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WHY WORSHIP?

ISAIAH 1:11-17

When you heard that we shall explore together today the theme of WORSHIP

 many of you perhaps are saying: "What do you think we have been doing all morning?" Our bulletin even calls this time 'MORNING WORSHIP SERVICE."

We say we have been worshipping, but what may appear as worship to us, visibly successful in the eyes of men, may not be worship in the eyes of God. He sees and hears much more than we do.

Let me read to you a description of God's reaction to a worship service held some years ago. It is recorded in:

READ ISAIAH 1:11-17

These words indicate that God looks at a worship service differently than we do because he reads our hearts.

These words reveal that WORSHIP IS NOT SOMETHING WE

Worship does not deal with what we make our bodies do, (either  singing, kneeling or praying), but WORSHIP CONSISTS of who we OUR HEART IS FEELING. This is the aspect of worship I want to explore with you. The heart is the mind, emotion & will.

PEOPLE  a worship service by one standard:

1. If the MUSIC MY STYLE was professional outstanding, pleasing to the ear then it was good worship.

2. If the SERMON was outstanding, Then it was a good worship service.

A visiting minister was substituting for the famed Pastor

                Henry Ward Beecher. A large audience had assembled to hear

                the popular pastor. At the appointed hour. the visiting

                minister entered the pulpit. Learning that Beecher was not

                to preach, several began to move toward the doors. The

                visiting minister stood and called out, "All who have come

                here today to worship Henry Ward Beecher may now withdraw

                from the church! All who have come to worship God, keep your

                seats!" No one then left!

3. If you enjoyed being there, then it was a good worship service.

We judge a worship service by how WE FEEL.

If our mind was challenged or if we were made to feel good.

                Or if the speaker made us laugh or cry, then we say that was a 10, that was a good worship service.

 attending church with his father one Sunday morning, before

                getting into bed that evening a little boy kneeled at his

                bedside and prayed, "Dear God, we had a good time at church

                today, but I wish you had been there."

4. But if the music was poor and the preaching was poor & boring, or the preacher went too long then it is a poor worship service!

*BUT THAT IS NOT HOW GOD JUDGES.

What people may say is a 10, But God judges as idolatry.

No worship of Him.

It is startling to realize that everyone worships! Everybody!

Everywhere! Worship is fundamental drive of life.

Atheists worship. Infidels worship. Skeptics worship. Communist worship. Even Republicans and Democrats worship. Lawyers, insurance agents and even Internal Revenue Service agents worship!

All people worship for worship is the fundamental difference between humans and animals. Animals do not worship. They have no sense of the beyond or of the Holy. But God has placed eternity in man's heart, as the book of Ecclesiastes tell us. This urge causes men everywhere to worship. If they are not worshipping the true God, they are worshipping a god of their own composition.

Worship, therefore, is a universal phenomenon.

The word comes from the old English 'WORTH-SHIP" which means to ascribe worth or value to something or someone.

If I tell you how great someone is =that is education.

But if I tell that person how great they are - worship!

Clearly there are of worship. From the Christian point of view there is true worship and there is false. The worship of all the people on earth fall into these two categories.

TRUE WORSHIP is to attribute worth to a real Being, one who is truly there and who is truly worthy. Dr. Francis Schaeffer wrote a book called "THE GOD WHO IS THERE".

 To make the point that although God is invisible to our eyes he is actually there.

The function of believers is to learn what God is like and to acknowledge him- to ascribe worth to him, to reflect upon the value, beauty and character of God. This is true worship.

A.W.Tozer. 

We're here to be worshippers first and workers only second. We take a convert and immediately make a worker of of him.

God never meant it to be so. God meant that a convert should learn to be a worshipper, and after that he can learn to be a worker...The work done by a worshipper will have enternity in it.

The story from the life of Louis XIV of France demonstrates this:

One Sunday when he and his royal party arrived at church, no one was

there except Archbishop Fenelon, the court preacher.  Surprised to see all the vacant seats, the King inquired, "Where is everybody?

Why isn't anyone else present this morning?"  The minister answered, "I announced that Your Majesty would not be here today, because I wanted you to see who came to the service just to flatter you and who came to worship God."

FALSE WORSHIP, on the other hand, is to attribute worth to an illusion which is not really there, or which is not worthy. It is not worthy of worship because it is merely imaginary.

FALSE WORSHIP usually took the form of bowing before IDOLS OR IMAGES.

