Worship is a topic that we all should be vitally interested in.
- In the beginning, on the sixth day of creation, God reached down and made man from the dust of the earth. ©
- Ever since then man has been reaching upward to God in worship.
- The Greeks had a name for man – anthropos, meaning the “upward looking one.” Man was made with the capacity to look upward in worship of God.
David captures the wonderful concept and spirit of worship throughout the book of Psalms, for example:
- Psalm 95:1-6
- Psalm 96:1-4, note especially verse 9
- Notice that in these 5 verses the word “worship” is used 10 times (Jesus using 8 of them), and from this we can see this is an important passage in helping us to understand worship.
- Understanding God’s view of worship is vital for us to understand for:
- Many say, “It doesn’t matter how you worship as long as it comes from the heart.”
- Many go to worship “for what they can get”
- Worship has become nothing more than entertainment in many congregations
- Many hold little reverence in worship
- Hebrews 12:28
- To reverence God means to respect and honor Him
We must realize that worship is giving – not getting – it is giving to God.
- In worshipping God we must do so in “the beauty of holiness”
- To help us better understand what reverence in worship is – we need to better understand the meaning of worship ©
We have to be careful with definitions, for the Bible deals more in descriptions and demonstrations than definitions.
- Our English word “worship” is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word “WORTHSHIP” – thus declaring the worth of God. Notice how this idea is described in …
- Revelation 4:11
- Revelation 5:12
- Worship is ascribing worth to God, and notice that only God is worthy of worship
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word most often translated as “worship” is SHACHAH which means to “bow down to do homage.”
- “…they bowed their heads and worship” (Exo. 4:31)
- “the people bowed the head and worshipped” (Exo. 12:27)
- In this principle REVERENCE is clearly seen
In the New Testament the key word translated as “worship” is proskunew (proskuneo) which means to “kiss the hand toward” – Carries the idea of reverence
- Another word latreuw (latreuo) basically means “to serve or minister“
- And another is leitourgos (lei/tour/gos) which means “a priestly minister” – an insight into our priestly approach to God… 1 Peter 2:5, 9
As we put all this together, we understand that worship:
- Ascribes worth to God
- Is to be done in reverence – “Our hearts are to bow down to Him.”
- Involves “attitudes” and “actions”
- Is a balanced activity involving the mind, the emotions, and the will.
In thinking about God, David wrote “My heart is overflowing” (Psa. 45:1 – NKJ)
- God has always instructed His people how He wanted to be worshipped
- Notice that this perfume, actually a sweet-smelling incense was made for GOD ALONE (v. 37). The recipe was not to be duplicated for any man – to do so would cause one to be cut off.
- What is the point? The fragrance was for God alone. It rose to God’s nostrils – it was unique for Him
- This is a great picture of worship! Our worship rises up to God – it is to be unique, separated, holy, and well pleasing unto HIM.
This is one of the great problems in the church today – many are losing sight of God and focus on themselves and their wants – THEY FAIL TO REVERENCE GOD
- Doing things your own way is not giving God reverence
- God can only be reverenced obediently
One of the primary functions of the church is to supply the incentives for worship and to provide the proper environment for worship.
When worship is not the growing experience of Christians – the church could be at fault, or the individual could be at fault.
If the church is at fault, it will eventually perish – unless it remedies the situation
- The church must provide reverent and meaningful periods of worship.
- The church must make sure that every individual has the opportunity to worship God according to truth
- This would include the proper atmosphere, that is, a place of reverence and holiness, and would include actions done according to God’s precepts
If it is the individual’s fault, he will wither away spiritually unless a change is made.
- An individual must realize that worship is not something that is done to him, but that which is offered toward God – something to be offered in reverence
- Many say, “I just don’t get anything out of worship.” This is because they are putting little or nothing into their worship.
It has been said “that worship is the missing jewel of the church”
- That sounds very strange when you consider the fact that the church spends so much time in worship
- But, QUANTITY is no substitute for QUALITY
- And just “going to church” is not the same thing as reverent worship ©
Our challenge, then, is to grow in the worship defined and described in God’s holy word – this will provide true reverence in worship
We need to ask ourselves:
- Do I really focus on God – am I reverent toward Him?
- Is worship a real priority with me?
- Do I faithful attend the services with a true commitment to worship in spirit and truth?
- Do I do all I can to make my worship meaningful to God
- Do I interfere with other’s worship?
There is a close relationship between salvation, worship and service.
- Salvation comes down from God through Jesus for man
- Worship rises up to God from man through Jesus
- Service goes out to man from man for God