Finding Transformers #5
7 PM, Tuesday, November 3, 2020
The Organic Church #05
The Church is a Worshipping Community
Isaiah 43:21 / John 4:20-24
Sunday Sermon on August 2, 2020
“What is worship?”
“How do you define worship?”
I imagine that when American Christians think of worship, Sunday Worship at 11 am would come to mind for most of them. For Korean Christians, there are many worship services: Wednesday night worship, Dawn Worship at 5 am, or Friday overnight prayer meeting and Sunday morning and evening service. It is true but I would like to think about worship from a more fundamental understanding.
First, looking at the word, “Worship”
Worship is a combination word with ‘Worthy’ and ‘-ship’ noun ending. So, worship is something we consider ‘worthy’ in our life. Some consider family, relationships, money, titles, positions, authority, or many other things as being worthy in their lives. We sometimes use the word ‘worship’ for money or idols when we are seriously crazy about these. One of the ways of checking what we worship in our lives is to check the main reason we make decisions about the important issues in our lives. We make decisions according to the priority we give to the things we consider worthy of our lives. Everyone worships something according to their priority, and it depends on how serious we are.
Now, let us ask ourselves, What do you consider worthy in your life? What are your priorities in life? In America, I think family is one of the top priorities. Money is also another important factor in our lives. In Korea, relationships are one of the top priorities compared to America`. Reputation is one of the important values, which means that Koreans might make a different decision based on a relationship or their reputation. How about you? Do you make different decisions because of your family, money, relationship, or reputation?
Now think about God? How important is God in your life? Have you ever made a different decision in your life because of God? Do you make different decisions because of the church? Do you change your schedule because of worship? Do you make financial support for the church or the Kingdom of God a priority? Can you designate some time, energy, or finance for the mission of God?
These are all different shapes of worship in our lives. Worship does not just take place at 11 am on Sunday at church. Worship is revealed in every decision we make in every moment of every day. Amen.
Now we need to think about the purpose of our worship.
Isaiah 43:21 (NIV)
21 the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.
The purpose of our worship is to proclaim God’s praise or remember God is the Lord. My expression of worship is that whenever we make a decision, to remember God’s Word and let God be the final reason for our choices and decisions so that we praise, lift Him up, and proclaim His name in every corner of our lives. Isaiah 43:21 said this is the reason God created and formed us in His image. I hope and pray that all of us as the people of God can remember Him wherever we go, whatever we do, and whenever we make a decision so that we worship Him as many as possible and as much as we can.
Then, How does God want us to worship Him?
John 4:20-24 (NIV)
20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain,
but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
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 are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
The Samaritan woman asked Jesus about the place of worship because her ancestors worshipped on Mountain Gerizim (Deut 11:29) and Jews claim that they must worship in Jerusalem. She was confused with the place of worship. But, Jesus answered, “a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth.” in verse 23. Now truly is the time for us to worship our God Father in the Spirit and truth. Although this time seems to happen by force of COVID 19, Actually, the time has already arrived here in our lives since Jesus said this to the Samaritan woman. I hope and pray we can get used to worship Him in the Spirit and truth more and more in this special time in our lives.
John 4:24 says, “God is spirit”. John 14:6 says, Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” It means that Jesus is The Truth. So, did you catch how to worship God in the Spirit and Truth? We worship God through the Truth. In other words, We encounter and commune with the Spirit of God through the Word of God, the Truth, which is the life of Jesus Christ. So what do you think we need for our worship? The Bible, the Word of God, the life of Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God. It doesn’t matter where you are, whatever you do, or whoever you are with. The key of true worship is our encounter with the Spirit of God through Jesus Christ, which is the Word of God. I hope and pray that all of us here can offer our best worship every moment of every day for the rest of our lives. Amen!
I would like to share my personal experience of worship when I studied at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY in 2007. I was in charge of Dawn Worship in the Korean Student Association at a small chapel. I needed to schedule a praise leader and preacher for the semester. I needed to be the back up IF the person in charge didn’t show up. Korean students at Asbury are all pastors. But there were about 10 regular attendants out of 30 people at Dawn Service at 5:30 am. One day, no one showed up. Can you guess what I did? I just prayed alone from 5:30am to 6:30. On that day, I had prepared to preach on Zechariah 2:5
Zechariah 2:5 (NIV)
5 And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’
As the scripture said, the Lord became the wall of fire around me, I just could communicate with the Lord above. The Lord said, I will be glorified within you. You just focus on me and worship Me with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. On that day, I realized what true worship is and how God wants to receive my worship. Where are you now? At home, at your living room, or study room? Worship God where you are right now. Let God be the walls of fire around you to block things that bother you and make it harder to worship. Focus on God and praise Him, give your life as a living sacrifice by repenting your sins before Him. And listen to His Word that which you need to listen and what God wants you to listen and remember. Like this, encountering and commune with the Spirit of God through the Word of God, Jesus Christ, This is the worship we are supposed to offer for God
Romans 12:1 (NIV) A Living Sacrifice
1 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—this is your true and proper worship.
Let us pray
Father, thank you for letting us know what true worship is, the purpose of our worship, how You want us to worship. Help and lead us to lift up our true worship to You wherever we are, whatever we do, whenever we make a decision, and whenever we worship You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
1) In 1979, Bob Dylan recorded “Gotta Serve Somebody”
“But you’re gonna have to serve somebody,
You’re gonna have to serve somebody.
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord,
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”
How does this relate to worship?
2) How does God figure into your process of making important life decisions?
3) In the sermon on worship we hear, “Worship is revealed in every decision we make in every moment of every day.”
What does that mean to you? How do you worship God at home? At work? Running errands? Mowing the lawn? On vacation?
4) What does “worship the Father in Spirit and Truth” mean to you?
5) Paul writes “true and proper worship” is in offering ourselves as a living sacrifice. How would you explain this to a ten-year-old child?