Sunday, August 19, 2007

Getting To Know God: Worship
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Getting To Know God: Worship

Intro.: It has been too long – but I remember seeing these strangely dressed people on our college campus.

  1. They would be quoting their mantra -

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare1

  1. It was their form of worship – not something that I found exciting, but found on some college campuses.

  2. Something was missing.

  3. Listen to the Psalmist worship -

Read: Psalm 100



  1. The Greek word for worship is derived from two words – one meaning “to” or “toward” and another meaning “to kiss”.2

  2. One dictionary says that to worship is idolize: to love unquestioningly and uncritically or to excess; or to venerate as an idol;3

  3. It can be used as a noun - “Worship is ...” or a verb - “We worship God.”

  4. And when it comes to getting to know God, worship is the place to begin.

  1. God-Centered Worship4

    1. Adele Calhoun points out that we usually associate worship with religion. But worship can be found in the lives of even the average person, the agnostic, or even athiests.”

    2. What is the secret to determining what you worship? It is what gives your life value. What do you love? Where do you focus your attention? These are the things we worship.

(Ill.) G. K. Chesterson was a well-known author of the early 20th century. Like his friend Agatha Christie, he wrote wrote a series of mysteries books based on the character Father Brown. C. S. Lewis credited his writing with being a key influence as he came to a point of faith. Philip Yancy, a modern Christian author has said, that beside his Bible, the one other book he would want on a desert island is Chesterson's Orthodoxy. Chesterson once wrote, “The crux and crisis is that man found it natural to worship; even natural to worship unnatural things.... If man cannot pray he is gagged; if he cannot kneel be is in irons.5

    1. When we begin to think about worship – we are talking about a two directional relationship. We stand on one side – that goes without saying. But when we speak of Godly worship, the person on the other side is God.

    2. There is an incident in Jesus' life in which He teaches us a great deal about worship. Jesus is walking through Samaria and He send His disciples into town to get food. Jesus begins a conversation with a woman who is drawing water at the village well. During His conversation with the woman, Jesus remarks

Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 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.6

    1. Godly worship is not something we do, it something that happens – it takes our hearts and directs them toward God.

    2. God meets us when we worship Him; are you ready to meet Him.

  1. Corporate Worship

    1. Godly worship will turn our attention toward God – but having said that, we must realize that it can take many forms.

    2. I want to start by examining what is commonly called “corporate worship”

    3. A W Tozer writes, “Jesus was born of a virgin, suffered under Pontius Pilate, died on the cross, and rose from the grave to make worshipers out of rebels!”

    4. Whether it is here in a Sunday morning service, gathering together around the communion table, or around a campfire – God will meet us there.

    5. I think sometimes when we quote a verse too often, it begins to lose its significance. For example, how often have you heard someone quote Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Repeating it may reduce its impact on us, but it does not, in any sense, reduce its truth.

    6. Whether two, three, twenty, or 2000 of us meet together, Christ promise is that HE IS HERE.

  2. Personal Worship

    1. But worship is not only a corporate experience – it is also personal experience.

    2. In a very real sense, worship is personal even when we gather together. My experience with God will be different than you experience with God.

    3. But there are also times that we find ourselves worshiping alone – it is an experience that is repeated throughout scripture – David, the prophets, Jesus, Paul all found times alone with God.

(Ill.) One of the best modern examples I have found was that of Jim Elliot. Jim Elliot was one of five missionaries that were martyred in Ecuador. Before making that fateful trip that would see him giving his life, Jim contracted malaria – and that left him somewhat isolated from his family and friends. On August 16, 1953, he wrote in his diary:

The tent was too hot to rest in this afternoon. Bathed leisurely and alone in the Talac river. First time I’ve felt I could walk that far while in public.

This came to me as I was sitting on the cliff after a light supper of manoic, raw carrots, and tea:

Because, O God, from Thee comes all, because from Thine own mouth has entered us the power to breathe, from Thee the sea of air in which we swim and the unknown nothingness that stays it over us with unseen bands; because Thou gavest us from heart of love so tender, mind so wise and hand so strong, Salvation; because Thou are Beginning, God, I worship Thee.7

  1. Do you need to find time for personal worship? When you remember David, the prophets, Jesus, Paul all need to do so - is it surprising the we do too.

Conclusion: When we think about getting to know God better, worship is one place to start.



2Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G4352). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.


4Calhoun, Adele Ahlberg (2005). Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books.


6The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.) (Jn 4:21-24). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

7Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson's complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (811). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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