A young man decided to make a climb on the Swiss
Alps and hired two men to be his guides. It was a steep, hazardous
ascent to the top of the mountain. The experienced guides placed him
in the middle of the trio as they climbed. After hours of struggling
they reached the summit of the mountain.
The guide ahead wished to let the young man have
the first glorious peek of heaven and earth, and moved aside to let
him go first. Forgetting the gales that would blow across those
summit rocks, the young climber leaped to his feet to catch the
view. But the lead guide dragged him down. He shouted, “On your
knees, sir! You are never safe here except on your knees.”6
Worship is like that, falling on our knees, before
a holy God. Once you tear away all the glitz and glitter of what we
consider a worship experience is to be in our minds it all boils down
to the fact that we make our way humbly toward God and our ultimate
response to him is our worship! What are our worship concerns?
Our worship concern focuses around a God-Centered experience. John
It is not the place of worship that concerns God
. People can worship God in a mud hut, in the open air, or a
beautiful sanctuary, but it must be done with a heart and mind
focused on God, not with boring clichés or pompous words. The basis
of our worship is the celebration of God. Our job is to extol Him as
the Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, Savior, Sanctifier, and Giver of
Life. We celebrate God as we join together in earnest prayer and a
song of praise. Worship occurs as we listen to His Word gladly and
seek to be conformed by it more and more to the image of our Savior.
Worship is the blending of hearts with one common goal . . . God! Ron
Allen stated, “As thoughtful gift is a celebration of a birthday, as
a special evening out is a celebration of an anniversary, as a warm
eulogy is a celebration of a life, as a sexual embrace is a celebration
of marriage – so a worship service is a celebration of God”7
As you enter the worship experience ask:
*What have I done to prepare myself for this experience?
*Who have I prayed for in this service?
*When is the last time I invited God to come into my life?
*Where is the lesson in the pastor’s sermon and the music ministry
for me to learn?
II. Our worship concern focuses around our social
concern for our world. John 2:13-16.
What irritated Jesus to the point that he became
angry enough to fashion a whip out of cords and drive the money
changers out of the temple? What caused Jesus to literally overthrow
tables of these people? Why did he angrily shout to the money
handlers, “Get these (animals) out of here! How dare you turn my
Father’s house into a market!” Mark 2:16 N.I.V.
William Barclay tells his readers that the Court
of the Gentiles in the Temple area was where the money exchangers and
sellers of sacrificial animals had their business set up. The
constant noise and hawking of wares made it almost impossible for the
Gentiles who were seeking God, whose hearts and lives had been touched
by Him, to meditate and pray. The Gentiles were the “fringe people”
of the Jewish social order. Barclay poignantly asked, “Is there
anything to our Church life – a snobbish, exclusiveness, coldness, a
lack of welcome, a tendency to make the congregation into a closed
club, an arrogance, a fastidiousness – which keeps the seeking
stranger out?”8 There are many issues facing us in 2006 that have
to do with our spiritual and moral character as we worship. These
*Poverty – with a billion people in our world living on less
than $1 a day, a child poverty rate that is rising in the richest
country in the world, and people starving.
*Stewardship of God’s world including legitimate environmental
*Family values issues that deal with gays, support of parents,
*Reaching out to diverse peoples within our communities.
*Ways to bring peace to a world filled with strife, love instead of
It is Jesus and his church that deal with key
issues while the world is silent! How we wrestle with these issues
concerns our worship.
III. Our worship concern focuses around our
approach to God. V. 17-22.
Jesus coming to earth put an end to man made
ritualistic worship of God. An elaborate system of worship with
incense and sacrifice offered by the hands of man was no longer
needed. What God desired in the first place was a holy heart and
Jesus had come to bring that to reality!
Let’s take our cue from the book of Revelation and
the four living creatures who shout, “Holy, Holy, holy is the Lord
God Almighty who was and is, and is to come.” Rev. 4:8 N.I.V.
Sermon brief provided by: Derl
Keefer, Adult Development Ministries Coordinator in the Sunday School
Department, Nazarene World Headquarters, Kansas City, MO
NOTES 6. Craig B. Larson, Editor, Illustrations for
Preaching and Teaching (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1993), 281. 7.
Charles Swindoll, The Tardy Oxcart (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1998),
627. 8. William Barclay, The Gospel of John (Philadelphia:
Westminster Press, 1955), 101.