Summary: We’re not the audience. God is the audience, & God is watching us as we worship Him. So ask yourself, "Am I glorifying God as I worship here today?” (Powerpoints Available - #284)
MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #284.)
As we begin this morning, I would like for you to take a quick look at your Sunday Bulletin. The headline on the inside, just above the January 24th date, says, “Morning Worship,” doesn’t it?
Now I have a couple of questions to ask. The first is, “What is worship? What do we mean by a “Worship Service?” But even before we deal with that, let me ask this question, “Why are you here in this worship service? Why are you here this morning?”
Well, perhaps you’re here out of habit. Your family has always gone to church. And it’s Sunday morning, so you’re here.
Perhaps you’re here because you’ve been pressured. Someone has made you feel guilty about not going to church. So you came because you felt it was better to do that than to have problems over it.
Or maybe you’re here because of a desire for fellowship. Your friends are here, & you don’t get to see them as often as you would like. So it is an opportunity to greet each other, get a hug, & catch up on each other’s life.
Maybe you’re here because you’re hurting. It has been a rough week, & things aren’t what they should be at home or at work. So you’ve come, hoping for healing & for solutions to your problems.
Or maybe you’re hoping to hear a song that will make your heart glad again. You’re here, hoping to feel better because you came.
ILL. I imagine you've heard the old story about the guy who came to church with his family. As they were driving home afterwards he was complaining about everything. He said, “The music was too loud. The sermon was too long. The building was hot. The people were unfriendly.”
He went on & on, complaining about virtually everything. Finally, his very observant son said, “Dad, you’ve got to admit it wasn’t a bad show for just a dollar.”
I. WHAT IS MEANT BY "WORSHIP"?
A. This is a worship service, but just what is worship? What do we mean when we say, “We have come to worship the Lord”?
Well, the English word “worship” means “to ascribe the highest worth to.” So when we worship, we’re saying, “God, you’re #1 in my life. You come before anything or anyone else.”
The Hebrew word that we translate “worship” means “to bow down, to humble ourselves, to recognize His sovereignty, & to express reverence in His presence.”
The Greek word for “worship” is the same word used in the sentence, “A dog licked the hands of its master,” expressing the idea of love, loyalty, & undying gratitude.
Now when you put all that together, you come up with, “Worship is when we come to God & recognize who He is. We say, ‘God, you are #1 in my life.’ We humble ourselves before Him. And we express our love, loyalty, & undying gratitude to Him.”
Psalm 95:6-8 says, “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God & we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care. Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…”
B. As you study the Bible, you’ll find two ingredients of worship that are always present.
1. #1 is a sense of awe. Listen as I read from Isaiah 6:1-5. Isaiah said, “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high & exalted, & the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphs... And they were calling to one another, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, the whole earth is full of His glory.'
“At the sound of their voices the doorposts & thresholds shook & the temple was filled with smoke. 'Woe to me,’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, & I live among a people of unclean lips, & my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
Do you get a sense of awe there? Isaiah said, “I went into the temple & I saw the Lord! He was on His throne, & the glory of God was everywhere. I felt the ground shake & smoke filled the temple. Seraphs were saying, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy,’ & I felt totally unworthy of being in His presence.”
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever looked up at the stars & marveled at the universe, realizing that the One who created it all loves you & me so much that He came to earth & died for us?
David felt it. He said, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon & the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him…?” Then he closes that Psalm with these words, “Oh Lord, our God, how majestic is your name in all the earth.” (Psalm 8:3-4,9)