Come to Worship

Services

Sunday - 8 AM & 10 AM, Wednesday - 6:30 PM

Dec. 02

Text:Matthew 2:1-2.

Introduction –

We’ve entered into another traditional holiday season. Doing so, we consider the meaning and purpose of God the Son’s – Jesus Messiah’s – incarnation into the human race and it leaves us in awe of His love!

We will be approaching the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth here at Open Bible in a couple of ways: one, by sharing this series (based on teaching from Pastor Craig Groeschel, Oklahoma City, OK) to help us become more sincere worshipers of the Most High God in four practical ways; and, two, by joining together in Christmas Eve services to adore Him Who is absolutely worthy of our adoration.

Learn from the Wise Men’s examples.

  • One of the Incarnation story’s greatest lessons is found in the posture the wise men took regarding the newborn King.
    • They didn’t come for what they could get from God… they came for what they could give to Him, and that was their worship (v. 2).
    • Tragically, so many Christians have reduced God to being:
      • A genie of Arabian folklore;
      • A cosmic vending machine;
      • A customer service desk employee;
  • But the reality is, that is not why God exists. He does not exist for us: we exist in, and for, Him; created to bring honor to Him (Psalm 100:2-3; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Isaiah 43:7; Acts 17:26-28).
    • As your pastor, I commend many in this church for openly and freely expressing your worship when we’re gathered corporately.
    • Being demonstrative in worship never replaces being genuine (John 4:23-24), but my invitation to those who are pensive in expressing your worship for sociocultural or personal reasons, let those things go and see what lid comes off your spiritual walk.
    • The great aim, however, is not to merely be powerful worshipers only when we gather on Sundays – the aim is to please Him every day of the week (II Corinthians 5:9).

Communicate to God in worship: lift your hands (Psalm 63:1-4)!

  • In our culture, we raise our hands to celebrate a great deal many things.
  • If we can understand the nature of celebrating temporal things, then aren’t the great things of Who God is and what He has done even more worthy of our acknowledgement?
  • King David was in a most inhospitable environment amidst disastrous circumstances when he composed Psalm 63.
    • His son, Prince Absalom, instigated a revolt against him and David fled Jerusalem eastward through the Judean Desert, most likely at the end of the summer (cf. II Samuel 16:1).
    • And he escaped to the Levitical city of Mahanaim in the friendlier region of Gilead across the River Jordan (II Samuel 17:24).
    • But, still, he longed to worship God despite the tragic drama foisted upon him.

Lifting your hands: what it signifies.

  • Paul’s instructions to Timothy re: men’s conduct in church gatherings intrigues me: “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (I Timothy 2:8).
    • Why this instruction? I believe it’s to be an example to those with whom we’ve influence of what it means to worship God!
    • And that illustrates two things:
      • Surrender and victory, alike!
      • It’s a paradox, indeed, but it is in doing the first that the latter is realized (Romans 12:1-2).
  • Every loving father is drawn to the lifted hands of his child (Matthew 7:7-11; James 4:8).
    • When our hearts and hands move toward God, His heart and hands move toward us.
    • Why do we do this? As an offering of praise that is literally pleasing to God (Hebrews 13:15).
      • Giving praise doesn’t always cost much
      • But the key to understanding this verse lies in how sacrifice and praise are intertwined.
      • The same King David who – at the lowest point of his life – cried out, “Lord, I cry out to You; make haste to me! Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You. Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice(Psalm 141:1-2) is the same worshiper who had declared earlier, “I will not take what is yours for the Lord,nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing(I Chronicles 21:24; cf. II Samuel 24:24).
  • In bringing that which is costly to us, we can say we’ve learned a lesson from the Wise Men: we bring to God a gift signifying His worthiness of our worship above all else!

Conclusion –

Let’s stand to our feet, join in with the worship team and adore the LORD together with raised voices and lifted hands!