Community Group Study Notes
- Have someone in your group provide a brief, 2-minute summary of Sunday’s message.
- Read John 4:21 and 4:24. What is the right place of worship? Why is it easier to think about worship in a specific location (like a Sunday morning gathering) instead of wherever we find ourselves?
- Why is it necessary for us to understand the nature of the true God as it pertains to worship? Though many might say they believe in God, why do we need to be more specific than that? How is God’s nature as Trinity important to this discussion?
- True worship is about the right perspective; it’s about God, not about us. In what ways do you sometimes find yourself getting the wrong perspective and focusing on lesser things? What can you do about this?
- What one thing did God speak to you about – either through the message or through your discussion? What does God want you to do about it and how will you do it?
So, the late David Foster Wallace who passed away maybe 10 years ago or so was regarded as one of the top 100 great American writers that existed at the time. He is a Pulitzer prize nominated writer and highly acclaimed. And it's not that he was a believer or a christian to my knowledge, but he made some comments at a graduation address that he gave at Kenyon College in Ohio. That address ended up becoming a very thin little book and this isn't a book recommendation, I thought it was really insightful that he had what I consider some high spiritual insight even though he's not a christian in terms of some of the things that he said. And I want us to begin our time together hearing a few of those things from his address at Kenyon College in 2005. Here's what he said.
He said, "In the day to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshiping, everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual type thing to worship is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are aware you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age starts showing you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level we all know this stuff already, the trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness."
How's that for insight? To what he said I say a hearty amen. Everybody worships. That's almost something that we don't pay attention to because until it gets stated like that, until it gets called out like that, it's not even something maybe that we even think about that often. And sometimes those are the things that are most ubiquitous, the things that are most obvious, the things that are most important to us, are things that we don't have a tendency sometimes to actually pay really close attention to. It's like when Mr. Wallace started that speech at Kenyon College, he told the story of two young fish that were swimming along in water and they cross paths with an older fish who was swimming in the opposite direction. And the old fish said to the two young fish, "Morning boys, how's the water?" And the two young fish just kept swimming. And after they swam where they were out of sight from the older fish they looked at one another and said, "What is water?"
It's not something they had thought about, right? Because they live in and it's what they do, right? And sometimes the things that are most obvious, the things that are most important to us are things that we don't think about very often, like this thought, everybody worships. All you have to do is look around at people, some people are bending the knee to money, some people are bending the knee to success or prestige or power or influence. And at the end of the day here's what I think, most people their default setting of humanity is worship of self. That's the primary thing that we worship, that all of these other pieces that we try to add to it are really ways for us to satisfy ourself. This is the idea behind the fact that everybody worships. Now, the word worship first appears in the Bible back in Genesis 22 when I'm talking about the actual word, it appears in the old Testament in Genesis 22 in the story of Abraham and Isaac, but that's not the first time we meet the idea of worship.
That may be the first time that the word shows up, but the idea you can see in Genesis chapter three because you've got Eve and Adam who are actually choosing worship of self over worship of God, that's in Genesis 3. In Genesis 4 you've got a story about right worship and wrong worship when you have the story of Cain and Abel. You've got all kinds of stories of different types of worship when you move further down the path into chapter 11 and you start reading about the tower of Babel, when you start fast forwarding into the Exodus of the people of God who are Israel but they are in bondage to Egypt, where you've got Egypt who is worshiping false gods and you've got God the one and only who is over Israel and his people are worshiping him.
You've got a story like that when Moses goes to the mountaintop and God gives him the 10 commandments, the first two of which are really related to worship. You will have no other gods before me and you will not build any graven images, these are both about worship. When you start reading the Old Testament prophets in the Hebrew scriptures, you start finding out over and over again they are calling God's people and saying, "Hey, stop worshiping things that aren't God."
This is happening over and over again in the Old Testament. But this isn't just an Old Testament idea, this idea of worship, which really means to bow the knee to show reverence to, to show obedience to, to demonstrate the worth of. That's what the idea of worship actually means. But it's not just an Old Testament idea, you start reading in the New Testament and you see writer after writer that's talking about the idea of worship, not the least of which by the way is Jesus. And so when we see Jesus going through Samaria as John records it in his gospel in chapter four, if you want to find your place there that's where I'll be this morning.
