THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 4-15-12
LESSON TITLE: “THE FATHER IS SEEKING SUCH TO WORSHIP HIM: WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF WORSHIP?”
The Apostle Paul once proclaimed, “…Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might,” Ephesians 6:10. Are you strong in the Lord on this His glorious day?
Thank you for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program, it is always a blessing to have you with us. Furthermore, let me remind us of just how blessed we are this day to have such an opportunity to assemble before the throne of God. Won’t you do your part this morning to give God your best?
Our commitment this morning is to give glory to God through the singing or songs of praise and through the study of His Word. I hope each of us will do our part to make this service acceptable in His sight. Now will you bow with me in prayer.
One of the most difficult parts of being a good Christian is in learning to fully submit to God. Often our arrogance and pride keep up from wanting to give up complete control of our life to God. However, have we forgotten the price that was paid so we might have eternal life? Won’t you join in with the congregation at this time, as we together sing, “Kneel At The Cross.”
(SONG # 1)
Have you ever had to do something that you really didn’t want to? Well if we are alive and breathing this morning, we have all been in this situation. Whether it was something our parents told us to do, or something our friends talked us into, we have all done things we really don’t want to.
With this in mind, I think of some words which Jesus spoke in Mark 14:36 consider these words of Jesus with me, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” Jesus here was praying to His Father in Heaven when we asked that He not have to go to the cross and suffer the cruel death of Calvary! Notice here that Jesus was asking His Father to “take away this cup,” or “event” from happening.
But then we read perhaps some of the most precious and instructive words in all the Bible, when Jesus said, “nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will!” Jesus knew that life and the things of it are really not about what we want and desire, but rather about what He commands! Wow, what a tough lesson! It’s not about my will, but my Father’s in Heaven!
Now how many of us really understand this and practice it? It’s hard isn’t it! But we learn here that God expects us to do what He wants, when He wants it and how he wants it! If we could ever learn this lesson and put it into practice, how much more pleasing we would be in the sight of our creator.
Have you submitted to the perfect and precious Will of our God? Or do you pick and choose according to your own likes and dislikes. Choose today to obey your God fully and to realize that all in this life is about Him and His will, not our own!
Today, we will continue our discussion from our series entitled, “The Father Is Seeking Such To Worship Him.” Our specific lesson of study this morning is, “What Is The Purpose Of Worship?” So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together I will return with this study from God’s Word. The name of our next hymn is, “Just Over In The Glory Land!”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
I’m so thankful that you continue with us this morning as we now go back to God’s word and look specifically at our topic concerning worship. We know doubt for now over a month have been having a very good series together and I continue to be so thankful and surprised by the many responses, good comments, and even questions that we continue to get about this series. We thank you for that interest and we thank you for continuing to view not only this series but our program on a regular basis. This morning we will continue to build on our thoughts of worship. Again, as we try to go straight to God’s word as we always do on this program. To find out what it is that God was trying to say when he used the word worship through the Holy Spirit. When he used it in the Hebrew and the Greek and applied the concept of really what worship is all about and who is the subject of worship. Moving into the ideas of really the things involved and what makes one a good worshiper or a true worshiper. We just had any number of great lessons and thoughts together hopefully challenging all of us to hopefully get us out of our own comfort zones and the thoughts that we have maybe been told and believed all of our years to really understand what it is that worship is all about.
So this morning we continue to build on that by asking another question. What is the purpose of worship? That’s a good question because we have already began to see the object of worship and we clearly even defined the idea that obviously in religious things God is really the center of worship. Really, when we think about the idea of worship, that it is all about you and I in a sense coming reverently or prostrate before again God as the object of worship. But again where in lies the purpose? What is it all for? What is it all about? Why do I do it? Why do I choose to worship God and why is it that I choose to worship God in a certain way. Well those are the types of thoughts that I want to consider even this morning as we begin to answer that question concerning the purpose of worship. I think probably if we were to begin where we should we must think about the fact that we first worship because God has commanded it. Isn’t that true? That’s the greatest purpose of all! To not only know God but to know the will of God.
