Summary: A series of sermons based on Foster’s book "Celebration of Discipline." A top 10 book for any Christian’s bookshelf.
CELEBRATION OF DISCIPLINE: WORSHIP
I want to begin this morning by asking you some questions and I want you to answer me. I want us to have a discussion. Now, I have to tell you that I am putting myself out on a limb here because if you don’t answer, I will be standing up here looking like a dope. So, please participate and answer me honestly.
1) I want you all to take out your bulletins and look at the service that is printed there. Basically, our service can be divided into 4 parts. Worship (the songs), The Lord’s Supper, Tithes and Offerings, and the Sermon. These are the four parts. Which of these parts (if you had to choose) is the most important? Answer: Lord’s Supper.
2) What do you think would be the next important part? If we got together on Sundays and did only two of the four, what would be next? Answer: Worship.
3) How many of you (this one you don’t have to answer out loud) have had a time of worship this past week?
Worship is one of those important disciplines in the Christian life that are most often
neglected. And make no mistake… worship is essential to the Christian life. The Christian
person is one who delights in worshipping God and experiencing His presence. That is what
worship is I think… experiencing the holy personal presence of God.
READ EXODUS 40:34-38
This passage of Scripture describes something that is very important to us. It describes the Shekinah of God. You may have heard this word before or not. It is a word that means the glory or radiance of God dwelling in the midst of His people. The people of Israel had the very presence of God with them and it was centered around the Ark of the Covenant. The people of Israel experienced the Spirit of God on a daily basis. The people of Israel worshipped God on a daily basis. As Christians, we too can experience the personal holy presence of God every single day. We too can worship God every day and tap into the power that comes from His Spirit. Worship is an essential part of the Christian life that allows us to connect with our Heavenly Father on a very personal level.
I. OBJECT OF OUR WORSHIP
Jesus answers for all time the question of whom we are to worship. Matthew 4:10 states,
“You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.” The One True God is the object of our worship. We do serve a jealous God. Exodus 20:3 says, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Our Holy Perfect Divine God is the object, the beginning, the end and the purpose of our worship. He should be the object of our worship and only God should be worshipped, nothing else, anything else is idolatry. Idolatry is condemned in Scripture in many forms. Idolatry is condemned when one makes an image and worships it. Idolatry is condemned when someone speaks unworthy of God and degrades Him in any way. Idolatry is condemned when someone puts anything in priority before God.
We worship the Lord not only because of who He is, but also because of what He has done for us. The people of Israel worshipped God because of who He was, but also because of the mighty acts He did for them. A God who saves you from Egypt is worthy of worship. A God who parts the Red Sea is worthy of worship. A God who leads you in the desert day and night for forty years is worthy of worship. A God who sends His one and only Son to die on the cross for you is worthy of worship! Our God, and only God, is worthy of worship.
Romans 12:1 says to us that if we love God, if we appreciate what He has done for us, if we seek to be His and live the life He has designed… then our response should be worship. Do you love God? Do you appreciate His blessings in your life? Do you want to thank Him properly for the goodness He has brought you? Worship is the way to thank Him.
II. BENEFITS / FRUIT OF WORSHIP
To worship is to change.
Worship enables us to hear God’s voice more clearly so that we respond, “Here am I send me!”
Worship will encourage us to join the spiritual battle against Satan and to resist temptation.
Standing in the presence of God purges us of grudges and unforgiveness.
Worship opens us to the Holy Spirit and the wisdom He brings.
If worship is experiencing the holy personal presence of God, then after each time of worship, you will become more and more like the one you spent time with. Love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness and self-control will all become part of your personality. Worship brings you in contact with God. It is your spirit touching His Spirit… and when that happens… you cannot help but become more like Him!