Adult Bible Fellowship- The Heart of Worship- Part 3

The Heart of Worship

Part 3

The last 2 months we have spent time studying the topic of worship.  We have defined

worship as the correct response of the created to the magnificence of Our Creator.  We have also seen that true worship is closely tied to a spirit of thankfulness and gratitude for all that God has done for us.  We have learned that it includes entering His presence with joy and praise—because He alone is worthy of our adoration.  This lesson will conclude with additional thoughts about the how, why and when of worship.

Be Present—Psalm 139

Look at Psalm 139:1-12

What kinds of things does God know about me?

Where can I go that God cannot find me?

 

Psalm 139 states Gods nearness wherever we find ourselves. We know He isn’t confined to a church building or only available at certain times of day. But we can still miss God at work even when He is right in front of our eyes. Why? Because we are still learning the art of knowing and following the voice of the Holy Spirit as He speaks.

Think about this:  Two people hear the same song. One experiences God, and one daydreams about something that needs to be done at work next week. Two people face a crisis in life. One experiences an over-whelming sense of grace flood over the pain, while the other feels nothing but hurt, betrayal, anger and loneliness. Why? It’s all about how and where we place our faith and expectation. By God’s grace, I have a growing revelation of the love of God toward me, so that even on the hardest of days I am expecting Him to turn it around.

Look at Psalm 46:1-3

How available is God?_______________________________________________

When is He available?_______________________________________________

So what is my response?______________________________________________

Another way of saying “a very present help in trouble” is this: “

abundantly available for help in tight places.”  Take heart that God is always abundantly available, no matter the tight place you find yourself in. If I can encourage you in one way today, it would be for you to cultivate your attitude of expectation so that you will be present

in His presence. Don’t wait until you have things figured out. Don’t wait until you feel spiritual. Expect Him right now.

Read the words of David in Psalm 27:14

What are the instructions David gives?          1. ___________________________________________

                                                                        2.____________________________________________

                                                                        3.____________________________________________

Each of us has had conversations with someone when we knew the other person wasn’t really there. Physically they were there. Words came out of their mouth. They looked in our direction, but we could just tell they weren’t present. It is so easy to get distracted and not fully be in the moment.

It’s an art to learn to STOP and experience God in the present. He is with us now. His presence defines us, sets us apart, strengthens us, penetrates our very being, gives direction to our pursuits, fuels our passions and brings joy and strength as we draw near.  James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (NKJV).

Our Words & Thoughts

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer, Psalm 19:14

David’s prayer in Psalm 19:14 is so perfect and such a lesson for us: Our words and thoughts in every walk of life can express worship for God. Words of hope, love, optimism, encouragement, and truth are such an important aspect of obedient worship to the God who is worthy of everything!  Words literally have the power to transform my life and the lives of others.

Questions:

Are you worshiping God with your words?

Are you experiencing His transforming power?

Words can encourage, edify and give confidence to the hearer. A right word spoken at the right time can actually be life-changing.  We can literally increase our own joy by speaking right words. We can also upset ourselves by talking unnecessarily about our problems, our insecurities or things that have hurt us in relationships.

The words that come out of our mouth go into our own ears as well as other people’s, and then they drop down into our soul, where they bring us life or death, peace or upset, depending on the types of words we have spoken.

 

Look at the following verses:

Colossians 4:6__________________________________________________________________________

Ephesians 4:29_________________________________________________________________________

James 3:10____________________________________________________________________________

II Timothy 2:16_________________________________________________________________________

When we understand the power of words and realize that we can choose what we think and speak, our lives can be transformed. We can learn to choose our thoughts, to resist wrong ones and think on good, healthy, and right ones. It has been said, “Where the mind goes, the man follows.” And it could also be said that “where the mind goes, the mouth follows!”

Think about that last sentence carefully. Do you really believe that the words you say can change your life? Because words of blessing and truth are one of the ways we worship our God and honor the others in our world. 

My words tell others—and myself—what I believe about God. They tell others what I believe about myself and my life. They reveal my attitude. I want my words to show true worship—exalting the Mighty One—whether I am in front of people in church or on the phone with someone who wants help or at home with my family. I want my words to be aligned with God’s truth.

Philippians 4:8-9 (ESV)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

 

Questions:

How hard is it to control my thought life?

Am I bringing every thought into the captivity of Christ? (II Corinthians 10:5)

Am I constantly having my mind renewed? (Romans 12:2)

Am I encouraging and building up others? (I Thessalonians 5:11)

How Much?

“I’ve got this much. How much is for me? How much for God? How much for others?”

Look at Luke 21:1-4

The story of Jesus observing the gift of a poor widow reveals the way to worship God with money. The widow’s extravagant gift so moved the heart of our Lord that He couldn’t let the moment pass without bringing it to His disciples’ attention. “Look! Did you see that? Don’t miss what just happened.” Their eyes and ears were quite likely drawn to the rich who were dropping handfuls of loud clanging coins in the offering plate. Jesus’ eyes were drawn to an act of pure worship.

  1. S. Lewis said, “I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditures exclude them.”

Look at II Corinthians 8:1-5

Were the churches in Macedonia wealthy? (8:1, 2)

Were the churches in Macedonia forced into giving? (8:3)

How did the Macedonian churches view giving? (8:4,5)

Does that mean I worship God by giving until it hurts? The answer is simple—be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit and give what He tells you, even when it doesn’t make sense.  It didn’t make sense for the widow to give out of her poverty and it didn’t make sense for the churches of Macedonia to give out of affliction and poverty—but they gave anyway—after they first gave themselves to the Lord.

 

Conclusion:

The heart of worship is our heart, delighting in Jesus and expressing praise to him for the true things the Scriptures teach us about who he is and what he has accomplished for us. Worship “all about Jesus,” not us. It involves us, but we’re at the periphery. He’s at the center. He’s the focus. It’s his commands we consider first, not our preferences.

Periodically, we all need a soul check. “Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” I Corinthians 10:12

 We’re so easily distracted from the main things — especially from the main person, Jesus. Jesus is greatly honored when we bring ourselves, with the Holy Spirit’s help, back to the heart of worship again and again. 

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love

Here’s my heart—O take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above”
 
GM

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.