2013-08-30 - Worship
At least once a year I like to hit on the three keys to our youth group's mission: Worship, Repent, and Serve. Let's examine worship first. To help us remember the importance of this I am reminded of a commercial with a camel. The camel walks around asking what day is it and finally when someone says that it is Wednesday he gets all excited. The commercial implies the camel gets excited on Wednesdays being called hump day because of his own hump but I think a verse might help us understand his excitement better.
Psalm 148:7,10,13 (NASB) - Praise the Lord from the earth, Beasts and all cattle Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.
The camel wants to praise the lord and perhaps the camel knows on Wednesday nights many churches will join him in praising the Lord. We should be happier than a camel on hump day to worship our incredible God.
I recently read a book by Louie Giglio entitled "The Air I Breathe" about worship. It begins saying, "You, my friend are a worshiper! There I said it. Everyday, all day long, in every place, you worship. Its what you do. Its who you are. We are all worshipers, created to bring pleasure and honor to the God who made us. Its what you were made to do. Should you for some reason choose not to give God what he desires, youll worship anyway simply exchanging the Creator for something he has created.
He goes on to define worship simply as our response to what we value most. You and I were made to worship. The guy down the street he was made to worship. The lady you run into at the salon she was made to worship. Everyone is made to worship and because we were made to worship; we worship. It just comes natural. But we do not all worship God.
Giglio continues, "Everybody has an altar. And every altar has a throne Follow the trail of your time, your affection, your energy, your money, and your allegiance. At the end of that trail you will find a throne; and whatever, or whomever, is on that throne is what's of highest value to you."
I attended a concert a few weeks ago, people were shouting when their favorite songs were played by the artists they adored. They would raise their hands and make some noise as the performers did their thing. Tonight I watched a football game and saw people in the stands clapping, shouting, sporting their teams colors. I haven't been to a musical in years but as "Phantom of the Opera" ended and I was sighing with relief that it was over, others were clapping and smiling. At many churches, you can watch people fall asleep, slumped in their cheers looking bored beyond belief. Of these four groups, only one does not appear to be worshipping anything.
Scriptures tell us to raise our hands, clap, shout, dance joyfully, and proudly proclaim our allegiance to Christ. The world gets it but inside the four walls on Sundays most of us forget it.
We can claim to worship God with our mouths but our actions speak much louder at times. Worship is about setting our heart's affection, our mind's attention, and our soul's allegiance on God. What are you passionate about? What do you find your mind drifting off at work or school to think about? What are you loyal to? What does your soul cry out for? The answer to these questions will tell you what you really worship.
Let me break it down with some confessional examples from my own life. I have a great wife; she is incredible. There are times when she talks and I tune her out favoring the TV's humming drone over her voice. What drowns out the voice of God in your life? Where is your heart's affection. I am perhaps on Facebook just a little. I catch myself telling my kids I'm too busy to play with them because I'm reading my newsfeed. What do you pay attention to more? Where is your mind's attention? I love my country but I do not support the direction I feel it is headed. I believe our government is broken and don't see much hope for it. I will not pledge my allegiance to a political system that loves sin but I am loyal to my country and grateful for the freedoms we have for now. Where does your allegiance lie?
I would dare say all our priorities should point us to Christ but perhaps you are asking, "Why? Why is God worthy of our worship?" The writer of Hebrews helps shed some light on that question.
Hebrews 1:1-4 (NASB)
God spoke to the ancients for us. God sent his son to speak to us. Jesus is heir of all. Jesus is our creator which explains why he inherits it all. Jesus is the exact image of God. He upholds and sustains all things. He redeemed us from our sin purifying us of it. Lastly, he is already on the throne.
So will you worship God or something else?
Author's Note: This is based on a sermon preached to a youth group on 08/21/2013. This is Part One of a series based on three keys to the youth group's mission: Worship, Repent, and Serve.
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted