, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest” (Ps. 55:6). But I trust our identification with this selfish attitude has been only momentary, for if it becomes a settled way of life it leads to immaturity and unreality. It turns God into a celestial Physician whose only task is to bind our wounds, and it robs us of the growth that can come when we discover the excitement of relating worship to daily life.
Worship in the face of our circumstances needs to bring us into the presence of God and that often leads us in different ways. Yale Professor Nicholas Wolterstorff once said “that each people group, each generation, needs to be able to express its sense of worship in its own voice, in a way that can resonate deep in the soul. And as our culture (or conglomeration or subculture) keeps changing, these are realities we need to appreciate.”
Connect – Face to face with each other in fellowship
To live above with the saints we love, that will be glory; but to live below with the saints we know – that’s another story.
A cool hand on a hot head! I Sam. 25. David sparing with Nabal and calmed by Abigail.
How do you handle “outbursts?” “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:10-14
. “As Vance Havner used to say, “Faith sees the invisible, chooses the imperishable, and does the impossible.”
Abigail a cool hand on a hot head!
Abigail on her knees in the wilderness, on her knees before David. David is rampaging, murder in his eyes, and Abigail blocks his path, kneeling before him. David has been insulted and is out to avenge the insult with four hundred men worked up into a frenzy. Abigail, solitary and beautiful, kneels in the path, stopping David in his tracks. At this moment David is full of himself and empty of God; the emptiness is visible as ugliness. Abigail recovers God for David. David is earlier de scribed as beautiful, though there’s no sign of it here. But beautiful Abigail restores the beauty of God to David, his original identity.
. The moment Abigail saw David she dismounted, went to her knees, putting her face to the ground in reverence and respect, and said, “Please, please, please don’t do this. This isn’t an action worthy of a prince of Israel. Remember who you are. Remember God’s anointing, God’s mercy don’t stoop to fighting grudge battles; your task is to fight the battles of the Lord” (my paraphrase).
And then she said this: “The life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the Lord your God; and the lives of your enemies he shall sling out as from the hollow of a sling” (i Sam. 25:29). Rendered as poetry, it sounds like this:
If anyone stands in your way, If anyone tries to get you out of the way, Know this: your God-honored life is tightly bound into the bundle of God-given life. But the lives of your enemies will be hurled aside as a stone is thrown from a sling. (Peterson translation)
. Wrapped up in ourselves, we forget entirely about God; we now see ourselves as wrapped up in the bundle of God, with Nabal reduced to nothing more than a footnote to the text of our life.
The Positive “one another” – The Fruit of the Spirit. Gal. 5:22-23
“ Members of one another” (Rom. 12:5)
“ Being devoted to one another” (Rom. 12:10a)
“ Honoring one another” (Rom. 12:lOb)
“ Being of the same mind toward one another” (Rom. 12:16; 15:5)
“ Edifying one another” (Rom. 14: 19)
“ Accepting one another” (Rom. 15:7)
“ Instructing one another” (Rom. 15:14)
“ Greeting one another” (Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:26; 1 Peter 5:14)
Waiting for one another” (1 Cor. 11:33)
“ Caring for one another” (Gal. 5:13)
“ Carrying one another’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2)
“ Bearing with one another” (Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:13)
The Positive “one another” – The Fruit of the Spirit. Gal. 5:22-23
“ Esteeming one another” (Phil 2 3)
“ Encouraging one another” (Thess. 418, 511 14) “Confessing sins to one another” (James 5 16a) “Praying for one another” (James 5 16b) “Offering hospitality to one another” (1 Peter 4 9)
“ Fellowshipping with one another” (1 John 1:7)
“ Being kind to one another” (Eph. 4:32)
“ Submitting to one another” (Eph. 5:21; 1 Peter 5:5)
“ Loving one another” (Rom. 13:8; 1 Thes. 3:12; 4:9; 2 Thess. 1:3; Heb. 10:24; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:11, 23; 4:7, 11, 12; 2 John5)
The Negative “One Another” Acts of the Sinful Nature
“ Lusting for one another” Romans 1:27
“ Judging one another” Romans 14:13
“ Depriving one another” I Cor. 7:5
“ Biting one another” Gal. 5:15a
“ Devouring one another” Gal. 5:15b
“ Destroying one another” Gal. 5:15c
“ Provoking one another Gal 5:26a
“ Envying one another” Gal 5:26b
“ Lying to one another” Col 3:9
“ Hating one another” Titus 3:3
“ Slandering one another” James 4:11
“ Grumbling against one another” James 5:9
Grow – Face to face with the Word
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. I Peter 3:17-18
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, Colossians 1:10
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Hebrews 12:14-16
The Purpose of Growing in faith.
“ That you may become mature Christians and that you may fulfill God’s will for you.” Col 4:12 (Phillips)
Eph 4:13 until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.(NLT)
Ephesians 4:14-15 “We are not meant to remain as children but to grow up in every way into Christ.” (Phillips)
Seven Habits of Maturing Christians
1. In order to grow we need to eat—The Bible
2. In order to grow we need to breathe—Prayer
3. In order to grow we need good spiritual hygiene—Confession of sin
4. In order to grow we need a caring family—Fellowship
5. In order to grow we need regular exercise—Service
6. In order to grow we need protection—Temptation
7. In order to grow we need to give—Stewardship
Truths about Spiritual Growth
Spiritual maturity doesn’t happen automatically Hebrews 5:12-13 “You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures. You are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food. 13And a person who is living on milk isn’t very far along in the Christian life and doesn’t know much about doing what is right.” (NLT)
Spiritual maturity doesn’t happen quickly. 2 Peter 3:18 , “Continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our savior, Jesus Christ.” (GN)
Spiritual maturity won’t happen without discipline
1 Timothy 4:7 “Take the time and the trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit.” (Phillips)
Reasons you need to grow in God’s Word.
God’s word is like an instruction manual for a car owner. Without it life is hard at best, impossible at worst. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
God’s word is like a flashlight for a camper. Without it you’ll stumble and get hurt, or wander and get lost. Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
God’s word is like a weapon for a soldier. Without it you’ll be captured or killed. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
God’s word is like a mirror for an actor. Without it you’ll never know what you’re like or change how you act.
God’s word is like nutrients and water for a plant. Without it you’ll be stunted and starved. Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)
Serve – Face to face with each other in service
And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, Deut. 10:12
Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. Joshua 24:14.
Joshua said to the people, "You are not able to serve the LORD. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. Josh 24:19
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Matt. 6:24.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be serve d, but to serve , and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45
Serve – Face to face with each other in service
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, Eph 6:7
7The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. I Peter 4:7-11
1To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. I Peter 5:1-3
The servanthood of Timothy and Epaphroditus – Phil. 2:19-30
Timothy a man with a servant’s mind, training, reward, and submission.
Epaphroditus was a balanced, burdened and blessed man.
WORSHIP – FACE TO FACE WITH GOD !
Worship – Responding to God for Who He is and what He has done.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30.
Ascribe to the Lord, the glory due his Name!
CONNECT – FACE TO FACE WITH ONE ANOTHER !
CONNECT – BEING A PART OF A CARING COMMUNITY OF CHRIST’S FOLLOWERS
“ Broke bread together in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” Acts 2:46
GROW - FACE TO FACE IN THE WORD OF GOD!
GROW – Becoming more like Christ.
“ If anyone wished to come afer me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
Grow in the grace of the knowledge of God.
SERVE – FACE TO FACE WITH ONE ANOTHER IN SERVICE!