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Lesson 11: Lord of Our Worship *

Introduction: What does it mean to worship God? Is it a state of mind? Is it a physical expression? Can we get too "carried away" with worship? What motivates us to worship? Worship styles have been terribly divisive in some churches. Is it a sin to criticize the worship style of others? Let's leap into our study of the Bible and find the answers to these questions!

  1. Reasons to Worship

    1. Read Exodus 20:4-6. How important is worship? (Both the first and second of the Ten Commandments involve worship of God.)

      1. What reasons does God give here to worship Him? (God appears to say that there are two types of people. Those who hate Him and those who love Him. God links worship to our love for Him. Loving God is a reciprocal thing: God loves you and you love Him. If God's love for you results in your love and obedience towards Him, God will love you and your descendants.)

    2. Read Psalms 95:6-7. The Psalmist tells us that a motive to worship our God is that we are "the people of His pasture." What does it mean to be pasture people? Is this like the phrase "being put out to pasture?" (When you put a flock into a pasture, you put them in a safe place where there is food and water. "Pasture people" are people under the care of God. One reason we worship God is because of His care for us.)

    3. Read Revelation 4:10-11. This is a scene of worship in heaven. What reasons to worship God are given here? (Not only did God create us, but He continues to sustain our life.)

    4. Read Revelation 5:11-12. Here is another heavenly scene. What additional reasons do we have to worship God? (He lived a perfect life, and died in our place, thus giving us the opportunity for eternal life and heaven. What a powerful reason to praise and worship Jesus!)

    5. Read Revelation 14:6-7. What is the eternal gospel? (Worshiping God is part of the eternal gospel. This is not something that is an "old covenant" thing that God no longer expects. God again gives His authority as the Creator as a reason for worship.)

    6. God gives us many reasons to worship Him. Would He have to give us any reasons to worship Him?

      1. If not, why does He do it? (God could just say I demand worship, but He does not. It reflects God's love and care for us that He explains to us the reasons to worship Him.)

  2. Time to Worship

    1. Read Exodus 20:8-11. What reason does God give us to keep His Sabbath holy? (That He created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day.)

      1. Review again Revelation 14:7. How does the "eternal gospel" that we are to worship God relate to the Sabbath? (The two hinge on the common ground that God is our Creator. Sabbath is a special worship time to remember God as our Creator.)

    2. A few days ago I read (yet another) attack on Sabbath-keeping. The article frankly admitted that the Bible contained no command to worship on any other day than the Sabbath. It admitted that the church did not have the authority to change a command of God. The new argument was that under the new covenant we now are living in the "Sabbath" time and we are now free to pick any day that we want to worship. Let's assume for a minute that all of this is true. Given the nature of worship, what day would you choose to set aside to especially honor God? (The nature of worship is to exalt God and not me. With that in mind, I would pick the day He suggested I should worship, the day which reflects His authority as my Creator! Picking any other day seems counter-intuitive for the worship of our Creator.)

  3. Way to Worship

    1. Read John 4:23-24. What does it mean to worship God "in truth?" (Read John 14:6. Jesus tells us that He is the truth. The time "has now come" when our worship is centered on Jesus instead of the sacrificial system of the sanctuary in Jerusalem which merely pointed to a coming Messiah.)

      1. What does this suggest about the philosophy that all paths lead to heaven? All sincerely held views are equally acceptable in the eyes of God? (God tells us that "truth" is an essential part of worship.)

    2. Look again at John 4:23-24. What does it mean to worship God in "spirit?" (Read John 16:13-15. Jesus is at least referring to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit helps us in our worship to better understand God and His will for us.)

    3. What about your worship: Is it Christ-centered and Spirit-filled?

    4. My sense is that a "Spirit-filled" worship means that the Holy Spirit is leading our minds to a better understanding of God. For some, a "Spirit-filled" worship means getting rowdy in a way that others find unacceptable for worship. Is there an acceptable and unacceptable style of worship?

    5. Read 2 Samuel 6:13-16. King David is bringing the Ark of God (the symbol of God's presence) to Jerusalem. The people are worshiping God by continually sacrificing animals (every six steps) while the King is worshiping by dancing "before the Lord with all his might" and "leaping and dancing before the Lord." Have you seen any worship more rowdy than that?

    6. Read 2 Samuel 6:20. Michal is King David's wife. My wife regularly gives me feed-back on my sermons and she generally has excellent thoughts. It appears that in all of David's leaping, Michal thought that David's leaping and dancing in his "linen ephod"( 2 Samuel 6:14)was too vulgar for kingly worship. Would you agree?

    7. Read 2 Samuel 6:21-22. What does King David teach us about the issue of whether worship must be dignified? (It seems our dignity is not an issue which should concern us.)

    8. Read 2 Samuel 6:23. What results from Michal's criticism of David's undignified style of worship? (She never has any children. She was the daughter of former King Saul and now the first wife of David. If she had a son, he would have had a good claim to the throne - which would have increased her importance.)

      1. What does this teach us about being critical of certain styles of worship? (I think Michal being barren symbolizes the barrenness of Spirit of those critical of enthusiastic styles of worship. Those critical of exuberant worship should beware.)

    9. Read Psalms 150. Compare the praise and worship depicted here with the praise and worship in your church. How do they compare?

    10. Friend, God has given us every reason to worship Him. He expects us to worship in Spirit and in truth. Will you open your heart to the joy of true worship?

  4. Next week: Lord of Our Service.
* Copr. 2005, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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