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The Heart of Worship 03 - A Life of Worship

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Reading: Psalm 40; 1Samuel 15:12-23
     I desire to do your will, O my God;

      your law is within my heart.”        Psalm 40:8 (NIV)

I.   There is no worship without Obedience

     A.  God Delights in our obedience

           1.  God loves it when we listen (1Sam.15:22)

                 a.  His ways are for our good:

Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever! Deuteronomy 5:29 (NIV)

           2.  Obedience is the best worship

                 a.  To obey is better than sacrifice (1Sam.15:22)

                 b.  God prefers obedience to ceremony

           3.  We show our love and trust, when we do what God wants.

                 a.  To love is to listen and to trust.

                 b.  To listen is to hear His loving wisdom.

     B.  Disobedience is like Idol worship

           1.  Here’s the flip side of obedience (1Sam.15:23)

                 a.  Disobedience saddens, disappoints and/or angers God.

                 b.  Disobedience expresses a lack of loving trust in God’s loving wisdom

           2.  Not listening to God, means listening to someone/thing else.

                 a.  To disobey is to worship something else

                 b.  How we decide tells us what we trust.

     C.  We worship as God Directs

           1.  We may not worship God any old way

                 a.  It’s not right to worship him with mere human inventions.

                 b.  Worship isn’t to be meaningful to us!

                 c.  We aren’t to pattern our worship of God after paganism or intellectualism, traditionalism or modernism, etc.

           2.  We may not worship God with merely a form of worship (1Sam.15:22)

                 a.  Neither in imitation of Biblical forms, nor in modernized versions of them.

           3.  We must worship “in spirit and in Truth”

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24 (NIV)

                 a.  In spirit—inwardly, not just outwardly

                 b.  In truth—authentically, not pretending

II.  Life is Worship

     A.  Worship has no Off switch

           1.  The worshiping heart always worships.

Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, ALWAYS giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:19b-20 (NIV)

           2.  The heart’s devotion to God worships Him.

                 a.  Our faithful obedience is our worship

                 b.  Obedience is a 24/7 thing.

           3.  We don’t turn off worship, we just start worshiping something else.

                 a.  If you go to Church just to pay your worship bill, you have too many gods.

                 b.  If all we are do is centered in pleasing God, our life is a life of worship.

     B.  We worship with our Lives

           1.  Our very lives are worship events.

                 a.  Picture your life as a worship event; is God it’s center and focus?

                 b.  God wants your life, not just a bit of your time each week.

           2.  All we do is to be worship focused.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 (NIV)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

     C.  We Offer our life in Worship

           1.  While all of life is worship, it is right to set aside time to focus on worship itself.

                 a.  I love my wife all the time, and I find special times to focus on that.

                 b.  We worship all the time, and so we find special times to focus on that.

           2.  In the context of worship, we offer ourselves, not just our time, voice, money

                 a.  We give worship form to give us a way to externalize what’s inside.

                 b.  We worship through, not by, the songs, prayers or the message.

           3.  Even rote obedience, without a heart that wants to please God, falls short.

For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20 (NIV)

III. Practice Personal worship

     A.  Jesus often went to be Alone to pray (Lk 5:16)

           1.  Jesus often spent time alone with God.

                 a.  The Bible clearly calls us to public worship and private worship

                 b.  Jesus regularly practiced it.

           2.  Have/Make time for personal worship.

                 a.  How? (In no particular order) Pray, confess, praise, read, wait, yield

                 b.  When? A time set aside. An unexpected opportunity.

     B.  Then I said, Here I am (Ps.40:7)

           1.  David consciously acknowledges that he is in God’s presence.

                 a.  . . . I have come into God’s presence.

                 b.  Where are you? Do we really know?

           2.  David draws God’s attention to himself

                 a.  Here I am —Look at me; notice me.

                 b.  He does not hide from God.

                 c.  To find and be found by God

           3.  David bares his soul before God.

                 a.  He recounts in private what he has done in public — God knows it’s true.

                 b.  He seeks mercy because his own sins overwhelm him (v.12)

     C.  I Desire to do your will (v.8)

           1.  David has a deep desire to do God’s will

                 a.  He knows and God knows his heart

                 b.  His desire is to do what God wants, not get God to do what he wants.

           2.  Even though his sins cause deep sorrow

                 a.  Still he goes to God. Where else?

                 b.  He goes trusting God’s mercy and love

           3.  What do you desire?

                 a.  Does your heart ache to do His will?

                 b.  Yes, it does, when God’s Spirit is in us
for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13 (NIV)

The Bottom Line:

Offer your bodies as Living sacrifices, Holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of Worship.
(Romans 12:1b NIV)

Hymn: Take My Life and Let it Be (R#458 vv. 1&4)

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