FIRST UMC – NEBRASKA CITY
15TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 22ND 2019
TEXTS: 1 TIMOTHY 2: 1 – 7
THEME: CHURCH WORSHIP.
Last week we shared about the importance of mentoring one another especially in our faith walk. This relationship of a mentor and mentee could be people of the same age, or differing ages. It is always best if people are of the same gender to help in the openness of sharing.
Today we would like to explore what it means to experience worship in the church.
First, we have to define what is worship before we get to church worship. There is secular worship and there is sacred worship. In the secular worship it involves world powers. Secular worship basically means an adoration or honor given to a higher being or power that exist. Therefore, people have been known to worship kings, queens and other deities over years. People have been known to worship powers, wealth, even political systems. The word of God is clear where our focus should be.
Second, we have sacred worship. Our focus today is the church worship or sacred worship to our living God.
True sacred worship takes place when we acknowledge God and his power and we give glory to God in everything we do. We are to therefore be obedient to his word.
How do we worship? We worship when we express ourselves through praises from the depth of our hearts toward God who is understood through his word. How do we prepare ourselves for worship to God? We have to be willing to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. “Yet a time is coming and now has come, when true worshippers will worship the father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the father seek” (John 4:23). This kind of worship that Jesus was suggesting to the Samaritan woman will not be defined by the venue, the people but rather by all people who are willing to worship God in spirit and truth.
- Worshipping God in Spirit: This kind of worship invites us to open our hearts so that we can experience God’s presence in what we are doing. Worship means giving God all that is worth of him. We approach God believing that his love and mercy is above what we can imagine. This means we have to give reverence and attribute all the worth to him. We have to give God the highest admiration. We have to allow our heart to be fully engaged. This happens when we develop true passion for God. It become a matter of heart not external emotions. Our worship has to go deeper than emotions. Though emotions are good the question come when the emotions are done. We become those seeds the farmer was planting and they feel on the rock. They grew quickly because of warmth but died quickly because there was no place for the roots to develop. We have to allow God spirit to sink down deep in our hearts. “Some fell on the rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture” (Luke 8:6). When emotions are done what next. People may experience these emotions as they attend a highly charged service but when they go home everything go cold.
- Worshipping God in Truth: To be able to worship God in truth we have to be property informed who God is. We have to love God with all our heat soul, mind and strength. When we worship God without depth the experience leaves us empty when the emotions die down. Truth without spirit can result to dry passionless encounter it becomes a form of joyless legalism. The more we know about God the more we appreciate him. This is true too in our everyday life. The more we know about somebody the more we appreciate them. It helps in defining our relationship with that person. The deeper our worship gets the more God is glorified. For us to receive full blessing when we come before God, we have to be sincere in our approach. We can’t pretend. We have to fight moments that try to take us away from the moment. It is easy to go through a worship time empty and by the end there is nothing you can hold on to. We have to believe we cam here this morning not to waste time or pass time before we go to a more important work for the day. You have to be true to yourself and tell God that you came today to seek his face and his guide. The bible says that those who seek will find. Worship time is a time of seeking God’s face.
- Elements of Worship: When Abraham went up the mountain to sacrifice his son Isaac, he told his servant to wait as they went up to worship God. “He said to his servants, stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and we will come back” (Genesis 22:5). There are several elements that enhance our worship to God: A) Praises that we do through music or songs to our God. When we join in songs is one way of worshipping God. The words we sing are very powerful and as we sing them, they represent our expression to God. B) Use of Art. Over the years people have expressed themselves through art. Through Art we are able to speak to God without words. That why the stain glass windows become an inspiration as we look at them. Jesus would tell stories that would paint a picture for people to understand., C) Dance: when we come on a Sunday worship, we have to remind ourselves dancing for our God is important. When David experienced the goodness for God, he danced so hard that he even removed his clothes. This made his wife even despise. “David, wearing a linen ephod danced before the LORD with all his might while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and sounds of trumpets” (2 Samuel 6:14-15). him but God was happy and God punished the wife for that, D) Offering: Whenever we give our tithes, offering and gift is a form of worship. God instructed his people as they settled in the new lands that when they go to worship, they can’t go empty handed. “Three times a year…………….No man should appear before the LORD empty-handed. Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you” (Deuteronomy 16:16-17). E) Offering of our bodies: In worship we offer ourselves as a life offering before God. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). F) The word of God brings us to God’s truth. It by hearing the word of God that our heart gets strangely warmed. It is the word of God that opens a special window in our heart.