Summary: Examines the necessity of directing our worship toward God and no other

1. Title: Bowing In The Right Direction

2. Text: Romans 1:25 et al

3. Audience: Villa Heights Christian Church, AM crowd, 10-8-06. 2nd in the worship series “Stand In Awe”

4. Objectives:

-for the people to understand how worship tends to get misdirected, and why that is such a grievous error; to know what worship directed toward God truly is

-for the people to feel concern for their errors in misdirecting worship and to feel a deep desire to worship God only

-for the people to evaluate where their worship is directed; to assure that their worship is directed toward God alone

5. When I finish my sermon I want my audience to understand how worship can seem right but be wrong, to make sure theirs is right, and to assure that it will always be directed toward God in the future

6. Type: topical

7. Dominant Thought: Worship in spirit and in truth is always directed to God above everything else.

8. Outline:

Intro: Diana L. James’ 3 yr old grandson visited with her while his parents were on a weekend trip. In their home, it was their practice to bow their heads and pray out loud before each meal. And little Daniel watched every time his grandpa prayed. On the day his parents came to pick him up, they all sat down at the table to have lunch. Just as his daddy started to pick up his sandwich, Daniel shouted, "Wait, Daddy, we can’t eat ’til Grandpa reads his plate!"

I hope you’re in the habit of reading your plate before meals! We’re talking about the broader subject of worship this month, and today about the direction we bow. Bowing per se really isn’t the issue here. One of the words often translated “worship” in the NT is a word that has to do with bowing before someone. The person or thing to whom we bow is the person or thing in life we worship.

We know how to bow. We can see people all over the world doing it. It’s an expression of submission. It’s a way to show respect. Muslim men do it several times a day during prayers. We can even train killer whales to do it. I guess whether or not someone can bow or does bow isn’t all that matters. No, there’s more to worship than a bow. There’s the direction we bow.

Romans 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.

I want to worship in spirit and in truth, don’t you? Jesus said that’s a must – an essential. So, we have to grasp what that means. This morning, I want us to consider how to make sure we are worshiping in truth – in other words, that we’re not just bowing, but that we’re bowing in the right direction.

The reason for this message is simple: We too easily get misdirected in our worship of God. We too easily end up bowing in the wrong direction, so our worship gets out of sync with the way God wants it. How can we be sure? I want to offer some helps this morning.

Worship in Spirit and Truth…

I. Is Always Directed to God

Romans 1:25

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.

What are some of the created things that people sometimes worship instead of God? What shouldn’t I be worshiping?

Not idols

Now, that’s easy, isn’t it? At least, in our culture it’s easy. There are many religions in the world today, caught up in the worship of idols. Everyday, millions are bowing down and praying and making sacrifices to images of gold and stone and word.

We don’t have idols. We don’t images or things that we would actually place ahead of God, or devote our time or resources or adoration to. Right? (pictures of some of our “idols” showing while saying this)

Boy, I’m glad we don’t because that would just be the height of foolishness, wouldn’t it?

I love some of the OT looks at just how foolish idolatry would be.

Isaiah 44:19

No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, "Half of it I used for fuel; I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?"

Isaiah 46:6-7

Some pour out gold from their bags and weigh out silver on the scales; they hire a goldsmith to make it into a god, and they bow down and worship it. They lift it to their shoulders and carry it; they set it up in its place, and there it stands. From that spot it cannot move. Though one cries out to it, it does not answer; it cannot save him from his troubles.

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