If this was the last time I taught on anything, to me this is the most important subject, beholding Him, face to face, and worshipping Him, giving Him all the honor and glory He deserves. This is what he created us for, and what we will be doing in heaven with the angels of God, throughout eternity.
But, how can you come into the presence and really worship someone from your heart if you don't know Him? I learned many years ago, when I first got saved that if I wanted this kind of relationship with the Lord, I was going to have to do go after Him with all my heart, and on His terms, not mine. But I've also made up my mind He is worth it, and each time He has revealed Himself to Me in a deeper way, it has only been fuel to drive me further on in this pursuit of Him. I've desired a "face to face" relationship with the Lord, desiring His presence, to know who He is.
First, let's define worship, and go to the word, and see what Christ himself said about worship, for his definition is the most important.
(give brief review of his meeting with the samaritan woman)
Text: John 4:21-24
There are several important points Jesus brings out here:
pagans do not know what or who they are worshipping: The eyes of the unbelieving world are blinded, and groping in darkness. This is how satan brings in idol worship of every kind, which feeds their ignorance, and brings them into bondage to him.
Jesus emphasizes that salvation is for the jews first, we are grafted in: This is a whole teaching itself, but I only touch on it right now. But, thank God we are grafted in!
God is a Spirit: Jesus definition of God the Father is brief, to the point and very effective. We who seek to worship the only true God, are not to engage in idol worship of any kind. Our spirits must seek Him, and move toward him, buy the moving and help of the Holy Spirit. If we have been involved in any kind of satanic or occult practices, we need to confess it, renounce it from our lives, and ask the Lord to cleanse us, He is more than able to do so. Honest repentance, and turning away from these activities opens the door for fellowship and the power of God to manifest in our lives.
The Father seeks out those who desire to worship Him in Spirit and Truth: If a person or group of people seek Him with a right heart, they will find Him. He will manifest Himself to them, His promises are true. I can testify to this.
Who Is This God?
Text: Ex.3:6, Here we see the commission of Moses to be the deliverer of His people, and when Moses asks God "when they shall say to me, What is his name?", This was His answer, "I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses his his face; for he was afraid to look upon him."
In Matt. 22:32, and John 8:58, Jesus reveals himself as the One and the Same God when he said "I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob," and to the jews who questioned him "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM." Another verse that alludes to this is Heb. 13:8 which says "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever."
Important attributes of God:
God is Sovereign: the definition of sovereign is-A person or state possessing supreme authority. The highest, and most supreme power and authority. Independant authority. Someone excellent, and effectual. Freedom from external control. Note: It is clear by simple observation that we only have a tiny window of time to live out our lives here on earth, and the scriptures tells us it is "appointed unto man once to die, then the judgement", this should make us take sober stock of ourselves each day we are here. In the end, God has the final say over our lives, whether we choose to live for Him or not.
Eternal Is. 57:15, Omnipresent(everywhere present) Ps. 139, Omnipotence(All-powerfull) Jer. 32:17,27) Omniscience(All-knowing) 1John3:20
God is Holy: When Moses went to the top of Mt. Sanai, and beheld the burning bush, the first thing he was told to do was take off his shoes, for the ground he was standing on was "holy ground". It is only because of his great mercy that we are not all consumed.
Moral attributes: Goodness, Holiness Rev. 4:8, Impartiality 1Peter 1:17, Justice Ps. 89:14, Long-suffering Ex. 34:6,7, Love1John 4:8, 16, Mercy Lam. 3:22,23, Truth Ps. 117:2, Vengence Deut. 32:34-41, Wrath Deut. 32:22
Examples of those who ministered before the Lord:
Moses: Throughout Exodus, we can read of Moses leaving everyone else, going to Mt. Sanai alone, pressing into God's presence, while the rest stayed behind afraid. Sin in our lives is what feeds fear of the Lord, and our desire to remain in the flesh. Anyone who follows hard after God leaves behind everything of this world. In Ex. 33:8-23, he goes there for 40 days, seeking the face of God, and receiving the commandments. Here we see someone who knows there is nothing else of real value, except the presence of God, and that being in His perfect will. God honors Moses, granting His request, but this is an example of what he desires for ever one of us. He is no respector of persons.
Solomon: When King Solomon finished building the Temple for the Lord, there was great celebration, with great ceremony, and great details in the building, and intricate furnishings. When the ark was brought in and the priests ministered.1Kings 8:10-13 "And it came to pass when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord. So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord. Then spake Solomon, The Lord said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. I have surely built thee a house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide forever." In ch. 9 it says the Lord appeared to Solomon, and answered his prayer of dedication, and promised to establish the throne of David forever, and there would not fail to be a line of David on the throne of Israel. But, if the people went their own way, and turned away from God and His statutes, he would cut Israel off of the Land. Unfortunately, Solomon did not heed God's warnings, and he himself put up idols to other gods, and ultimately the temple was destroyed. It was rebuilt several times, but never to it's original splendor. In Ezra's day, when it was rebuilt the priests cried, because they remembered what it had been originally, and saw how inferior it was to the first. Then in 70a.d., as Jesus prophesied, the temple was destroyed completely, and as he said, with not one stone left upon another. There will be another one day in the millenium, when Christ returns, and there He will rule forever.
Daniel: This precious man served God as a slave in bondage his whole life, but his spirit was not in bondage. He chose to worship God, regardless of the decree against worshipping Him by King Darius. He never saw freedom in this life from slavery in Babylon, but God spoke thru an angel telling him he was greatly loved. God granted Daniel many visions and dreams because of his steadfastness, and how he worshipped. Daniel is an example to us that anyone can make up his mind to serve God with his whole heart, no matter what, if he or she really makes up their minds to.....it is a choice.
This is only three of many who God revealed himself to, other's include Johsua, Elijah, Isaiah.
When Jesus came into the world, we see all of the attributes we've just spoken of, contained in this Man. And He chose to reduce himself, and limit Himself, to be one of us, and walk among us. It would take weeks of teaching to reveal the significance of His time here on earth as a man, we can only go into a short example tonight.
Every where he went, and every one he came in contact with, He revealed more of the character, and personality of God the Father, indeed in the gospel of John he told Philip "if you have seen me you have seen the Father."
There is one account I will use tonight the finish this teaching, because to me it opens up to us the best representation of God's heart. As I read this text, place in your mind, and realize that this is the SAME GOD that we have just described, contained in human form. I pray the Holy Spirit will reveal to you the awesomeness of this God we serve.
Text: John 8:1-11 Read the text:
Who could not love this God? All powerfull, All knowing, All encompassing, and full of mercy and forgiveness.
Let's open our hearts, lift our eyes, and truly be the temples of the Holy Spirit He has made us by His great salvation. Let's worship Him tonight as He spoke to the samaritan woman "In Spirit and in Truth."
Let's give Him all the honor and praise He deserves, and make room in our hearts for Him tonight. Let Him have His way in this service, and in our lives.
Let's worship the Lord; expecting nothing, only beholding Him for who He is, and that he alone is worthy.
(This was a teaching done at Teen Challenge, in a series of teachings in 2008)