Exalt The Lord!
Shaun LePage | Fall Vision Weekend, Session 5 | October 7, 2007
A. Fall Vision Weekend: Authentic Worship—“A weekend devoted to 1) understanding and 2) experiencing authentic, biblical worship”; true? This is what we’re trying to do (hard work to prep, set aside the time—we know that—but I promise we will not waste your time; service not in vain).
B. Testify about this weekend—heard several comments personally, who would share with all?
C. Worship is a Core Value of CBC—excited about where God is leading us.
A. The primary purpose of the church:
1. What is most important to God? His glory. Ex 20:1-7, Is 48:9-11 (our ultimate security is found in the fact that God delays His wrath for His own sake); Eph 1:3-6 (why did He save, bless, adopt? “To the praise of the glory of His grace”) Worship is CV to CBC because it is God’s Core Value
2. Why did God create? His glory. Read Psalm 19:1 and Colossians 1:16.
3. What is our purpose? His glory. 1 Cor 10:31; Eph 3:20-21 (memorize on way in and out).
B. The three great objectives of the church: Express in more detail in Core Values
1. Exalt the Lord (today—Core Values: Prayer and Worship)
2. Equip the Church (next week, David—Core Values: Applicational Bible Study, Spiritual Growth, Community, Every Member Ministry and Stewardship)
3. Evangelize the World (two weeks, Scott—Core Values: outreach, missions, cultural relevance and innovation).
C. The first great objective of the church: Exalt the Lord!
1. Exalt the Lord through Prayer
a) Core Value: God desires His people to pray and He hears and answers prayer. God’s work in and through us enables us to accomplish significant service that brings glory to Him. Therefore, in all ministries, activities, and planning of this church, we will seek God’s wisdom, will and blessing through prayer. (Acts 2:42, Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 4:6-7)
b) Last year’s Fall Vision Weekend theme: “Abide In Me.” Key off John 15:1-11 (read 1-5)—“nothing” of eternal significance; prayer is worship, “exalting the Lord” because expresses complete dependence—proskuneo means “kiss toward, prostrate yourself”; picture of complete dependence (worship!).
c) Looking over my notes from last year’s FVW—Prayer; Great weekend! Quick review?
(i) We started by looking at John 15:1-11: Four questions…
(a) What does it mean to “abide”? “Live/dwell/remain” Connected for life—like a branch to a tree.
(b) What happens if we do abide? 1) We bear fruit; 2) We glorify the Father; 3) Our joy is made full
(c) What happens if we don’t abide? 1) God will discipline; 2) We will become useless and not bear fruit—which is our purpose (branches!)
(d) How do we abide? 1) Obedience “keep commandments”; 2) Word of God (must know commandments); 3) Prayer—communication is essential.
(ii) David: “Getting Practical”
(a) Scripture identifies several Prayer killers that can keep you from prayer (unconfessed sin, lack of faith, disobedience, lack of transparence with God and others, unforgiveness, wrong motives, idolatry (anything between you and God), disregard for others, disregard for God’s sovereignty/lack of trust really, unsurrendered will—learning to want what God wants)
(b) Developing Practical Prayer Skills—Habit is our friend! (Preparation time; waiting time; confession time; Scripture time; meditation time; intercession time; petition time; application time; praise and thanksgiving time).
(iii) Scott: “Praying For Others”
(a) Characteristics of an Intercessor
1. Identification—feeling empathy for others
2. Sacrifice—devoting time for others
3. Authority—God rewards those who are willing to plead for others
(b) How to Pray for others
1. That they would know God’s will
2. That they would obey God’s Word
3. That they would be productive—bear fruit
4. Pray for their relationship with God
5. Pray for power in their lives
6. Pray for a right attitude
7. Lift up specific concerns
(iv)I spoke about “Praying With Others”—that corporate prayer tends to be underemphasized, but 1) we can learn how to pray by praying with others, 2) we can be encouraged by praying with others and 3) we can be bonded in greater fellowship and unity by praying with others. Then we prayed together—prayer walk around the CBC building and property
(v) Sunday morning looked at John 17: Jesus prayed for us giving us a model for how we should be praying for the church:
(a) Pray that we would be unified like God’s unity—by the Word of truth
(b) Pray that we would be unified for the glory of God’s Son—true unity is with those who desire the glory of Jesus
(c) Pray that we would be unified as a display of God’s love—love for one another is how the world will know we’re His disciples (John 13:35)
(d) Pray that we would be unified by God’s eternal perspective—united in hope of His soon return
(e) Pray that we would be unified in experiencing God’s love—one of the primary reasons Jesus came—explain God. 17:26: “I will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them.”
d) Exalt the Lord through prayer.
