Sermons

Summary: This sermon looks at four facts of Worship. Worship is: 1. Focusing and Responding to GOD 2. Conducted In Spirit and In TRUTH 3. Expected Both Publicly and PRIVATELY 4. A Discipline to be Learned and PRACTICED (Sermon 6 in this series)

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Worship As An Act Of Discipleship

Today we are continuing our sermon series: Disciplines Of Discipleship.

Our focal verse for this series is from First Timothy chapter four and verse seven. Please follow along with me as I read:

“Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” 1st Timothy 4:7 (NASV)

In this series we have been examining the disciplines of discipleship – those actions – those practices – that will help us to grow as disciples of Christ. We have talked about – becoming a person of prayer. We have discussed – how to develop a quiet time with God. We have looked at the importance of Bible study in your spiritual development and we have emphasized that you – have the responsibility and ability to add to your spiritual development. That is why Timothy tells:

“Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” 1st Timothy 4:7 (NASV)

We must endeavor to become more like Christ. We must discipline ourselves – for the purpose of godliness. Our Father – Our Heavenly Father – wants us to become more like Him and His Son Jesus Christ.

Let me ask you a question – what can I do to help me grow as a Christian? Is there anything that I can do – to help me to be more like Christ? I believe the answer is yes. I can read my Bible. I can pray. I can meditate on God’s Word. I can worship! Yes – I can worship! You see worship is an act of discipleship. I can worship to become more like Jesus. I can worship to become more godly.

Here is a fact:

Godliness without the worship of God is IMPOSSIBLE.

But here is the danger:

Your worship can miss the MARK.

Jesus said it this way:

’THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.” Matthew 15:8-9 (NASV)

The Message Bible says it this way:

“These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn’t in it. They act like they’re worshiping me, but they don’t mean it. They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy." Matthew 15:8-9 (MSG)

You see – your worship can miss the mark. You can worship is vain. You can worship and your heart not be in it. Your worship can be a cover up – because you can go through the right motions – but not have the right focus.

Today I want to look at four facts about worship:

1. Worship is – Focusing and Responding to GOD

In John chapter twenty we find the story of Thomas – who had not been with the rest of the disciples when the resurrected Jesus appeared. When Jesus does appear to Thomas – he cries out in an act of worship:

“My Lord and my God.” John 20:28 (KJV)

In Revelation chapter four and verse eight we are told that four creatures around the throne of God worship day and night saying:

“HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME." Revelation 4:8 (NASV)

God is always to be the center of our worship. To worship Him is to ascribe the proper worth to God – to magnify His holiness – to magnify His worthiness. He is worthy of all the worth and honor we can give Him and infinitely more. The more we focus on God, the more we understand and appreciate how worthy He is.

But something else happens in worship that is rarely talked about. The closer I come to a Holy God in worship – the more I come to realize my own un-holiness. To be exposed to Holy God should bring about a response in me that should have me examine my own life and my state of affairs. You see it over and over again in scripture where God is worshiped and the worshiper cries out because their spiritual state is exposed. This is what happened to Isaiah in chapter six of that book. He cries out:

“Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” Isaiah 6:5 (KJV)

To walk into the presence of God is a life altering event. God is worshiped – man is made transparent. We are not worshiping if we are not focusing on God and responding to Him. You may be in a church building – singing songs – reading scripture – listening to a sermon – but without focusing on God and responding to Him – you are not worshiping. You may be just going through the motions. You can only be worshiping God by focusing on Him and responding to Him.

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