Summary: It is difficult to experience correct worship in our "head" oriented society. We need to develop a "heart" and "head" centered approach for genuine worship

Worship – Vision 1

Today I want to ask you about the state of your heart

 Not your physical heart, but your heart as the seat of emotion, that part of us that generates our feelings, our enthusiasm, our inspiration, our motivation

 The state of our hearts is very important to God because it is the heart that reflects what is important in our lives

 Over the centuries, God has taken exception to insincere hearts

 He lamented the fact that the Israelites didn’t have an obedient heart Deut 5:29 Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!

 He criticised the Pharisees for the hardness of their hearts – Mark 3:5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.

 He even criticised the disciples for their hard hearts – Mark 16:14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.

 And in Rev 3:15 Jesus criticises the NT Laodicean church because they had allowed hearts that were once on fire to become lukewarm

 Hot water is useful, cold water is useful, but lukewarm water doesn’t serve any purpose

 So we see heart problems cropping up in all ages of the church

 God is very concerned with the spiritual state of the hearts of his children

 It is our hearts that let’s God know how sincere we are about our Christianity

 I would go as far to say, the state of our hearts is what makes or breaks our Christianity

 In fact the type of heart we have is the determining factor that we have God’s Spirit in us

Ezekiel 36:26-27 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

Today we are going to talk about Worship

 As we discussed at our Café Church, worship is one of the five key reasons the church exists

 What are the other four? Worship, Ministry, Evangelism, Fellowship, Discipleship

 Of the five, worship is the most important

 Its impossible to be a church without worship

 Diagram – three aspects of a churches mission – Worship, Mission, Community

 Another way of saying this is Upward, Inward, Outward

 All three aspects need to be there in order for the church to be fulfilling its mission

 If we only have two of the three we are not really a church

o If you just have Community and Mission without Worship you have a Community Service Organisation

o If you just have Worship and Mission without Community you have a para-church organisation

o And if you have Worship and Community without Mission, all you have is a monastery

 Which one of these three areas do you think we need to strengthen the most? Missions

 We are in the business of building the kingdom not museums

Back to Worship

 More than anything else, the most important aspect of worship is the state of our hearts

 Definition: Worship is an active response to God’s grace whereby we declare His worth and majesty

 To put it in Biblical terms, “I was lost, but now I’m found”

 We were absolutely lost with no hope of redemption, when along comes this God who loves us so much, finds us and makes us into His Sons

 Is that something to celebrate or not?

 But worship is more than just saying thankyou for what he has done, but also for who God is

o You see, if God were not merciful, we would still be dead in our sins

o If God were not sharing, we would not have the Holy Spirit living in us

o If God were not a loving Father, we would not be his sons

 But even if Jesus hadn’t of died for us, God is still worthy of worship

 God is God and therefore worthy of worship

 The more we study God’s word and live out our Christianity, the more we should come to realise why we should worship Him

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