I am currently doing a series of sermons on worship. This is a summary of message #1 in the series. This is only a summary of the key points. To listen to the entire message you can go here. (The Scripture references below include links the text of the passages.)
We all worship something. Some people dedicate their lives to some pretty strange things. But it is important to find something that truly deserves to be worshipped.
What is worship?
We were created to worship God (1 Peter 2:9). Not only that, but we are also commanded to worship God (Psalm 135:1-2). So worship is important.
But what is “worship?” The English word “worship” comes from an Old English word worth-ship. It means to declare someone’s “worth.” Or to give the children’s Sunday School definition, “Worship is telling God how great He is.”
In Revelation 4:1-4 we catch a glimpse into heaven. In fact whenever the Bible mentions heaven there is almost always worship taking place. In Rev. 4:8 we meet the heavenly “worship team.” We can learn a lot from the way they worship.
Why should we worship?
The reason that we should worship God is that He is worthy of our worship. In Rev. 4:8 the heavenly praise is based on God’s nature. He is holy (repeated three times for emphasis), which means that He is completely separated from anything sinful or unclean. He is also the almighty one, and the eternal God who has always existed and always will exist. For these reasons He is worthy of our praise.
God is also worshiped on the basis of what He has done. Two great deeds of God are mentioned in this heavenly scene. First in Rev. 4:9-11 He is praised for His great work of creation. Then in Rev. 5:6-10 He is praised for His great work of redemption. The heavenly scene closes with a great heavenly chorus of worship in Rev. 5:11-14.
Lessons about worship
What can we learn about worship from these heavenly scenes?
- It’s not about you
- It’s all about Him!
We tend to make worship all about ourselves, and focus on how we feel. Churches talk about creating a good “worship experience.” A Google search for the phrase “It’s all about you” yields about 155K hits. We love to be the focus of attention. But the worship in heaven is God-centered. If you ask what you “got out of” worship then you are asking the wrong question. The goal of worship is not for you to get something out of it. The right question is what God “got out of it.” The purpose of worship is to give praise and honor and glory to God because He is worthy!
Worship is God-centered. We should worship God no matter how we feel or what our circumstances. No matter what else is going on, He is worthy. Nothing can change that. You will notice that the reasons for worship in the heavenly scene have nothing to do with how my life is going today.
When it comes down to it, worship is a choice. We choose to worship God because He is worthy. Sometimes it will be easy to worship God because everything is going well. At other times we might not feel much like worshiping because our lives are a mess. But He is still worthy and we should still worship.