 People created representations of gods, usually in the form of a human being or animal.  Then they ascribed worth to it and regarded it as extremely valuable in their lives. 

They thought the god either helped them in causing their crops to grow or it protected them from some danger or evil. It kept their children from getting sick. Thus they ascribed great worth to speechless images and idols.

. Sometimes they worshipped DECEITFUL SPIRITS, DEMONS. Without the help of a visible image, they worshipped an invisible spirit-being.

**The American Indians did this.

You may have seen the picture of the three Blackfoot Indians on

horseback worshipping the rising sun with their arms outstretched

and their faces turned upward.  They saw the sun as a spirit-

being, and they also worshipped other spirits such as those of

the mountains or the waters. They assumed that some being was

there even though they could not see it.

IN OUR MODERN WORLD, MEN STILL WORSHIP.

Either they worship the one true God, or often they worship some idealized view of themselves.

 It is amazing how many millions of people WORSHIP THEMSELVES.

 

                You may be familiar with the bold words of the poem 'Invictus':

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

. They worship their BODIES

. They worship their MINDS.

(2) Some worship Objects.

A young man may worship his toys

Remember how important that 1st car was to you & how you felt when you saw the first scratch?

Many of the adds to sell cars project that if you buy this car it will make you powerful, popular, but we know it will

                only make you POOR!

Sometimes worship is expressed in looking to some projected

                exaggeration of a LIVING PERSON.

 many make idols of ACTORS & ACTRESSES ATHLETES

. They even refer to these people as

.  They want to become like them.

***YOU WILL BECOME LIKE THE PERSON OR THING YOU WORSHIP.

Many dress, and act like the person they worship.

They imagine what they are like, and then ascribe worth to that

purely imaginary image. It then becomes a driving force in their

lives.

Think of how many people are still worshipping Elvis Presley. The

cheap tabloids even try to convince us that he is still alive by

showing pictures of him at some shopping center or rock concert.

This is a form of idolatry, for it is ascribing value to him

which is totally imaginary.

 There are many today who are caught up in the New Age

movement and who worship invisible sources of

.  They

believe in strange spirit-being that appear to them, they say,

and give them advantages or special insights into the secrets of

life. This form of worship is widespread.

These examples show you that worship is indeed a universal

practice. Everyone does it!

THE ONLY QUESTION IS: ARE WE

PRACTICING TRUE WORSHIP OR FALSE?

YOU WILL BECOME LIKE THE PERSON OR THING YOU WORSHIP.

A Nigerian missionary arrived at a Communion service in which 4

towns were combining, and heard an African addressing the crowded

church in a meeting: "I cannot tell you the gladness that is in

my heart today. As I walked along the path with the other members

from my town I saw that each man held in his hand his Testament

and his hymnbook. No man carried a knife or a gun. No man walked

with fear; every man with faith in you. And yet it is but four

years ago that no man from my town would have walked through your

town without a knife in his hands, and even then he would not

have walked alone. Nor would any man from your town have come

unharmed through ours. What is the reason for this difference? At

that time we

WORSHIPED

 the same gods as you did. Today we worship

the same God as you do, but the God we worship today is a God of

peace. We have learned that He is our Father, and that we are

brothers in Christ.

Worship is continually happening. It underlies every action and

attitude we manifest. It colors all our life and goes far beyond

a couple of hours on Sunday morning. Worship touches us all the

time. Everything we do springs from our concept of what is

important and valuable to us.

2. WHAT YOU WORSHIP, YOU WILL INVEST IN.

ANOTHER WAY TO SAY IT.

TELL ME WERE AND WHAT YOU SPEND YOUR TIME

AND MONEY UPON AND I WILL TELL YOU WHAT YOU WORSHIP!

If you worship a ROCK

ATHLETE

 you will spend as much

                time as you can learning about and watching that star.

If you worship your

 you will spend as much time and

                money as you can to fix it like you dream.

If you worship your

 you will spend as much time and money to

                get in shape.

Tell me how much you Give of your time & finances to God & I will

tell you how much you worship Him. The less you worship the less

you give. The more you worship Him the more you want to give.

Since worship is the driving force of all human existence then

when it is lost, whether it be true or false, life becomes dull,

drab, and cheerless. Men and women ultimately sink into despair

because life appears to be no longer worth the living. This fact

alone indicates that worship is the most important and

fundamental aspect of our existence. 

