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(08-03-01) Worship

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Worship – Evangelism – Justice

·      What does it mean today?

o  terms that we use

§  good/bad?

§  enjoy?

§  I got a lot out of it?

§  my (preferred) style?

·      There's nothing wrong with benefiting from coming together to worship!

o  but... are we starting to forget why we worship?

o  is our focus shifting towards how we benefit from being worshippers, rather than finding ourselves lost in wonder, love and praise?

·      The Church, quite rightly, is emphasising the importance of personal relationship

o  God loves me

o  the Bible is for me to use to know God

o  Jesus came and died for me

§  ‘Jesus found me’

§  Jesus died for us

o  the Church is for me

·      It's easy to forget that the very centre of the universe is God, not ourselves!

o  each sentence is fine, but the emphasis is wrong

o  leaves us with the potential to talk about worship in an inaccurate way:

§  ‘I didn't get a lot out of it' – it wasn't for you!

§  'Thank you for the worship' – no-one to thank but God!

§  ‘It was too quiet/loud, long/short, fast/slow, new/old'

·      What did God think of it?!?!

·      Songs, sermons, dances etc., are all tools of worship, not worship in and of themselves

·      All this has been about when we meet together to worship

o  we all know the phrase ‘Worship is a lifestyle’, but is it more than just a phrase?

o  is it how we live our lives?

·      Romans 12:1-2

o  does that sound familiar?

o  can we really say that every part of us, every moment of every day, every thought, word and deed is offered up in worship?

§  ‘reasonable’ worship?!

·      Old Testament

o  worship at certain times in certain places

·      New Testament

John 4:21, 23

§  not a 'proof text' as such, but the NT strongly suggests that we are free from the constraints of OT worship laws

§  but linguistically, you might not notice ...

·      We don't have to look far to get our focus right again…

o  there is a perfect example of worship

the Cross – ‘Perfect Worship’?

·      Parallels between OT worship – ‘sacrifice’ and the Cross

o  Jesus accepted as a sacrifice by God

consumed on the cross

§  1 Kings 18:36-39

§  Matthew 26:26-28

§  Leviticus 9:23-24

Marcus Green – Salvation's Song pp.54-55

·      Jesus was consumed and accepted by God

o  we are accepted by Him as a result

for His glory!

·      We should be consumed in worship

o  not as a sacrifice, but as an offering

o  God is saying ‘I accept you because of the cross.’

·      All too often we find ourselves as the consumer, not the consumee!

·      So what is it to be consumed in worship?

o  hopefully:

§  evangelism

§  justice

§  personal, spiritual, Word-soaked devotion

·      There is something separate about worship as distinct from evangelism and justice

o  the spiritual encounter with God is one of the greatest gifts the Church has received

o  coming before the throne of grace

§  not limited to ‘times of worship’, but including

·      The universe shouts God's glory

o  as part of that creation, God has shown mankind special favour, for His glory (Ezekiel)

o  He has revealed Himself to us

§  we have done everything in our power to ensure that we never see the face of God again

§  God has done everything in His power to ensure that we do

·      If we never saw, we would never know

if we never knew, we would never worship

·      Prayer to close

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