Sunday, April 24, 2011

Resurrection Sunday

The Resurrection was:
1. a literal, physical, historical event - Acts 2:32

2. permanent - the body He'll have for eternity

3. planned - foretold, prophesied - 1 Cor. 15:3-4

The Resurrection is:
4. a declaration, a clear, emphatic statement......
of God's approval - Rom. 1:4
of Christ's authority - Mat. 28:18

5. the defining event of Christianity - 1 Cor. 15:14-19

6. The guarantee of our victory over death. - 1 Cor. 15:20-26, 54-55

So......... we celebrate what has happened. (Christ's victory)

We celebrate what will happen: at my death - 'cross over' - John 11:25-26
at His return - reunion of body and soul
at the final judgment - Rev. 20:14

We celebrate what is happening - He is interceding; He is interacting

We celebrate what can happen - to you.... if you've not yet received Christ - John 20:30-31

So, we're here to celebrate the Resurrection and here to worship Christ.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Lord's Supper

1 Cor. 11:23-26

What we believe
1. The bread and wine are symbolic - ie. pictures of His body broken and blood shed for us.
2. His people should celebrate the Lord's Supper (participate in) - 1 Cor. 11:24 - "do this"

How we celebrate
we gather
we worship
we partake (of the bread and wine)
we fellowship (potluck)

Why do we do this?
To remember His sacrifice
To demonstrate our faith (in His Sacrifice)
To celebrate our common bond (sinners/saints/brothers/sisters)
To renew our vows
To anticipate His return - 1 Cor. 11:26

Who should participate
Believers - Christians - this is "The Lord's supper"

Final word: Note: 1 Cor. 11:27-29
So examine yourself, make preparation, come and celebrate

Now our worship is or should be focused on Him - His work, His sacrifice, His table, etc.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Spiritual Discipline of Praise & Worship Pt. 2

In a series on Spiritual Discipline.

Definition: practices that promote spiritual growth, devotional habits that aid and advance spiritual maturity.

self- examination
contrition - feeling sorry for sins
repentance - turning around

Bible Reading
Fasting and Prayer

Last week - added Praise and Worship

Question: Why is Praise and Worship a spiritual discipline?
Praise and Worship promote spiritual growth.
2. Praise and Worship is not always easy to practice. Requires a lot of self.

Today: 3 categories of Praise and Worship.
A. Spontaneous
B. Planned
C. Forced
AND --- how we ought to discipline ourselves in each area.

I. Spontaneous Praise and Worship.

sudden, unplanned, impulsive. Also, natural and instinctive - we just know that when God works in our midst that we should praise and worship Him.
Spontaneous P & W is triggered by factors without and wells up within. - without thought or effort.
NEW TESTAMENT EXAMPLES: the disciples after Jesus came to them walking on the water;
Thomas on seeing the risen Lord; the disciples after the Ascension; John on the Isle of Patmos

God moves - acts, reveals, speaks, delivers, blesses, touches
Man responds - intellectual, emotional, quiet, dramatic, individual, corporate
EXAMPLE: Hymn "How Great Thou Art" - Vs. 1, 2, 3 each followed by the chorus

Question? What discipline is needed here?
#1. Allow God to move you.
2. Allow yourself to respond.
Contrast this with: Rom. 1:21 Christians get very close to this when they refuse to P & W

II. Planned Praise and Worship - premeditated, designed, arranged
Old Testament examples: Israel's daily sacrifices, temple rituals, festivals, offerings - all planned and designed.
New Testament church - Sunday AM worship service.

Notes: 1. This is probably the most practiced form of Praise and Worship. Because it IS planned!!
Therefore, you make time, adjust your focus.

2. Praise and Worship is not less acceptable because it is planned!!!
Examples: Abraham going to sacrifice Isaac; Jesus dying on the cross; Old Testament temple

3. Planned Praise and Worship often leads to spontaneous Praise and Worship!!
Example: carrying the Ark to Jeruselem: 2 Sam. 6:13 (planned) 2 Sam. 6:14 (spontaneous) 2 Sam. 6:15 (combination of the two)
Carrying the ark to the temple: 2 Chron. 5:6 (planned) which led to 2 Chron. 7:1-3 (spontaneous)

Spontaneous Praise and Worship begins within and migrates out - heart leads to hands
Planned Praise and Worship begins without and migrates in - hands to heart

Question? What discipline is needed here?
Answer: Must: 1. Plan to worship
2. Make time to worship
3. WORSHIP!! (D0 it!)

