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Summary: True worship always transcends personal preferences to focus on Jesus.

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iWorship

Part 2: Who iWorship

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.”

-Hebrews 13:15

Icebreaker: Did you that our view of God determine our approach to Him? I’ve got some copies of some kids’ letters to God here this morning and I think that you’ll find pretty humorous and actually pretty fitting to how we approach God, by the way that we think of Him:

Dear God,

I bet it’s very hard for you love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I could never do it.

Dear God,

Are you really invisible or is it just a trick?

Dear God,

Please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter. There’s nothing good going on right now.

Dear God,

Maybe Cain and Able would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works for my brother.

Dear God,

I would like to know why all the things you said are in red. (I’ve wondered the same thing.)

Dear God,

Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don’t you just keep the ones you’ve got now. (I go for that, how about you?)

Dear God,

Who draws the lines around the countries?

Dear God,

I read the Bible. What does begat mean? Nobody will tell me. (Me neither kid, me neither.)

-Hey, how we approach God depends on how we see Him. And how we worship God is dependent on how we see Him. One of the people who wrote the Bible grapples with this issue of approaching God is worship. Specifically, the author of Hebrews talks about praising God with our lives.

† Our word “worship,” comes from the Old English word “worthship.”

-And the fact is, we all worship something.

Scripture: Heb. 13:8-15

“8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them. 10We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.15Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.”

-So the writer of Hebrews approaches this whole issue of praise by talking about sacrifice. Kind of a different way to think about things, huh? Now, remember in the Old Testament, the ancient practice of the Hebrew people was to bring what for sacrifice? Animals. Each Jewish family would bring the best animal they had from their flock and give it to the priest to be offered as a sacrifice to God to atone for their sins. So flash forward to the New Testament, and the writer of Hebrews is telling us that our praise to God is a sacrifice that pleases Him. Why is that?

-Well, because there are 4 things, when the priest brought a sacrifice to God, which happened that we can relate right to our praise. So let’s start there:

When you praise:

1. You engage the enemy in spiritual warfare.

Main Point: Now, you may not have even considered this truth before, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Praise is a sacrifice because by it, we engage the enemy in spiritual warfare. You see, when the high priest went in to the Holy of Holies for the children of Israel, he was coming in for an atonement of the sin for the whole congregation.

2. You enter into the “throne room” of God.

Main Point: When the high priest went into the Holy of Holies, he came literally into the very presence of God Himself. When we praise God, the Hebrew writer would be saying, “why we give a sacrifice of praise, we are literally walking into the very presence, the very throne room of God Himself. The Bible says that God inhabits the praise of His people. You want God to show up in your life? Start praising Him and see what happens.

3. You confess the truth in a world of lies.

Main point: The high priest went into the Holy of Holies to come before God to confess the sin of a very corrupt society. And that’s where truth was shared. That’s where honesty and repentance was brought forth. And when we bring praise to God, that’s exactly what happens to us As I shared with you last week, when Isaiah saw God on the throne, his first response was what? “Woe is me, I’m undone, I’m unclean and live among unclean people.” Isaiah realized his sinfulness when he cam into the holiness and the presence of God. So do we.

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