What is one thing that the church can do corporately together that brings God glory?
Is it preparing your heart through the week as you enter these doors?
Is it the fellowship time before the Service?
Is it the opening quiet reflection video?
Is it the brief prayer time during the opening and the offering?
Is it the reading of scripture?
Is it the singing of hymns and praise songs?
Is it the preaching of the word of God?
Which one is it? If you said “All of them”, you are correct. All these things we do as a body here on Sunday morning bring God the glory He rightfully desires. Whether it’s a simple conversation, to hearing of God’s word being preached. This is what we would call authentic corporate worship. The word for “worship” is a primitive root word meaning that it comes first in importance or order. It’s also referring to prostrate, depress, crouch or bow down oneself in reverence and adoration, especially mechanically in homage to royalty or God. The Bible says “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship (to prostrate oneself (reverence and adoration) in spirit and truth." John 4:20-24
Real worship acknowledges God as He revealed Himself in scripture. Worship means ascribing glory to Him because He is:
Worship is something that is very familiar with all of us. But do we really understand what worship truly is.
Is NOT optional.
Is NOT a suggestion.
Is NOT a take it or leave it suggestion.
Is NOT about what we can get out of it.
Is NOT about making myself feel better.
To be perfectly blunt Worship has absolutely nothing to do with us. Worship is and always will be all for the One who gives us life and air to breath, so that we can glorify the Lord of our salvation to the world. Something to ponder for the Christian! If our worship doesn’t come from the heart transformed by the gospel, then it’s vain and empty and it’s not authentic worship.
Sadly though! We often allow personal distractions to get in the way. Sometimes we go to church, but we don’t really worship. We sing songs, but we don’t worship. We listen to sermons, but we don’t worship. We serve in a ministry area, but don’t worship. The church has many opinions of what worship is, but is right?
Some in many churches see worship as…..
A performance to impress others.
A time-filler and a tick box for the week.
A search for an emotional, religious buzz.
To look good or super spiritual to the community.
A way to earn favor with God in order to enter Heaven
What’s in it for me idea because it’s all about me?
Psalm 95 helps to put things into their rightful place.
This is a psalm that reminds us of why we worship and who is the recipient of our worship. This psalm is an energetic call to worship and we that enthusiasm in the writers excitement of this psalm. This is a psalm that calls us back into authentic worship….it’s a calling back for the Nation of Israel, to come back to authentic worship and drop their idolatry and rebellion against God. The same could be said to me and you this morning. God is calling all of us to authentic worship this morning. Calling us to drop our idolatry and business that traps us in this world system and He wants us to focus on Him and His glory. We must not miss God’s calling on our lives through the Spirit to abandon our idolatry, because it’s keep us away from genuine worship. Worship is way of life! What you do, say, view with our eyes, walk, touch and think on reveals what we truly worship in this life. What does your heart reveal this morning about your worship? Is it genuine or is it fake and focusing things other than God Himself? Why I ask? Psalm 95 helps us to put our worship into perspective and helps us to see where we need to grow and be changed for His glory.
Worship is personal (v2)
Why is it personal? Before the gospel truth penetrated your unregenerate heart the only thing you worshipped was self. But when He drew us to Himself we have access to Him though the gospel. And because of that we praise Him for what He has done for us individually. What does that look like? Begin your time of personal worship by acknowledging that it is only through Christ’s merits that you can come before the Father.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Eph 2:13
Delight in the Lord, expressing your wonder of His greatness. Praise Him for who His is for His character and attributes. Have a time of personal repentance where you reflect on your own sin and shortcomings in the light of the perfect majesty of God. Express your deepest, most personal, most intimate longings to God. Begin by asking the Spirit to illumine the Words you will read and to speak directly to your heart through His Word. “…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints…” Eph 1:17-18
Worship requires participation (v2)
Worship is an active “verb” Worship is something we do, not something
done to us. Worship is not a spectator’s event where you watch and get entertained by others. What are we to do? Let us come into His presence and make a joyful noise with song of praise. For instance, in singing the whole congregation should join in, men, women, and children. This is the right and privilege of every Christian. It’s a blessing to be able to sing to our King in all His glory. And it doesn’t matter if you have a voice that couldn’t make a record deal. This isn’t Canadian Idol! Our salvation and sanctification gives us the ability to express our heartfelt joy to the Lord for what He has done. But it’s not just singing, it’s submitting to the preaching of God’s Word. You have a responsibility to act upon His word by applying and obeying His commands.
