Summary: Authentic worship shows authentic Christian living.
1. Worship services are a high priority for most churches
a. Preferential styles of worship have become hot buttons for churches
b. Worship is often an indicator of church identity
2. Worship is ascribing “worth” or value to something
3. Words we use: Praise; Adore; Magnify; Rejoice; Give Thanks
4. Conversation at the Well John 4.16-26
I. A Priority in Worship
A. Worship Involves an Authentic Lifestyle – Romans 12.1-2 [Jews in Babylon presented themselves as living sacrifices to God
B. Worship is NOT:
1. Done in Ignorance – John 4.22-24
• Truth Implies Falsehood and False Worship
• Knowing also Involves Relationship
2. Done Hypocritically – Actions without the Heart
• We express our heartfelt emotions to God differently – some more expressive; some more reserved
• Sitting in a church auditorium does not necessarily constitute worship
• Going through the motions – singing songs without intention – is not worship
• We can get an “A” for performance and an “F” for Reality
• Some practice worship; some pretend to worship – which will we choose?
C. God Initiates Worship by Seeking Worshipers – John 4.23
1. “Seeker Services” focus on people more than God
3. Worshiping God is more than church attendance; more than doing some good things; it is about knowing HIM – Matthew 7.21
[Playground sports and choosing teams – GOD CHOOSES YOU!
II. A Power in Worship
A. Why Does God Want Our Worship?
1. Ego? Insecurity? Need for Positive Affirmation?
2. His Thoughts are higher than ours – Isaiah 55.8-9
3. It is not only amazing that God invites our worship, it is amazing that he accepts our worship
B. Authentic Worship Brings:
1. God’s Presence – Psalm 22.3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
2. Conviction – 1 Corinthians 14.23-25 23 If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.
• Love – Deuteronomy 6, etc. [Are we in love with God?
• Grief for sin – Psalm 51.3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
• Fear – Psalm 33.18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
• Longing – Psalm 42.1 As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
• Gratitude – Psalm 95.2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
C. Authentic Worship Changes Us
1. Worship is for our good, we become like what/whom we worship
But they came to Baal-peor
and consecrated themselves to the thing of shame,
and became detestable like the thing they loved. Hosea 9.10c
2. [“100 People surveyed; top 5 answers to: Name something we worship above God.”
#5 – “Family” – God created families; worship the Creator, not the created
#4 – “Material Things” (Including Money) – Matthew 6 19-20
#3 – Celebrities – Sports/Hollywood – “If I could be like ____.”
#2 – Job/Work/Career for significance – only comes from God
#1 – OURSELVES – “I like; my preference; my wants – become our highest pursuits
They made kings, but not through me.
They set up princes, but I knew it not.
With their silver and gold they made idols
for their own destruction. Hosea 8.4
James Michener, writing in his book, The Source, tells the story of a man named Urbaal, who, was a farmer living about 2200 B.C. He worshiped two gods, one a god of death, the other a goddess of fertility.
One day, the temple priests tell Urbaal to bring his young son to the temple for sacrifice—if he wants good crops. Urbaal obeys, and on the appointed day drags his wife and boy to the scene of the boy’s “religious execution” by fire to the god of death.
After the sacrifice of Urbaal’s boy, and several others, the priests announce that one of the fathers will spend next week in the temple, with a new temple prostitute. Urbaal’s wife is stunned as she notices a desire written more intensely across his face than she had seen before, and she is overwhelmed to see him eagerly lunge forward when his name is called.
The ceremony over, she walks out of the temple with her head swimming, concluding that “if he had different gods, he would have been a different man.”