Sacred Worship: A Sacrifice of Praise

Sacred Worship: A Sacrifice of Praise

Sacred Worship: A Sacrifice of Praise 

Introduction 

  • Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. Went out to buy him a card. 
    • Any kind of card you want; whether your relationship is distant or intimate. 
    • Beautiful words that you simply have to sign your name to and mail it in (literally). 
    • While I am sure my dad appreciates getting a card in the mail, that’s all it is—a form letter. 
  • How often is worship like this? 
    • Form letter, named signed, “Thanks God for all you do, your son/daughter…”
    • Mail it and go on with our lives. 
  • Convinced we come here expecting more. 
    • Hoping for transcendence, and struggle with concentration. 
    • We know what worship matters—but what is it and why does it matter?
  • Series: Sacred Worship. 
  • Major thought: Worship is a sacrifice of praise, offered in spirit and truth, by grace bought sinners, which transforms their lives as they give glory to God. 
  • Today: Worship is a sacrifice of praise. 

Worship 

  • Man has an innate desire to worship. 
    • From cosmic bodies to cruel-faced statues. 
    • Christians know they should worship/desire to worship God—yet what does that mean? 
  • Different words for worship in NT. 
    • Proskuneo: to kiss; to bow before and kiss the feet of (Rev. 4:10). 
    • Sebomai: to step away from in reverence and awe (Matt. 15:9). 
    • Latreuo: religious service done on behalf of deity (Matt. 4:10). 
  • Together: an act of kissing the ground and bowing before, in reverence and awe, as we serve our God. 
  • But why?
    • Psalm 95:1-3; 6-7: the Psalmist calls for worship because they recognize who God is; they see his majesty, glory, and worth. 
    • Worship: Worth ship. 
  • Not physically bowing down before our God, but a heart that recognizes the absolute worth of God and responds in praise. 
    • Story of the the family broach and the lady taking it to the jeweler only to discover its a lost treasure of immense worth. 
    • Value and beauty demand praise; joy isn’t complete until we do praise it. 
  • What, in your life, do you give the most value to?
    • What is the greatest desire of your heart?
    • Harry Potter and the mirror of Esired; sees his parents and Ron sees himself as a sports champion. 
  • In order for proper worship to occur, we have to be honest about our greatest desire—our Lord—and transfer that devotion and worth to God. 
  • When you recognize God’s worth, there is a response to that: sacrifice. 

Sacrifice 

  • From the beginning worship was about bringing a sacrifice (Gen. 4:3-4). 
    • Worship cost me something—pride, self-praise, time, words, affections, money, etc.
    • Giving of the self to God; oriented on Him, and not on me. 
    • If it is focused on the self—our emotions, our intentions—we will never receive the blessing of worship. 
  • This is a different orientation than how most view worship. 
    • Everything is oriented toward the seeker; to make individuals not feel uncomfortable. 
    • 2 Sam. 24:24: But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.
  • Seeker sensitive worship misses the blessing of worship: we sacrifice to receive; we empty ourselves, and are filled. 
  • Our willingness to sacrifice for the sake of worship shows the worth of God. 
    • Matt. 2:11: why do they give these precious gifts as an act of worship? 
    • In giving them they are proclaiming the worth of Jesus: that he is worth far more than all of these treasures. 
    • Contrast: Mal. 1:8. 
  • What does our worship say about the value we place on Jesus? Our singing, prayers, meditations as we enter the Lord’s Supper?
  • So worship says—or communicates—something about the value or treasuring we have in God. 

Praise 

  • Heb. 13:15: the praise we give to God is a sacrifice because we giving him honor that we would not give another. 
    • Sacred; something set aside specifically for God and no one else. 
    • Exercise: think of top three compliments you received in your life. 
    • Probably have received higher praise, but don’t remember them or dismissed them: they were flattery. 
    • We know the difference. 
  • We are not asking you to flatter God—to give him praise you don’t really believe or recognize. 
    • Again, spurns from a heart that has learned to treasure God: that sees the glory of God within the gospel, scripture, world, and in Jesus. 
    • We must see God with the eyes of faith; to stand in awe and wonder at His majesty and absolutely delight and treasure in Him. 
    • When we value and treasure a friendship we want others to come to know them, we praise them when they aren’t around—so worship is an act of love for the friend we have come to know: our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Conclusion 

  • At the Dripping Springs church of Christ we want to get rid of form letter worship (throw away the card you have). 
    • We want our worship to be a genuine expression of praise for the God we have come to know and treasure—for the great things he has done and for all He is. 
    • Because worship is a sacrifice of praise, offered in spirit and truth, by grace bought sinners, which transforms their lives as they give glory to God. 
  • Exercise: take a thank you card as you leave. It will be your thank you card to God. 
    • Write a thank you letter to him; don’t let anyone else see it. 
    • Bring it next week and read it before worship; think on and meditate everything God has done for you, seeing how valuable he is to your life. 

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