Monday, October 22, 2007

Worship: It's That Important (Part 2)

Maybe it’s just because I’m a guy…but, I love this commercial! I love steak...I'm a guy. I love A1 sauce…which by the way, I suggest you never drink straight from the bottle, and this commercial just makes me laugh because every guy in this room can empathize. Today we’re taking a look at “Worship: It’s That Important.”

Worship is a HUGE part of what we do at Nags Head Church, and this morning we’re talking about how we as a Christ followers worship God both personally and corporately, both by ourselves and together as the body of Christ, and how these two aspects of our worship are intimately related.

We’ve been going through a series called “Get It?” “Got It!” Good!” in which we’ve been taking a look at the basics of why and how we do church at Nags Head. For those of you who are our guests this morning, our lead pastor is out of town, and I’ve been asked to fill in and discuss the topic of worship with you.

But, before we get into personal and corporate worship, we need to make sure that we’re on the same page and understand together what worship really is. There is a very common misconception among Christians about worship. This misconception says that:

Worship = Music and Singing

But that’s only part of the equation…worship is not just music and singing. For years, the verbiage of the church has caused us to divide the worship service into two main parts: the worship (or music) and the sermon. As a result, for many people, worship is just a synonym for music.

I’ve heard many people say something like this: “At our church we have the worship first, and then the teaching.” Or, “I love the worship at our church, and the teaching is good too.” How many of you have ever heard or talked about a worship service like this?

This is a big misunderstanding, and something that we try very hard at NHC to counteract. We believe that every part of a church gathering is an act of worship. In fact, we are always very diligent to talk about each element of our worship gatherings as a part of worship.

How many of you have heard us say something like, “Now we are going to worship God by giving our tithes and offerings to Him”? Or, “God, we want to worship You now as we open Your Word”?

In fact, I believe that, if my heart is for God and what is coming out of my mouth is the Truth, then I am worshipping God as I stand here and talk with you. If you’ve come this morning with a desire to hear from God and take what you experience here and be a blessing to the world, you are worshipping God even as you’re listening to me talk right now. There are some incredible people who, at this very moment are helping your Kids learn more about their relationship with God…if those people are doing what they’re doing for God’s glory, they are worshipping God.

Praying, Scripture reading, singing, confession, silence, being still, listening to a sermon, taking notes, giving an offering, baptism, communion, SIGNING a commitment card, serving on a ministry team, and even greeting other worshipers can all be worship if we’re doing it for the glory of God.

Listen to some of the ways the Scriptures command us to worship God.

(begin Ramon)

Psalm 47:1, 6 (NLT)
1 Come, everyone! Clap your hands!
 Shout to God with joyful praise!
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises;
 sing praises to our King, sing praises!

Psalm 150:4,5
4 Praise Him with the tambourine and dancing; praise Him with strings and flutes!
5 Praise Him with a clash of cymbals; praise Him with loud clanging cymbals.

4 I will praise You as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer.

2 Lift up holy hands in prayer, and praise the LORD.

2:11, 12
11 Serve the LORD with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12 Submit to God's royal Son.

8 I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying, for He speaks peace to His faithful people.

6 I come to your altar, O LORD,
7 singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all Your wonders.

4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name.

17 Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the LORD hears my voice.

2 Honor the LORD for the glory of His name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness.

(end Ramon)

God has given us so much freedom in how we worship Him…it’s so much more than music and singing. Get it? (...and everybody responds, "Got It!" and I say, "Good!"...this will happen a few more times.)

And, right now, we’re going to take an opportunity to worship God by giving Him our tithes and offerings. Let me say to those of you who are our guests today, we do not expect you to put any money into the bags this morning, and nobody is going to be watching you to see what you’re doing. Feel free to just sit back and observe. If you really do want to participate in this act of worship with us, we welcome you to do so, but again, don’t feel any obligation or pressure.

And, we’re going to do this a little differently this morning. Instead of somebody leading in a prayer from the stage and then the band leading a song while we pass around the bags, we’re not going to do anything up here, and we’re going to give you the freedom to worship God on your own as you give to Him. I encourage you to take a few moments to let God know that you’re giving to Him now because you want to worship Him in this way. Everyone understand?

Song - "All To You" by Lincoln Brewster (below is our video of this song from earlier this summer)

(Tomorrow I'll post Part 3...Check out the other parts of this series: Part 1)


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