Summary: Heartfelt worshipers encounter God with joy, awe and thanksgivng.
Title: Heartfelt Worship
Thesis: Heartfelt Worshipers encounter God with joy, awe and thanksgiving.
In order to understand what being a Healthy Missional Church looks like, we are unpacking a series called: The Marks of a Healthy Missional Church. Researchers have found that there are at least ten marks, characteristics, traits, qualities, etc., that are consistently found in Healthy Missional Churches.
To date we have noted that The Marks of a Healthy Missional Church are:
• Compelling Christian Community
• The Centrality of the Word of God
• Life Transforming Walk with Jesus
• Global Perspective and Intentional Evangelism
• Transforming Communities through Active Compassion, Mercy and Justice Ministries
Today we will unpack a sixth Mark of a Healthy Missional Church. A Healthy Missional Church is characterized by: Heartfelt Worship
Let’s begin with a couple of definitions.
Heartfelt: Deeply and sincerely felt. Ernest. Genuine. Whole heartedly. (Antonyms would include terms like artificial, false, feigned or insincere.)
Worship: Worship is the act of acknowledging and attributing worth to God. Scripture tells us that worship is one of the things we do as Christians, “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” I Peter 2:9
Louie Giglio is a very unusual man. He once led a weekly bible study on the campus of Baylor University that attracted 10% of the student body every week. Among the books he has authored is “The Air I Breathe: Worship as a Way of Life.” He is known for his passion for God and for heartfelt worship. Louie Giglio says. “Worship is our response, both personal and corporate, to God for who He is, and what He has done; expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live.”
Romans 12:1-2 affirms that the way we live is in fact an expression of worship to God. “And so dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give you bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be living sacrifices, the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”
So broadly speaking… all of life lived out for God is an act of worship. But our text today speaks of worship being expressed in the context of the faith community in a place of worship. The Psalmist is walking through the gates into the temple for the expressed purpose of worshiping God.
In that Heartfelt Worship is one of the Marks of a Healthy Missional Church… Heartfelt Worship is a Mark we want to experience here at Heritage.
Jesus said in John 4:23-24 that “true worshipers worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” That sounds a lot like “heartfelt” to me.
The concepts of “heartfelt” and “worship” do not lend themselves to insincerity. Heartfelt worship is a sincere act of attributing worth to God with wholehearted expressions of praise.
I’m in the process of reading “The Church of 80% Sincerity.” It’s not about a church church… it is more about life as a church. The author says you can be 80% sincere 100% of the time or you can be 100% sincere 80% of the time. Either way, 20% of the time you can cut yourself some slack. In other words, you may not always nail it with 100% sincerity. You may not “feel” it, so to speak, but that does not preclude your doing worship and expressing worth to God. Sometimes it is the act of doing worship that our hearts melt and we find ourselves sensing the presence and moving of God. So even if you do not always “feel it” – do it with a sincere desire to express worth to God.
In other words, sometimes worship is something you do with sincerity and not necessarily because you feel like it… though it would seem that worship is never to be approached without thoughtful preparation of the heart and mind.
I. Heartfelt Worship Encounters God
Shout with joy to the Lord. Worship the Lord. Come before the Lord… Psalm 100:1
Of the six church models the liturgical church seems to be most intent on gathering for the purpose of worshiping God. They quietly come into the sanctuary and make their way to a pew as the organ plays softly. They take their seat and quietly prepare their hearts to worship God and they do so with great reflection and reverence.