Worship

February 2, 2008 Revelation 15:4

 

Revelation 15:4     Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name?  For you alone are holy.  All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.

A few years ago the Chicago Tribune reported a story of a New Mexico women who was frying tortillas when she noticed that the skillet burns on one of her tortillas resembled the face of Jesus. Excited, she showed it to her husband and neighbors, and they all agreed there was a face etched on the tortilla and it truly bore a resemblance to Jesus.

So the woman went to her priest to have the tortilla blessed. She testified that the tortilla changed her life, and her husband agreed that her husband agreed that she had been a more peaceful, happy,  submissive wife since the tortilla had arrived. The priest, not accustomed to blessing tortillas, was somewhat reluctant but agreed to do it.

The woman took the tortilla home, put in a glass case with piles of cotton to make it look like it was floating on cloud, built a special altar for it, and opened a little shrine to visitors.  Within a few months, more than eight thousand people came to the shrine of the Jesus of the Tortilla, and all of them agreed that the face in the burn marks on the tortilla was the face of Jesus (except for one reporter who said he thought it looked life former heavy weight boxing champion Leon Spinks.)

Worship in the Bible:

The concept of worship dominates the Bible.

  • Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:4 – 5 in Mark 12:29 – 30 and calls worship the greatest commandment.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Mark 12:28-30One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’

  • In Exodus 20 where the recording of the 10 commandments is recorded the very first of those calls for and
  • regulated worship.

When Worship isWrong:

Some would insist that any kind of sincere worship is acceptable to God, but that is not true.

Four kinds of Unacceptable Worship:

  1. Worship ofFalseGods

Isaiah 48:11“For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.

Exodus 34:11“Be sure to observe what I am commanding you this day: behold, I am going to drive out the Amorite before you, and the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite.

Job 31:24-28“If I have put my confidence in gold, And called fine gold my trust, If I have gloated because my wealth was great, And because my hand had secured so much; If I have looked at the sun when it shone Or the moon going in splendor, And my heart became secretly enticed, And my hand threw a kiss from my mouth, That too would have been an iniquity calling for judgment, For I would have denied God above.

  1. The worship of the true God in a wrong form

Exodus 32:7-9Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. “They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’ ” The Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people.

  • When the Israelites constructed the molten calf, they were worshiping the true God, but they had reduced Him to an image.

Deuteronomy 4:14-19“The Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might perform them in the land where you are going over to possess it. “So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth. “And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.

  1. The worship of the true God in aself - styled manner
  2. Leviticus 10 ~ Nadab and Abihu

Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them.

  • 1 Samuel 13:8 – 14 ~ King Saul

1 Samuel 13:8-14Now he waited seven days, according to the appointed time set by Samuel, but Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring to me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. As soon as he finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him and to greet him. But Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “Because I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the appointed days, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash, therefore I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not asked the favor of the Lord.’ So I forced myself and offered the burnt offering.” Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. “But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler o                  ver His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”

  • Numbers 4 ~ Uzzah
    1. The Worship of the true God in the right way, with a wrong attitude

Amos 5:21 “I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies.

Hosea 6:4-6 What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? For your loyalty is like a morning cloud And like the dew which goes away early. Therefore I have hewn them in pieces by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth; And the judgments on you are like the light that goes forth. For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

Isaiah 1:11-15“What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?” Says the Lord. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle; And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats. “When you come to appear before Me, Who requires of you this trampling of My courts? “Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies— I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly. “I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, They have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them. “So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.

Worship in Three Dimensions:

  1. The outwarddimension – worship can be reflected in how we behave toward others

Romans 14:18For he who in this way serves [latreuo, the Greek word for worship] Christ is acceptable to God

  1. The inwarddimension – a second category of worship involves our personal behavior

Ephesians 5:8-10for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

  • The pleasing is the word that means “acceptable.” In this context, he is referring to goodness, righteousness, and truth, saying clearly that to do good is an acceptable act of worship toward God.
  • The upwarddimension

Hebrews 13:15Through Him the, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.

  • As we look at worship in its Godward focus, we discover that it is thanksgiving and praise.

Worship is Glorifying God:

Worship ~ our innermost  being responding with praise for all the God is, through our attitudes, actions, thoughts, and words, based on the truth of God as he has revealed Himself.

Another was to say it is that worship is glorifying God.  To be wholly obsessed with the glory of God it the consuming passion of the true worshipper, who lives to exalt God.

The first question and answer in The Shorter Catechism are: “What is the chief end of man?  Mans chief end is to glorify god, and to enjoy Him forever.” According to the catechism, then, the pinnacle of being is giving God glory and enjoying Him.  The supreme fullness of any individuals’ purpose is to be totally absorbed  in the person of God, and to view all of life through eyes that are filled with the wonder and glory of God’s attributes.  That is the perspective of the true worshiper.

How To Glorify God:

Obviously, there are many more ways then we have included here to worship and glorify God but from what we have examined in these passages that specifically state how God is glorified, it is evident that true worship is an active, all-consuming, never ending pursuit.  As the worshiper gives his life to the glory of God, he discovers a rich resource of joy, power and meaning not available to everyone, for life that honors God is the only life God honors.

  1. Confession of sin – 1 John 1:9 & 10

1 John 1:9-10If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

  1. Implicit Faith in God – Romans 4:20

Romans 4:20yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,

  1. Abundance of Fruit – John 15:8

John 15:8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

  1. Verbal Praise – Psalm 50:23

Psalm 50:23 “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.”

  1. A Willingness to Suffer – 1 Peter 4:16 – 17

1 Peter 4:16-17 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

  1. A Contented Heart – Philippians 4:4 & 10 – 13

Philippians 4:4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

Philippians 4:10-13But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

  1. Confident Prayer – John 14:13 & 14

John 14:13 “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

John 14:14“If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

  1. A Clear Witness – Acts 1:48 – 49

Acts 13:48-49 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region.

Worship, we have seen, involves all that is inside a person, all that is outside a person, and all that takes place within the corporate assembly of God’s people. William Temple, years ago, defined worship this way: “To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to free the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the ear to love of God, and to devote the will to the purpose of God