Introduction: My first purpose in life is to WORSHIP GOD.

1. Worship is my response to God’s love
2. Worship is giving back to God

I. WORSHIP IS FOCUSING MY ATTENTION ON GOD.

Ps 139:1-3 (NKJV), “O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.”

Ps. 139:1-3 (CEV), “You have looked deep into my heart, Lord, and you know all about me. You know when I am resting or when I am working…You notice everything I do and everywhere I go.”

Romans 8:7 (NKJV), “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.”

Romans 8:7(Msg) “Focusing on yourself is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, and ends up thinking more about self than God.”

Heb. 12:1 challenges us to “look to Jesus”

Mike Royco reported this true story in the Chicago Tribune.

“A man named Bill Mallory traveled to India to discover the purpose of life. But he didn’t find the answer there. So after returning, he noticed a sign at Chevron gas station that simply said, ‘As you travel, ask us.’ So every time he pulled into a Chevron station, he would look to the sign and say, ‘I’m a traveler. I’d like to ask you a question. What is the purpose of life?’ These were the real answers he got. I’m not making this up. The first guy said, ‘Sorry, I’m new here.’ The second guy said, ‘I don’t remember anything in the manual about that.’ Another guy said, ‘I’m not much for church myself, sir.’ One guy gave him a leering look and a wink, whatever that meant. However, most people just gave him a blank stare, cleaned his windshield; but he kept asking at all the Chevron stations. One day Mallory got a phone call from Chevron Customer Relations. He said, “We understand you’ve been asking our dealer questions and getting unsatisfactory answers.’ The man suggested that he write out his question and send it to Chevron Corporate with a self-addressed stamped envelope. So Bill Mallory wrote, ‘What is the purpose of life?’ and sent it to Chevron Gas Company. A couple of weeks later, the envelope was returned. The only thing in it was an application for a credit card!”

The Bible teaches you were created for God’s enjoyment (pleasure). God planned you for His purpose.

ILL. How many of your are parents? How many of you enjoy watching your children/grandchildren?

Katie — Inquisitive
Carson — So busy
Hope — Precious; yet struggles
Addie — Watch her sleep (breathe)

Last week we talked about you being created to be loved by God, today, I want to show you that God wants you to love Him back.

Matt. 22 teaches that this is the first and greatest commandment. God says, “I made you to love you and I know you. I want you to know and love me back.”

WORSHIP is knowing and loving God back. It is our primary objective, our highest priority; it is our number one purpose in life.

What does WORSHIP look like?

Prayer, singing, communion, giving to church, giving.

Romans 12:1 (NKJV), “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

Romans 12:1 (TEV), “Because of God’s great mercy to us…offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to His service and pleasing to Him. This is the true worship that you should offer.”

A. WORSHIP IS MY RESPONSE TO GOD’S LOVE.

Worship is the way I react, I respond, to God when He loves me. God takes the initiative.

God always makes the first move. He creates us, He saves us, He forgives us, He blesses us, He protects us. As a result, we respond in WORSHIP. We “offer.” That word describes WORSHIP.

B. WORSHIP IS GIVING BACK TO GOD.

Whenever you give back to God, whenever you offer anything to God, that’s called WORSHIP; that brings pleasure to God. When we are grateful to our Heavenly Father, that brings pleasure to Him.

What do you give to God? What do I offer? He has everything! You give Him your love.

Mark 12:30 (NKJV), “And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.”

Mark 12:30 (NCV), “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.”

God wants me to love Him 3 ways:

1. THOUGHTFULLY.

“love Him with your mind”- – think through, to not just do it without thinking; “Think about His love, think about His goodness, think about His grace, how it’s brought us through.”

2. PASSIONATELY. (Emotionally)

“With all your heart and soul” — He passionately loves us and wants us to passionately love Him.

3. PRACTICALLY. (Fervently)

“with all your strength” — with your abilities

God wants your Attention
God wants your Affection
God wants your Ability

Whenever you take the things God has given to you and you give them back to God, that is the heart of
WORSHIP.

