Donald Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines:Chapter 5 worship

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Based on Donald Whitney's book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. These are teaching notes from LTCi, Siliguri

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Donald Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines:Chapter 5 worship

  1. 1. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life Donald S. WhitneyWednesday 9 May 2012
  2. 2. Worship... for the purpose of godliness Chapter 5, Donald Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian LifeWednesday 9 May 2012
  3. 3. Assume that the church service you attend on a Sunday morning is intended to honour, praise and glorify God. Do you give 100%, or do you hold back (perhaps because of other people?) Would he feel like it was all for him? Is he neglected? Do you go through the motions without ever exerting yourself? Do you sing songs? Do you enjoy what other people do more than you enjoy the guest of honour? Does what happens there give all glory to God - or is someone else often the focus of attention?Wednesday 9 May 2012
  4. 4. Matt 4:10 “Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only” Psalm 95:6, “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; Let us be clear - God expects worship- godliness without worship is unthinkable - but it is possible to worship God in vain! Matt 15:8-9, “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’” In order to avoid this we have to learn the spiritual discipline of worship.Wednesday 9 May 2012
  5. 5. Worship is...focussing on and responding to God Before offering a definition let us look at what the Bible says worship is: Thomas sees the risen Jesus and worship happens - John 20:28, Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Rev 4:8, shows unceasing worship,Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”Wednesday 9 May 2012
  6. 6. Then we see the elders casting their crowns down in worship and declaring, Rev 4:11,“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” Then we see thousands upon thousands worshipping, Rev 5:12-13, In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”Wednesday 9 May 2012
  7. 7. The word worship comes from the Saxon word weorthscype which later became worthship: to worship God is to ascribe the proper worth to God, to magnify his worthiness of praise, to approach and address God as he is worthy. He is worthy of all the worth and honour we can give him - for he is the Lord of all the earth, the creator and sustainer of the universe, the judge of all the earth. “The more we focus on God the more we understand and appreciate how worthy he is” as a result we respond (as we might to something else of beauty) by worshipping - just as angelic beings do continually.Wednesday 9 May 2012
  8. 8. We are not yet in heaven - so how do we “see” the Lord now? - in creation, Rom 1:20 - in his word, the Bible, 2 Tim 3:16, 2 Pet 1:20-21 - in Jesus Christ, Jn 1:1, Heb 1:1-2 In each case we need to ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in worshipping, to aid us in understanding, that we might see him as he is. It is clear that we need to know and understand the Bible in order to worship God in truest form.Wednesday 9 May 2012
  9. 9. “Worship often includes words and actions, but it goes beyond them to the focus of the mind and heart. Worship is the God- centred focus and response of the inner man; it is being preoccupied with God...you are worshipping God only when you are focussed on him and thinking of him.”Wednesday 9 May 2012
  10. 10. Worship is...done in spirit and truthThe most profound text on worship in the NTis John 4:23-24,Yet a time is coming and has nowcome when the true worshipers will worship theFather in the Spirit and in truth, for they are thekind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit,and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit andin truth.”To do this we must have Christ living within usthrough repentance and faith - something thatcomes through the action of the Holy Spiritleading us to confess “Jesus Christ is Lord”.Wednesday 9 May 2012
  11. 11. Whitney says, “To worship God in spirit means to worship from the inside out. It means to be sincere in our acts of worship. No matter how spiritual the song...if you aren’t sincere then it isn’t worship, it’s hypocrisy.” The truth part of this comes in worshipping according to the truth of scripture - we worship God how he is revealed in the Bible - in mercy and justice, love and wrath etc. “Where feelings for God are dead, worship is dead” John Piper - who goes on to suggest how emotions should be involved in worship...Wednesday 9 May 2012
  12. 12. Consider the analogy of a wedding anniversary. Mine is on December 21. Suppose on this day I bring home a dozen long-stemmed roses for Noel. When she meets me at the door, I hold out the roses, and she says, “O Johnny, they’re beautiful; thank you” and gives me a big hug. Then suppose I hold up my hand and say matter-of-factly, “Don’t mention it; it’s my duty.”Wednesday 9 May 2012
  13. 13. What happens? Is not the exercise of duty a noble thing? Do not we honor those we dutifully serve? Not much. Not if there’s no heart in it. Dutiful roses are a contradiction in terms. If I am not moved by a spontaneous affection for her as a person, the roses do not honor her. In fact, they belittle her. They are a very thin covering for the fact that she does not have the worth or beauty in my eyes to kindle affection. All I can muster is a calculated expression of marital duty...Wednesday 9 May 2012
