Worship: How We Bless the Lord

First Baptist Church http://fbcbartow.org

“Worship: How We Bless the Lord”

(Selected Passages)

Series: The Spiritual Disciplines [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

June 24, 2018

Introductory Comments:

We are gathered here this morning for worship. We gather every week for the purpose of worship. 

However, do we really know what worship is and what the Bible says about worship?

We are continuing our series through the spiritual disciples. So, how does worship qualify as a discipline?

What are we to do when worshipping?

That’s what we’ll look at this morning. 

Let’s pray together as we learn together. 

(Prayer)

What do we know about worship?

Some think of worship as music only. That’s not biblical. We worship God in more ways than just music. 

The Bible gives us many teachings on worship. Today we will focus on three. 

First, . . .

I. We are expected to worship.   [on screen]

As with all of the spiritual disciplines that we have covered thus far, Bible intake, prayer, fasting, and giving, the Bible assumes and expects that we will worship God.

Hebrews 12:28 tells us,

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, [on screen]

We worship God because of how He has blessed us!

When Jesus was tempted by Satan to worship him, Jesus replied with the clear commandments of God in Matthew 4:10.

Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” [on screen]

Additionally, we read in Psalm 95:6,

Come, let us worship and bow down;

let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. [on screen]

We are to worship God, who is the King of the universe!

If we are expected to worship Him, we must know what it means to worship. 

In his book on the subject, Dr. Donald Whitney describes what it means to worship. He says, 

“To worship God means to ascribe the proper worth to God, to magnify His worthiness of praise, or better, to approach and address God as He is worthy. As the holy and almighty God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, the Sovereign Judge to whom we must give an account, He is worthy of all the worth and honor we can give Him and then infinitely more.”

Would you like a simpler explanation? 

(pause)

Dr. Whitney’s short description is,

“Worship is focusing on and responding to God.”

(repeat)

Again, it’s not just music. It’s in many different ways, like reading Scripture, prayer, observing the ordinances of the Lord’s Supper and baptism, preaching, and more. 

The Bible expects that as followers of Jesus we will focus upon and respond to God; that we will worship Him. 

That takes us to our next point:

II. We must be focused in worship.   [on screen]

Well, what are we focused upon? We are focused on God and understanding who He is!

We are not to be focused on the distractions in the room, and we have our fair share of distractions here at First Baptist Church. 

We are not to be focused on our neighbor’s actions. 

We are not to be focused on what we might have for lunch (some of you were not distracted by that before, but now you are).

We are to be focused in our worship on the living God of the universe!

We read in Revelation 5:12-13

12 They said with a loud voice,

Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered

to receive power and riches

and wisdom and strength

and honor and glory and blessing!

13 I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them say,

Blessing and honor and glory and power

be to the one seated on the throne,

and to the Lamb, forever and ever! [on screen]

The hero of worship is God! He is worthy to receive all the power and glory and honor and praise and exhalation!

(pause)

So, how can we focus on God?

(pause)

Well, first of all we must delight in Him. We must desire Him. 

Psalm 37:4 says,

Take delight in the Lord,

and he will give you your heart’s desires. [on screen]

When we delight in something we spend more time thinking about it. 

Do you delight in money? Food? Your job?

If we delight in God we focus on Him. 

Additionally, we must do our best to purge our hearts and minds of anything else that may be robbing us of our focus.

Perhaps we do focus on things that we wish we didn’t. Try to get rid of the focus on those things. 

I used to be glued to my phone, but I tried to change that. Now, I misplace my phone! That’s a good problem!

Get rid of the focus that sin consumes in your mind and heart!

Get rid of your focus on lesser desires!

Focus on God!

So, we must be focused in our worship. 

Further, . . .

III. We must be biblical in worship.  [on screen]

When we worship, we should worship with a biblical love for God. A love that is completely devoted to Him. 

Mark 12:30 tells us,

30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. [on screen]

So, on a personal level we should worship God with an all-out love for Him. 

Because we have been changed by the power of Jesus we should be completely devoted to Him, and we discipline ourselves to do so. 

(pause)

Did you know that you don’t have to be in a church building to worship God? You can worship Him anytime and anywhere, by yourself or in a group. 

What a joy this is! We don’t have to wait until Sunday to worship God. He will meet us personally and privately whenever we want!

Gathering with other Christians is not the exclusive way that we worship God. 

However, make no mistake gathering with the church is essential to the full picture of the biblical view of the worship of God. 

Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us,

24 And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works 25 not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching. [on screen]

In order to be biblical in worship, part of what we should be doing is gathering regularly for corporate worship as a church family. 

You can worship God at your house, on a boat, on the golf course, or at a coffee shop; but not to the exclusion of gathering as the church of Jesus Christ!

(pause)

Finally, in thinking about biblical worship we must turn to John 4:23-24. Jesus says,

23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.” [on screen]

What does it mean to worship God in spirit and truth? 

Well, we can think of it this way: we must worship God with a proper understanding of who He truly is, and a proper devotion to Him because of who He is. Understanding (truth) and devotion (spirit). 

We must know about Him in order to fall more in love with Him. 

Once we do know Him, we must devote our hearts to Him. 

So, we are expected to worship, we must be focused in worship, and we must be biblical in worship. 

Concluding Thoughts:

How do you view worship?

Why are you gathered here today?

We must worship God and we must discipline ourselves to do so. 

Our bottom line is . . .

Bottom Line: We worship because God is worthy of worship.  [on screen]

(repeat)

Let us acknowledge His worth and let us devote ourselves to Him in worship. 

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

  1. List the reasons that God is worthy of worship.  [on screen]

Spend some time in reflection to focus you in your worship. 

Reflecting on God’s attributes centers your mind and heart on Him. 

  1. Prepare yourself for Sunday worship.  [on screen]

Before you gather for worship with your church, shake loose any distractions. Repent of sin. Mend broken relationships. Forgive others. Take on humility. 

  1. Determine if you worship in spirit and truth.  [on screen]

Do you have a proper understanding of God?

Do you have a proper devotion to God?

Closing:

We worship God by understanding who He is and responding with a proper devotion. 

How are we doing, church?

Some of you cannot understand God and respond to Him appropriately because you don’t really know Him. 

(Gospel Presentation)

(Closing Prayer)

Invitation Song – Softly and Tenderly

Benediction:

Tonight we will gather at 5:30 to hear a report on the SBC annual meeting that I got to go to last week. You may have some questions and you may learn something. I hope to see you at 5:30 tonight. 

Let’s dismiss by singing the Doxology. 

(Sing Doxology)

COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER: The text contained in this sermon is solely owned by its author. The reproduction, or distribution of this message, or any portion of it, should include the author’s name. The author intends to provide free resources in order to inspire believers and to assist preachers and teachers in Kingdom work.