In John's gospel, that's the fourth book in the new Testament. If you're new to this and you don't have a Bible and you want to look on with somebody or pick one up in the seat back or on a table if you're in the East worship center, if you just kind of look where the New Testament is, use your table of contents if you're new to this, that's no problem. Nobody's going to look at you weird or make fun of you. If they do you tell me, we have a hit squat. It's part of our ministry here. You think I'm joking? We have, no, I'm kidding. And it's the fourth book, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and then John's gospel. Okay, it's the fourth one into the new Testament. And in John's gospel chapter four he relates a story of Jesus and Jesus is walking through Samaria.
Now, that's a big deal. You've got to understand culturally that's a big deal because Samaria and the Samaritans were people that the Jews regarded as half breeds, they called them dogs. And in fact they regarded them that way because they were kind of a mix of race with Jewish and pagan. And so their religious rituals were part Jewish and part pagan, and it was just a whole mess. And the Jews just didn't like it because they were like, this is not pure, this is awful. And so whenever they traveled they would just go around Samaria, they didn't ever want to go through it, but Jesus is going through it in a town called Sychar. And Sychar was where Jacob's Well was. Now it's noon, it's hot, Jesus is tired and he's thirsty. And so he stops at Jacob's Well there in Sychar in Samaria, and what happens? A woman comes up to him.
Now, it's one thing that Jesus addresses her. He says, "Hey, I'm thirsty, could you give me some water?" And she looks at him and says, "What?" This is a Jew talking to a Samaritan. It was even bigger than that, it was a Jew talking to a Samaritan woman. So this was a big deal, Jesus is just crushing social norms right now talking to a Samaritan, let alone a Samaritan woman, and he asked for something to drink. You know why? He's thirsty. He's been traveling, it's hot. And so she asked some questions and she's a little bit confused, but Jesus says basically to her, "I could give you something to drink. I could give you something to drink, living water." And she's confused by that and she asked some more questions and finally she agrees to this invitation, "Sir, please give me this living water that you're speaking of."
And he says, "Okay, well, go get your husband." And she says, "Well, I have no husband." And Jesus says, "You're right. You've had five and the guy you're with right now is not a husband." Tantantan, right? That's what goes on right there. All of a sudden she's thinking to herself, this is not just some normal Jewish man, right? That's where we pick up in our text in John 4, listen to what she says in verse number 19. "Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet." You don't say. He just told her all about her life, right? Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.
"Woman," Jesus replied, "Believe me, 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 and 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 the spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the father seeks. God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in the spirit and in truth."
The woman said, "I know that Messiah called Christ is coming, and when he comes he will everything to us." Then Jesus declared, "I the one speaking to you, I am he." Now, this is a remarkable passage because what started out as this invitation for water turns into a conversation about worship. And Jesus is making some really clear statements here about worship. And I want us not to miss them because for us, I think we need to be able to grab a hold of them if we want to understand what it means to be one or united in worship. And if I were summarizing this text for us, I would summarize it there's way more here than I have time to talk about and way more here than my summary could give to you, okay?
I'm not exhausting the depths of the scripture here, but let me summarize what I want to tell you today. And it's this, that true worship is about the right place, the right person and the right perspective. True worship's about the right place, the right person, and the right perspective. Now, all I want to do is this, I want to just break apart this statement for you piece by piece so that we can understand what it is that Jesus is actually saying to us. So let's kind of begin at the beginning, right? True worship is about the right place. Now, I want you to notice what it says in our text in verses 19 through 21, let's look at it again. "Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you're a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."
"Woman," Jesus replied. When he's saying that by the way he's not like, woman, right? This is just, they probably didn't know names at that point. He's just addressing her, right? It's what they did. "Woman," Jesus replied, "Believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the father." Listen to this, "Neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in the spirit and in truth." What Jesus is establishing for us is this, is this woman had an idea that their worship had to happen on this mountain there in Samaria. And then she says, "And you Jews, you worship on the mountain there in Jerusalem. That's what you do. This is what we do and where we go, this is what you do and where you go."
And Jesus says, yeah, there's coming a time where it's not going to be about this mountain or that mountain. Let me tell you why, because God is spirit and he cannot be confined to one singular geography. Ultimately what Jesus is saying here is this, he's saying the right kind of worship are those who worship in the spirit and in truth. Now, some of you have read that text and maybe your translation says in spirit and in truth, right? But I looked at my... There's a guy who wrote our Greek textbook when we were doing seminary and it's kind of the standard Greek textbook for everybody, it's called Basics of Biblical Greek by William Mounts. The guy is a genius when it comes to the Greek language, and he's been a consultant on many of the translations.
And he said, "It is a perfectly good translation to be able to say worship in the spirit and in the truth." And he said, "Here's why. Because the strength of the statement comes when Jesus says God is spirit." And that it is from that, that you are to interpret what is being said in front of it, in the Greek language. And so what I'm saying is this, is that there is a way for us to be able to worship. Jesus says there is a place for us to be able to worship from, and it's not about a geography it is about the realm of the spirit. It's not about a geography, it's about the realm of the spirit.
And if we wanted to talk about that being in the inmost being in our very hearts and souls, worship is not just about coming to a place. Worship is about, listen to this, acknowledging the worth of God from a place, from a place that is deep inside of us. But if you are thinking that, okay, worship is just about what we think in our hearts and what we believe in our hearts, and it is, worship is just about what we ascribe to God in our hearts. But does not really have any relevance? You better believe it because what we believe ends up coming out in what we do. That the doing side of worship actually happens as a result of who we are and what we believe. In fact, Paul got it this idea in Romans 12, notice what he said. He said, "Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters in view of God's mercy to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, Holy and pleasing to God."
Listen to what he says. "This is your true and proper worship." What happens is that when our lives, when the place of our worship is deep within us, when we tap into, listen to this, the very in most being of who we are, when the spirit of God inside of us is igniting our worship of the son and the father, then all of a sudden that's what true worship actually looks like and it's not relegated to just a geography. It's not relegated to just a place, but when it happens it actually ends in us physically serving the Lord. That our act of worship is not just a song we sing or a thing we say, but it actually comes down to how we live and what we do, but it's not about just the geography. We get this so wrong sometimes because we have this idea.
We have the idea that we can only worship when we are at church. We worship when we are at church, that's just a weird statement all by itself, we worship when we are at church. We planted a number of churches, we've got other campuses, some of those campuses even presently, Niagara Falls is meeting in a movie theater. Before that Cheektowaga was meeting in a movie theater, before that Lockport was meeting in a movie theater. This church when it was founded in 1961 started in a school. We have helped to plant dozens and dozens of church in our region and some of them start in house, some of them start in schools, some of them start in all kinds of different geographies. Isn't it interesting?
And do you know what we've heard time and again in our cultural context here, we invited people to church. "Hey, we'd love for you to come and worship with us." "Oh, really? Where are you guys at?" Well, right now we're meeting in the theater, we're meeting in this school, we're meeting in, and they'll be like, "Oh man, that's cool. I'll tell you what, when you guys are a real church we'll come and worship with you." When you're a real church. And what they mean by that is they have a misunderstanding that church is physical location or church is bricks and mortar or church is building, church is people. The church is the people of God. That's why it's weird to say I'm going to church because what you mean is building. But what you really should be saying is I'm going to gather with the people, the church, to be able together to worship God.
So we get confused about the place of worship. It's not about mountains, it's not about geography because God is spirit and he cannot be limited. Here's the beautiful truth of that ladies and gentlemen, is that the church ought to be worshiping wherever the church is. So when the church is gathered in a building like this, we should be worshiping. When a church is distributed in the region, we should be worshiping. That we are a people who are called to worship in the spirit and in truth, that wherever we are, no matter the geography, we can worship. But there's a second thing here that I think Jesus wants us to see that true worship is also about the right person. This is really, really important, and I'm going to get to it in a second, but I'm going to get to it by way of an illustration.
I don't know if you guys watched the Golden Globes last week. It's not something I would normally watch, but it came on the same channel that football just ended. Therefore, I somehow backed into or ran into the Golden Globes. Trace had already gone back to school, Tanner was going back the next day. And Tanner and I were sitting in there at the time, I think Edie was in there or I don't remember, but I know Tanner was in there because we had a conversation. Because we were just minding our own business and then all of a sudden Ricky Gervais comes on, and this guy was hosting the Golden Globes. You may or may not know who he is, a comedian. This dude got involved in some comedic barbarism, like comedic savagery. He started annihilating all the people that were there. It was interesting.
Now, there's some people that are like, yeah, give it to him Ricky, get there a bunch of shots to him. Do you know them? I'm not sure if you know them or not, I don't. So I've kind of, I'll hold my commentary. I don't really know the people in the room, so it's not really my place to judge or to say anything, right? But apparently, Ricky Gervais was calling out what he saw as hypocrisy and kind of the self-indulgent world of those Hollywood types, actors, actresses, producers, writers an the like. That's his business, that's what he did and he was being rough, but I remember him saying something interesting and it caught my attention.
He said, "Oh, and by the way, when you come up here and win your award," he said, "just do us a favor, we don't really care what you think about everything that's going on in the world. We could care less because you are so far removed from reality that you have no way of even addressing any of that stuff, so please just keep all that to yourself and just thank your agent, thank your God and then go sit down." That's not exactly how he said it, but it's close. I cleaned it up a little bit.
Thank your agent, thank your God and go sit down. What caught my attention was not that he was going comedy savage on all of these people. That's not really what caught my attention. What caught my attention is when he said thank your God. Because I knew, number one, I know Ricky Gervais and he's an atheist, and he's been very clear about that. So I knew he was using that both as a pejorative term and also using it as a general term. He didn't care what God people actually acknowledged when they got up there. He didn't care at all because to him it was just a definition of something he doesn't believe in and by the way, it was just a general definition anyway. In the day and age that we live in ladies and gentlemen, it's not enough to say that we believe in God.
It's not enough to say that we worship God. The more pertinent question is this, what God? What is your God like? What God are you talking about? Because if we want to rightly worship, we better get the right person as the object of our worship don't you think? Because when people just use the term God, they could be talking about all kinds of different things that make no sense to what we believe. And so the question becomes what kind of God are you worshiping, and why by the way is the christian God different than every other God? It's a fair question, isn't it? Certainly we know that there are things that are beautiful about what it means about our faith and what we believe. We certainly believe that salvation by grace, that this is an act of God. But is that the singular thing that makes our God different than every other God?
It's not the singular thing, but it's a really important one. How about that Jesus, how about the atonement of Jesus dying on the cross for sins? Well, there's people that believe that but don't believe in the God that we believe in. How about Jesus' resurrection from the dead? There's people that also believe that, that don't believe in the God that believe in. So what makes our God distinctly different? Something even more foundational about his very essence. And Jesus begins to say that to this woman at the well. Watch it, here's what he says, verse 23. "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the father in the spirit and in truth for they're the kind of worshipers the father seeks. God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in the spirit and in truth." The woman said, "I know that Messiah called Christ is coming, but when he comes he will explain everything to us." And then Jesus declared, "I the one speaking to you I am he."
Isn't it interesting that Jesus had a conversation with a woman and he's talking about worship. And what Jesus does when he talks about worship and he's talking about what true worship is, he not only talks about the nature of the place, that it's not just about this mountain or this mountain that God can't be contained, but then he refers to the father and the spirit and he is speaking as Christ the son. You know what the most foundational thing about the God that we believe in is, that God is Trinity. This is the most foundational, and do you know what else it is? It's beautiful. This is helping us to understand how we worship God. It is a treasured thing to believe that God is God the father, God the son, God the spirit.
This is a treasure to our hearts, but some of us because we can't fully conceptualize it, because we don't know what to do with it, we start doing weird things as a result of it. And we start trying to explain it away in illustrations that are really, really short of the nature of who God is. God is exactly like water. No, he's not exactly like water. God is just like an egg, you've got the shell and you've got the yolk and you've got the white part. Have you known anybody who's heard that explanation and fallen down in reverent worship of the egg God? Has anybody ever heard that happen? I don't think so.
So that's part of what we do. Or pragmatically what we do is we try to make God into a singular entity instead of tripersonal God who is one in essence. That's why when we read in the Old Testament, the Schmahl when it says, hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one. We think that means a number. It means an essence. It's not about a number, it's about an essence. God is revealed as father, God is son, God is spirit. And that is not God whenever he has a particular mood putting on the mask of , well, I'm father right now. Oh, hold on, I'm son right now. Hold on, I'm spirit right now. That would be an amazing ventriloquism act at the baptism of Jesus, wouldn't it? As Jesus goes into the water and the spirit descends upon him, and the father says, "This is my son and whom I'm well pleased."
