Summary: Worship is the adoring response of mankind towards God. It involves expressing our love and thanks to God by magnifying Him and exalting Him. It can involve singing, praying, giving, thanking, reading, and obeying His Word
God is Looking for True Worshippers
1. The Bible teaches that you were created to worship God. Psalm 95:6
2. Worship is the adoring response of mankind towards God. It involves expressing our love and thanks to God by magnifying Him and exalting Him. It can involve singing, praying, giving, thanking, reading, and obeying His Word. Psalm 29:2, 34:3
3. God longs to see His children truly worship Him (John 4:23-24). Our worship of God should be the #1 priority of our lives.
4. But our worship must be done in truth if it is to please God. There is a right way and a wrong way to worship God. Jesus said about the Pharisees (Matthew 15:9), “But in vain they do worship me…” Their worship was empty and meaningless; their heart was not right.
5. We have an example of true and vain worship in our text. Two men are going into the temple to worship God. Let’s read Luke 18:10-14. Every believer must worship God in a way that will truly honor God. How can we do that?
First, worship must be done in unity with other believers.
1. Notice: he “prayed…with himself.” vs. 11 These men are there to worship God corporately, but there is a clear division. vs. 10
2. It should have been two sinners, together, adoring a loving God of grace and mercy. Instead, there is a divide between the two, factions are formed – “I’m a Pharisee, you’re a publican.” vs. 11
3. The Pharisee was supposed to be the spiritual leader, the more mature one. He should have come alongside the publican, rejoicing that he was there, and endeavoring to help him draw closer to God. Instead, he puts up walls.
4. God puts a very high precedence on unity when His children come to worship Him. Matthew 5:23-24
5. Unity among believers is a mark of being filled with the Spirit. Acts 2:46-47
6. Are you worshipping God in a spirit of unity with fellow believers? If there is any animosity or resentment, you need to get it cleared up quickly.
Second, worship must be centered on God, not ourselves.
1. The Pharisee acted like he was there for God, but clearly it was all about himself. Notice how many times he uses the word, “I.” Clearly, he is bothered by this publican being there.
2. Instead of having his heart focused on God, he was focused on himself and those around him. Do you think this still happens in churches today? It is so easy to forget why we come to church. We can get so sidetracked.
3. In America, there has been a shift in attitude from a self-sacrificing worship to consumer-focused, self-serving worship of God. It has not been a good thing. It’s an ugly thing, and I believe it offends God greatly.
4. Instead of focusing our adoring worship on God, we are focused on ourselves, our needs, and our preferences. Examples:
• The music style.
• The pastor’s message.
• The comfortableness in the worship services (somebody is sitting in my pew, my seat is uncomfortable, I don’t like the service times, the music is too loud, tall guy in front of me, etc.).