Summary: What is my motivation for worshiping God in a way that is pleasing to Him and satisfying to my soul. The key is to focus on God!
TEXT: Psalm 96:1-13
Intro: Worship, by definition, is 'the reverent love shown to God.' It is homage.
In Matthew 15:8-9, Jesus exposed the vain worship of the Pharisees; their worship sounded good, but it was worthless because their heart was not where it should have been. They followed man's direction instead of God's will. In other words, they wore doing what they wanted instead of what God wanted.
And that brings us to the soul-searching question of this lesson: What is my motivation to think what I should be thinking, feel what I should be feeling and do what I should be doing in worship?
He has saved us (v. 2) – doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
He is the Creator (v. 5)
His presence fills His temple (v. 6)
He is majestic and holy (v. 9)
He is Judge (10-13)
Notice each of these motivations focuses on God!
I) He saves us! Salvation involves rescue or the meeting of a life sustaining need that we cannot supply for ourselves.
A) When people asked Jesus to use His divine power to save them from impossible predicaments, they often worshiped Him!
1) Matthew 8:2 And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean."
2) Matthew 9:18 While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, "My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live."
3) Matthew 15:25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, help me!"
B) As it was with Israel long ago, the plea for our salvation, and the response to receiving it, motivates worship! Psalm 106:47 “Save us, O LORD our God, And gather us from among the Gentiles, To give thanks to Your holy name, To triumph in Your praise.”
II) He is our Creator
A) When Paul is reasoning with the men of Athens to motivate them to worship the one true God in an appropriate way, here is what he says: Acts 17:24-28 “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. (25) Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. (26) And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, (27) so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; (28) for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.'”
B) This is the very reason He is worshiped by the 24 elders in Revelation 4:11 "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created."
C) Failing to honor God has our Creator results in worshiping the wrong things!
2) Everyone is enthralled by the beauty and grandeur of nature, but few even begin to appreciate the Creator of the natural world. Which do we love more, the mountains, the ocean, the beautiful sunset, the glowing stars OR the One who made them???
D) Worship flows unimpeded from the creature to the Creator!
1) Nehemiah 9:6 You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You.
2) Pslam 95:1-6, esp. 6 “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.”
III) He is Present
A) The mere presence of God in His temple among His people prompted the sincerest worship in the Old Testament period!
1) When He was present in the Tabernacle: “And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door.” (Exodus 33:9-10)
2) When He was present in the Temple: “And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD's house. When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the LORD, saying: "For He is good, For His mercy endures forever." (2 Chronicles 7:2-3)