U – The Practice of Worship

///U – The Practice of Worship
U – The Practice of Worship2017-03-30T17:07:01+00:00
Study Explanation
Key Scripture
Discussion Guides
Growing Exercises
Recommended Reading

Explanation

Worship explores the natural and desired posture of mankind towards God.  It explores how people respond to his existence, his presence, his sovereignty, his power, his glory, his greatness, his love, his grace, his mercy, his salvation and his blessings.  Worship is primarily a spiritual exercise with theological and behavioral implications.  Our understanding of God and his work leads to spiritual enlightenment and emotion.  Worship takes place as we sincerely and appropriately respond to God and his moving in our hearts and lives.  A heart filled with awe and reverence might bow before him.  A heart filled with thanksgiving and gratitude may praise, give or serve.  A heart filled with conviction may repent and confess.  A heart fill with love may sing or raise hands.  The study of worship explores the various ways we respond once we have encountered him or his moving in our lives.  What does that look like?  Why should we attend worship services?  Can we worship in ways besides a church service?  How does God desire we worship?  What kind of worship pleases him?  Why is worship pleasing and beneficial for us?

KEY SCRIPTURES

Key Scriptures

Key Scriptures are designed to give a biblical overview of the topic in question.  They are extremely valuable for gaining an immediate general understanding of what the Bible teaches on a given subject.  Key Scriptures are the first place you should explore when starting a new subject.  They can be discussed individually, in part, or in whole.  Generic inductive Bible study questions are provided to assist you in your discussion.  Key Scriptures are also good for memorizing and reference.

Worship God

Psalm 29:2 – Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. NIV

Nehemiah 9:5 – Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. NIV

Hebrews 12:28-29 – Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” NIV

See also Deuteronomy 6: 13-14, Revelation 22: 8-9, Psalm 95:6-7; 100: 1-2, & Zephaniah 2:11

Fear God

Deuteronomy 6:24 – The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God. NIV

Psalm 33:8 – Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. NIV

Psalm 147:11 – The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. NIV

See also Psalm 22:18, & 128:1

Praise God

Psalm 40:3 – He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. NIV

Psalm 112:1 – Praise the LORD.  Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands. NIV

See also Psalm 33:1; & 146:1-2

Honor God

Proverbs 3:9 – Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops. NIV

1 Timothy 1:17 – Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. NIV

Revelation 7:12 – Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. NIV

See also Deuteronomy 26:10, & 2 Peter 1:17

Seek God

Psalm 27:4 – One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD. NIV

Psalm 40:16 – May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, “The LORD be exalted!” NIV

See also Psalm 105: 3-4, Isaiah 55:6, & Hosea 10:12

Love God

Deuteronomy 10:12 – And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. NIV

Joshua 23:11 – So be very careful to love the LORD your God. NIV

See also Deuteronomy 11:22 & Psalm 34:8

False Worship/Idolatry

Leviticus 26:1 – Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God. NIV

Deuteronomy 11:16 – Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. NIV

See also Psalm 81:9

Inductive Bible Study Questions

to be used with individual Key Scriptures

  • What is the primary point of this passage?
  • How does this passage challenge us?
  • How does this passage comfort or encourage us?
  • What does this passage teach us about God?
  • What spiritual insights are found in this passage?
  • What are the personal & spiritual implications of this text?
  • What does this passage ask or require of us?

Key Scriptures Bible Study

to be used when studying all Key Scriptures together

  • Did any of the scriptures given surprise you? Explain
  • Did any of the scriptures given confuse you? Explain
  • Did any of the scriptures given comfort or excite you?
  • How would you sum up these scriptures to another?
  • What implications do these scriptures have for our lives?
  • Which of these scriptures would you find it valuable to memorize?

DISCUSSION GUIDES

Worship God Alone

U1 – The Temptation of Jesus – Matthew 4: 1-10

Key Words: Worship, Temptation, Idols, Self

  1. What is the significance of these temptations taking place at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry?
  2. It has been suggested that each temptation seeks to divert Jesus from his path to the cross; how does each temptation both expedite and compromise his mission?
  3. Is there anything wrong with turning stones to bread?
  4. How is this different than when he later multiplies loaves and fishes to feed the masses?
  5. What would have been so wrong with Jesus throwing himself from the pinnacle of the Temple in full view of everyone to reveal who he was without a shadow of doubt?
  6. How would this have changed his path?
  7. What is the response of Jesus to the final temptation?
  8. Is the real issue here the worship or seeking of God verses the worship or seeking of self?
  9. Why is only God worthy of worship?
  10. Why do people seek and serve things that are less than God and not truly worthy of worship?
  11. Is the worship or service or seeking of other things besides God ultimately the worship of self?
  • Approach all scripture prayerfully open
Rating: 5.0. From 2 votes.
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U2 – The Exaltation of Jesus – Hebrews 1

