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Worship in Heart and Praise

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by Pastor, Dec 20, 2001.

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  1. Pastor

    Pastor Pastor

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    Worship in Heart and Praise 1
    Revelation 4:1-11
    Twentieth Street Baptist Church
    Morning, December 24, 2000

    Pastor Don Walker

    Every Sunday we have a "Call to Worship." In ancient times, a ram’s horn was used to call Israel to worship. We were called to worship today with the choir singing "How Great Our Joy" and scripture from the psalms and Isaiah.

    With this we are

    Called from the hustle and bustle of the season…
    Called from the panic and utter exhaustion of trying to do it all….
    Called from family joys and conflicts….
    Called from good food and drink….
    Called….to worship. 2

    We are called to express our feeling about God and expose the condition of our hearts. It is love expressed in the freedom of being in the presence of God. But some do have questions about worship.

    Three Normal Discussion Questions about Worship

    When we should worship.

    This is not as hot a question today as it was in years gone by. The larger Christian community has favored Sunday for numerous reasons. Many Christians feel free of the Sabbath obligations in Old Testament law. Also, Sunday worship is an acknowledgement that it was on the first day of the week that Jesus rose.

    A smaller segment of the Christian population has favored Saturday. They believe that Christians are legally and morally bound to obey the Ten Commandments including the Sabbath legislation.

    In recent times, still others have sought to add to corporate worship times with multiple Sunday services, Wednesday evening services, and, more rarely, services on Friday, Saturday or other days.

    But there is also the discussion of the time of day when an individual Christian should worship. Some say that a Christian should worship as he rises from bed each morning. Others prefer that worship take place just before retiring for the night. And of course there are those who would insist that real Christians worship 24 hrs. per day, seven days per week.

    But to be honest, in our day the discussion of when boils down to: we worship when it is convenient for us.

    A second question about worship is where.

    Some insist that true worship can only take place in a sanctified facility. Others maintain that any place a Christian is, is a place where he may worship. In the days of the Patriarchs there was no particular place of worship. In at least one case, Abraham worshipped atop Mt. Moriah, (Gen. 22.5). Abraham's servant worshipped the Lord at the well where he found Rebekah, (Gen. 24.26). Jacob built an altar to the Lord and called it Beth-El during a journey, (Gen. 28.19). The elders of the enslaved Israelites worshipped at an impromptu gathering, (Ex. 4:52).

    During the time in the wilderness and in the early days of settlement in the Promised Land, Israel was commanded to center its official worship around the Tabernacle.

    Solomon built the first permanent place of worship. It was destroyed and rebuilt and continued to be the place of worship in the life of Israel through the time of Jesus. During the time of the destruction of the temple and Babylonian captivity, the synagogue was developed as a place of worship.

    The early Christians met for a while in the synagogues, but quite commonly found other places of worship. In Jerusalem, they met in "Solomon's porch"…and in an upper room….and at homes of individuals.

    In modern times questions are far ranging. Do we need corporate worship or even buildings? Should church buildings be single use, dedicated solely to worship, or multi-use facilities that house worship at times, and other activities at other times. Can you really have a place of worship at the Mall or in some other secular location?

    Where should be worship is a hot question for some, but the most volatile worship related issue is…

    How we should worship.

    This usually reverts to questions about styles of music and what should we do with our hands. When it comes to music that is appropriate for worship there are varied opinions. Some think we should only sing Psalms. Others think we should sing only hymns that tend to be older than the worshippers. While there are a few who think that any song with even the slightest hint of "spiritual" overtones will do. Some prefer traditional music; some southern gospel; some contemporary; and some, "Christian rock."

    Then there is the question of how energetic the music should be. Should it be vivacious enough to demonstrate excitement about godly things? On the other hand is energetic hand-clapping (maybe even foot stomping) music irreverent and shouldn’t we have slower, more majestic music that encourages reflection and meditation.

    The questions on this do not end at this point. What about instruments? None at all, or traditional instruments such as piano and organ? Are guitars and drums a fine addition? And what about a full orchestra? Then of course there is the question about recorded music.

    What do I do with my hands? Do I keep my hands down or may I lift them up? May I clap my hands together in time to the music or should I only applaud? Or, for that matter, is applause acceptable in worship?

    Are these important questions or do they reveal something much more serious?

    When these questions are primary in our minds could it be that we have missed something much more important? Could it be that we really don't know what worship is!

    There are at least two more questions that should be asked, but seldom are.

    Here is a question I entirely left out in the first set: "Who are we worshipping?"

    We worship the God of the Bible. He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit all, yet unique in his one-ness. We are here today because we believe that He is real; and that being real, He is to be worshipped. John 6:24 tells us that God is (a) spirit, i.e., He is other-worldly. Yet, our worship often tends to focus only on things that are of this world.

