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Worship - the first purpose of life

Sunday, 11th February, 2007



1. What have you learned this week about your life?


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Today we move on. However we are back at the heart of our understanding on our purpose. We start at three loves and four:  Jesus said “Love the 2. Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”. This is the first and greatest commandment.”                          Matt. 22:37-38 (NIV)Page 991

This is where we begin and we will look in a moment at this verse in detail.

The reason this is our starting point becomes clear when we look at a passage like Rev. 4:11b page 1237

3."You (God) created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created."                (NLT)

It is as much part of our thinking that we have a song that repeats it -554 : Thou are worthy quotes this passage verbatim in the AV. You were planned, designed, created and born for God’s pleasure.       

If you wonder about the novelty of this idea. The shorter Westminster Catechism written in 1647 begins

Question. 1. What is the chief end of man?

 Answer. Man's  chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.




4. so MY 1st purpose IN LIFE is to WORSHIP GOD.


You and I are created by God and loved by God . That is the substance of last week’s readings. Today we look at our response. Because God loves us, we respond by loving him back. And that involves us in worshipping him.


5.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.”      Rom. 12:1 (TEV)



So what is worship? I think in the modern church we use the word ‘worship’ for all sorts of things and fail to understand it is a wide inclusive word. It is not just singing songs, or praying or saying to God we love him. It is all of those things and more.


6. 1. WORSHIP is MY RESPONSE to God’s love.

The verse begins ‘Because of God’s great mercy to us’. You cannot worship God until you have received his love and mercy. But when you discover by faith, that God loves you and gave his Son for you and reveals himself as a loving Father running down the road to meet you, his wayward son or daughter, then you worship. How? By everything you do!


Consider a couple who fall in love. What happens? They spend all their time sending each other text messages. They try to spend time together. They go the cinema, out for a meal to celebrate and enjoy their love together. They buy each other silly presents and they tell each other of their love. When you are ‘in love’ you are 100% obsessed with the other person.


But you have fallen under the spell of God’s love. He has woed you. He has sought you our and whispered ‘I love you’ . And because of that you r whole being wants to respond to him. You offer yourself as a living sacrifice. That is not some macabre death wish it is the normal response of someone created by God to be love by him. You want to give him every part of your life to be some way of saying to him’ I love you , too!’ SO our first love is  the natural outcome of our relationship with God.


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

This is our key verse for this week and we should learn it off by heart if we don’t alreadyso that it is their in our minds for our hearts and souls to feed on so that our energies are spent as God intends us.                                               




9. THOUGHTFULLY “with my mind”


We are not a people of blind faith. We are called to love God thoughtfully. Worship engages your brain.


10. PASSIONATELY     “with my heart and soul”


We are not to be an intellectual bunch either. Jesus does not describe God as cold and impersonal. God is passionate about you. His love motivated him to act in grace which defies logic. If worship does not move your emotions then it is poor worship.


11. PRACTICALLY   “with my strength”


God acted in history by sending his Son into the world to die for you and rise again. True history is the record of God at work. That is what the Bible is all about. And our response to that love is the same. Worship is practical. It involves you in doing things.


Sing heart of worship 1113


1. So what is ‘worship’?

In this section I am running through a series of verses because I want you to learn from God not me.



3.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.” Ps. 139:1-3 (CEV)          This is not just about special times but 24/7 living. The special set-aside times are important but they are not everything and God is into everything you do.     


4.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.”    Rom. 8:7 (Msg)              


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


6.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.”    Matt 6:6 (Msg)  


So worship is switching our attention from ourselves, our families and all the other things that fill our lives and looking at Jesus. Find a place and a time for worship. One suggestion is to have a notebook to write down all the things that rush into your mind the second you pause to concentrate on Jesus. Then you can deal with them later. Pause and ask God to reveal himself to you anew. Have your Bible open at a place where God is praised, like a Psalm. But try to spent some time just focusing on who he is and what he has done. Noat asking for help or petitioning him for others. Say I love you, Jesus.


7. “Worship Him continually.”         Ps. 105:4 (TEV) Make it a habit. Develop a vocabulary of what to say to him. For some this is the point where you find words fail and you begin to speak in another tongue as your heart flows out in worship, your mind is engaged in God and your actions will follow as you seek to do his will.


8.You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, whose thoughts are fixed on You!                        Isa. 26:3 (NLT)

This verse contains a promise. There are benefits for us if we worship. That is not the reason for worship. The reason has to remain that God loves you. But you were made for God so you are at your best when you are walking with him.

9. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down on the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2(NIV)




11. “We love Him, because He first loved us.”     1 John 4:19 (KJV) We start at a totally different point to all other religions. We start with God loving us. Our response is a reaction and a reflection to that love. God is not primarily concerned with what you do but what drives you to do it. He says:


     12. “I don't want your sacrifices -- I want your love! I don't want your offerings --I want you to know Me!”    Hosea 6:6 (LB)                           


So Paul writes 13. 14. 15.If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but have not love….1Corinthians 13:1-3 page 1154

16. “He is a God who is passionate about His relationship with you.”              Ex. 34:14b (NLT)

So respond to his passion with passion.

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

David got a mouthful from his wife for expressing his passion for God. He was dancng in the streets! But it did not stop him. Rather it showed her lack of love for God.


Worship is not just a passive thing. It is active. It is in our nature to want to do something to express our love. Whether it is a card, a phone call, flowers, a meal, a gift or some practical help, we express our love in action. God made you that way so loving him expresses itself in action

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


The way you express your love to God is in what you do for others. Everything you do. Not just the obvious ones but the mundane work-a-day activities as well. Like house work. Like your employment.


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


That is what a living sacrifice is. You making everything you do an offering of thanks and praise to God.


      21. “So we make it our goal to please Him...”    2 Cor. 5:9 (NIV)                 

You and God lovers together. Worship is part of your response to his love.     

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