Millions today are turning to drugs because they have been

disillusioned in the god they have been following, especially the

god of their own selves. Out of their emptiness and absolute

despair, out of their worshipless lives, they turn to anything

that promises them a return of the feeling of significance. That

is what drugs appear to offer them.

On the other hand, when true worship occurs, life becomes vital,

real, exciting, daring and adventurous. It is felt to be emi

nently worthwhile. Those of us who have learned to worship the

true God know this is true. Worship is the foundation to all we

do and say, and we find ourselves worshipping in some form or

anther all day long.

It is clear, therefore, we must give close attention to what true

worship is.

HOW DO WE LEARN IT?

HOW DO WE PRACTICE IT?

 To answer

these questions we must turn to the Scriptures.

I want to explore the nature of Worship now, and next week we

will look at some of the methods of corporate worship.

 TRUE WORSHIP

Jesus tells us what real worship is when he speaks to a

WOMAN AT

THE WELL

 of Samaria who was lonely and minserable after 5 failed

marriages. Obviously she had tried to satisfy herself and her

longings by marriage, but it was all to no avail. Obviously she

was thirsting for something and had probably reached the place

where she no longer expected to find it. Without bothering with

marriage she was now living with a man. Reading her lonely heart,

our Lord offered her new life using terms derived from the spot

where they were gathered. As they sat by the well, he offered her

a well of living water which would constantly be flowing, spring

ing up to giver her continuous life. He told her she could come

to it any time and it would refresh her. She did not need to re

turn to the physical well for the slaking of her soul's thirst.

Finally, Jesus said:

[GOD IS A SPIRIT; AND THEY WHO WORSHIP HIM MUST WORSHIP HIM IN

                SPIRIT AND TRUTH]

With these words, Jesus indicated the fundamental elements of

true worship.

God is a Spirit and so are we! We are spirits dwelling in bodies,

which in the design of God creates a third entity called, soul.

We have personality because we are spirits dwelling in bodies.

Our human spirit is designed to communicate and interrelate with

the Spirit of God. This is what Jesus means when he says we must

worship God in

SPIRIT

. He is referring to our human spirit which

is usually referred to in Scripture as the heart.

We talk about doing things with our whole heart. By this we mean

our spirit is fully engaged- we are functioning at the

fundamental level of our humanity We are said to be involved

"whole-heartedly."  Therefore,

TESTAMENT

worship

SPIRIT

"

means that our worship must be genuine and

heart-felt.

 We must

mean it and feel it deeply. We must be fully committed to what we

are doing as an expression of what we actually feel.

                  AN INSTRUMENT OF TEN STRINGS

An elderly gentleman at a midweek meeting offered this prayer:

"O Lord, we will praise Thee; we will praise Thee with an

instrument of ten strings!"  People wondered what he meant, but

understood when he continued, "We will praise Thee with our two

 by looking only unto Thee.  We will exalt Thee with our two

 by listening only to Thy voice.  We will extol Thee with

our two

 by working in Thy service.  We will honor Thee

with our own two

 by walking in the way of Thy statutes.  We

will magnify Thee with our

TONGUE

 by bearing testimony to Thy

loving kindness.  We will worship Thee with our

 by loving

only Thee.  We thank Thee for this instrument, Lord; keep it in

tune.  Play upon it as Thou wilt and ring out the melodies of

Thy grace!  May its harmonies always express Thy glory!"

We can also express this truth negatively, as Scripture sometimes

does. Worship is not to be phoney or a put-on. It must not be

mechanical. We ought not go through the motions of rising,

standing, kneeling or praying saying words without these actions

reflecting what we are thinking or being.  That kind of worship

is unacceptable in God's eyes. It is a mockery.

If we recite words that do not say what we really mean we are

insulting God and treating him with derision and scorn.

, God was reading the hearts of the people who were

performing an outwardly beautiful service. But their hearts were

wrong, and their worship was not "

IN SPIRIT

," Therefore it was

totally unacceptable to Him.

If a visitor were to watch their worship, He or she would have

                said, Wasn't that worship service simply wonderful, I felt

                goose bumps all over.

But God said: I hate your ceremonies, celebrations. I am weary,

                                                they are a burdon. I have had them up to here.

It is clear in the Scriptures from beginning to end that the one

thing

 above everything else is

HYPOCRISY

. We do too- in

other people! We do not mind it in ourselves, but we do not like

it in others. If we treat God this way in worship, he is deeply

offended, just as we are when someone is hypocritical toward us.

