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Scripture Reading: Psalm 100
Preparing for True Worship
1. Worship is the expression of honor, adoration & praise unto God, not an end in itself. Avoid vain worship by preparing ourselves to benefit from worship (spiritual reform & growth, Heb. 10:24-25).
2. To achieve true worship (Jno. 4:24), must prepare ourselves to experience its joy & benefits (Psa. 100).
3. Fact that worship becomes less than joyful seen in chronic absenteeism / tardiness, lack of zeal, not personally involved, etc.
4. Some things to be & to do as a “prelude to praise.”
I. MUST APPROACH WORSHIP WITH A CORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT IS, THEN DO IT.
A. “The Act of Paying Reverence, Adoration, or Homage to God.”
-proskuneo: “To kiss the hand towards;” make obeisance, do reverence, act of homage (Jno. 4:24)
-sebomai: Revere, feeling of awe (Matt. 15:9)
-latreuo: Render religious service (Phil. 3:3)
-eusebeo: To act piously towards (Acts 17:23). External act motivated by & expressive of an internal sentiment.
1. Worship is NOT spectator sport (merely present while others do things; each one a participant, Jno. 4:24.)
2. Worship is NOT competition with others (out do others present).
3. True worship involves TRUTH (Jno. 4:24):
a. Truth: More than emotion of heart is important -- (WHAT), Matt. 15:7-9; Rom. 10:1-3.
b. Must do scriptural things in scriptural ways.
II. MUST APPROACH WORSHIP WITH A PROPER “MIND SET” (Proper Hearts), Psa. 111:1.
A. True Worship is in SPIRIT (Jno. 4:24).
1. Inner man participates in homage given.
2. Bodily presence alone not all that is important, cf. 1 Cor. 11:17, 27-29.
B. Preparing our Hearts to Worship:
1. Plan ahead, Psa. 122:1. Prepare heart long before arriving: e.g., rest, good relationships (Matt. 5:23), planning.
2. Mind preparation VITAL to true worship.
III. MUST HELP CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT THAT IS CONDUCIVE TO TRUE WORSHIP.
A. A Setting that Promotes Reverence, Heb. 12:28; Psa. 89:7.
1. Begins with the heart, Hab. 2:20 (Zeph. 1:7; Psa. 46:10).
2. Minimize distractions that hinder reverent worship, 1 Cor. 11:20-22.
3. Things which hinder proper hearts & proper actions in our worship.
B. Setting that is Decent & Orderly, 1 Cor. 14:40 (14:23-25, “mad confusion”).
1. Some distractions unavoidable & unpredictable: Medical emergencies, small children, weather, etc.
a. Don’t hesitate to bring babies -- & don’t hesitate to train them.
b. Older ones need to help by being understanding & supportive.
2. Many distractions are preventable: Habitual tardiness, talking, passing notes, even sleeping/snoring (clipping nails); rest rooms.
C. Avoid Merely Appearing to be Reverent, Mal. 1:6-8, 13.
1. Reverence for God (godly fear) will produce submissive hearts & obedient behavior when we worship.
2. Avoid confusing reverence with external surroundings (Matt. 15:8-9; 23:5-7).
IV. NEVER LET YOUR WORSHIP BECOME COMMONPLACE.
-Like any relationship, when our worship of God is taken for granted, we display a lack of love (cf. marriage), cf. Psa. 122:1.
A. Avoid Ritualism by being involved in Private Devotion, Meditation, Prayer, Study, etc.
-One who fails to do this in private will have trouble doing so in the assembly!
Experience the joys & benefits of worship by preparing for it with a correct understanding (“mind set”), orderliness & devotion.