Key Words: Worship, Jesus Exalted, Idols

  1. Which element and descriptions of God in this chapter inspire you?
  2. What does this chapter reveal to us about God?
  3. List the qualities in the chapter that make God worthy of worship.
  4. List the qualities the Son has in common with the Father?
  5. How is the Son different than the angels?
  6. Why should we worship the Son and not the angels?
  7. If the Son were somehow less than what is described here, less than God, would he still be worthy of worship?
  8. What point regarding worship is God arguing in this chapter?
  9. What argument does this passage make about worshipping God alone?
  • Approach God’s Word with humility, honesty and teachability
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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Worship God

U3 – Compelled to Worship – 1 Chronicles 16: 8-36

Key Words: Worship

  1. What is the theme of this passage?
  2. Who is encouraged to worship in this passage (verses 28; 31-33)?
  3. What qualities of God expressed in this passage compel our worship?
  4. List the worship postures or activities described in this passage; what should our response be to this incredible God?
  5. Using this passage as reference, how does our understanding of God lead to our worship of God?
  6. How does this passage illustrate that worship is more of a natural and spiritual activity than a mechanical and physical one?
  • These questions are only suggestions, allow the Holy Spirit to be your guide
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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U4- Hearts of Worship – Psalm 96

Key Words: Worship, Heart

  1. What is the scale of the worship in this Psalm?
  2. Who is the congregation?
  3. What imperatives listed in this Psalm teach us how to worship (For example, verse 2 contains 3; there are well over a dozen in this chapter)?
  4. What words or adjectives convey the tone or emotion of the chapter?
  5. What is the natural connection between the emotion of the chapter and the activities of the chapters?
  6. What does this teach regarding the preparation of our hearts for worships?
  7. How do we prepare our hearts for worship?
  • These questions are simply a foundation for you to build upon
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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U5 – Spirit and Truth – John 4: 19 – 24

Key Words: Worship, Truth, Heart, Openness, Integrity

  1. This woman questions Jesus about what worship issue?
  2. Why was the place of worship so important to the Jewish religion?
  3. Do you think people get too hung up on worship logistics or mechanics?
  4. How does Jesus redirect the question to the real issue of worship?
  5. What kind of worshippers does the Father seek?
  6. What issues are involved when we address the spirit of worship?
  7. How does the spirit of worship relate to sincerity? …openness?  …heart?  …integrity?
  8. Describe the spirit of a true worshipper?
  9. What issues are involved when we address the truth of worship?
  10. How does the coming of Christ and the salvation he offers enable us to worship God in a higher and more informed way?
  11. How does Jesus change the way people worship (see 1Corinthians 3: 16-17)?
  12. How does the coming of Jesus change the essence of worship from the mechanics of worship to the heart of worship?
  • Create your own study by adding and subtracting questions as needed
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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U6- Justice and Truth – Revelation 19: 1-10

Key Words: Worship, Heaven, Justice, Truth, God’s Presence

  1. When is this worship experience happening and what prompts this praise of God?
  2. Why does his justice and judgment exalt God and compel praise from his people?
  3. Who is the great prostitute in verse 2 and what exactly are her crimes?
  4. How does she corrupt others with her adulteries?
  5. Do you believe the prostitute represents those who seek to rival the one true God and seduce people away from him?
  6. How does the condemnation of the prostitute establish God as the one true God?
  7. Why is this cause for celebration and victory?
  8. What is the spirit or tone of the praise in this passage?
  9. What do you think it would be like to actually be in the presence of God?
  10. How would your heart respond?
  • Your questions are probably better than mine
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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Fear God

