Good evening, and welcome to Sunday Nights @ First!
Tonight is going to be a little different from what you are used to...
Just you, this screen, and God
It will all be back next week
Tonight we begin a three week series on "Worship".
Take a moment to think about worship.
How would you define it?
What does it look like?
How well do you worship?
This is a big deal, because Jesus said, "true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks."
Worship is a big deal to us because it is a big deal to God.
He is actively seeking people who will rightly worship Him.
So how do I do that?
How do I rightly worship God?
Yes to all of the above, and more.
Let's unpack this worship thing a little more.
Worship involves three things:
-Acknowledging who God is and what He has done.
-Expressing praise and thanksgiving for who God is and what He has done.
-Surrendering every activity of life as an expression of worship.
Let's start with acknowledging who God is and what He has done.
So who is God? What has He done?
The best way to answer those questions is to see what God has said about Himself. And the best way to do that is to look in the Bible.
As you read the following verses, take your time. Think about what they say about God. Think about what God has done on your behalf. Then read the verse again. Focus on His love and care for you.
"The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent." Exodus 14:14
"The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation." Exodus 15:2
"The Lord is a warrior." Exodus 15:3
"...you are approaching the battle against your enemies today. Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you." Deuteronomy 20:3,4
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
"And the Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." Deuteronomy 31:8
"Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord you God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
"Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you." II Chronicles 14:12
"The Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you." II Chronicles 15:2
"But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work." II Chronicles 15:7
"For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His." II Chronicles 16:9
"But Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head. I was crying to the Lord with my voice, and he answered me from His holy mountain. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me round about." Psalms 3:3-6
"The Lord hears when I call to Him." Psalm 4:3
"For Thou dost bless the righteous man, O Lord. Thou dost surround him with favor as with a shield." Psalm 5:12
"God, brilliant Lord, yours is a household name. Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you; toddlers shout the songs that drown out enemy talk, and silence atheist babble. I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewelry, moon and stars mounted in their settings. Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, 'Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look?'" Psalm 8 (The Message)
"The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble." Psalm 9:9
"For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face." Psalm 11:7
"I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me." Psalm 13:6
"I have set the Lord continually before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." Psalm 16:8
"'Come now, and let us reason together,' says the Lord. 'Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.'" Isaiah 1:18
"And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee." Isaiah 26:3
"Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord we have an everlasting Rock." Isaiah 26:4
"In repentance and rest you shall be saved. In quietness and trust is your strength." Isaiah 30:15
"You have put all my sins behind your back." Isaiah 38:17
"The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31
"Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
"I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins." Isaiah 43:25
"'For I know the plans I have for you,‚' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'" Jeremiah 29:11-13
"I have loved you with an everlasting love." Jeremiah 31:3
"For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Jeremiah 31:24
"Call on me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things." Jeremiah 33:3
"The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him." Lamentations 3:25
"This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness." Lamentations 3:21-23
We could spend all of eternity trying to describe the wonder of who God is.
He is Creator
So who is He to you?
Take a moment right now at your tables, and share who God is to you. For which of His attributes are you most thankful? Why? What has God done for you?
Go ahead. Start right now. We’ll wait for you. We’ll turn the lights back down when it’s time to look back at the screen. Begin with person at your table who has the bluest eyes.
Next week we’ll respond to God, by expressing our worship through music. It will be a night of praise and worship, led by our worship band.
Don’t miss it.
We’re going to have a lot of fun!
(Keep looking up here, please.)
Father, we have a tendency to focus so much on ourselves that we forget all about You. Don’t let us do that anymore. Help us to continually remember who You are. Help us to continually remember all You have done for us. Teach us to worship. We pray this is Jesus name,
You are dismissed.
See you next week!
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