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Summary: What is worship? This sermon looks at four aspects of worship and how it affects the human heart (thoughts taken from "How God Evaluates Worship" by Jack Hayford).

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Introduction

What is worship?

extravagant devotion to an object of esteem

a form of religious practice with its creed/ritual

reverence offered to a divine being

Starting point in our efforts to understand worship …

Jn 4:24 "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." NASU

What does it mean to worship God in spirit/truth?

Spirit- breath or wind- something ethereal, invisible, w/o material substance.

Truth speaks of something that is inherently right, an absolute principle, something understood w/mind.

Perhaps you could look at this verse as man worshipping God both with his heart and his mind.

In our culture- do not always trust issues of the heart.

Jer 17:9 "The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? NASU

As a result- try to understand worship intellectually.

Implication- the mind is less susceptible to deception than the heart- not true- both open to deception.

We also often tend to see the mind as the main vehicle through which we contact/communicate with God.

Yes, human intelligence contributes to worship, but God’s Word indicates he is not looking for something brilliant but something broken (Jack Hayford)

Man is both heart and mind, rational and emotional.

Psa 51:16-17

Look at four aspects of worship …

1. Worship treasures God’s presence

God welcomes those into His presence who want Him

There are many things that might drive us into His presence- desperation, need, delight, hunger.

Regardless of our motivation- God welcomes us.

Mtt 11:28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. NASU

Consider Moses as he is leading Israel …

Ex 33:1-3, 12-15

The cry of Moses heart was to have God’s presence.

He did not want to go- Canaan- w/o God’s presence.

Ex 33:16

What makes the people of God different from other people groups? The presence of God!

The type of worship that welcomes the presence of God provides an environment for people to …

experience the love of God and

fall in love with God themselves.

This is the type of worship we desire here at COTR.

It is difficult for some to speak about God in terms of “falling in love with Him.”

If the phrase fall in love offends anyone perhaps we might learn to be equally offended by reason that distances the heart from a passion to simply know and love God. (Jack Hayford)

2. Worship humbles the heart

Isa 6:1-5

Isaiah found himself in the presence of God.

We see in Isaiah’s response to God deep humility.

He did not arrive at this place of humility through intellect but through being in the presence of God.

Mtt 18:3-5

Humility of heart is a very important part of worship.

Pride holds us back from expressing worship to God.

How does pride hold us back in corporate worship?

I would encourage people to become more expressive in worship- it will challenge your personal pride.

It will also challenge that sense of self-importance that produces in us a concern of how we will look.

David- expressive in worship- Michal’s response?

2 Sam 6:14 And David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod. NASU (she despised David)


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