2. Exalt the Lord through Worship
a) Core Value: We value authentic, diverse worship.
(i) “True meaningful worship acknowledges God’s supreme value and worth and His blessings of us, both individually and corporately”—sweet time of worship together in a circle Fri PM Session 1 (notes in handout).
(ii) We strive to encourage sincere personal worship that becomes a normal part of day-to-day living—Sat AM Session 2 with Scott
(iii) We also strive to worship together in a manner that is contemporary, yet retains the rich heritage of the past—Sat AM Session 3
(iv)Point: We believe authentic worship is vital to the health of individual Christians as well as a church body. So let’s embrace this core value together!
b) Return to John 4:19-24 (glimpse Friday night)—one of the most significant passages in the Bible on this subject because Jesus told us what “authentic worship” really is. He said…
(i) True worshipers “worship”! Jesus used the word proskuneo—“to kiss toward, bow down, prostrate”; give yourself fully to God; What does it mean to worship? Declare your complete dependence on God. Worship God in complete dependence.
(ii) True worshipers worship God as “Father”! His essential relationship (immanent); When Jesus called God His Father, He was claiming deity; equality w/ God!; Trinitarian worship—John 5:21-23, Consistent to worship each Person of Trinity; As the story of the NT progresses, we find that those who trust The Son of God are given the right to be called “children of God” (John 1:12). So, the Son of the Father invites us to call His Father “our Father”. How do you worship God as Father? Worship God as His child.
(iii) True worshipers worship God as “Spirit”!—His essential nature (transcendent); God cannot be reduced to an image, confined or limited
(a) John 4:21: “Neither on this mountain”—Gerizim; “Nor in Jerusalem”—the Temple; Point: God is not limited to a place (or in any other way)! Worship God anywhere, anytime!
(b) Illus: An unidentified Chinese Christian spoke of his days in a concentration camp. His crime was leading an unauthorized house church. He was sentenced to the camp for several years. All prisoners were given strenuous work throughout their imprisonment. This particular prisoner's task was cleaning the cess pool. Everyday he was led by a guard to the edge of the cess pool where he then waded into the excrement up to his waist. He then proceeded to shovel it for the entire day. But this man called that cess pool "the garden of the Lord." Why? The stench was so bad that the guards would leave him alone all day long. No one was within ear shot, so he spent the entire day in worship to His Lord--singing hymns, praying and meditating on the Scripture he had memorized.
(iv)True worshipers worship God “in spirit”! pneuma—not HS, but our spirit; “the source and seat of insight, feeling and will; the representative part of the inner life of man.” (BAGD, p.675); Eph 5:19 “in your heart”; Matt 6:1—motivation/sincerity; Worship God sincerely!
(v) True worshipers worship God “in truth”! Sincerity isn’t enough!
(a) Robert Deffinbaugh writes: “The Moslem worships Alla in prayer by turning toward Mecca five times a day and repeating the same prayer. At some time in his life he makes a pilgrimage to Mecca where he will walk around the Kaaba seven times and kiss the sacred black stone. An American Indian may have worshiped by erecting a totem pole, offering up tobacco in the peace pipe, by sacrificing a finger joint or even a human being. Satan worshipers allegedly sacrifice infants and use some of the organs of mutilated animals. All of us would probably be willing to acknowledge that these forms of worship are misguided and erroneous although those who follow these practices do so with great sincerity.”
(b) John 17:17: “Sanctify them in the truth, thy word is truth.”
(c) Romans 1:21-25: “worshiped the creature rather than the Creator”
(d) To worship God in truth is to worship Him as He is defined in the Bible. Worship God Scripturally!
(vi)One last observation in v.23: “Such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.” Why bother trying to be “true (authentic) worshipers”? Why is it so important? Because this is what God wants. He’s searching the thousands upon thousands of worship services throughout the world; searching the hearts of His people throughout the world looking for “such people…true worshipers”.
III. Closing: The only real question is will He find “such people” here at CBC. Let’s make sure He does.