How did he pull that off if he's just a single being God? No, he is a tripersonal God. God the father, God the son, God the spirit, one God in essence, three in person. This is a treasure to us, but we get weirded out and we don't think about it and so we start doing weird things and we say, well, you know what? I really can't explain it. And you feel like you have to apologize to people full about it. It's just, it's a mystery, it's a saga, it's what it is. Mystery in the Bible? When we read about mystery in the Bible it's not about something that cannot be known, it's about something we could not known unless God revealed it to us. We could have never by ourselves dreamed up this tripersonal eternal God, an eternal father, an eternal son, and an eternal spirit that is one in essence. We could have never dreamed that up, it is only by the revelation of God that this mystery becomes known to us.
It doesn't mean we've got it all figured out, let me explain to you all the ins and outs of God. That would make you God, and there's two things that I know in this world, there is a God, you're not him. Okay? So we understand we can't exhaust our understanding of this, but it's not a mystery that cannot be known, it's a mystery that has been revealed to us. Or we try and explain the Trinity by explaining what it's not, which is kind of the inverse and doesn't really inspire worship in people. I say all that to say, ladies and gentlemen, we don't want to apologize, we don't want to be embarrassed by like this is our crazy uncle that comes over at Christmas and we're like, well, we're sorry, right?
That's not what this is about. This should be a treasure to us. We should love this. Let me tell you why. Let me explain why. Because what the world needs now, sing it with me is love, sweet love. Some of you who are my age or older you're like, cool, Diana Ross. Some of you who are younger going, never heard that song. What the world needs is love, doesn't it? And do you know what's easy for us to say? This three word statement, God is love. And it's true, this is a true statement. But you know what's difficult for us to say? Another three word statement, God is Trinity.
Why is that difficult for us? Because I want you to understand something. As Dr. Michael Reeves pointed out in one of his writings that I thought was incredibly insightful. Listen to this, God is love because God is Trinity. Let me explain. If God we're just a single being God, not father, son and spirit but just God like I'm just Jerry, if God were just a single being God, God could not be love intrinsically because from eternity past he would have no one to love.
And that's what the single being God would have to do because he couldn't be love, intrinsically is he would have to create in order to love. But if a single being God who claims to be love but can't be, has to create in order to be love. Then that means he would have to create people to become who he is, which would mean that he was not intrinsically that from the outset. It would also mean that if this single being God created people to be who he is as love, it would mean that created things give him meaning and life as opposed to the other way around. But when you have a tripersonal God, an eternal father, an eternal son and an eternal spirit who has existed one in essence from eternity past, who has been in a shared relationship of love, that God is intrinsically love.
And what that God does is that God invites the people that he's created, not because he needs them, he needs nothing. Not because he needs their love, but because he wants to invite them into the relationship of his being of love that has existed from eternity past. What a glorious God? We must stop apologizing for the beauty of the Trinitarian nature of God. Here's why, God is love because God is Trinity. This changes everything for us and helps us to understand the God that we worship. So Jesus brought this out when he's talking to this woman at the well. And he says to her, not only do you need to worship in the right place in the spirit, but you also need to be worshiping the right person.
And he talks about father spirit and then there he is as son. But there's the last piece I don't want you to miss and it's this, as a right perspective, true worship is about right perspective. Look at what the text says in verse number 23. Jesus says, "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the father in the spirit and in truth for they are the kind of worshipers the father seeks. Now, I highlighted this for you to make sure you understood something, true worshipers and worshipers the father seeks implicitly tells us that there's such a thing as true worshipers and not true worshipers. It implicitly tells us there's a kind of worshiper the father seeks and there's a kind of worshiper the father doesn't.
What is the difference? Well, it has to do with the first two things that I've already talked about or that Jesus actually already talked about, but a true worshiper. Listen to this. Jesus says is one who worships the father in the spirit and in truth. Isn't it interesting that Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. That here even in this text we see father, spirit, son. That these are the kinds of worshipers that God is seeking after. Not people who are trying to make God up in their own image, but people who realize, listen to this, people who realize that worship is not about us, it's about God.