 The second phrase Jesus used in talking about worship was

'IN TRUTH

," This refers to our view of God. The God we worship

must be the true God. He must be the God who actually exists-the

true and living God.

***This is the danger of films such as "The last Temptation of

Jesus' which caused such a stir. It drew a false picture of

Jesus. It portrayed a Jesus who never existed, a being distorted

and even perverted. this film gives people the wrong impression

of Jesus. Not only films do this; many books and sermons do the

same. Even sermons about God can give a wrong impression as to

what kind of a being He is.  Any worship based upon these false

conceptions is not "

IN TRUTH

" Our worship must be in line with

what is actually there.

You many well be asking: How do we know the true God? As we sing

in a great hymn, God is:

 IMMORTAL, INVISIBLE, GOD ONLY WISE, /IN

LIGHT INACCESSABILE, HID FROM OUR EYES."

  If God cannot be seen

touched, felt or heard, how do we know the true God?  The answer

is that God has revealed himself to us. He discloses himself in

three basic ways.

1ST. GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IN THE WORLD OF NATURE.

2ND. GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IN SCRIPTURE.

GOD REVEALS HIMSELF TO US PERSONALLY.

TWO MAJOR FACTORS

 that we learn about God are his

HOLINESS           AND HIS GRACE.

. The basic nature of God is

 HOLINESS.

Many people when they hear of Holiness you become uncomfortable.

I knew some people whom others called holy, and I found them to

be very disagreeable. I came to associate the word with grimness.

they were the kind of people who seemed constantly worried that

someone somewhere was having a good time! But that is not

holiness at all!

4 Different times the Scriptures use the phrase

"THE BEAUTY OF

HIS HOLINESS."

 True holiness is beautiful and attractive: it

compels attention.

The word is difficult to define. Often it is defined as

'SEPARATENESS" and refers to something or someone who has

integrity: who cannot be torn apart or easily manipulated. Holy

people are strong and steadfast. Used of God, the term is the

exact opposite of sinfulness. Sometimes the word is translated as

"distinctiveness," or "UNIQUENESS" ore even 'PERFECTION." This is

the meaning of God's holiness. He is a perfect being. All his

attributes are in harmony and balance. There is nothing eccentric

about God. he is flawless and remains unchangeable.

That holiness becomes the ground of our stability. We are not

dealing with a capricious God whose mood is different every time

we come to him. We can trust God. Therefore, his holiness becomes

the basis for our worship. It is such a beautiful holiness that

it is awesome. Those who glimpse it usually fall on their faces

in awe and even fear. They marvel at such a glorious, holy God.

 the prophet suddenly saw a vision of the greatness of

God while in the temple. he saw God lifted up and seated on a

throne. The smoke of incense filled the temple and he heard

seraphic beings, angels, burning creatures, bowing down before

God and crying out endlessly,

'HOLY, HOLY, HOLY!

  There is

something very impressive about this scene.

2ND CHARACTERISTIC OF GOD IS HIS GRACE.

Grace is God's love in action. This becomes the feature that

draws our hearts to God. We read of his love in Rom.

5:8 and 8:32

"GOD COMMENDS HIS LOVE TOWARD US, IN THAT WHILE WE WERE YET

SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US," AND "HE WHO SPARED NOT HIS OWN SON

BUT DELIVERED HIM UP FOR US ALL, HOW SHALL HE NOT WITH HIM ALSO

FREELY GIVE US ALL THINGS?

The more we read of God's love manifested toward us, forgiving us

at infinite cost to himself, thorough much pain, agony and

sacrifice to satisfy the demands of his justice, the more we are

drawn to him. We are able to come to him, not as suppliants

crawling on our knees pleading for help and mercy, but as beloved

children, as part of his family. We are cared for & protected by

a tender Father's heart. This is God's grace as seen in the

Script.

When we begin to see God in his holiness and grace, it strikes

deeply into our hearts. We find that our worship, our response to

him, becomes the driving force of our life. It touches everything

we do affecting our actions, words and attitudes.

David express this kind of worship in I Chronicls 16:23-31

               

††††††† Ɓ腁

As Christians, we need to carefuly distinguish between prayer,

praise and worship. They are not the same.

PRAYER

 is our occupation with our human needs and problems. We

                come to God with our needs and ask Him for his supply.