So, when we see in the Bible examples of those who obeyed and followed God. Also we see examples of commandments to those who were commanded to follow God such as through the Law of Moses. Then we see the period of the prophets as well as the kings and we find time and time again God calling on his people worship. Then there certainly perhaps is no greater reason to come before the thrown of God than to obey the command of God to worship Him. We saw it all the way back in the Garden of Eden. We saw it all the way back coming out of the Garden of Eden. We saw it in our examples there of Cain and Able those who came before the thrown of God to worship Him. Why, because God had commanded his people to worship the same way that He commands us to worship today. Maybe the actions sometimes are different or the methods that we are involved in, but it is still the same God and same desire that those who follow him worship him.
A few verses that really stand out to me and really the time we have this morning will not do justice to those things that I would like to look at within the text because most of these chapters require looking at the entire chapter.
But I think of one found there in 1 Chronicles 16:29, he’s already talked about singing praises to God and how great and worthy God is of being adorned or lifted up. He speaks there about the ideas of being individuals who praise God. Then in verse 29, he says, “Give to the Lord the glory due his name.” Well everything he has been talking about in the chapter up to this point is pertaining to acts of worship. He’s saying to give God the glory that He is worthy of! The next thing that he says is, “Bring an offering and come before Him.” Well we know that making a sacrifice or bringing offerings were a part of worship to God. So, different types of songs of praise, prayer, and bringing offerings directly relates to worshiping God. He’s talking to the people of God and saying you bring those offerings, you sing those praises. And then he says at the end of verse 29, “Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” The challenge is clear to worship God Almighty. To give God what he has asked and the best that we can in response to the commandment that we should come before His throne and prostrate ourselves, in order to lift him up and show how much we love him.
Jeremiah deals with some of the same ideas in his text. In fact, specifically, I am thinking of Jeremiah 7:1. There it actually says, “The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying…” God told Jeremiah the things that he told him and Jeremiah was to do what? Tell the people! Verse 2 says, “Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house…” What do you think the Lord’s house was? What do you think the gate of the Lord’s house was? What do you think the purpose of that was? It continues saying, “…and proclaim there his word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the Lord!’” Why were they to come there to the house of God, the house of worship, to worship! To give God that adoration, that honor, that due that he was worthy of for all that he had done for his people and all that he continued to do for them. As well as the great promises that awaited them in the future. Oh yes, God’s people of all ages have always been commanded to worship so the most important purpose of worship is fulfilling the commandment of God in order that we do those things in worship that he has given us to do. One that I like over in the New Testament, just to show you that this is not something that we only find throughout the Old Testament, but early on there in the example of when Jesus was tempted by Satan. You remember what was said there in Matthew 4, within the temptation. Do you remember in one of those situations when it was that Satan had told him that if you will but bow down and worship me I’ll give you all of the kingdoms of the Earth? Well, you remember what the response of the Lord, Jesus Christ, was? He says, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only you shall serve.’” This quote is directly from Deuteronomy 6, and guess what, it is a part of God’s commandments to Israel, “You shall worship the Lord your God.” You think God wants us to be a people who worships? Certainly he does! He has commanded it and therefore the greatest purpose to me of worship is to not only know God but to know that God’s will explicitly commands that those who love him and obey him will be those who worship him. For worship is among the commandments of God.
Now, as we then do what God’s commands there are certain outcomes. There are outcomes that are beneficial to God and there are outcomes that are beneficial to you and I as far as the purpose of worship. But again, we are focusing first of all on God! The things that I begin to see next in relationship to that worship we give to God as commanded, is the idea of a need to praise God. Once again, it is really not going to give us the due amount of time this morning to deal with these things so I would encourage you to look into these chapters I am going to mention even deeper. A few that stand out to me really are amongst the Psalms. This is because David does such a good job and those Psalms that he collected there are so beautiful in relationship to a homage to God, a lifting up, a praise, a worship, to God. So, you might notice with me for instance in Psalm 139, when he actually makes the statement there in verse 14, “I will praise You...” That’s a common thing that David says throughout the Bible but do you know why he says there that he will praise God? He says, “…for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works…” He says you’re such a great God, a wonderful God, a perfect God. He says you are such an awesome God, I will praise You! What is one of the things that we do in worship? We praise God, to show God his due glory not just to go through the motions because we are commanded. But what we have began even earlier to learn in previous weeks that it is about our heart and attitude. That we are literally so thankful that we want to praise, adore, and show the glory that our God is worthy of. We could again go to so many of the Psalms to see this but we might turn over just a few there to Psalm 146, and you might notice with me that he begins to say, “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!” Then he goes through a litany of things, a clarification of those reasons why God is worthy of praise but then he says, “I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.” He says boy, I am going to give every fiber of my being to fulfilling the command of worship to God. Not because I have to but because I love God and am responding to the love that he has shown to me. We go on we see the next Psalm 147, he again says, “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.” There we have it again. He wants us to know that when we praise God, God again is worthy! In Psalm 148, we should read the whole Psalm again but there he says, “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights!” But now notice verse 2, “Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light!” As he goes on down through here he even adds to the ideas verse 9 praise him, “Mountains and hills”, verse 10, “Beasts and cattle”, verse 11, “Kings of the Earth and all peoples”. Verse 11 also says, “Princes and all judges”. It even in verse 12 says, “Both young men and maidens, old men and children.” The point is praise the Lord, praise God, and worship.