  14. 14. ...The real duty of worship is not the outward duty to say or do the liturgy. It is the inward duty, the command: “Delight yourself in the Lord”! (Psalm 37:4). “Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice!” (Psalm 32:11). The reason this is the real duty of worship is that it honors God, while the empty performance of ritual does not. If I take my wife out for the evening on our anniversary and she asks me, “Why do you do this?” the answer that honors her most is “Because nothing makes me happier tonight than to be with you.” “It’s my duty” is a dishonor to her. “It’s my joy” is an honor... How shall we honor God in worship? By saying, “It’s my duty”? Or by saying, “It’s my joy”?Wednesday 9 May 2012
  15. 15. Head and heart, thought and emotions - should be involved in our worship. If we have a bias towards one it can distort and mislead our worship - e.g. Emotions can lead to warm feelings but a lack of truth - truth over-emphasised can lead to grim, dull “hard” services. We have to get the balance right for our worship to be in spirit and truth. What if we feel spiritually dry - do we stop attending worship services, aren’t we hypocrites? No, we persevere because it is the right thing to do (and even our “best” worship is always flawed)Wednesday 9 May 2012
  16. 16. We should still be looking for a refreshing, a renewal of our experience, but we should continue to worship with other people and bring a sacrifice of praise to the Lord. Jesus promised a flow of the HSp in the lives of every believer - sometimes it just takes longer to get through the dry times - Jn 7:38 Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit...Wednesday 9 May 2012
  17. 17. Worship is...expected both publicly and privatelyHeb 10:24-25And let us consider how we mayspur one another on toward love and gooddeeds, not giving up meeting together,as someare in the habit of doing, but encouraging oneanother......makes it clear meeting to worshipregularly with other believers is essential.The body 1 cor 12;2, building Eph 2:21, andhousehold Eph 2:19 ideas all seem to backa non-isolationist view of the Christianfaith - relating an individual to the whole.Wednesday 9 May 2012
  18. 18. If you are able to be present there is no substitute for meeting together - not cd’s, tv or the internet. Your personal devotional life might be wonderful - but still you should meet with other believers. There are many blessings which come when believers meet together. However there are also blessings which are to be had in our own private times with the Lord. - Jesus withdrew to lonely places to pray Lk 5:16 - “public worship will not excuse us from secret worship” Martin LutherWednesday 9 May 2012
  19. 19. Many argue that you cannot worship publicly on one day each week if you do not worship privately each day. “Is it because we do not worship well in private that our corporate worship often dissatisfies us?” Geoffrey Thomas Whitney emphasises that private worship is a source of great blessing - strength, guidance, encouragement, peace are all available each day - most importantly is the chance to spend intimate time in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ - Jesus “selects” you each day for this honour because he wants to be with you.Wednesday 9 May 2012
  20. 20. Worship is...a discipline to be cultivated Without discipline our life of worship will be thin and inconsistent. Worship comes from, flows from, a heart full of love and devotion for God. Yet we have to resist the danger of making it an emotional choice - we discipline ourselves to do it - just as we are disciplined in all other relationships in our lives if we want them to remain healthy.Wednesday 9 May 2012
  21. 21. Worship is...a discipline to be cultivated Worship is an end in that it focusses on, and responds to, God/ It is a means in that as we worship God we become more like him. To become more like God we have to focus on him more - look at him more. Do not worry if you have some “failed” quiet times - remember you are looking at a relationship, do the “right” things and do the relational things. If stuck - ask a mature christian for help.Wednesday 9 May 2012
  22. 22. More applicationWill you commit yourself to the dailydiscipline of worship?“If you do not worship God on sevendays a week, you do not worship himon one” AW TozerMany disguise their poverty ofworship by disciplining their worshipevery Sunday, yet ignoring it the restof the week. The result is a lack ofgrowth in Christlikeness.Wednesday 9 May 2012
  23. 23. Will you put actual worship into your acts of worship? David Clarkson, “What you do in public worship, do it with all your might. Shake off that slothful, indifferent, lukewarm temper, which is so odious to God. Think it not enough to present our bodies before the Lord. The worship of the body is but the carcass of worship; it is soul worship that is the soul of worship. Those that draw near with their lips only shall find God far enough from them; not only lips, and mouth, and tongue, but mind, and heart, and affections; not only knee, and hand, and eye, but heart, and conscience, and memory, must be pressed to attend upon God in public worship. David says, not only “my flesh longs for Thee,” but “my soul thirsts for Thee..” Then will the Lord draw near, when our whole man waits on Him; then will the Lord be found, when we seek Him with our whole heart.”Wednesday 9 May 2012
  24. 24. Remember in heaven worship is 24 hours /day for all eternity - if it is dull for you, maybe you are missing something of God? US president Calvin Coolidge: “It is only when men begin to worship that they begin to grow”Wednesday 9 May 2012
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