Message bought 6 November 2016 by John MacDiarmid for Poole Christian Fellowship at Poole High School
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We are in the middle of a series which we are calling: “Where are the worshippers?” Today we continue our series on the subject of worship, asking ourselves the question:
“How Can I Be the kind of worshipper that God seeks?”
We will spend some time reviewing what we have seen so far, and look to make some practical applications:
So three observations on worship today:
1. We worship out of relationship
When Jesus met the Samaritan woman in John 4 he said to her that true worshipper would worship “in the Spirit”. He was contrasting the old formal worship built around a place, a format, rules and regulations – that was being contrasted with the new era of worship as a result of a relationship.
We worship a person who we have a relationship with – and that comes as a result of Jesus giving us His Spirit. From Pentecost onwards, every believer in God was a worshipper in the Spirit.
2. We worship in the Truth
In the book of Romans Paul has been taking us through the whole sweep of theological truth surrounding our salvation. Starting with God’s wrath and judgement in Chapters 1 and 2, Paul shows God’s faithfulness to Jew and Gentile alike in providing a salvation that can be accessed by faith, finishing in chapter 11 with the hymn of praise above.
This shows us again that praise has to be built on truth. We worship God for who he is and for what he has done – and this is revealed to us in the truths that are available to us in Scripture.
Then Paul starts chapter 12 with that great word “Therefore….”
Here, on the basis of everything that God has done, we offer ourselves in worship to God. So we do not worship a fantasy God, that we have made up ourselves. We worship a God of truth and reality
3. We worship with our lives
So what is this worship?
Paul is very clear: it is taking our lives and offering them completely to God. We withhold nothing. Just as a sacrifice is totally given to God, so our lives are offered to God. This is God’s definition of the worship that we are to offer Him. No more and no less than utter surrender to Jesus in every area of our lives.
So, how does this work itself out?
I want to suggest four areas in which a child of God, who worships the Father in Spirit and in truth, needs to see this outworked:
1. With Our time
We all have 168 hours a week. Much of it is already accounted for. But we all do have choices about that time. Are we worshippers of God with our time?
2. With our Possessions
In fact, we do not have any possessions. Everything in the world belongs to God. But he has given us possessions to look after. You know the parable of those who were given goods to look after whilst Jesus was away. We will all be held accountable for the way in which we have used the possession we have for God. That includes our homes, our cars…in fact any possession. And to us in the affluent West we have possessions which many in the world good only dream of. From the one to whom much is given – from that person, much will be expected.
3. With our gifts
Every one of us has a unique fingerprint, a unique DNA – and a unique combination of gifts. The difference between the gifts we give to one another rand the gifts that God gives to us, is that God gives everyone gifts – but puts them in the hands of one person to use for others.
4. With Our money
All that we have said about time, possessions and gifts applies equally to money. In fact, often this is a key measurement of where someone’s heart is. In the Old Testament people physically brought their produce, their corn, their sheep and offered them to God, – not as a sacrifice, but as an expression of thanksgiving. True worshipper will be those who give God a portion of their income monthly into God’s work, the local church and other causes, and to the poor.
May we be that type of worshipper.