Summary: Our worship to God should involve thanksgiving and praise to Him.
Worship, I believe, is the missing jewel of the evangelical Church. Sunday after Sunday we come to worship services, but are we truly worshiping God? In many churches the Sunday morning event is considered a “preaching service” in spite of the fact that the official title in the bulletin reads “Morning Worship.” In our churches we have failed to study worship, or give attention to the theology of worship. Principles of biblical worship are not sought as the foundation of local church practice. Ministry leaders are attending seminaries that don’t even offer full courses in worship. Yes, we have been zealous to reach the world for Christ to build up the body of Christ, while at the same time being negligent in giving our first, best love to God Himself, which is what worship is essentially about.
The worship of God is the most blessed of all earthly vocations. There is no higher or nobler task to which we can give our energies and devote our time. God is first. God is worthy. And we are privileged to enjoy personal fellowship with Him.
What is worship? What’s involved in worshipping? I promise we’re going to get into the text, but we must understand what worship is, if we are to do it with thanksgiving and praise. When you hear the phrase worship service, is your reaction “Oh that’s Sunday morning at eight and eleven”?
• To some people the phrase worship service serves only as a means to distinguish the Sunday morning service from the Sunday evening BTU, and from Wednesday night Bible study.
• But what do you think when you hear that phrase?
• Do you see images of a lofty building, soft lighting, and humble people kneeling quietly and communing reverently with God?
• Or maybe the words worship service might lead to thoughts of a storefront church filled with joyous music, people swaying from side to side, with smiles, laughs, and shouts.
Does the word worship make you think of robed priests with incense and candles, of color and ceremony? Does worship make you think of preaching or communion? Of singing or praying? Of praising or meditating? But a worship service does not happen just because a certain time period in the church schedule of events is so labeled. I’m sure we’ve all been in worship services where, by appearance at least, there seemed to be little true worshiping of God.
So, what is worship? Worship is an active response to God whereby we declare His worth. Worship is not passive, but is participative. Worship is not simply a mood; it is a response. Worship is not just a feeling; it is a declaration. Worship means “to attribute worth” to something or someone. Because of who God is and what He does, we attribute to Him the glory that is due His name. The essence of worship is the celebration of God, we celebrate Him. We extol Him, we sound His praises, we boast in the Lord. When we enter into the presence of God, worship is our active response to Him.
• When Moses met God at the burning bush, he worshiped.
• When the Israelites were delivered from bondage in Egypt, they worshiped.