PRAISE

 is the occupation of our minds with his blessings. We are

                thinking of all that God has done for us and give thanks for

                how he has blessed us.

WORSHIP

 is our occupation with god himself, With the greatness of

                his being.

Our hymns reflect this.

When we say, "Lord, save me" =

PRAYER

When we say, "Thank you, Lord, for saving me." =

PRAISE

When we say, "Thank you, Lord, for being such a great Savior." =

WORSHIP

1. As you take a shower in the morning, as the water washes away

                the dirt of yestdery, Pray Lord, cleanse me inside as well a

                out."

2. As you go though the day, Praise the Lord for providing your

                needs.

3. Spend some time singing, While your in the Car, or just befor

                you go to sleep "HOW GREAT THOU ART."

If you do this when you come on Sunday morning & sing the great

words of the hymns and hear the words of Cript, you mind wil not

wander. You will be caught up in the Praise and Worship of God,

Sing How GREAT THOU ART # 16 V1

                        TWO WAYS TO WAIT

Dean Frederic Farrar was a personal friend of Queen Victoria of

England.  On one occasion he told of a conversation he had with

Her Majesty after she had heard one of her chaplains preach on

Christ's second coming.  She said, "Oh, Dean Farrar, how I wish

that the Lord would come during my lifetime!"  When he asked why

she desired this, her countenance brightened, and with deep

emotion she replied, "Because I would love to lay my crown at

His blessed feet in reverent adoration!"

1ST. HE REVEALS HIMSELF IN THE WORLD OF NATURE.

Scripture tells us and experience confers that we get a sense of

God's wisdom, majesty, and power in the world of nature. You

cannot study this marvelous universe-with all of its complexity

of design, its interrelatedness and its universal manifestation

of the same laws- without coming to some comprehension of a Great

Designer. There is a Master Designer involved in creation. It is

incredible to me that some scientists who work in these area

never grasp this simple fact. Everything in nature is shouting at

us that there is a Mind of great intelligence, wisdom and power

behind it. The majesty of God is visible in the beauty of his

world, These all evoke a sense of worship.

                       GREAT IS OUR LORD

Nearly 200 years before Christ, the astronomer Hipparchus

cataloged about 850 stars.  He thought this was the total number

that existed, and some 300 years later his figures were still

considered accurate.  But with the invention of the telescope by

Galileo, millions of new heavenly bodies could be viewed, and

the world soon learned that the earlier count was incomplete.

No one today can tell us exactly how many there are, but

astronomers estimate that an average of 100 billion stars are

found in a single galaxy, and that 10 billion galaxies are

within range of the largest telescopes.  It's almost

unbelievable!

2ND. GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IN SCRIPTURE.

The Bible is the most amazing book in the world.  No other

religious book has the qualities and characteristics of this one.

Even though it has come from many different sources across

hundreds of years, it presents anunusual manifestation of

harmony. All of the books blind together and confirm each other.

When you search deep into its pages, you discover that there are

no errors or contradictions. yet it speaks far beyond the

understanding of the profoundest mind.

The bible carefully tells us that God has spoken in His Word. It

reveals His character, it tells us of his work both in creation

and redemption, and it unfolds the great ultimate purposes of

God-what he is doing with the universe in which we live. We would

know none of this without the Word of God.

When we take the facts of nature and the revelation of Scripture

and begin to respond to them in prayer and obedience, this is

true worship. 

Obedience is the water in the battery that makes it work.

Praising God praying to Him and ascribing value to Him, do

something to us. Our mind becomes illuminated and we begin to

understand the words of His great book more clearly. They

sometimes glow with life and seem to leap off the page to grab

your heart. We are enormously impacted by these great words of

Scripture or even by standing on a Mt. top looking out over a

beautiful vista at a glowing sunset, we are moved by the majesty

and greatness of God to know him in greater vision.

This is God's self-revelation through His Spirit to Our spirit,

and it is another way of knowing God. The saints who have lived

with God for years and years begin to reflect that knowledge by

taking on his character. YOU WILL BECOME LIKE THE GOD YOU

WORSHIP.

If you worship a God of

Health, Wealth, Popularity.

 You will

                become very selfish.

If you worship a God of

Holiness, Majesty, and Power

. You will

                become very righteous.

If you worship a God who always has to perform a miracle, then

                you will become very emotional.

WORSHIP#2

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