5 Fold Church-Worship
Strong and Courageous
January 11, 2019
We are continuing to look at the five parameters that the New Testament develops for a healthy vibrant church. Today’s topic is focused on worship.
My mind is thinking of hundreds of different directions that could be cultivated. The subject matter is truly vast in nature, but I need to limit it down to around four ideas for today. So here we go.
This list is not just some sort of recipe for us to follow in order to be successful in worshipping God. Methodology can be and is vastly very differently from church to church. I am not talking about personal tastes of preference of style. The goal of worship is that of engagement in relationship with all mighty God himself.
Humanity in general is hard-wired to be creatures that worship. We all have a tendency to worship something, so the question arises as to what it is that we are going to be worshipping?
Pop singer/song writer legend Bob Dylan of the 1960’s and 70’s wrote a song titled You gotta serve somebody. After years of fame and fortune, he found a deep void in his life, discovered Jesus and became a Christian. Shortly afterwards he penned these lyrics, “oh you gotta serve somebody… it may be the Devil, or it may be the Lord, but oh you gotta serve somebody.” There is such a stark contrast in the world of the believer as opposed to a non-believer in Jesus. Apart from Christ, the end point of worship is ultimately self, it can be disguised in many other things such as relationships, job, fame, fortune, popularity, intellect, politics, even altruism can subtly mask self-worship. Oprah Winfrey wants us to find that God nature inside of ourselves. Satan desired self-worship at the cost of being kicked out of heaven and his desire is for humanity to self-exalt just as he did in rebellion to God.
Our worship needs to be centered on Christ. We are to be grateful for all that he has done for us to free us from the trappings of self. These material things in and of themselves are not necessarily bad, God knows what we need for zest in life. However, He wants us to place him in first position, above these things. One of the ways that we accomplish this is in the area of viewing our financial giving as an intricate part of our worship as well. Money is not a neutral commodity. It desires to have us trapped within its clutches of desiring to be in the first place of our lives. Giving our tithes and offerings frees us up from financial bondage and provides and arena to see God at work in our lives provision wise. Your best life now can’t be found anywhere else than in God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
So, is Jesus an egoist in desiring us to worship him? I think some people have a hesitancy to truly enter into heart felt passionate worship for this very reason. Jesus is not dependent upon humanity worshipping him in order to receive egotistical strokes. The Trinity of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit have existed in perfect unity and relationship from the infinite past. The Godhead was not existing in isolation, so they had no need to create man in order to fulfil some aspect of loneliness. The creation of the universe and all that is in it is to be an extension of the love of the Godhead. They said; let us create humankind in our own image so that we may enjoy good relationships with one another and with God as well.
My final thought for you today is that the goal or endpoint of committed worship, is for us to receive an amazing abundance of Joy, both corporately and individually! The Joy of the Lord is our strength! When we gather together to sing songs of worship, we should not have an attitude that we are just going through the motion of singing five songs or so without having it having a dramatic impact on our lives. While there is a place for solemn piety in worship from time to time, the main theme should be that of profound joy and contentment in exalting the risen savior!!!!
We can have a tendency to view Jesus as just a somber sort of sad sack that was persecuted and died. While it is true that he had a terrible price to pay for the sin of humanity, the scripture says that he endured the cross, knowing the joy that was to follow. Andrew Wilson in the book titled Incomparable describes it like this: “The Sovereign God is happy. He is happy in a far deeper and more lasting way than any of us can know... He is jubilantly joyful, deeply delighted , and seriously satisfied. And we get to taste and see that the Lord is good.
Two scriptures that come to mind about this post. The first is found in Hebrews 12:28,29 which states, "Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire." The other is 2nd Peter 2:3,4 which states. “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”