Message Recap - 3/14/10 - Church for One: Part 3

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tonight we are bringing the Church for One series to a close with Part 3. You can brush up on parts 1 & 2 here:

Part One

Part Two

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Our theme verse for this series is Psalm 27:8:

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

You can have church everyday – you can meet with God everyday, just you and Him! Not only that, but He wants you to!

It's little secret known as ”devotions.” OK well, it's not actually a secret.

There are lost of techniques and styles for devotions, but there are a couple of things that you must have in your devotional life. For example, watching Saved by the Bell and eating Ho-Hos is not devotions.

Here are the three components devotions should have:

1. Bible reading

2. Prayer

3. Worship

We've covered the Bible and prayer in parts 1 and 2, which means that this week we are delving into number 3: Worship.

Now, if you've been coming to Rev Church for any length of time, you may have noticed that worship is something pastor Dan is passionate about. He talks about it frequently, and if you've heard some of this before, don't turn off or tune out! It is still extremely important!

Why do we worship?

Why do we sing songs, clap, jump, close our eyes and lift our hands? What is the point? Why is it so important? Why is it an important part of your devotional life? Those are great questions, I'm glad you asked! There are essentially two reasons why we worship.

1. As a response to what God has done and who He is

Let's take a look at Romans 12:1:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

The word “spiritual” actually means “logical” in Greek. It means that worship is the only logical response to what Christ has done for us.

God has given us something great – and the only thing that makes sense in response to that is to praise, worship and offer thanksgiving. It's saying a big thank you to the One who gave his life for you.

We also worship because God is worthy. He's worthy because He's glorious; He's the creator or the universe!

Check out Psalm 100:

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

2. Worship is the doorway

The best thing you can do when you come to devotions is to start out praising God and thanking Him. It's as simple as saying thank you for how good He's been to you.

We worship because He's worthy and because it's our access point to the throne of God. When we worship we can access God!

How do we worship?

1. Worship is not built on ritual.

Take a look at Isaiah 29:13.

Here's the NIV translation:

The Lord says:
"These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is made up only of rules taught by men.

But you should really check out the Message version as well.

There is no formula for worship. It's not something that can be learned by rote. You can't just stand next to someone and copy what they are doing and truly worship.

It's not just rules and going through the motions. It's about what is happening in our hearts!

John 4:19-24: Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

The woman at the well was asking Jesus what the rules of worship are, and He responded in an interesting way. He told her that God is not looking for worshipers who worship by rules, but in Spirit.

Worship is internal! It is heartfelt, from the inside! It's not going through the motions to fooling people – it's in spirit.

Secondly, it's in truth. The Bible says, “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Your actions must line up with what's in your heart. If you say, “I'm worshiping God,” but your action is to just stand there... well, it doesn't seem that your heart is overflowing with love and thanksgiving for God. This applies both to devotional worship and corporate worship.

Just try worshiping loud the next time you're home alone. When you pray, try praying out loud – like, really loud.

Think about the moment when your favorite team makes a game winning goal. When you worship the same kind of passion should come out of you!

Worship in truth; express what's in your heart with your words and actions!

God is worthy of worship, even if there were no benefits of worship. The greatness of God and of what Christ did is amazing – that is enough reason to worship. But God in his mercy gave us benefits for worship – yup, worship is good for us!

Benefits of worship:

1. Brings God's Presence

2. Gives Comfort When You're Hurting

Isaiah 61:3: ...and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.

There are times when we all feel like giving up. When we are hurting, feeling betrayed, whatever. In those moments, if you worship, God will comfort you and restore your joy.

God loves us, He doesn't want to see us hurt and broken!

3. Healing

Exodus 23:25: Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you,

4. Deliverance

Psalm 18:2-19 describes someone trapped and God coming down in scary, fierce anger to rescue them. The person trapped is you – God is angry because someone messed with you and He's gonna get 'em!

In Acts 16:20-26 Paul and Silas found time and chose to worship in the worst of circumstances, and God delivered them! As you put God first, see what He does for you – He will deliver you!

Devotions are about relationship, it's not about getting a star on your chart or fulfilling a list of requirements.

God wants you to get to know Him and Him to get to know you.

Back to the theme verse, Psalm 27:8: My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

He's calling you today and everyday to get together with Him, to worship Him, to talk with Him.

How will you respond to His call?

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