U7 – Reverent Fear – Proverbs 9:10

Key Words: Worship, Fearing God, Love, Reverence, Wisdom

  1. How do we use the word and concept of fear today?
  2. What things do we fear?
  3. How is the word ‘fear’ being used in this context?
  4. King James reads in 2 Timothy 1:7 that God does not give us a spirit of fear, how does that reconcile with the approximately 100 times in the Bible we are told to fear God?
  5. 1 John 4:16-18 says the “God is love”… It goes on to say, “Perfect love drives out fear… The one who fears is not made perfect in love”… How do we reconcile love and fear of God?
  6. The root of the Hebrew word for “fear” includes the idea of reverence; how does reverence enhance this concept of fear?
  7. What is the opposite attitude of reverent fear?
  8. How does a reverent or holy fear of God lead to wisdom and wise choices?
  9. How does a casual or flippant attitude towards God and his commands lead to foolishness and destruction?
  • Spend time with the questions prior to leading a group or coaching time
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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Praise God

U8 – Joyful Praise – Psalm 66

Key Words: Worship, Joy, Praise, Blessing, Salvation

  1. According to verse 5 why are we to praise God?
  2. How many times is this reason for praise repeated in the Psalm in one form or another?
  3. How does the Psalm support the idea of praising God because of what he has done?
  4. What is the spirit and tone of the passage?
  5. Why are the people so joyful and happy?
  6. Think about it, what are the things God has done for you personally: he created you, gave you qualities and abilities, hopefully you have trusted him for salvation and he has save you, he has blessed you with his providence, and so on?
  7. Everything you are and have find their ultimate source in God; how excited should you be to praise God and share with everyone what he has done for you?
  8. In reality, how excited are you? Is there a disparity?  If so, why?
  9. What does this Psalm teach us about the presence or lack thereof of praise in our lives?
  • Interrogatives are keys that unlock wonderful secrets 
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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U9 – The Spirit and Tone of Worship – Psalm 100

Key Words: Worship, Heart, God’s People, Eternity

  1. How would you characterize the spirit and tone of the worship in your church?
  2. How would you characterize the spirit and tone of the worship in this passage?
  3. How is verse 3 the key that drives the tone and spirit of our worship?
  4. What does verse 3 teach us about the reality of God and our relationship to him?
  5. Why should this fact alone compel us to rejoice in him?
  6. How does the Lord treat his sheep (see Psalm 23)?
  7. Some argue the macro narrative of scripture is the mantra, “I will be your God and you will be my people,” how is that covenant expressed in this passage.
  8. Does our responsibility in the covenant include worshipping God?
  9. What clues does the passage give regarding the length of this covenant?
  10. Does the idea this is an eternal reality and relationship enhance the joy of worship or diminish it?
  • Be like a detective who interrogates scripture 
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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U10 – The Fruits of Praise – Psalm 103

Key Words: Worship, Praise, Blessing, Attitude

  1. What reasons do verses 1-2 give for praising God?
  2. Verses 3-19 list the benefits of seeking God?
  3. Go through the Psalm line by line and distil each benefit to its essence and discus how you have or have not experienced that benefit in your life.
  4. Would you say that you have experienced none, some, most or all of the benefits listed?
  5. What emotions or attitudes towards God does this stir in your soul?
  6. Do these emotions and attitudes inspire you to worship God?
  7. How do you feel compelled to express these worship attitudes?
  8. Who does verses 19-22 say should worship the Lord and why?
  • The insight is found in scripture; questions are simply tools to mine the ore
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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U11 – Praise for who He is – Psalm 148

Key Words: Worship, God’s Glory, Majesty, Sovereignty, Beauty, Praise

  1. Most Psalms praise God for what he does, his wonderful acts, how does this Psalm divert from this pattern?
  2. How does this Psalm encourage the praising of God for who he is?
  3. What poetic license does this Psalm take?
  4. How does the Psalmist use this imagery to enhance the majesty, splendor and sovereignty of God?
  5. In what ways can the Psalm be taken literally?
  6. How does creation itself praise and glorify God?
  7. How does the beauty and majesty of the earth and stars reflect upon its creator?
  8. What implications does this Psalm have for human beings and our posture towards God?
  • Follow the lines of curiosity 
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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U12 – The Postures of Worship – Psalm 150

