Summary: Part 2 of this 4-part sermon series on worship defines the Key element needed for effective worship.
I.The Key Of Worship
A. The Heart Of The Worshiper
1.A Pure Heart
a.Matthew 5:8 – “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
In Psalm 24:3-5 the psalmist asks this question, “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place?” He then answers the question like this, “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood, and has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” I often wonder just how desperate we are to see God.
2.A Broken Heart
a.Psalm 51:17 – “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
Psalm 51 records David’s confession after the prophet Nathan confronted him with his sin against Bathsheba. The account in 2 Samuel 12 begins with Nathan telling King David a story about two men, one rich, and the other poor. He goes on to describe how the rich man, who has many flocks and herds, takes the one ewe lamb away from the poor man to prepare it for a wayfarer. Verse 5 says, “Then David’s anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, as the Lord lives surely the man who has done this deserves to die.” In verse 7 Nathan said, “You are the man!” And finally in verse 13 David said, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
3.A Sincere Heart
a.Isaiah 29:13 – “Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote.”
Do you realize that it is possible to outwardly do everything correct, and still miss God? Take for instance the Pharisees, who are described in Matthew 23, as “white-washed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness, who appear righteous to men, but inwardly are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Another example is found in Mark 10, where the rich young ruler went away sorrowful because he loved his wealth more than Jesus. Even though this young man kept “all these things from his youth up,” and even though in verse 21, Jesus, “looking at him felt a love for him,” he still missed God.
4.A Teachable Heart
a.Ezekiel 11:19-20 – “And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep my ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.”
Have you ever encountered someone in life who gave you the distinct impression that they knew everything that was an object of knowledge? You know the type. Some times this attitude appears in teenagers. Sometimes it appears after an individual has had great success. And then at other times it may manifest itself late in life after someone has lived a long life. The Bible describes King Solomon as “The Wisest Man” who ever lived. 1 Kings 3:9 is the account where Solomon asks for “an understanding heart to judge Thy people to discern between good and evil.” And then in verse 12 God said, “Behold I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you.” The Bible discourages us from being “wise in our own eyes,” and further warns us to “not think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think.” There is nothing wrong with acquiring knowledge, but we are not to be prideful in thinking that we have learned all there is to know.
5.A Focused Heart
a.2 Chronicles 16:9 – “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.”
God’s desire is that we love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. He is a jealous God, and He will not share devotion with anything or anyone else. It is only when He sees an undivided heart that He will “show Himself strong on my behalf.”