The greatest expression of our love is often displayed by our ATTENTION.

Remember the first time you fell in love? You just couldn’t get that person off your mind. God’s love is always focused on us.

Ps. 139:1-3 (NKJV), “O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.”

Ps. 139:1-3 (CEV), “You have looked deep into my heart, Lord, and you know all about me. You know when I am resting or when I am working…You notice everything I do and everywhere I go.”

We have to choose to focus on things. We are often easily distracted.

4. BECAUSE WE ARE SELF-CENTERED BY NATURE.

Romans 8:7 (NJKV), “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.”

Romans 8:7 (Msg), “Focusing on yourself is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, and ends up thinking more about self than God.”

5. BECAUSE WE ARE SELF-CENTERED BY CULTURE.

Romans 12:2a (NKJV), “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

Romans 12:2a (Msg), “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God.”

HOW DO WE FOCUS OUR ATTENTON ON GOD?

6. ESTABLISH A QUIET TIME.

A daily time with God

Matt. 6:6 (NKJV), “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

Matt. 6:6 (Msg), “Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace.”

7. DEVELOP A CONSTANT
CONVERSATION WITH GOD.

Ps. 105:4 (NKJV), ” Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face evermore!”

Ps. 105:4 (TEV), “Worship Him continually.”

Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV), “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You.”

Isaiah 26:3 (NLT), “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, whose thoughts are fixed on You!”

II. WORSHIP IS EXPRESSING MY AFFECTION TO
GOD.

1 John 4:19 (NKJV), “We love Him because He first loved us.”

Tell God you love Him; He said it first. He has taken the risk away.

ILL. Telling Janet I love her.

Hosea 6:6, “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”

Hosea 6:6 (LB), “I don’t want your sacrifices — I want your love! I don’t want your offerings — I want you to know Me!”

God wants you to know Him and love Him.

Romans 6:13 (NKJV), “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”

Romans 6:13 (NLT), “Give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life.”

He doesn’t want ritual, religion, rules and regulations; He wants a relationship.

The greatest way to express your love to God is by giving your life to Him, by yielding yourself to Him.

That’s the essence of love; I give you my life, I surrender myself to you. I am committing myself to you.

“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”

Remember, it is always a response to God. God gave us life; He says I want you to give yourself completely back to me.

WHAT HOLDS US BACK?

Fear; you’re sacred to death. You are afraid He is going to turn you into some religious nutcase. I’ll become a fanatic. God doesn’t desire to turn you into a goofball. He made you to be you. God loves you the way you are, that’s why He made you that way.

“Liz Curtis Higgs was one of the best-known disc jockeys in America, and she lived quite a wild life. A really wild lifestyle without God. In fact, Howard Stern was the a.m. show, and Liz Curtis Higgs was the p.m. show. And one day Howard Stern said to Liz, ‘You know, you need to clean up your act.’ Now, that really says something if Howard Stern is saying it, okay? I mean, she was a little on the wild side. And because Liz Curtis Higgs had been burned by so many men and her heart had been broken and she had been hurt by so many men, she became a militant feminist. And I underscore, militant feminist. But she had a Christian girlfriend who kept inviting her to church. So one day after a long, long time, she said, ‘Okay, I will go to church one time and ONE TIME ONLY.’ So she went to church one time with her friend. And that week, the pastor just happened to be teaching on the Bible verse that says, ‘Wives submit yourselves to your husbands.’ Now, that’s not exactly a good verse to start with a militant feminist, okay? And she got a little uptight, a little ticked, a little angry. But she continued to listen and she actually heard the second part of the verse, which nobody ever talks about. You see, the second part of the verse says, ‘and husbands — you sacrifice yourself; you give yourself for your wives just as Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for the church and died for her.” People don’t ever hear that second part, okay? Who is asked to give their life up? The husband or the wife? The husband. Okay? Who is asked to give their life up? The husband or the wife? The husband. Okay? The husband. Well, when Liz heard that part, she leaned over to her friend and said with a little cynicism, ‘well, shoot, I’d gladly give myself to any man if I knew he would die for me.’
And her friend leaned over and said, ‘Liz, there is a man who loved you enough to die for you. His name is Jesus Christ.’ And it was not long after that that Liz dropped her guard, surrendered her life to God in love, became a believer. Today she is a well-known Christian author and speaker.”

