Second Nature  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  29:13
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SECOND NATURE WORSHIP February 2nd, 2020 VIDEO – SECOND NATURE SLIDE 2 – TITLE WELCOME Good Morning! Welcome to Fox Valley Christian Church, where every member is a missionary. SUPERBOWL Alright … it’s here again. Superbowl Sunday. I hope throughout the years you have learned that I am just not good at predicting the winner of the Superbowl. I am currently 1 and 5. I will be picking for the 7th time who I think will win the Superbowl. We have come to learn that whoever you are routing for … you better hope I don’t say their name next. This year, I predict that the San Francisco 49ers will win the Superbowl. For the record, I did that partially because I genuinely think they will … and partially for Brent because I know He is a Chiefs fan. Thought I would do him a favor and let him start celebrating early. INTRO We are in the middle of our sermon series on Spiritual Disciplines. Where we are looking at some of the different spiritual disciplines. Not in an attempt to become Pharisees that are disciplined to practice different traditions and regulations … no, we want to pursue God and in so doing pursue godliness. So far, we have talked about Bible Intake, Prayer, and Fasting. Today we will be looking at the spiritual discipline of worship. Worship is one of the most well known and by far one of the disciplines that seems the easiest to practice. We come together every Sunday for a worship service. We are given many opportunities through the course of our day to worship and praise God for His goodness. We have been created to worship. It is out purpose and it is our privilege. Jesus reminds us when fending off Satan’s lies that: MATTHEW 4:10B SLIDE 3 – SCRIPTURE 'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.' PSALM 95:6 SLIDE 4 – SCRIPTURE 6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! We are called to worship God. That being said, those who pursue God must understand that it is possible to worship God in vain. Jesus quotes Isaiah when He says: MATTHEW 15:8-9 SLIDE 5 – SCRIPTURE 8 "'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; SLIDE 6 – SCRIPTURE 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'" So the question today that we want to answer is, how do we worship God? HOW DO WE WORSHIP GOD SO THAT WE ARE NOT DOING IT IN VAIN? SLIDE 7 – TITLE WORSHIP IS FOCUSING ON AND RESPONDING TO GOD Worship is difficult to define well. So to begin, let’s observe acts of worship in scripture, let’s observe worship in action. In John 20 – we see that Jesus has died on the cross and then He was resurrected. After this, the disciples are telling Thomas how they saw Jesus and that He in fact is alive again. Thomas responds and says … unless I see Him, see His wounds, and in fact touch His wounds … I will not believe. Then, check this out … JOHN 20:26-28 SLIDE 8 – SCRIPTURE 26 Eight days later, His disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." SLIDE 9 – SCRIPTURE 27 Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." SLIDE 10 – SCRIPTURE 28 Thomas answered Him, "My Lord and my God!"” That is worship. Thomas sees Jesus for who He is and responds, “My Lord and My God!” Worship is focusing on and responding to God. SLIDE 11 – TITLE Go to the book of Revelation. In Chapter 4 we see four creatures surrounding the throne of and they are constantly praising God day and night. Non stop. Simply saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.” There response to God is that they cannot help but worship Him. Then there are 24 Elders surrounding the throne and we see that these Elders cast their crowns down and begin praising … saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power …” Chapter 5, the next chapter, the creatures and the Elders are saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll …“ Then we see Thousands of thousands of Angels saying, “Worthy is the lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” Finally at the end of this chapter we see: REVELATION 5:13 SLIDE 12 – SCRIPTURE 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!" Wow … alright … let’s try to define worship. Things to look at here: - - Worship comes from the word “worthship” … It was originally described as recognizing the worth of God and responding to His worth. Notice how many times worthy was repeated in these praises. Why? Because God is worthy. He is worthy of all power, glory, honor, praise. He is worthy. The next thing to see is that the worship is the response to God after focusing on God. After recognizing who God is, we then respond in worship. Finally, I want you to see that 5:13 said that every creature AND “all that is in them” responded in worship. SLIDE 13 – TITLE No matter what you are saying or singing or doing at any moment, you are worshiping God only when you are focused on Him, thinking of Him, and responding to Him. If you are not focusing on God and thinking of God, then what you are doing is not an act of worship. It is not an act that recognizes that He is worthy. Whenever you focus on the infinite worth of God, you will respond in worship as surely as the moon reflects the sun. This kind of worship isn’t done in vain. WORSHIP IS DONE IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH The same is true when worship is done in spirit and in truth. Jesus said: JOHN 4:23-24 SLIDE 14 – SCRIPTURE 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. SLIDE 15 – SCRIPTURE 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." We must worship in spirit and in truth. What does that mean? Think of it like this … we are told to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Imagine if I love God with my heart, but not my mind. Imagine if I just feel feelings of love, but I actually