Key Words: Worship, Dancing, Praise, Joy, Reverence, Love

  1. Why does this Psalm teach we should praise the Lord?
  2. How does this passage teach we should praise the Lord?
  3. Why do people in most cultures down throughout the ages sing and dance and make music?
  4. What emotions are they expressing?
  5. What do these instructions teach us about worship?
  6. Romans 14:11 as well as many other passages teach us to bow before the Lord; what attitudes or emotions would compel one to bow before God?
  7. Isaiah fell prostrate before the Lord as does nearly everyone in scripture who enters the actual presence of the Lord; what attitude and emotion would evoke prostration?
  8. Psalm 63:3, as well as others, tells us to lift up our hands to the Lord; what attitudes and emotions might inspire such a gesture?
  9. What do the lessons of this Psalm along with the lessons of these other worship activities teach about the moods and expressions of worship?
  • Group leaders may wish to consult a commentary for background information 
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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Honoring God

U13 –Idols among Us – 2 Kings 17: 34-41

Key Words: Worship, Idols, Service, Sacrifice, Religion, Sincerity

  1. According to this text, what is the sin of the Assyrians?
  2. What qualifies as an idol?
  3. Do we have idols today?
  4. How do we serve and sacrifice to these idols?
  5. How does the text say we are to worship God?
  6. What does bowing before God signify?
  7. How do we make sacrifices to God today?
  8. What sacrifices does God require of us?
  9. What other instructions did God give to them?
  10. How would this passage define what it means to honor God?
  11. How would this passage define what it means to dishonor God?
  12. How does true worship of God involve our whole lives rather than just our religious actions?
  13. How do we insure our worship remains pure?
  • Seek to connect the dots with other scriptures and Bible content 
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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U14 – The Sacrifice of True Worship – Romans 12: 1-2

Key Words: Worship, Sacrifice, Transformation, Lordship

  1. How do most people define or envision the idea of worship today?
  2. How does this text define or envision the idea of worship?
  3. Why is sacrifice in worship important?
  4. What does sacrifice in any relationship communicate?
  5. What is the value of a gift that costs someone nothing?
  6. Why is a gift that costs someone nothing often insulting to the recipient?
  7. How does a sacrificial gift often honor the recipient?
  8. What role does sacrifice and giving play in the worship of God in the Old Testament?
  9. What does God ask of people in the New Testament?
  10. What does being a living sacrifice imply to you?
  11. Why is it imperative to transform our minds away from the patterns of this world in order to live this way?
  • There are no greater tools for effective Bible study than humility, honesty, and diligence
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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Seeking God

U15 – The God who is always There – Deuteronomy 4: 25-31

Key Words: Worship, Seeking God, Forgiveness, Sin, Fruits of Sin

  1. What conditions is God explaining to his people in this passage?
  2. Is God describing a scenario where he drifts away from his people, or his people drift away from him?
  3. Why do human beings seem to have this incredible propensity for self-destruction?
  4. How do people who have made mistakes and brought distress or ruin to themselves often feel about the accessibility of God in their lives?
  5. Why and how does sin create distance between us and God?
  6. What statement does God make in verse 29 about his accessibility and availability?
  7. What does it say about God that he is always available to those who sincerely seek him?
  8. What cultural myths does this reality counter?
  9. What does this passage teach us about worship?
  • You are responsible for your level of engagement
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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U16- True and Honest Seeking – Zephaniah 2:3

Key Words: Worship, Seeking God, Humility, Obedience, Righteousness, Attitude

  1. This passage describes those who seek the Lord; what do most people think today about what it looks like to seek the Lord?
  2. Do most people today envision seeking God in terms of religious activity?
  3. This passage describes seeking God in terms of humility, obedience and righteousness (right relationships); what quality listed do you think is most important in seeking God?
  4. Why is humility imperative for anyone honestly seeking God?
  5. Why do the proud typically find it difficult to draw close to God?
  6. What is relationship between humility and obedience?
  7. What is the relationship between humility and righteousness or right relationships?
  8. Respond to the following statement: seeking God is an attitude and lifestyle rather than a solely religious endeavor.
  9. What does it look like to sincerely seek God?
  • Go beyond the obvious by avoiding “Yes” or “No” answers
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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Love God

U17 – The Heart of Worship – Matthew 22:37

Key Words: Worship, Loving God, Adoration

  1. The Greek word most often used for “worship” in the New Testament literally means ‘To Kiss Towards,’ what does this image convey to you?
  2. What emotion or attitude is being expressed by this image?
  3. In what ways is worship expressed by love or adoration towards God?
  4. With the idea of worship as love expressed, what does this passage teach us about worship?
  5. Why must our hearts be engaged in worship? What happens to our worship when our hearts are not engaged?
  6. What other legitimate feelings and attitudes towards God are involved in worship?
  7. Is love the highest expression of worship?
  8. What is the difference between engaging our emotions in worship and emotionalism?
  • Think before answering
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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False Worship/Idolatry