III. Forced Praise and Worship - means giving Him proper recognition and praise when things don't go well.
Hab. 3:16-18
Acts 16:22-25
Gen. 22:4-5

Note: 1. If He was worthy yesterday, He is still worthy today!! Job 1:20-21
2. If you would discipline 'self to Praise and Worship when all is good, then it would come easier when all is bad!!!
Example: David had a lifestyle of Praise and Worship. Therefore, that led to 2 Sam. 12:18-20

The need for discipline here is obvious!
BUT: it's often easier to Praise and Worship in great tragedy than in daily irritations, frustrations, weekly grind!
Examples: death vs. weedeater quitting, plumbing leak, power outage.....
Therefore: Psalm 34:1-3

On one hand, we are approaching Passion week, Good Friday, Easter Sunday - so there is plenty of opportunity to apply this lesson.
But, we could begin this morning!!!!

Close with the hymn "It Is Well With My Soul"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spiritual Disciplines of Praise & Worship

We've looked at Spiritual Disciplines associated with Lent.

Then - the most basic/most important spiritual discipline - Bible Reading

Last week - the most common spiritual discipline - Fasting and Prayer with the focus on Fasting

This week: the Spiritual Discipline of Praise and Worship

Praise: Verb means to value something. Noun - an expression (outward)
Praise is visible, vocal, audible adoration (spilling over into the body)
(you may adore inwardly but praise outwardly)

Hebrew has more than 50 different words to denote or describe praise....... (all actions)

Magnify, glorify, exalt, extol, remember, acknowledge, recount, proclaim, cry aloud, testify, give, ascribe, honor, kneel, prostrate 'self, lift - voice, hands, head, eyes, shout - for joy, with joy, in or of joy, in triumph!, celebrate, dance, circle in joy, skip about, leap, clap, call out, rejoice, be glad, burst forth with song, laughter, let resound, play instruments, delight in, take pleasure in.

Hallel - Boast/brag upon!!! with Yah (Hebrew word for God - Yahweh) - Psalm 146 - 150 : last 5 Psalms begin and end with Hallel-Jah. (Hallelujah)

Worship: from Old English - weorthscipe - to ascribe worth to..... to declare the value of....
to honor, exalt, extol, glorify, to express our admiration/esteem/respect/reverence
to look up to, bow down to.......

But NOTE: Worship is not to be expressed from afar, or exercised from a distance - it's coming into God's presence and there declare His worth.

The point of worship is to approach Him and (then) address Him as worthy...
1 Chron. 16:28-29
Psalm 100:1, 2, 4

So....... the idea of worship is:
1. Approach Him
2. Bring a gift - Deut. 16:16-17
3. Offer it to Him - example: praise!!!! Heb. 13:15
It can be done in public worship or private worship. Both are Biblical, commended, expected.

So..... why Praise and Worship?? to what end? purpose?
Answer: for Him, for self, for others....

I. For Him. God is absolute and unchangeable, our praise will not add to or take away from Him. BUT,
A. God delights in it. Psalm 49:1-4 (a) - "people". Psalm 22:3 (KJV) - "But Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel."

The Bible declares that you are created, called, expected, saved to worship. 1 Pet. 2:9

B. He is worthy!!! Psalm 18:3, 48:1, 96:4, 145:3 Rev. 5:9-10, 12-14

Remember means come and offer .... praise and worship is not about you!!! It's about HIM!! Psalm 111:10 (b) - "to Him belongs........"

II. For 'Self - Benefits of praise and worship.
A. puts my focus on God - His person, nature, character..... and concern!! Psalm 8:3-5
B. Therefore, puts problems into perspective.
C. Praise reminds me of His former deeds, mercies toward me.
D. Praise helps me recognize His present blessings.
E. Therefore, it increases my confidence (Faith) for today, tomorrow - Psalm 52:9
F. Which lowers anxiety (worry, fear, depression, etc.)
G. And, adjusts my (general) attitude - humility, patience, kindness, concern......
H. Also, praise and worship develops my intimacy with God. If I approach, present, and commune ..?! Phil. 310

III. For Others - public praise and worship offers:
A. Encouragement for believers - Psalm 40:1-3
B. Witness for non-believers
C. Testimony for future generations - Psalm 102:18

On one hand, we ought to publicly praise Him. 1 Chron. 16:8-9
However, don't make a nuisance of yourself in doing so. Prov. 27:14

Why are Praise and Worship considered a spiritual discipline???

Two reasons.
#1. Praise and Worship promote spiritual growth. (as evidenced from the former list...)

#2. Praise and Worship are not always easy to practice. - We're fallen people who live in a fallen world...
Maybe having a busy day, bad day, ..... a tragic day!!!

So, next week we will continue to look at:
1. spontaneous praise and worship
2. planned praise and worship
and will focus on:
3. disciplined praise and worship.

Psalm 103:19-22