Summary: This sermon looks at worship and connecting to God
In this series, we’re looking at the six keys to connecting with God. We call these the Means of Grace, they are a means or conduit of experiencing God’s grace in our lives and connecting with God. Last week, we looked the power of being in a small group Bible study or Sunday School class. This week, we’re going to look at worship. But what is worship? Simply put, worship is our response to someone or something we deem of great value. Worship is about worth. It’s declaring this is important to you. It’s saying with our time, our hands, our voices and our attention that this is what’s important to me. You can worship anything. You can worship power, possessions, prestige, anything you deem of greatest value. And you can worship anywhere. Some people worship the Saints games, at LSU games, at concerts. But here’s the thing: You can worship anything or anyone but it is meant to be focused on our Creator and Redeemer. Worship is to give praise to God for who He is and for what He has done expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live.
Mary Louise Rowland asks, “Why do we come to worship, Sunday after Sunday, 52 Sundays a year for 5, 10, 30 years or even a whole lifetime? Getting up early Sunday morning, getting ready, getting the children dressed, driving to church in all sorts of weather, sometimes not feeling too well ourselves, angry at the government, worried about our health and financial problems, dressed in our best and on our best behavior, walking into the building, greeting friends, singing hymns, praying prayers, reading Scripture, listening to sermons, bringing our offering, taking the bread and the cup…why do we do this?”
First, we are made to worship. The Greeks knew their need to worship too, perhaps even more than we do today. Paul discovered this in Athens. Athens was a very educated, culturally rich and spiritually aware city. Everywhere Paul went, he saw statues to the gods they worshipped. And just to make sure no god was missed or left out, they had a statue to an “unknown god.” The people of Athens recognized that they were created to worship and all around them were the objects of their worship. The problem is that they were worshipping the wrong gods. What Paul saw all around him in Athens is a people who were reaching out and searching for the object of their worship. The Greek word used for searching means “groping for something.” It’s the image of a person in the dark feeling their way around a room looking for something. So Paul seeks to introduce and re-direct the people of Athens to the one true God and their Savior Jesus Christ. We see the same thing today. People are searching spiritually Searching is normal. God wired within us the hunger and desire to connect with Him. There is an imprint of the Creator on us and only He exactly matches that imprint on our heart and soul. And so we continue to search until we find the one and only true match and recipient of our worship. There is a longing and hunger within us to know, embrace, connect with, honor and worship our Creator and Redeemer.
You were made to worship. We were worshiping long before we placed our faith in Jesus Christ. There is something inside of us that longs for and searches for something of meaning and significance to give ourselves to. Everybody is worshiping and building their life around someone or something. You are going to worship someone or something with your life. Bob Dylan put it this way, “You may serve the devil or you may serve the Lord, but you gotta serve somebody.” You may worship the God of Creation and the Redeemer of all humanity or you’re may worship money, material possessions, yourself, your family or something else. But you’re going to worship someone or something because that’s who you are. And that’s why worship is so important. But you were not just created for worship. You were created to worship the One who made you. Worship matters because you were created to be in relationship to your Creator and Redeemer and worship Him and Him alone.
Second, God is worthy of praise and worship. He is the creator of the Universe. He created the fish in the sea and the birds in the air. He hung the stars of the sky and designed every strand of DNA in your body. He is the Savior of the World and provider of all your needs. He loves you unconditionally and He gave His only Son to die on the cross for the sake of your sins. He is worthy of all our praise and thanksgiving for who He is, what He has done and continues to do in our lives and what He has promised to do. Every time we get a glimpse of heaven in the Scriptures, we see the angels and heavenly host worshiping God and offering up praise. In Revelation 5:12: “In a loud verse they sang, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” Because He is a worthy.