U18 – Throwing off the Idols – Genesis 35: 1-4

Key Words: Worship, Idols, Priorities, Faith, God’s Glory

  1. What does Jacob ask of his household and why does he do it?
  2. What was Jacob’s intent or endgame?
  3. Did God tell Jacob to purge his household of all hints of false gods?
  4. This event occurs prior to the 10 Commandments and God’s commands concerning idols; why is this principle of having no other gods before the true God an intuitive and apparent action for Jacob?
  5. How successful would Jacob have been in his quest to build an altar to worship and connect with God if his household is still filled with the expressions of rival gods?
  6. What would the presence of these idols have communicated about Jacob?
  7. If an idol is something we worship, serve or seek in place of God; what are common idols today?
  8. What does the presence of idols in our lives say about us?
  9. Respond to the statement: God will not share his glory with another?
  • Thoughtful silence is the soil of epiphany
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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U19 – The First Commandment – Exodus 20: 2-6

Key Words: Worship, Ten Commandments, Idols, God’s Jealousy, Priorities

  1. Why do you suppose these are the first two of the 10 Commandments?
  2. Contrast and compare the two commandments?
  3. It has been said that the last nine commandments are commentary on the first, do you agree?
  4. Do you believe if you truly keep the first you can keep the other nine?
  5. What is a false god in our lives?
  6. Does a god have to be an official deity or religion for it to be a god?
  7. Explain how a false god or idol is anything that usurps the place of God in our lives?
  8. It’s easy to see how we worship false deities, but how do people worship pleasure, money or power?
  9. Why is it right for God to be jealous of these false gods in the hearts of his people?
  •  Seek Nuance
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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U20 – Entering the Promised Land – Deuteronomy 12: 1-8

Key Words: Worship, Idols, Serving God, Heart

  1. What is the topic of these instructions God gives to his people for when they enter the promised land?
  2. Why would God have them destroy every vestige of the old gods in the land?
  3. Explain why verse 4 is the theme of this passage?
  4. What does it mean to worship God in their way?
  5. Why would this have been a severe compromise?
  6. Does this passage apply at all to our hearts as we seek to serve God and worship him?
  7. What old gods do we like to keep around in our hearts?
  8. Why can we not serve God and worship him in the ways we did our old gods?
  9. What role does our heart and behavior play in authentic and acceptable worship?
  • Be sure to explore all the resources for each doctrine, virtue, and practice
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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U21 – The Worship God Seeks – Isaiah 1 and 29:13

Key Words: Worship, Religion, Purity, Sincerity, Heart

  1. Is this passage describing those who worship God or despise him?
  2. How is Isiah 29:13 a paraphrase of chapter 1?
  3. How religious are the people described in this passage?
  4. What religious activities are listed in the passage?
  5. How does God feel about these activities?
  6. What does this reveal about how God views worship?
  7. Why is true worship more than just going through the motions?
  8. What is God looking for in our worship?
  9. How does this passage suggest worship is a whole life endeavor?
  10. What kind of worship does God love? What kind of worship does God hate?
  • Remember there are additional studies in the Key Scriptures section
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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U22 – The Privilege of Worship – Psalm 24

Key Words: Worship, God’s Majesty, Sovereignty, Presence, Integrity, God’s People

  1. How does this passage describe the majesty and sovereignty of God?
  2. What indication does this passage give that it is desirable and a wonderful privilege to worship the Lord?
  3. What do verses 3-4 say about those who are able to experience the privilege of worship?
  4. What does it mean to have clean hands?
  5. What do clean hands indicate about the behavior and integrity of those enter the presence of God?
  6. Verse 5 refers to God our savior, why is a savior be necessary to enter God’s presence?
  7. Finally, verse 6 describes those in God’s presence as those who seek him?
  8. Why would God reserve his presence for those who seek him?
  9. How does this reinforce the macro narrative of scripture, “I will be your God and you will be my people?”
  10. What do verses 7-10 indicate about those with these qualities?
  • Remember there are other learning and scripture studies in the Growing Exercises section
Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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GROWING EXERCISES

  1. Make a commitment to make worship a priority in your life, not simply by attending worship, but by being all in. This involves being present not just in body, but in heart and soul.  Prepare your heart beforehand by confessing sin, asking God to move in your life through worship, praying for the worship leaders, praying for God to reveal himself to you, and opening your heart and mind to the things he has to say.  Enter worship with a sense of expectation and faith that you will experience the presence and moving of God.  Focus during the service and don’t allow your mind to wander.  Commit to give God your full self during worship encounters.
  1. When a Bible passage tells us to fear the Lord, there is usually a promise or desired result that comes from fearing God. Research the approximately 100 passages in the Bible that encourage us to fear the Lord and list the benefits that come to those who fear the Lord.

