Summary: This message deals with how Worship should point us to God, transform our lives, and cause us to appreciate different styles of worship in others.The audio version is available at www.sermon.net
What Is The Purpose Of Worship
We are in the second in our sermon series. “What’s Worship Got To Do With It?” Last week Lay Pastor Sandra McLean led us off with a great message, “What Is Worship.” Next week, Pastor Toby will preach on “What Does Worship Do To Us.” and today, I will preaching on “What Is The Purpose Of Worship.”
One of the exciting parts of going on a cruise is to enjoy all that a cruise has to offer. There is food on the hour, every hour. You have your choice of fine dining, or dining on the deck in your shorts and bathing suits. There is an entertainment from comedy to dancing. There are waterslides, pools, and basketball courts. There are tour excursions where you can get off the ship and go shopping, scuba diving, snorkeling , para sailing and sight seeing.
There are people to meet, exercise rooms, and a lot more. Now suppose a person saved his money to go on a four day cruise, and all he did was to stay in his room and eat one of the lunches he had packed in his suit case for each of the four days. Now we can all agree, the brother went on a cruise. I think we can also agree, he didn’t understand the purpose of a cruise. It was to be more than just taking a trip on a ship. When we do not understand the true purpose for something, we miss out on the joy or the benefit that comes with it.
When it comes to worship, worship is not a place we go to and it’s not a description of a service. Worship involves us taking our minds off ourselves and focusing in on God and what God has done. Worshipping God is not something anybody can do for us. It is a simple choice that we make to do it or not do it. Each Sunday, each service, we make a deliberate choice. I will either surrender my heart to God in worship during the service or I will not do it. Sometimes we are tempted to worship God, in our own little way and we say God, you either accept this or leave it.
If you read the Old Testament, God was very specific in how people were to worship him, especially the leaders. There were specific fragrances that were to be a part of worship of God. Moses’ brother Aaron, was the high priest for the nation. He had several sons, but two of them were called Nadab and Abihu and both were priests. We do not know why, but for some reason, they wanted to establish their own rules for worshipping God, and ignored the rules for the kind of incense which was to be offered to God.
Instead of worship being a surrendering of their hearts, it turned into an issue of pride, in that they did not have to do what others were doing. They had something better to offer to God. They could not see they were offering God was their disobedience as worship. As they took this new offering toward the sanctuary, the Lord sent fire and the fire burned them to death there in front of the sanctuary. Their cousins had to come and take away their bodies.
Nadab and Abihu, knew what was expected of them. They had been trained as priests what ingredients to use, what time of time to offer incense, and what steps were necessary to light the fire to assist the people in worshipping God. But they insisted on doing things their own way. They placed themselves above God’s call for us to worship Him.
It cost them their lives because they rejected the idea of a holy God who should be treated with respect and honor. You may think, wow God was rough with them and should have taken things a little easier. But God knew that if the spirit that was in Nadab and Abihu was allowed to spread, it would infect the people as well. The loss of worship for God, would hurt the people.
When we no longer treat God with respect and honor, it is not long before we cease to treat one another with respect and honor. Our lack of worship of God can be seen in the crumbling of our homes and in the destruction and violence in our neighborhoods. People with no respect for God, will not see other people as worthy of they respect. When we lose the sense of awe and incredibleness of God, we begin to think that we are in charge. We are in control and we do not have to answer to others for our actions.