Atmosphere of praise
This morning I want to take a look at worship.
For some that can be hard because of certain things that we have going on in our lives.
For others, hard because it is hard for us to open up to others including God.
I believe worship was designed by God for 2 reasons
(1) We are to acknowledge God for who He is and what He has done for us.
(2) When we enter into true worship, God begins to minister to us.
There is a benefit to worshipping God.
You look at society, we have no problem worshipping, because weather you want to acknowledge it or not, everyone of us worships something or someone.
It gets interesting to keep our focus of worship on God.
Book of Psalms is a collection of worship verses. Our text is Psalm 100, and 10 Psalms before and 10 after directly relate to a call to praise the Lord.
A call to praise the Lord
Declaration of why the Lord is worthy of our praise.
As we read the text, it clearly speaks to the special relationship God has with Israel. It also relates as a call to worship for the whole world, for His praise of future generations.
Reading this Psalm at face value, we can gather a lot of truth about proper worship.
We are called (each of us) to bring praise to God.
We are told to praise His name with gladness.
We are to acknowledge that He is Lord and God over our lives.
He created us, we as believers are His.
We are to enter His temple with thanksgiving.
We are to enter His presence.
We are to remember that His love endures forever.
That is what we gather at reading this Psalm. Now we need to figure out how to do that.
In churches today, we face worship wars (internal)
Hymns or chorus
Drums and Guitars or organ and piano.
Multi-media or hymnals.
People act as if changes to worship is a new thing. It is not.
There has been a difference in style among churches and denominations forever.
Where in Psalm 100 which is about praise and thanksgiving to God did we read that it was about us?
I know I said that when we worship that we have a benefit of God ministering to us- but isn’t that secondary to bringing praise to our God and savior?
I. Worship is an act of obedience (write it down)
Psalm 150 tells us that “Everything that has breath ought to praise the Lord.” (Check your pulse)
That same Psalm names a lot of instruments used to worship. (So it is not about the instruments)
You can worship God standing or sitting
You can worship God loudly or quietly
You can worship Him swaying back and forth or face down on your knees.
It is all an act of worship
Worship is individual and corporate. Both acceptable, not limited to one or the other.
Individually, our focus is God.
Corporately, our focus is God. It is all about God!
We get into His presence to praise Him and thank Him for what He has done for us.
That is why a song sung out of key is still worship.
Pastor’s message doesn’t seem to be your message. It is still good because God can use it to minister to you if you are obedient to Him.
Worship is an act- not necessarily an act of throwing your arms up or throwing yourself to the ground, but as an act of obedience.
An action- A action that takes us toward God and allows us to be in His presence.
Worship is not about searching for God. If God did not want to be found, there is no chorus we could sing that would force Him to meet with us.
He desires to meet with us- we reach out with the recognition that He will and has reached out to us.
That we would do what we were created to do, and that is to worship and enjoy His presence.
You want to know what is attractive to outsiders and those searching for God?
They respect us most when we act like the church of God.
We (church) think sometimes we have to be full of programs and be politically correct.
We need to have a heart of worship and draw our attention to God and not ourselves.
Our worship does not force God to do something.
It transforms us to do what God wants of us.
One preacher said if we are not careful we become a showboat instead of a lifeboat.
“Having a form of godliness without the power.”
The second point is found in Psalm 100:4
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving”
Question that needs to be asked; why did you come to church this morning?
It must be that you came to worship God!
Sing a few songs- worship
Enjoy a few rituals- worship
Gather around the altar- worship
Endure a sermon- (wanted to see if you were listening) worship
II. Attitude of worship
They came through the gates of the temple and were to enter a court of praise.
I have seen how some have come through those doors. The world is ready to crush you.
Fights have taken place out in the parking lot and have to put a big smile on your face as you enter.
I have seen some so tired. I’m glad you’re here, but self inflicted lack of sleep does not put you into an attitude of worship.
Attitude plays a part if we will serve God.
Attitude plays a part if we will accept the things God is trying to show us.
Attitude plays a part if we will experience joy or will allow situation to rob us of what God has for us.
One charismatic believer was attending a church that was spiritually dead, and shouts from the back came that a man has fallen dead from a heart attack. 5 people were removed before the ushers got the right one!
Listen, our attitude plays a big factor of what you can expect today or any day we come together to worship.
I have learned that Sunday morning can be tough!
Before most of you are up, my arthritis may kick up, I’ve spilled coffee on my shirt, the dog does not take care of business fast enough. If I did not know what was happening, I could come to church with the wrong attitude. (Your pastor is human)
Our worship needs to be priority, not an after thought.
We need to predetermine that no matter what circumstances we face, we will come into church with an attitude of worship and a heart that is expectant of God to do something amazing. (repeat)
Worship is not just for the spiritually mature, it is for the spiritually hungry.(repeat)
Attitude- Do you say “Good morning Lord.” or do you say “Good Lord it’s morning?”
III. Our Focus- God or self?
Is our focus going to be God and all that He does and has done, leaving us with a heart of worship or are we going to focus on our situations or circumstances and miss an opportunity to be with God.
Atmosphere of faith starts before we come to church.
If you come into this sanctuary with an attitude of okay God, what did you bring me- biblically you came for the wrong reason.
But if you enter with a heart of thanksgiving , you are not waiting for anything, you already have it.
It won’t matter the sermon, because you expect God to use it.
Your favorite song may or may not be sung, but you will worship either way.
Did you come for a show or did you come to draw near to God? To express how you feel about Him this morning? One is worship and one is a disaster waiting to happen.
Worship you remember I said was individual and corporate. Your participation is requested.
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.”
Worship in song
Worship in prayer
Worship in sermon
Worship in giving
Worship in loving others.
God inhabits our praise and definitely is speaking to us this morning.
God responds to our response to Him.
This morning I believe that God has something for each one of us concerning worship and attitude.
Let me throw this out also-
Loving others is a form of worship back to God.
We say that we are a friendly and loving church.
We say that we welcome new people. What do we do at the end of service?
Head for the restaurants? Greet people we know? Make plans for later in the day?
Can I challenge you from this day forward to the 3 minute challenge? The first 3 minutes after service that we direct our attention to people we do not know. You go to someone you don’t know and introduce yourself. You will get to know them by name. For at least3 minutes it will be about loving others and putting the focus on others over self.