He said, "Well Jerry, that's certainly really easy of you to say because we all know that." I don't know. I don't know in my own life if I know that sometimes. Worship is not about your preferences being met, worship is not about all of your itches being scratched, worship's not about you, worship's not about me, true worshiper are worshiping the father in the spirit and in truth. Worship is not about externals. So when people walk out and say, man, we really worshiped today. How do you know? Man, we really didn't worship today. How do you know? Usually you're basing that on whether or not during the singing there was a lot of hands raised or not a lot of hands raised. We really worshiped today, we did not worship today. Let me break it down for you, couple things for you to remember.
One, you can have a clean heart and clean hands and the freedom to lift them to the Lord when you worship. But I want you to also know that there are times where we have dirty hearts and dirty hands when they go up too. You can't possibly just by looking at externals know whether somebody is worshiping or not. Sometimes people are very gregarious when they worship and sometimes people are not, that doesn't make somebody a worshiper and somebody's not a worshiper because this isn't about externals. This isn't about us, this is about God. And some of us that have a tendency to think in those terms need to get out more. We just need to get out more. God's given me the grace to be in 35 plus countries at this point in my life. That's not more than anybody in the world, but it's some, I've been all over the world.
I have been in Cuba where literally we were worshiping and singing for longer than I had voice. And they are dancing around and carrying on and I'm about to pass out because number one, it was really hot, no air, trying to do it in a place where we weren't going to get in trouble because it was frowned upon. They're singing, right? (singing) And they're dancing and I'm with them. There's hands in the air, I'm singing, they're high fiving me, he is good. I'm like, "I agree, he is good." Right? And we're carrying on, we're having a great time. And then I've been places in Europe or Eastern Europe, I've been in Ukraine, I've been in a Baptist church in Ukraine that was very formal. And I remember in there that it was more like this, (singing).
And in my mind I was just thinking, are they cold? What's happening right now? But here's the thing, listen, I don't need to say this critically. I have conversations with those people after a message and they're talking about what God's doing in their heart and what God's speaking to their heart. And I'm thinking to myself, you should tell your face, but I'm so glad that has happened. And the same thing can be said of my Latin American brothers and sisters as well. The issue is not about the externals, the issue about what God is doing in the hearts and souls of people. And we have to make sure that we have a right perspective in worship so that when we leave and we go to lunch or we go to brunch or whatever. And we have a tendency sometimes to make comments like this, I really enjoyed the worship today, I really didn't enjoy the worship today. Hey listen, I'm not trying to be snarky, but that's actually irrelevant. We weren't worshiping you. It wasn't for you. It was for God.
And so listen to this, our perspective of my enjoyment or my lack thereof, I've been all over the world and there are places that are not my preference. There are places that are my preference. There are places where I just go, okay, I'm here, here's what's happening. At the end of the day, it's not about any of those things, it's about worshiping the father in the spirit and in the truth of the gospel that teaches us that the son can reconcile us to the father by the spirit. This is true worship. We've got to get bigger than our little perspective when it comes to worship. Now, worship is not just about singing, worship is about the whole of our lives. I've seen people who've gotten those hands up in the air and they've jumped up and down and they've had a great time and they do not walk straight when they leave, right?
So if you want to jump up and down and praise the Lord, that's fine. Make sure you walk with him when you leave, because doing all this stuff and then walking out and living like hell, that's not really what God's got in mind for you. That's really not, that's hypocrisy. Do I mind hands in the air? Absolutely not. Do mine go up sometimes? Absolutely they do. Do I mind people who are a little more quiet and they want to kind of sing tO themselves, fine. I would encourage you open your mouth, open your mouth and sing something to the Lord. You're like, well, I'm a little concerned because I don't sing very well and there's people around me. You're not worshiping them. You're worshiping him. Do you have kids? Do you have grandkids? You have niece or nephew maybe if you're single or whatever?
Do you know there's a reason that we have all of their really bad art on our refrigerator? Because we love them. When they sing songs to us and they couldn't have found a key if it's smashed them in the face and all we want is to hear them sing it again. Why? Because we love them. We're not concerned about them hitting the notes. We know what they're saying, we know what they're singing and that they love us enough to share it with us. How do you think your father feels? Open your mouth. Let him know you love him. Praise him. You don't have to be boisterous. You don't have to draw attention to yourself.
