Saturday, 14 April 2018

GOD IS THE AUDIENCE..., 7 PRACTICAL APPROACH IN WORSHIP

GOD IS THE AUDIENCE..., 7 PRACTICAL APPROACH IN WORSHIP

God created us for the ultimate priority of worshiping Him.

It’s no accident that the longest book in the Bible, Psalms, is all about praising and worshiping God.
But I wonder if sometimes we treat God as a spare tyre which is only remembered and used when the main tyres fail and there is a urgent need of the spare. Then, We interrupt our busy schedules, may be once a week, rush into church, give God “His hour,” and then forget about Him and get back to what we’d rather be doing.
When we get to the end of the Bible, we see the saints and angels in heaven falling on their faces and worshiping God (Rev. 4:10-11; 5:8-14; 7:9-11).
Since worship will be our ceaseless activity and greatest joy in heaven, we ought to be practicing it now.
Here are a few definitions of worship:
*John MacArthur: “Worship is our innermost being responding with praise for all that God is, through our attitudes, actions, thoughts, and words, based on the truth of God as He has revealed Himself”
*William Temple: “To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, and to devote the will to the purpose of God”.
Another, not so eloquent definition:
*Worship is an inner attitude and feeling of awe, reverence, gratitude, and love toward God resulting from a realization of who He is and who we are.

Worship, by the way, is not music. Music can be used for worship. But worship is loving God deeply, knowing that He is all that matters.
Worship is honoring God. Worship is knowing God for who He is, adoring Him, obeying Him, proclaiming Him as a way of life. Music is one way we express that adoration.
As Paul states (1 Cor. 10:31), “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Thus all of life is to be oriented “God-ward,” permeated with a sense of His majesty and glory.

7 Practical Approach on How to Grow In True Worship.

1. MAKE SURE THAT YOU TRULY BELIEVE AND KNOW JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOR AND LORD.
You don’t worship to gain eternal life; you worship because God has given you eternal life.
Worship is your response after you have believed in God’s grace through Christ’s death on your behalf.

2. SCHEDULE A SPECIFIC DAILY TIME ALONE WITH GOD IN THE WORD AND PRAYER.
I cannot over-emphasize this. Worship is your response to the truth that God has revealed in His Word. Prayer is a response to the truth of the Word. Without spending consistent time alone with the Lord, your soul will shrivel up. You won’t worship.

3. ELIMINATE THE TRASH THAT HINDERS YOUR GROWTH IN WORSHIPING GOD.
The world is constantly competing for our worship. It bombards us daily through the media. If a TV show or movie defiles you or crowds out your daily time with the Lord, cut it out. If the computer gobbles up your time, you’ve got to restrict it. If you’re yielding to the temptation to view porn on your computer, you’re in serious spiritual trouble (Matt. 5:27-30)! You cannot glorify God with your body unless you flee from immorality (1 Cor. 6:18-20). You’ve got to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness (1 Tim. 4:7), because true worship is inseparable from godliness.

4. ALWAYS PREPARE YOUR HEART BEFORE CORPORATE WORSHIP IN CHURCH.
I have an advantage on you, in that to survive in the pulpit on Sundays, I have to prepare my heart Saturday evenings. I don’t go to social events on Saturday evenings. I’m not suggesting that you do as I do in that regard, but I am suggesting that you should get home early enough to spend some time before the Lord, making sure that your heart is right with Him and praying that He would be honored by our worship as we gather on Sunday or any other day of coporate worship.

5. DON’T BE A DISTRACTION TO OTHER WORSHIPERS.
Don’t read the bulletin during singing or the sermon. If you have a medical condition that requires you to use the restroom during the worship service, sit near the back and on an aisle so you don’t disturb others. If you’re thirsty, you can wait until the service is over to get a drink. If your child is a distraction to others, take him to the nursery or out of the service.

6. REMEMBER THAT GOD IS THE AUDIENCE.
There is a balance here. We should feel free to express our love to God outwardly without worrying about what others think of us. David danced before the Lord even though it embarrassed his wife, but God sided with David (2 Sam. 6:14-23). On the other hand, if you’re to demonstrative that you’re distracting others and calling attention to yourself, you’re out of balance. “All things must be done properly and in an orderly manner” (1 Cor. 14:40).

7. SPEND TIME WORSHIPING GOD IN HIS CREATION.
If you live in a big city, you’ll have to work harder at this than we who live in beautiful Flagstaff do. But wherever you are, pay attention to what God has made: the night sky with its stars; the sun to warm the day and give light (Ps. 19:1-6); the flowers, the birds, the butterflies, and even the bugs; your body, which is fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14). In Romans 1:18-21, Paul indicts ungodly people who have ignored the evidence of the Creator that is all around them in His creation. Their sin was that they did not honor God or give thanks. In other words, they didn’t worship the Creator. But that’s our ultimate priority!!!

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