Summary: In this message we will try to grasp what true worship is.
What is Worship?
Intro: Two young boys are walking down the street in downtown Indy. Out from an alley runs a Rottweiler and attacks one of the boys. The other boy grabs a 2x4 lying near the alley and beats the dog to death and saves his friend’s life. A reporter from the Indy Star gets wind of the story and requests an interview from the first boy. He runs the story on the front page and the headline reads: “Colts Fan Bravely Saves Friend’s Life From A Rabid Rottweiler.” The boy calls the reporter and says, “I’m not a Colts fan.” The reporter says, “Well, I just thought that since you are from Indy that you would be a Colts fan. I’ll correct the mistake in tomorrow’s paper.” The next day the front page reads: “Pacers Fan Bravely Saves Friend’s Life From Rabid Rottweiler.” The boy calls the reporter and says, “I’m not a Pacers fan either!” The reporter says, “Are you a fan of sports at all?” The boy says, “Yes. In fact, I am a die-hard Tennessee Titans fan.” The reporter agrees to note the change in the next day’s newspaper. The next day the front page reads: “Redneck Idiot Kills Faithful Family Pet!” That was his VIEWPOINT.
Everyone’s take on worship is different. Ask a Pentecostal; an Anglican; an Episcopalian; a Catholic; a Wesleyan/Methodist; ask young people; or older saints… However you define it; or whatever your take or viewpoint is; one thing is I think we would all agree on: we need to rediscover the dynamics of worship in our services once again. You can’t find deadness in worship anywhere in the Scriptures. We need a transforming experience from t/Lord; t/kind of spiritual visitation that will help heal our broken homes & heal our split churches; that will strip away our religious veneer & get us back to reality; that will restore true spiritual values & replace the cheap counterfeits we’ve created to take the place of God; and most of all, we need that which will bring glory to God that the world will sit up & take notice & confess that “God is truly among you” 1 Cor. 14:25.
A.W. Tozer said, "Worship is the missing jewel of the church." I believe that one of the problems in our church is that people do not have a biblical understanding of worship. As someone has well said of American Christians, "We have become a generation of people who worship our work, work at our play and play at our worship." When our worship grows stale, so does our passion for God. Worship is the furnace of the spiritual life.
I’m afraid too many come to church because it’s Sunday, rather than coming on Sunday to worship. Far too many of us come to get blessed, rather than to bless.
I. The What of Worship.
A. What Worship Is Not.
· Worship is not AN EVENT.
We call the AM service “Worship Service" but calling it that doesn’t ensure that we will worship. You can attend a worship service without worshipping. Jesus echoed the words of Isaiah when He said of the Jews of His day, "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me" (Mt.15:8).
· Worship is not MUSIC.
Churches may have a "worship leader" and a "praise team," we may sing hymns of worship, we may sing praise and worship choruses but having the music does not guarantee our worship. Music is a VEHICLE to take us to the place of worship.
· Worship is not A PERFORMANCE.
In a performance saturated society if we are not careful, we will see worship as a performance to be graded rather than something we give to God. We may see ourselves as an audience and the people on the platform as performers.
None of us should be spectators. All of us should be participants in the worship of God.
· Worship is not A FEELING.
Some people think that unless they get a tear in their eye, a shiver down their spine or work themselves up into an emotional turmoil that they have not truly experienced worship. Worship is emotional but being emotional does not guarantee genuine worship.
· Worship is not something that’s CONFINED to one day a week.
ILL- A mother gave a party for her baby after he had been christened at church. She invited friends & family over…the baby was on the bed asleep in the parents bedroom…as the guests arrived they placed their coats on t/bed…Amid the activities the mother forgot about the baby…she went in the bedroom…coats were on the baby…baby died.
APPLICATION: I can’t imagine anything more tragic for a family. And I can’t imagine anything more tragic for the family of God than to smother true worship underneath all the other stuff we do all week long. If we would live in an attitude of worship, wonder, & praise the other 6 days a week it would revolutionize our Sunday services!