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Worship

WORSHIP

What is the purpose of life? Are we born just to eat, reproduce, and die like an insect?

Everyone wonders about these questions even though they are not asking them. If we are just an evolutionary accident without a Creator, then life seems purposeless, and has no more worth than an insect’s life.

Therefore, it is simple to kill it.

Fortunately, there is a God who created us for a purpose and gave us laws to live by. That purpose is to relate to Him. That is why there is an innate desire in us to worship a Creator. To fulfill this desire, people groups all over the world have imagined gods to worship. Some people have suppressed this innate desire by claiming there is no God, no Creator. Those, who don’t believe in a god, worship themselves and make up their own laws.

Our primary purpose in life is to worship God. Since God made us, He is worthy of our worship. In fact, the word “worship” is derived from the word “worthy”.

When I say the word “worship,” what do you think of? You may say prayer! You may think of singing! You may think of communion or going to church. But worship is far, far more than all of these things. Worship involves our whole life!

Probably the best verse that defines worship is Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual act of worship.

Notice it says “in view of God’s mercy”. God is love. Out of His love for us, He shows us mercy instead of destroying us for our evil behavior from breaking His law. If we have no other reason to worship God, we should do it because of His mercy towards us.

God takes the initiative in our relationship with Him. He creates us. He loves us. He saves us. He forgives us. He blesses us. He protects us. Now, because of all these things, what is our response? Will we rebel against Him, as Satan does, or will we worship Him?

Worship is giving back to God. He gives life to us, and we worship Him by giving our life back to Him. Worship is a sacrifice of our own will and desires. When we are grateful to the Heavenly Father, we will worship Him with everything that we do, say, and think. That kind of worship with our life glorifies God and brings pleasure to Him.

In short, to worship God, we do what Mark 12:30 says: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.”

Anyone totally absorbed in self ignores God, and ends up rebelling against God, which leads to death. To love God and worship with our mind is to focus our thoughts on God.

Romans 8:5-8
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

Isaiah 26:3
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

God is Soul, Body, and Spirit—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—which we call the Trinity. We are created in His image with a soul, body, and spirit. This is what makes us unique from the rest of creation. We are made a little lower than the angels. And like the angels, we have the ability to worship God.

The Person we worship is the Father. We can worship the Father by grace from the Holy Spirit because Jesus because made it possible if we believe in Him.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Therefore, we worship the Father through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is what we attempt to do during church services. Although this is only one aspect of worship, it is an important one and should be done in spirit and truth.

Our whole life should be lived according to God’s Spirit and Truth.

John 4:23-24
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Worship is our spirit connecting with God’s Spirit. Worship led by the Holy Spirit will never go against the written Word, which is the Truth. For guidance, the Word of God contains many illustrations of corporate worship. For example:

Psalm 100:1-5
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

ENTER His gates. This is a starting point for which we come into worship. Some of us come to church, but we never enter God’s gates of worship. Our bodies are here, but our minds and attitudes (soul and spirit) are somewhere else.

That is why we begin our service with announcements. We want to get everything out of the way so we can enter His gates of worship. Then we provide an opportunity come into His presence with songs of rejoicing, thanksgiving, and praise.

Psalm 105:1-3
Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!

THANKSGIVING is telling God, in word or song, the things we are grateful for and recalling all His goodness to us. Thanking God is a very powerful way of coming into His presence.

PRAISE is proclaiming His greatness, faithfulness, holiness, etc.

Psalm 95:6-7
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

Our focus needs to on the LORD when worshiping, not on those around us. When you are fully worshipping God, it may seem inappropriate to stand or sit. You may feel led by the Spirit to bow down, kneel, or raise your hands unto the Lord. Obey the Spirit and don’t worry what others think.

In fact, if we are truly worshipping God, we won’t be aware of what others are doing. We will be so focused on God that we won’t be conscious of whether or not we are we are singing on tune. We will be fully focused on the LORD and making a joyful noise to Him with expressions of thanksgiving and praise.

Psalm 95:1-2
Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

Does that describe your worship? We all can do better if we focus our minds on God instead of ourselves.

Our songs of worship need to be directed toward the Father and the Son only. Some songs are not appropriate for worship. They may be good songs, but they should be used for another occasion. Worship is not the time to ask God for something you want. There is a time for worship and a time for prayer, just like there is a time for teaching or preaching. That is why you see these things separated in our church service.

Just as we can worship God with our mind, worship is also expressing our soul (our emotions) toward God.

Hosea 6:6
For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

God wants us to know Him and love Him. From that knowledge and love proceeds true worship as we willingly become living sacrifices unto Him.

1 John 4:19
We love because He first loved us.

Philippians 3:8-11
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Therefore, we show love for God and worship Him by desiring Him more than anything else.

We also show love for God and worship Him with our strength (our body).

Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Using our strength includes obedience. We do what He wants, not what we want. That is presenting our bodies as living sacrifices.

Jesus said in John 14:15,
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

1 John 5:2-3
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

We were created to know and love God. He is to be the focus of our thoughts and life. God doesn’t want us to present a sacrificial lamb to Him to worship Him. Jesus is our sacrificial Lamb. He wants our love, our praise, our thanksgiving, our obedience, our all.

Therefore, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” Present your body as a living sacrifice to Him. This is a daily, moment by moment way to worship God in spirit and truth.

If we live this way, then when we come together here, we will be ready to make a joyful noise of worship unto the Lord!

Have you been seeking the purpose for your life? You will find it through faith in Jesus Christ. If you believe Jesus is the Son of God, who atoned for your sin on the cross, then publicly declare your faith in Jesus and repent of your sin. Sin is basically being your own god, making your own rules, and doing what you want to do. Make Jesus your God by dying to self in baptism. Then you will be born again of the Holy Spirit, who will give you grace to worship the Lord in spirit and truth.