Adult Bible Fellowship- The Heart of Worship

The Heart of Worship

Part 1

Worship—true worship— is something I have been thinking about a lot recently.  Many Christians talk about worship in such a way that we are led to think that it is something that happens in church on Sunday morning.  And that’s it.  Now, it is true that worship is what we ought to be doing on Sunday mornings.  Corporate worship—God’s people coming together—is important.  The body of Christ needs to worship Christ together.  But if that’s all we do, we are missing the point.

WHAT IS WORSHIP?

Good question! Worship is our response to the majesty and glory of God.  It is giving full value to His worth—it is His worthiness to be held in the highest esteem.  Eugene Peterson defines worship as “a tribute to God when He comes.”  Worship is the created—you and I—responding to the Creator, because He is worthy! Worship is bowing down before One who far surpasses us in every way. Look at these verses:

Romans 11:33-36

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,or who has been his counselor?”

35 “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”

36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

1 Timothy 6:15-16

15 which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 

16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

What attributes or actions of God are mentioned in these verses? ______________________________________

What is the author’s response as he recounts God’s worthiness? ________________________________________

 

ENTER INTO HIS PRESENCE

 

God’s presence defines us—“in Him we live and move and exist”(Acts 17:28) His presence in our lives should cause us to worship rightly.  When Paul was in Athens, he saw all the idolatry and used it as an opportunity to explain who God is, why He deserves worship, and how the resurrection of Christ is the proof of God’s power to judge

Acts 17:22-34

22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

“‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said,”‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

How does Paul describe the Athenians’ worship? __________________________________________________

What attributes of God does Paul list here?_______________________________________________________

What is man’s relationship to God?­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­______________________________________________________________

Why does God command everyone to repent?­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_____________________________________________________

What proof does Paul cite of coming judgment?­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­____________________________________________________

How do the Athenians respond?          1.__________________

                                                                           2.___________________

                                                                           3.___________________

Paul told the Athenians that they were religiously worshipping in ignorance. We must know the One who is truly worthy of worship—we must be in His presence. It’s only His presence that sets us apart.

DRAW NEAR TO GOD

James 4:8

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

What happens when you draw near to God?_________________________________________________________

When you draw nearer to God, what should you begin to realize about yourself?___________________________

What action is commanded?_____________________________________________________________________

Hebrews 7:19

19 (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

We can draw near to God, because we have a better ____________

Hebrews 7:25

25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

What is the only way to draw near to God?________________________________________________________

The idea of “able to save to the uttermost” is the idea that Jesus can save completely, forever, once and for all, because He lives forever. 

When we draw near to God through Him we can have confidence.  And every time we draw near to Him, He, our great God, draws near to us. These simple truths should motivate us to live a life of worship!

IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH

Probably one of the greatest discussions on worship ever recorded for us is the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman He met at a well.  Jesus begins the conversation by talking about physical thirst and water when He asks her for a drink. (John 4:1-9)

Then He turns the conversation to the spiritual by speaking of “living water… springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:10-19) Not to be outdone, the Samaritan woman counters by bringing up the difference in their beliefs. But Jesus knew exactly how to handle the question of worship. This what Jesus Himself says:

 

John 4:21-26

21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 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. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

Was the worship of the Samaritans and Jews equal in Jesus’ estimation?_________________________________

How was salvation promised?________________________________________________________________

Who are true worshippers?­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­____________________________________________________________________

What does John 3:5 say?___________________________________________________________________

What does John 14:6 say?__________________________________________________________________

How can you worship in spirit and in truth?_____________________________________________________

 

 

True worship is possible because of Jesus—because of His death, His resurrection, His ability to save us to the uttermost. We can draw near to God through Him—and we should—daily, constantly, be worshipping the One who saved us. A life of worship is not about an hour or so on Sunday morning, but about a life that is devoted to God.  It is daily recognizing that He is worthy, then bowing down in surrender to His will and letting His Spirit control all we say and do. The Father is seeking true worshippers (John 4:23)—are you ready?

 

Revelation 5:11-14

11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might

and honor and glory and blessing!”

13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped
 
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