How? By studying His word though…..
Meditating on His word and ponder these things when you read or hear a message preached.
Is there a sin to confess in my life?
A promise to claim?
An example to follow after?
A command to obey in my life?
A stumbling block to avoid?
Memorizing His word and hide it in your heart. Because no one can steal that from you.
We cannot afford to “eat” God’s Word without “digesting” it.
His word must take root in order for you and I to grow. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22. Worship is practical for every facet of my life as I participate for His glory. This is our outward expression of an inward transformation of grace.
Worship points us to focus on God (V3-v5)
All our worship is for His glory and all our songs and the preaching of His word is to focused on Him. Think about this! When we gather every Sunday for corporate worship, God our Father is already waiting for us, eager to be with us, to bless us, to remind us of his great love for us, all because of Jesus and the gospel saving grace. He is a generous King; slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
“He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.” Psalm 103:10-13
Our LORD is great which gives the idea that God is exalted over the entire universe. He rules over all, and that He is to be worshipped as such. This is where our focus belongs, not just on Sunday but every day. Again, our God and Father is already waiting for us to come together to praise His great name. We should be blown away that our great God is already waiting for us to gather. He is going to speak to us through His Word, and remind us of His faithfulness in spite of our faithlessness, and encourage and strengthen our hearts, and continue to reveal more of His glory.
Worship’s purpose is to bring glory to God (v6-v7)
What is the chief end of man? Answer. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever. Our whole existence is to bring and praise God for His glory. What is your purpose in life? To bring God glory and to enjoy Him forever. Why? Again (v1) “Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!”
Glorifying God consists in four things:
“Appreciation” To glorify God is to set God highest in our thoughts, and, to have a admired esteem of him.
“Adoration” Glorifying God consists in adoration, or worship.
“Affection” This is part of the glory we give to God, who counts Himself glorified when He is loved.
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deut 6:5
“Subjection” This is when we dedicate ourselves to God, and stand ready dressed for His service. We glorify God when we are devoted to his service
We are so blessed beyond measure all our praise should be subject to our Lord for what he has done for us. As Spurgeon said” Blessed are we if we can say this in very truth, we are highly privileged to have this God to be our God, and to be ourselves his purchased inheritance, the objects of his daily care: “the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.”
Worship is primarily a matter of the heart (v8)
Selfishness, pride and bitterness are all attitudes that will keep us from celebrating God’s presence in worship. If we have any of these wrong heart-attitudes, we need to ask God to take those things away from us. Why? God know our true heart motives. “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” Matt 15:8. In order to truly worship God, our hearts need to changed and transformed.
Where is your heart this morning? Looking at the clock or what you have planned this afternoon, or is it focused on His glory and His great name. This should humble us with great concern that this never happens to us at Calvary. I am terrified as a pastor that God would write over our services, vain, empty. This would break my heart, because everything we do is a heart issue towards God and others. So we need a daily reminder of having a heart of worship focusing in the right direction. The last thing we want to see happen in our lives is a heart of rebellion when we are being tested by God to examine our own hearts in light of His mercy and grace. It is a tender heart that hears God’s voice, and the heart that hears His voice is sure to be made tender.
Our worship of God should be our crowning joy of the day, of our every day.
It’s not casual chatter. It’s not mumbling of prayers and mouthing of hymns with little thought or effort. It’s not self-magnifying words or boring clichés. It’s grudging gifts or compulsory service. It’s not haphazard music done poorly, not even a great song merely as a performance. It’s not distracted endurance of the sermon. It’s not hurry up and let’s get it done mentality. Our worship is for His great name and glory for His great salvation He gives to undeserving criminals like you and me. That’s amazing that He chose to love us, despite us! God is good and worship is who we are in Christ. Let me leave you with challenge for the week! “So worship Him with a genuine heart of adoration and praise for His sovereign goodness. How through a living sacrifice “ Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name”. Heb 13:15
Can you do that?