Summary: Woship is about God, not ourselves.
Why do we go to church each Sunday? Why would we all give up a morning to sleep in, a time to watch all the NFL pre-game shows? Why do we go to the trouble each Sunday of getting out of bed to put on some nice clothing to be here?
Do we come here to see some of our friends?
Do we come to see the preacher perform or to listen to the music?
Each and every Sunday, we all get up and come to this building to gather together. We sing, take communion, pray, give money, and we spend time in fellowship together.
What is the real reason we are called to be together each Sunday? What is the real purpose we are called to? All the things I mention above are things that are a part of what we do, but they are not the reasons we come together.
We gather together today to WORSHIP our God!
After attending church one Sunday morning, a little boy knelt at his bedside that night and prayed, "Dear God, we had a good time at church today--but I wish you had been there!"
What does it mean to worship? Is worship the music we listen to? Is worship just the act of us pulling ourselves out of bed to be here? Is worship singing, praying, giving money, taking communion, and listening to a sermon?
Is worship the style we choose? Some feel the atmosphere in church should be quiet with an atmosphere of “holiness.”
They will quote Psalm 46:10 which says, “Be still and know I am God.” They will also appeal to Hebrews 12:28-29 which tells us we are to worship God acceptably with reverence and awe for our God is a consuming fire.
Some will emphasis the joy aspect of worship. Psalm 47:1, “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.”
Is real worship traditional or contemporary? Is worship all about style or is there more?
Holman Bible Dictionary defines worship as: Human response to the perceived presence of the divine, a presence which transcends normal human activity and is holy.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines worship as : The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object
I believe many people feel a worship service is empty for them because they do not understand what worship is really all about and therefore do not come prepared to properly worship.
If we understand what worship is all about, we will be able to experience worship even if the music is not quite what we like or if the preacher is boring.
Today we are going to look at a two-part sermon on the subject of worship.
I hope today we see that worship is something much deeper than any of the things mentioned above.
Today we are going to try to get a deeper understanding of worship as we look at God-Centered Worship!
I. GOD-CENTERED WORSHIP STARTS AND ENDS WITH GOD!
1. We come to worship God.
Worship has various meanings in the scripture. In the Old Testament the word meant to “bow down” or “prostrate”. In the New Testament the predominate word (used 59 times) means to “kiss toward” (the hand or ground). Another frequently used word means to “venerate” (to adore, honor, idolize, admire or revere).
We come together to “worship” God!
When we get ready to come to church for worship service we must understand God-Centered worship starts and ends with God!
God is the reason we come to worship. Worship is not about style, it is about God.
In a more formal, liturgical church a visitor showed up one Sunday and got excited about something the minister said, and declared, “Amen, praise the Lord!” Someone tapped him on the shoulder and whispered, “We don’t praise the Lord in here.” Another member nearby said, “Yes we do, on page 15 of the Lectionary.
Too many times we forget why we are here. We are not here because of a sense of tradition; we are here to worship God. We are not here for music; we are here to worship God.
We need to understand that worship is not about us, it is about God! We come to express our joy to God for what He has done for us, for who He is.
Too many times we come to be entertained. We are not the audience when it comes to worship, God is!
When we understand we come to worship God, it will help us to understand that we are called to bring something to God to show Him we hold Him in reverence, that we adore Him, that we honor Him!