In fact, drawing attention to yourself is the opposite of what we should be doing in worship. It's not about us, it's about him. I know I would be remissed talking about worship if we didn't at least give us an opportunity to put this into practice. And so the band is going to come out even though singing is only one part of worship, it is a part that the word of God talks to us about and affirms. And what I want us to be able to do is to be able to worship together in a moment, but here's what I want you not to miss.
This isn't just about being in this space that we worship, but the fact that we are in this space means we can because God can be worshiped by his church wherever we are. And it's a place that comes from deep, deep down in here, that we want to build a foundation of deep resolve to say, God, you are who you said you are. I believe you, I bless you, I praise you, I serve you. We also want it to be a worship that worships God rightly in terms of who he is.
It doesn't mean every song you ever sing has to include father, son, and spirit, don't misunderstand. You can't possibly exhaust all the nature of God in every song, but we do have to know in our hearts who it is we are worshiping and from what place we are worshiping. And we have to make sure that our perspective is that it's not about me, it's not about us, it's about him. So why don't we do that? Let's stand together. Father, I pray that you would be blessed with our praise and our worship because you are worthy of it in every way. In Jesus name, amen.
This God, this Trinitarian God has existed from eternity past as an eternal father, eternal son and eternal spirit. He's existed in a relationship of love, self-giving space, making love with father, son and spirit because he is love. And in creating image bearers, people that bore his own image, he created them not because he needed them, but because he wanted to invite them into this relationship of love. But something has gotten in the way that the Bible calls sin. And for us to be able to enter into this relationship with God, this thing that prohibits us must be destroyed, dealt with, overcome. So God in his love sent his son who came willingly, was born as a baby, very God and very human at the same time, fully God, fully human at the same. This God man, Jesus, lived sinlessly and proclaimed the kingdom of God, sharing the love the father has with the world.
And then because sin had such a hold and a grip and a bondage on the lives of human beings, Jesus knew that the only way that, that could be broken as if God in his justice dealt with sin once and for all. And Jesus the perfect, spotless, beautiful passover lamb of God willingly went to the cross, who for the joy before him endured the cross scorning its shame, and the sins of the world were poured out upon him so that this holy God might judge our sin on the sacrificial person of Jesus, the only one worthy to pay for it. Even though Jesus owed nothing, he paid for everything and demonstrated the sufficiency of his sacrifice by getting up from the dead and now intercedes at the right hand of the father on your behalf and mine.
This is the invitation of love that God offers to you, that you can be born from above, that you can have this relationship by faith in what God has done through Jesus by the power of his spirit. You can be reconciled to God, your sins they can be forgiven, your life it can be made new. You can have the hope of knowing God in this life and the life to come. And the beautiful thing is that he doesn't leave you alone because when you put your faith in Jesus, he gives you his spirit inside of you so that now the testimony of the spirit in you magnifies the son that is sharing with us the love of the father and we are worshiping God for who he truly is.
Why would you want to reject that kind of invitation? If that's your need my prayer for you is that when we dismiss in just a moment, you'll come right out of this room or if you're in the East Worship Center, come right through the atrium into our fireside room. We've got some folks there that would love to take a moment and talk to you about what it means to enter into relationship with Jesus Christ. Have your life changed and your sins forgiven. Father, we glory in who you are. We thank you for every expression of your grace in Jesus that has been afforded to us by the power of your spirit. We thank you that you are love, it is your very being. You always have been and you always will be and that you are Holy.
And that you will deal and clean and rid us of sin if we might, but turn from that way of living and put our faith in what Jesus has done for us. Would you help us to be a people who worship you in every place that we find ourselves because regardless of where we are geographically, our hearts and our souls can cry out to you in worship that you are God and that you alone are the father who loves us and cares for us, are the savior who saves us and the spirit who enlightens us and guides us. May we be true worshipers, the kind that you seek. That we might glorify you not only when we're together, but when we're distributed in this world that desperately needs to see you. We bless you and we love you for all that you are. May we learn to love you and worship you more, in Jesus name all God's people said.
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Heart of Worship
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John Bacchus Dykes and Reginald Heber