Summary: This is the first message in a six week series on basic elements of living within the will of God. The series includes messages on worship, Bible Study, prayer, stewardship, evangelism, and doing the will of God. The series was based on a drag racing th

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The Fast Tracks of Faith February 23, 2003

Sunday AM

The Heart of Worship

Verse: Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly, I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Cr. 9:24-27

Trans: While I understand Paul is using a running metaphor in this text, as I began to think on this passage, my mind was riveted to the sport of drag racing.

Intro: Drag Racing is a fast and dangerous sport requiring a powerful engine, great reflexes, and nerves of steel. It’s a sport in which the prelude takes longer than the actual event. Literally, in the flash, in the blink of an eye, the race is over.

Trans: In the sport of drag racing the race centers on the staging lights (or Christmas tree). The typical staging tree has seven levels of lights. Each of these lights plays a very important role in preparing the racers to compete.

Level 1 (White) Pre-stage (4” from the start)

Level 2 (White) Staging (on the starting line)

Level 3-5 (Amber) Race timing sequence

Level 6 (Green) Go

Level 7 (Red) Disqualified

Idea: In the race of the Christian life the pre-stage phase is worship – knowing God and knowing Him intimately. Before the race can begin, we must have a relationship w/ God and a commitment to growing in that relationship w/ Him.

The staging line of the Christian life is the Word of God. Every child of God must come to the place where they understand and believe that God’s Word is the very foundation to Christian living – it is our guidebook and road map.

And when a person comes into a relationship w/ God and then takes God at His Word, just like in a drag race, an unstoppable sequence of spiritual lights start, and a person begins to pray, give, and tell – doing the will of God.

Trans: I like this analogy for many reasons, but I believe many Christians have jumped the start and have disqualified themselves for the Christian life b/c they’ve attempted to be Christian w/out employing the disciplines of the Christian life.

Note: We need to understand that to go and fulfill God’s will we need be in sequence w/ God through prayer, evangelism, and good stewardship. And that these elements are established on the staging line of God’s Word. And before this can occur, the pre-stage of worship must be approached.

Trans: Take the Plunge – Reach Up – You were planned for God’s pleasure

Define: It’s been said that worship is worth-ship – It is all that I am crying out to all that He is to bring pleasure to Him in a spirit of celebration.

Quote: It is giving to God the best that He has given you. O. Chambers

Trans: Worship is both active and passive involving three elements. (Rm. 12:1-2)

A Intimacy (Into Me You See) Passive

B Discipline (Fulcrum)

Idea: Discipline is doing what you ought to do to do what you want to do.

C Sacrifice (Giving of yourself in service) Active

Trans: When the topic of worship is discussed in church, we typically talk about how to worship. This morning though, I want us to talk about the heart of worship.

Trans: In Exodus 20, we find a very intriguing statement chiseled in stone that God desires would be engraved on the tablet of our hearts.

Verse: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. Ex. 20:2-3

Idea: God lays it out pretty simple. I’m God and you’re not. You cannot, shall not, must not allow anyone or anything to displace me from being on the throne of your life. God is saying, “You’re to worship no one else but Me.”

Verse: Hear, O Israel: The Lord your God is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Dt. 6:4-5

Idea: God wants to be the single object of affection in the hearts of His people.

Trans: Some of you are thinking, but He is talking to Israel in the O.T. Yes He is. But Jesus wasn’t. Jesus was speaking to His disciples when He reiterated the same truth in Mt. 22.

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