Ask the following questions when finished.  What conclusions can you draw about fearing the Lord?  What does it mean to fear the Lord?  How does the Bible use the word fear in this context?  What does it look like to live a life of godly fear?  How does this exercise illustrate sow and reaping?

  1. Go out with a small group of Christian friends all of whom are active in their churches. Interview the group with the following questions for discussion.
  • How would you define worship?
  • What is the most meaningful aspect of worship for you?
  • What makes good worship?
  • Where does worship fit in your life?
  • What must one do to really worship?
  1. God asks those who worship him to forsake their idols. An idol is anything that usurps God’s rightful place in our lives or anything that we worship, seek or serve in place of God.  It is important for each of us to remain conscious of our heart allegiances.  Seek out a quiet place to inventory your heart to identify and cast off idols. Consider the following idols and how you have or may have allowed them a stronghold in your life.
  • Have I looked to money for happiness or security? Have I done things to serve money or compromise my faith, family or integrity for money?  Do I honor God with money through generosity and giving?
  • Have I looked to pleasure to satisfy my needs? Do I rely on food, drugs, alcohol or sex to get me through the day?  Is there anything that brings me greater pleasure than the Lord?  Do I honor God with my body?
  • Have I looked to power or imposing my will on others for a sense of satisfaction and meaning in life? Have I placed my reputation over God’s reputation?  Does my need to control a situation override my faith?
  • Have I looked to self as the ultimate god in my life? Is God’s will secondary to my will?  Do I use God to get things that ultimately I want?  Am I obedient to all of God’s commands or do I pick and choose the ones that benefit me?  Am I addicted to approval, comfort or pride?

Once you identify various idols in your life, repent of those idols and take mental and spiritual steps to reassert God in his rightful place.  Spend some time in prayer asking for his grace to help you stay true to your resolutions.

  1. Explore various worship expressions and postures in your quiet time or prayer time with God. Try each one at least twice and perhaps you find some new and meaningful ways to enhance your worship and relationship with God.  Here are some sample ideas.
  • Bring a hymnal or songbook and sing worship songs.
  • Bring a Bible and meditate on scripture… or memorize scripture.
  • Get on your knees, stand and raise your hands or lay prostrate on the floor.
  • Go to a beautiful place such as a garden or park to pray and worship.
  • Write your prayers ahead of time and then express them to God.
  • Spend time in silence focusing on God and his attributes.
  1. Sit down with the worship leader from your church explaining that you would like to enhance your understanding of worship and how to worship? Take them to lunch, coffee, whatever and ask him or her the following questions.
  • Why did you get into leading worship?
  • How would you define worship?
  • What worship book or resource has most influenced you and why?
  • What makes good worship?
  • What one thing do you wish everyone in the congregation understood about worship?
  1. Obtain a copy on an old hymnal: one that is at least 40 to 50 years old. Browse the hymnal, look at the various song categories and worship aids such as Bible readings, and read the words of the songs.
  • What can you learn from this hymnal about how people worshiped 50 or however long ago?
  • Is there anything that stands out to you about many of these hymns?
  • How are the songs and themes different than many of our songs today?
  • Do you find the songs to be richer or more theological?
  • Are the songs more to God or about God?
  • What can this era teach us about worship?
  • What can we teach them about worship?

RECOMMENDED READING

  1. Rythyms of Grace by Mike Cosper
  2. The Unquenchable Worshipper by Matt Redman
  3. Real Worship by Warren Wiersbe
  4. Whatever Happened to Worship by A.W. Tozer
  5. Worship Evangelism by Sally Morgenthaler
  6. Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin
  7. Worship by the Book by D.A. Carson
  8. Let Us Worship by Judson Cornwall
  9. Elements of Worship by Judson Cornwall