Some of you may think, “I don’t love God enough.” That’s not your problem Your problems is you don’t realize how much God loves you. If you really knew how much God loves you and cares about every detail of your life, you’d throw yourself at Him.

Worship is always a response.

III. WORSHIP IS USING MY ABILITIES FOR GOD.

That’s practical expression of worship and love.

Colossians 3:23 (NKJV), “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.”

Col. 3:23 (TEV) “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people.”

If you get this verse, it will absolutely change your life. It helps you to understand that in order to worship God you don’t have to change jobs, you just change who you’re working for. When you change who you’re working for, your work becomes worship. Many of you compartmentalize your life. God says I want you to invite me into every area of your life. I want to be involved in all of it.

GET THIS TRUTH;

In life it’s not what you do that matters; it is who you do it for.

You give it all to God. All of your work can be turned to worship. I don’t care if you’re a butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker. Yu can do it for God.

“I’m going to do this as if I’m doing it for you, God.”

You may be a carpet cleaner, an attorney, or a nurse. You may be a mother raising children, an executive, sales person, or a truck driver. It really doesn’t matter what you do. It’s who you do it for.

This turns your work into WORSHIP. God doesn’t want worship to just be a church thing. He wants it to be your whole life, to worship God with your life.

Romans 12:1 (NKJV), “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

Romans 12:1a (Msg), “Take your everyday, ordinary life — your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life-and place it before God as an offering.”

“Offering” — offer is the essence of worship. I’m offering my life to you. This is where the rubber meets the road.

Real purpose-driven living doesn’t happen in a church. It doesn’t even happen in a small group or your quiet time. It happens in the ordinary, routine, mundane things of real life where you go.

Whatever I’m doing, I’m going to do it for You. When you do that, then your life becomes an act of worship. Real worship is a lifestyle.

QUESTION: What are you worshipping?

It is whatever you’re giving your primary attention to, whatever you’re giving your primary affection to, and whatever you’re giving your primary abilities to.

You may be worshipping your career, making money, retirement, pleasure, sex, another person.

The greatest temptation of your life and the worst sin you could possibly commit is the temptation to worship
something other than God. Whenever you love something more than God, you’re going to have chaos, conflict, stress and problems in your life.
When I love comfort more than doing the right thing, I always get into trouble. When I love protecting my ego more than God and humility, I’m going to go down the wrong path. When I love my reputation, when I love money, when I love pleasure, when I love anything more than God, it creates all kings of havoc in my life.

We know it is the worst of the greatest temptations because it is the one Satan pulled on Jesus. If he had had a bigger tool believe me, he would have used it. He said, “Why don’t you worship something else?”

I challenge you to make as the number one goal of your life, before everything else, getting to know and love God, because that brings Him pleasure.

 

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About The Author

Johnny Hunt has served in ministry for almost 40 years in churches throughout North Carolina. He has most recently served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Georgia, a church of more than 19,000. While his church has seen tremendous growth under his leadership, Pastor Hunt’s focus has always been on others – preaching to others and shepherding them into a relationship with Jesus Christ. In addition to serving in these churches, Pastor Hunt served as President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2008-2010 and President of the SBC Pastor’s Conference in 1996. He also authored the book Building Your Leadership Resume: Developing the Legacy that Will Outlast You. His passion for leading others to salvation and serving them in discipleship is a common theme in his sermon outlines. Check out his sermons online today!

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