The purpose of worship is knowing God and the command to worship and obeying that but to praise him. To praise Him to honor Him, to laud Him, to magnify Him, to lift Him up, to give Him the glory that not only He is due but certainly that He is worthy of. You know when we do that it certainly is as we might say is the “icing on the cake” in relationship to worshiping God as true worshipers in spirit and truth. Do you remember what we read there in John 4:24? Not only is our answer to the lesson really found there, that answer being the true worshipers or those who worship God. True worshipers have to worship, it is a commandment of God. Who do they worship? The object of worship that we have already studied is God. How do they do that? They do it in spirit, attitude, and in truth the right way. So, we know that worship also is designed within that concept of what God commands. God is a God who desires obedience; we read and studied, even over sacrifice. He wants us to obey he wants us to not only know Him and know His way but to do what He has commanded.
The final thing that we will look at just briefly this morning is found over in the familiar passage in Colossians 3, a parallel is found also in Ephesians 5:19. But, before we look at verse 16 in Colossians 3 there I want you to notice with me what he also adds there in Colossians 3:17, “Whatever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ…” That certainly would encompass worship as well. All things, not just secular things but also spiritual things, in the name of the Lord. There it continues, “…giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Is that not what God really wants of us? Because, what has he asked of us? In Matthew 5:16 says that we, “Let our lights so shine”, that we what? Glorify our father in heaven! So, that certainly would encompass not only our daily life but our spiritual life and our worship. Our worship should be something that others see and therefore it also glorifies God giving even more glory and more praise. Finally, notice with me there in verse 16, because it begins to talk about the word of God and you know what happens when the word of God dwells in us? You say, “Well I know more or am smarter, and that might be correct,” but when the word of God dwells in us richly and we by wisdom apply that which we know and that’s what we have been talking about. By doing what God says in the way that he wants we allow the word to abide and to grow in us richly therefore in all wisdom he says we are able then to teach and admonish one another. You see here are some other aspects. You know I’ve heard any number of people tell me before, “You know I enjoy worship so much” and that’s a good thing. Or they will say, “You know I just love to go to church.” and that’s also just a wonderful thing. But that is not the primary purpose of worship. It might be one of the things that we have a benefit of because of what God has blessed us with and I believe that is also what these things here are as well. You know when we go to worship that may not be the primary purpose but you can’t help but be encourage if you worship God as he has commanded in spirit and truth. That is a benefit that we have! We encourage ourselves in our actions towards God and we encourage one another. The second thing he says is that we teach. Not only do I go and worship in order to praise God, but to teach those also around me or who have come to worship as well and as they worship they can teach me. So we teach and admonish when the word of God dwells in us richly. Teaching and admonishing occurs how? By psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Certainly singing is one of those aspects of true worship.
So, as we think about all of these things what I want us to really understand is that there is a specific purpose in worship, giving that praise and glory to God that we might obey his commandment. But there are so many things that come from worship that are beneficial to us. So, why not then give God our very best that we might be encouraged, edified, and teach, and do all things as he has commanded. Not only that we receive the blessings of God now but that we receive the blessing and reward of eternal life in Heaven someday.
(SONG # 3 - “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms!”)
Again, let me thank you for choosing to be with us this morning. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
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So why do you worship God? What is your real desire and purpose when you come before your Creator? Let me challenge you to find out God’s Will today and submit to all that He has commanded?