Summary: In our worship to God we Look UP to Him; Out to Others; In to Ourselves; and Back into the Past as we press forward with God.
1. Counting at Church
A little boy asked his father what was the highest number he had ever counted. Replying that he didn't know, the father asked his son his highest number. It was 973.
"Why did you stop there?" wondered the father.
"Because church was over."
2. It is a shame that we can make a worship service a boring exercise
3. “Worship” means “worthship” – ascribing worth to something;
a. In Hebrew it is bowing down; humbling ourselves; recognizing sovereignty; expressing reverence
b. In Greek it is the picture of a dog licking the master’s hand – love; loyalty; gratitude
4. Psalm 95
5. In worshiping and loving God we:
I. Look Up
A. It is the Direction of God -- 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4.4-6
1. Above – up to Jerusalem and the temple
2. God comes from above to below as at Sinai
3. Yeshua (Jesus) ascended back to the Father
B. It Shows the Distinctions of God
1. His Prominence – Psalm 95.1-3
a. Opportunity to give glory to God – Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness. Psalm 29.2
b. Worship is not performance for people – honoring One greater than all of the gods of old
Francois Fenelon was the court clergy for King Louis XIV of France in the 17th century. One Sunday when the king and his attendants arrived at the chapel for the regular service, no one else was there but the preacher. King Louis demanded, "What does this mean?" Fenelon replied, "I had published that you would not come to church today, in order that your Majesty might see who serves God in truth and who flatters the king."
2. His Plans – 95.4-5
3. His Presence – 95.2,6,7
a. Creates awe – Isaiah 6.1-5
b. Establishes Joy – Acts 2.47
c. Expressions of Joy – Singing; Dancing; Instruments; Clapping of Hands
d. These are not in conflict – A few years ago I was in Florida for my High School Reunion. Some of my classmates were members of a charismatic congregation and invited me to attend services with them. I agreed to go because it was early enough that I could then go to services at my former “home church” (a conservative, non-charismatic church) and visit with others I knew.
Here is what I observed – the Charismatic congregation was very happy. They had a lively service. Very few people brought a bible and the sermon was lite on scripture. The Conservative congregation was bible-centered. Nearly everyone had a bible, the sermon was filled with scripture BUT, the people did not appear to be very happy. My conclusion was – if we could merge the two we would have a dynamic church – bible + emotion!
e. I heard about a man who visited a conservative church and reported that a man had a heart-attack during services. The ushers carried out 5 men before they found the right one.