    This leads us to understand that the first three questions were all wrong. When we are asking the question, "When should we worship?" we are focusing on an earthly schedule. When we ask the question, "Where should we worship?" we have focused on an earthly place. Even when we ask, "How should we worship?" we have shifted the focus from God, Himself, to our own earthly practices. Don’t most of our questions reveal that we generally have a very human-centered rather than God-centered perception of worship.

    Consider some of the things we say about our "worship" services: Of the sermon we may say, "I really was (or was not) fed today!" Some may say, "I went home really feeling like I had been to church!" We ask our guests, "What did you think of our service?" And we quiz our children, "What did you get out of the message today?" I’m guilt of it too – often I write to one who has visited the church: "I trust you received a blessing!"

    When we think about it, most of what we call "worship" seems to center around the "worshipper" instead of He-Who-Is-Worshipped.

    Henry Ward Beecher was to be absent from the pulpit of Plymouth Church one Sunday, and asked his brother to preach for him. As the worship service was beginning, and it became apparent that the great preacher would not be speaking that morning, some people got up to leave. At that point, Beecher's brother stepped into pulpit and said, "All of those who came to hear Henry Ward Beecher this morning should take this opportunity to leave; all of those who came to worship God may remain." No one else left the sanctuary. 3

    Perhaps the most important question is, "Why are we worshipping Him?"

    We worship Him because He is worthy of our worship.

    The New Testament word "worthy" or "worth" basically refers to weight. It refers to a time when people did business with coins that were minted with the exact amount of metal that the coin declared to be its value. To put it into our thinking, a $20 gold piece contained $20 worth of gold.

    However as coins were used repeatedly, they were subject to wear. In passing from hand to hand, a coin lost its value because it lost some of its weight. It lost some of its worthiness. Consequently, a handful of coins would be weighed to show their adequacy or insufficiency in making a purchase.

    But Christ is forever worthy. His worthiness does not diminish. Christ was worthy of the praise of the angels, the shepherds, and the magi. 4

    Yesterday, today and tomorrow Christ is worthy of our praise.

    John in his Revelation accents the worthiness of the Lord for worship.

    REV 4:11 "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

    REV 5:2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" REV 5:3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. REV 5:4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. REV 5:5 Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."

    REV 5:6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. …. REV 5:9 And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation….

    REV 5:11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. REV 5:12 In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" REV 5:13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!"

    He has created all things.

    "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." (Revelation 4:11)

    He has sacrificed Himself for our salvation.

    "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" (Revelation 5:12)

    God is certainly worthy of worship for everything that He has done, is now doing, or ever will do, but we must be careful that His blessing upon us is not the only reason we worship Him.

    We worship God for Who He is.

    2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.

    John's description of his vision of God's Heavenly Presence is alien to us. He could only describe the One on the throne as a rainbow of light in combination with certain precious stones. This alien other-ness is spoken of in the Bible as holiness.

    8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:

    "Holy, holy, holy,

    Lord God Almighty,

    Who was and is and is to come!"

    Let's worship God for what He has done, and let's worship God for Who He is.

    God Calls Us to Worship.

    During this Advent time we are called to worship the One who is worthy of our worship.

    We are called to worship Him in the quietness of our hearts. We are called to worship Him as the Light of the World as we see the lights of the Christmas season. We are called to worship Him as the greatest of all gifts as we wrap a gift for someone. We are called to worship Him in the times when we as believers are gathered.

    We are called to worship God in His house and in our hearts.

    Conclusion:

    True worship is a rehearsal for heaven. It is also a reflection of the worship that is now taking place in heaven. He is worthy of our worship.

    We worship Emmanuel – God with Us. He is the essence of Christmas. We can join in worship of the One Who took on human flesh, was born of a woman, lived among people, died on the cross and was resurrected by the power of the Living God.

    Worship is not about you or me. It is about God. Do you know the One who is worthy of worship? Have you worshipped today? Come bow down before Him and worship.

    Listen to this song of praise about the incarnation written by Graham Kendrick:

    Meekness and majesty, human and deity, in
    perfect harmony the one who is God.
    Lord of eternity dwells in humanity, kneels in
    humility and washes our feet.

    Wisdom unsearchable, God the invisible, love
    indestructible in frailty appears,
    Lord of infinity, stooping so tenderly lifts our
    humanity to the heights of his throne.

    O what a mystery. Meekness and majesty. Bow
    down and worship, for this is your God. 5



     
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  2. Angel

    Angel I am an Angel

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    You've done it again pastor - which church do you pastor?
     
  3. gods kid

    gods kid Jellek ot re Kanatroll

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    *faints*

    thats long
     
  4. psalms 91

    psalms 91 Legend

    +12,067
    Word of Faith
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    matt 6:33 Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you
     
  5. ub4me

    ub4me Senior Veteran

    +291
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    we are a sanctified facility, if the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit..........


    My spirit worships always.........
    even when it is a sacrifice, I will bring a sacrifice of praise

    holy kisses to all!!!
     
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