Summary: People go to church to get connected to the heart of God. This message revels a few important points that occur when we make this connection.
Worship: Drawing Close To The Heart of God
Intro: Back in 1992 when the Dallas Cowboys were preparing to play the San Francisco 49rs for the NFC Championship in San Francisco the Cowboys had a pep-rally at Texas Stadium. The audience cheered wildly for each player when he was introduced. The fans carried banners. They painted their fans and proudly wore blue- and white outfits. They tried to get autographs. Not one fan walked away saying, “That event was a dud. It did nothing for me.” The event was a success, not because the performance was great (they didn’t play any football at all) or the players’ speeches weren’t inspiring (most of them weren’t’ very good speakers), but because everyone understood why they were there. The purpose was not to please the fans but to honor the team. The people walked away saying, “That was great! I hope the team understands how much we appreciate and support them!”
Why did you come to church today?
Our primary reason for attending church should be to worship God to honor Him and show Him how much we appreciate Him (Ps 95:6-7). Come let us bow down before the Lord.
Worship is more than just singing a few songs, performing a few rituals, and enduring a sermon. We come to experience the presence of God, to acknowledge His authority in our lives, and to worship him as our Creator. We come to experience the presence of God (Duet. 23:14).
We come to pledge our faith and obedience and to seek His honor. Even though this is obvious it’s often the missing ingredients in churches today.
Illustration: At Thanksgiving when Julie’s aunt cooked a chocolate pie and left out the sugar. The pie looked great, smelled great, but when my brother-in-law took a bit of the pie his face revealed it didn’t taste so great. After one bit he discovered he didn’t want anymore of that specific pie. When we don’t concern ourselves with making a connection with God in our church services people will soon loose interest in church.
THE WAY WE CONDUCT OUR LIVES AFFECTS OUR WORSHIP.
What we do in one hour of corporate worship each week is to be a reflection of what we as individuals are doing the other 167 hours a week. In fact, God despises corporate worship if the worshipers have hearts that are not right with Him.
21"I hate, I despise your religious feasts;
I cannot stand your assemblies.
22Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
23Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!
Illustration: Jesus said we are to be the light of the world. During the week, we’re thousands of little lights trying to light the world. When we gather for corporate worship, we should create one giant light that honors God, and we should get recharged for the week ahead so we can return to being little lights for Him.
The most important aspect of church is to get connected to the heart of God. It’s not how interesting or entertaining the service was it’s how close it is to the heart of God. People come to church to get connected to God. Without sensing the presence of God people become frustrated and begin to drift away.
What Worship Is
Worship: to attribute worth to. (We give God His proper value). The Hebrew word means to bow down. (We acknowledge God’s sovereignty or his authority over us). The Greek word means to kiss toward. It the same word used for a dog licking the hand of its master (It’s showing proper respect). Worship is the submission of all of our nature to God.
1. In authentic worship there is always a sense of awe. (Acts 2:43)
The presence of God is awesome. He is so much more powerful and holy than we are. In Isaiah chapter six when Isaiah saw God in the temple he was filled with awe in the presence of God. Have you ever been awe-stuck by something or someone.
Illustration: When I was about six years old on Christmas Eve Santa Clause came to my house. When I answered the door I stumbled backwards all the way across our living room with my mouth wide open and my eyes all bugged out. When Santa Clause came into my house he was all I could see all I could think and nothing could’ve diverted my attention away from him.
Now I’m not saying that God is some kind of a spiritual Santa Clause who checking our list to see if we’ve been naughty or nice. In order to know what kind of gifts He’s going to bring us. But I am saying that when we understand who our God is then when we come into His presence to worship Him we will be awe-struck by His majesty.