Summary: Part 2 of 3 of the series "The Heart of Worship". This message explores the question "Is there a price to true worship?".
the price of worship
READ BEFORE SERVICE:
Matthew 26:6-13 (NIV)
6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. 8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. "Why this waste?" they asked. 9 "This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor." 10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, "Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."
For those of you who weren’t here last week I’d just like to take a few moments to make you aware of some of the background of what I talked about.
Last week I started a series entitled, "The Heart of Worship". I expressed my hope that the words spoken from the three messages on true worship would be more than inspiring, and more than challenging – that they would be life-changing, life giving and would instill in us a deep, ravenous hunger for the presence of God.
The Heart of Worship, the essence of worship – is exactly that: True worship flows out of a deep, wrenching, hunger and thirst desire to know God and not only to know Him but dwell in His presence. It goes beyond the ritual or traditional worship into true God-inspired worship.
We began our series last week by talking about the presence of worship. From the words of Jesus in John 4:23-24 and through the illustration of these words in Luke 7:36-50 we learned that true worship is not determined by place or posture but by the attitude of our hearts and the longing of our spirits after the heart of God.
You see, you can exhibit the form or display the acts of worship but it is not true worship unless it is done in spirit and in truth.
True worship flows out of a heart that has reverence for who God is, that is humble and repentant, and that has a penetrating love for God. True worship also flows out of a heart that seeks the giver not the gift and is concerned more with ministry to God rather than ministry FROM or FOR God!
Last week we discovered that the presence of true worship is found among worshippers who worship Christ in Spirit and in Truth not necessarily people who "worship". And as we’re going to discover today, there is a real difference between worship and WORSHIP!
Exodus 19:1-25 (NIV)
1 In the third month after the Israelites left Egypt--on the very day--they came to the Desert of Sinai. 2 After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain. 3 Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, "This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 ’You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites." 7 So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the LORD had commanded him to speak. 8 The people all responded together, "We will do everything the LORD has said." So Moses brought their answer back to the LORD. 9 The LORD said to Moses, "I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you." Then Moses told the LORD what the people had said. 10 And the LORD said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ’Be careful that you do not go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13 He shall surely be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on him. Whether man or animal, he shall not be permitted to live.’ Only when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast may they go up to the mountain." 14 After Moses had gone down the mountain to the people, he consecrated them, and they washed their clothes. 15 Then he said to the people, "Prepare yourselves for the third day. Abstain from sexual relations." 16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, 19 and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him. 20 The LORD descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up 21 and the LORD said to him, "Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see the LORD and many of them perish. 22 Even the priests, who approach the LORD, must consecrate themselves, or the LORD will break out against them." 23 Moses said to the LORD, "The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, because you yourself warned us, ’Put limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy.’" 24 The LORD replied, "Go down and bring Aaron up with you. But the priests and the people must not force their way through to come up to the LORD, or he will break out against them." 25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.