don’t know God. Do I really love Him? Or, I know a lot about God, but I don’t really know Him … so there is not emotional response within me. Do I really love Him? SLIDE 16 – TITLE We are called to love Him with both heart and mind. Because of this, when we focus on Him and respond to Him … we do it with both heart and mind. We worship Him in spirit and in truth, heart and mind, emotions and thought. If we worship too much just by spirit, we will be mushy and soft on the truth, worshipping according to feelings only. Just the emotional high that worship gives me. Not authentic worship. If we worship by truth without spirit, then our worship will be grim and one must question whether we actually believe the truths about God that we are speaking, singing, thinking, etc. These two are complementary to each other. As we come to know God more, we respond to Him in an act of spiritual worship. On the other side, when we are lead to worship God by His Spirit, we draw nearer and in turn know Him more. And the reality of it is, we cannot authentically, truly worship God without His Spirit leading and guiding us. 1 CORINTHIANS 12:3 SLIDE 17 – SCRIPTURE 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus is accursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit. To respond to the truths of who God is through worship, we are prompted and lead by His Spirit. So, we worship in Spirit and in Truth. SLIDE 18 – TITLE WORSHIP IS EXPECTED BOTH PUBLICLY AND PRIVATELY Worship is a public and a private thing. We come together publically to worship God, but we also are worshipping Him privately. If the only time we worship God is in public, then I would question whether we are really worshipping God or just putting on a face. If we only worship God in private, then we are missing what God has designed for us through His body. To come together as one to worship God. I am always amazed when people believe that the forest or the river is their Church. When people believe that they can worship God the same through a digital service as they can by showing up to the live service. I am not attacking those who stream their services, I believe there is great benefit to stream services … but it is not the same. Superbowl Sunday … who knew that the NFL would make it through the whole kneeling scandal? And there are probably some here that still have a negative feel for the NFL because of the players that chose to kneel. I totally understand that, and I do not want to make light of it. But … there was something that happened in the midst of that, that I believe will help us to better understand the effects of worshipping together (in person). When this was going on, Jen’s Dad and uncle were going on a rampage about how you ALWAYS stand for the national anthem. Her uncle is a veteran and it was a big deal to him that you ALWAYS stand for the national anthem and anything less than that is an atrocity. So his daughter decided that in the midst of his passionate speech that it was a good time to really see where he stood on this issue. So she said, “Why do you remain seated on the couch when we are watching the games at home? If you ALWAYS stand, shouldn’t you stand for the anthem when you are at home also?” But that’s different, right? Those players should stand, because you always stand … but many … most of us sit on our couches and watch the National Anthem. We don’t stand, because we feel disconnected from what is really going on. Same can be said about watching a game by yourself and watching it with five friends that you can high five and cheer with. The experience is different. We are called to both private and public worship. Our private worship enhances our public worship of God and our public worship enriches our private worship. WORSHIP IS A DISCIPLINE TO BE CULTIVATED Finally, worship is a discipline. Yes it is a response to God, but it is also a discipline. Really, that is why it is a discipline. How do you respond to God, if you never focus on Him? How do you increase in godliness if you do not take the time to look upon God for who He is? When we practice the other disciplines, it in turn increases our ability to practice the spiritual discipline of worship. And, as we respond to God through worship … recognizing His worth … we desire to pursue Him in His Word and we recognize just how awesome it is that God would allow us to stand before Him in prayer. WALKING POINTS Final thing here as we look at what this means for us as we leave. When you look to all of the references to worship in the Old Testament. The word in the Old Testament that is translated as worship literally means, “bow down.” When we worship God, we recognize His worth and we bow down. For some, we cry out His worthiness through song. For some, we do it through silent reverence and our hearts scream of His worthiness. Other, we do not sing … but we lift our voices and speak of His power, His love, His grace, His mercy. Others, we tremble before God and worship Him by merely bowing and submitting to His will. I guarantee this, everyone of us would understand what it means to respond to God in worship if He showed up on this stage. If He appeared before you, you would be compelled to respond to His worthiness. You couldn’t hold back and it would look different for each of us. But we would respond, because He is worthy. This week I simply challenge you to focus on God, to really focus on Him through reading, meditation, prayer, fasting … any of the disciplines and then take some time to respond to Him in worship. To recognize His worth and respond accordingly. - You may sing praise You may tell someone of His glory You may silently weep You may paint or draw in response to His greatness Will you focus on God this week and respond? Because He is worthy.
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