Faithlife Sermons

God is Holy and Worthy of Worship

What Worship looks like: Portraits of Worshipers, Old & New  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God is Holy, and true worshipers will recognize Him as such


True Worshipers are open to God’s Call (Exodus 3:1-3)

Explanation: Moses was going about his daily routine as a shepherd. Moses was taking care of his father-in-law’s sheep, and he was leading them in to a different region. But this particular day probably started just like any other day, and Moses had no prior warning or expectation that God was going to show up. Yet, when God did reveal Himself, Moses took notice. Moses realized this sight of a bush that was on fire yet not being consumed, was something extraordinary. So Moses turned aside - he put his agenda to the side to investigate this revelation from God.
Illustration: God often gets our attention through events, circumstances, sermons, life events, etc. The important issue is our follow through, (or the lack of follow through)
Argument: God is One who initiates. He is the One who intervenes to gain our attention. And because He is the Unique, Eternal, All powerful God, He acts as He desires. He is not forced to reveal Himself in the same way to all of His servants. The Burning Bush was a one-time event; Paul was the only one who was blinded by a light from heaven; Balaam’s donkey only spoke one time. The important thing is not the manner; the important this is to recognize that it is God who is speaking.
Application: God has revealed Himself to the world. As the Creator, He leaves an unmistakable imprint of Himself in the Creation (). Beyond that, God has revealed Himself most fully in Jesus () and He has given the world His enduring and infallible Word. When He reveals Himself to you, are you listening? In the midst of all the loud voices, do you hear and recognize God’s call to come aside?

True Worshipers reverence the God who calls them ()

Explanation: Moses stopped what he had been doing and turned aside at God’s call. As Moses approached the burning bush, God spoke audibly to Moses and called him by name. God stops Moses from being overly familiar (do not come near) and requires him to display reverence (take off your sandals). God gives these commands to reinforce that He is Holy and in a totally separate category than His creation. We know that Moses receives this message by his reaction: he hid his face (v. 6)
Illustrate: the sense of reverence and seriousness we experienced at Escorial in Spain when Nacho’s parents took us there. We descended into the burial vaults of the kings and queens of Spain that stretched back over 500 years to Ferdinand and Isabella. As we walked among the tombs, the people were either silent or spoke in hushed tones
Argument: It was not a bad thing to be respectful in the presence of the deceased. How much more reverence should we have when we enter into the presence of the Living God! He is here! He has preceded us in this place, and He makes it Holy by His living presence! We are in a holy place, and we should enter with trembling and fear, knowing that “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” ()
We would do well to re-familiarize ourselves with the Israelite’s reaction to just hearing the thunder & lightning and the fire & smoke on Mt. Sinai when God came down to meet with Moses. After that experience, the Israelites told Moses, “you speak to us, and we will listen; But do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” ()
Application: The point is that God is Holy and True Worship requires a recognition of this often neglected truth. This does not mean that it is wrong to talk or greet one another in this worship center. It does not mean that we are to keep our heads down in fear of a lightning bolt. What it does mean is that we are to have a very real sense of reverence and awe for the things of God. We are to respect His presence. We can do this by: 1) paying attention. [sleep at home!] 2) staying engaged [go to the bathroom before the service starts] 3) participate as much as possible [sing, celebrate, take notes]

True Worshipers desire to know God personally ()

Explanation: God revealed His plan and agenda to Moses. God told Moses that He had “seen the affliction of [His} people” (v. 7) and was getting ready to act on their behalf. God makes it clear that He is the responsible party, “I have come down to deliver them” (v. 8), and that He is the One who is allowing Moses to be part of the process (v. 10). Moses is more than taken aback by this assignment, and is worried about what will happen when he shows up in Egypt asking for Pharoah to let the Israelites go free. Being apprehensive about the mission, Moses asks God what he would say if Pharoah asks whose authority Moses is working under? The Divine Response is a revelation of God’s covenant NAME: YHWH. The Divine I AM means, “I am truly he who exists and who will be dynamically present then and there in the situation to which I am sending you.”
Kaiser, W. C., Jr. (2008). Exodus. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis–Leviticus (Revised Edition) (Vol. 1, p. 371). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Argument: Moses displays a reluctance to accept God’s role in the mission of deliverance. As a matter of fact, Moses keeps bringing up reasons as to why God should pick someone else for the job (). A quick overview of Moses’ life will be helpful at this point. Moses had grown up in the palace and was raised by Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses was treated as royalty for the first 40 years of his life. He had the best of everything life had to offer, and he lacked for nothing. Yet, Moses spent his first years with his birth mother, and he heard the tales of the Deliverer that God had promised. He never forgot the accounts of the Israelite’s God, and Moses came to see himself as that Deliver. And in his own way and in his own strength, Moses tried to initiate the process (). He failed miserably and spent the next 40 years of his life as a shepherd on the back side of nowhere.
Kaiser, W. C., Jr. (2008). Exodus. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis–Leviticus (Revised Edition) (Vol. 1, p. 371). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Moses was definitely in no hurry to take up the mantle of Deliverer again, so he makes excuses. God answers each of Moses’ excuses in turn, but the most important one was the first one. Moses is concerned about not being believed when he shows up after 40 years and starts telling people that God has assigned him this role. God graciously reveals Himself to Moses, and this will ultimately make all the difference.
The role or job assignment given is not the most significant aspect of worship. The most significant thing is that we truly know the God who is able. A True worshiper is one who understands that being known by God is sufficient. A True worshiper desires the experience of spending time with God, and not looking to get something from Him. The experience of Worship is the reward.
Application: Evaluate your worship experience by asking these questions
Are you hearing from God? Not an audible voice, but a clear sense that God is the One speaking and you recognize His Voice. God speaks through His Word, His Spirit, and other people and circumstances
Is your Reverence for God real and growing? On a scale of 1 to 10, where are you? Are you engaged in the service? Do you actively pray for God to show up in a powerful manner? Do you sing with joy & meaning? OR does your mind wander? Do you get up every Sunday to go to the bathroom? (would you leave a meeting with the President?) Do you even know what’s going on?
Do you have a desire to be in God’s House? Do you look forward to services on Sunday or do you look forward to what happens after service? Do you think more about lunch than the message? Is your favorite time on Sundays 12:05pm when you can finally leave?
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