What is Worship? Part III
Matthew 7:7-8; 1 John 5:13-15
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:13-15
Our chief purpose in life is to give Christ glory; this is what these passages are all about. This is proclaimed in Scripture (Psalm 73:25-28; 1 Cor. 10:31; Rom. 11:36), in our confessions of faith, and must be so in the practice of our faith. Again, it is not about us, it is about Him! To worship Christ is to identify us in His purpose and will, not in ours. The key component, which is overlooked by some for dramatic effect and selfish inclinations, is who the focal point is. It must not be very convenient for some I guess, and when the church does not yield to this strong premise, we will fall to our own schemes and thus fail with His call. We may take pleasure in false emotional and sociological phenomena, but to deny the Glory to Christ is a very dangerous move that will turn and bite us hard later.
It is interesting to note that many false teachers use these verses out of their context to proclaim that God is a divine bellhop who delivers to us our whims and desires-that we seek Him to please ourselves and get what we want. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no guarantee that God will give us anything, and we certainly do not deserve anything. Out of His grace will come splendors and treasures for us in His time, perhaps in this life, but certainly in the life to come. It is this same perverted thinking that twists what worship is, falsifies who Christ is, and misrepresents how we are to approach Him.
What we need to ask ourselves is if the glory of God is in our mindset when we sit in our churches and begin to worship? If not, why not? To begin our worship, our minds need to be focused on Him, with the will and desire to glorify Christ. Perhaps we should ask ourselves, what enchants me? What is my pleasure? Where is my treasure? Where is my gain? These questions will show our character and where we receive our drive and thinking. These are the guidelines that motivate our designs and decisions, and how we treat our Lord and one another. This is also how collectively, we as a body of believers will treat our neighbors and one another. Having a mindset of glorifying Christ will affect all we do in life. It will enhance our relationships, center our church, and cause us to be more fruitful in what He has for us.
Remember that the essential element in worship is that all who proclaim God as Lord must also be devoted to Him. That is, we must love Him, we respect Him, and we fear (as in awe) and reverence Him. We are to worship Him and only Him in glory, and what He has done in deeds. We can take comfort and assurance that the worship we have toward the Father does not fall on deaf ears. We are meeting with our Father and not a tyrant. We are to seek His presence, apply it to ourselves, and then to others. Then, the blessings will abound and we can be the church we should be-a heartfelt, God-exalting church that really worships (Ex. 3:14-15; 15:11; Isa. 6:3; 41:4; John 20:28; Rev. 1:4-6).
Read Matthew 7:7-8; 1 John 5:13-15
- What is your chief purpose in life? What should it be? How does worship come into play here?
- How can you have a will and desire to glorify Christ? What do you need to do? What would this do for your life at church and your life in the world?
- When you go to church to worship what is going through your mind? What should go through it? Perhaps you should ask yourself, what enchants me? What is my pleasure? Where is my treasure? Where is my gain in? And how do these things give and should give Christ glory?
- What does it mean to you too give Christ glory? How do you do that in worship?
- How does having a mindset of glorifying Christ affect all you do in life? How does worship affect this?
- How have you seen Christians take pleasure in false emotional and sociological phenomena's? How does this please God?
- What happens to the glory of God in our mindset when we sit in your church and begin to worship? What should happen or happen better?
- How and why is real worship sometimes the key component that is overlooked or left out by some for dramatic effect and selfish inclinations?
- How should your church display the glory of God in its mindset to worship? What can your leadership do to please God better?
- How can your confessions of faith be displayed in the practice of your faith through worship?
- Why do some Christians see God as a divine bellhop who delivers to us our whims and desires? Have you done this? How so? What can you and your church do to prevent and remove this misguided yet desirable mindset?
- How and why is worship not to be about us parishioners, rather, it is to be all about Him! To worship Christ? How do we forget this important endeavor? What can you do to make Christ supreme and central in your worship both privately and collectively as a church?
Principle Passages on Worship: Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalm 50; Psalm 65:13; 79:13; 95:6-7; 100; 150; Matthew 4:10; 2:2,11; 14:33; John 4:23; 9:35-38; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 4