Worship Part 2: The Importance of Worship
“Worshiping Christ is the most important thing that we do.” What just popped into your head when I said that? Was your response, “Amen” or did it drip with a little more sarcasm, “Of course he thinks that, he’s the pastor.” If you will, let me press my opening statement a little more to make sure we are on the same page. I want to make sure you know I’m not over exaggerating. Worship is more important that food, family, relationships, our jobs, our future plans, or our earthly success. I’m sure I left off some category, so let me just throw out a blanket statement saying, “It’s more important than anything this world has to offer.” Now, I admit, that’s a bold statement. So why in the world would I think that? Well, because God tells us in His Word that His worship is the most important aspect of our lives. May I show you?
Jesus is sitting by a well in Sychar and comes into contact with the famous Samaritan woman. As only Jesus can do, He starts to dig into her heart and life. And, as only we can do, the sinful woman starts to divert the conversation as quickly as possible. I guess she didn’t want anyone to see her sin. So she tries to change the subject with questions concerning worship (it seems like they knew a thing or two about worship wars too…not much has changed in 2000 years). And then Jesus drops one of the most significant statements about worship in our laps, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him” (John 4:23-24). Robert Rayburn points out that this is the only place in scripture that God seeks anything from mankind. In essence our very existence is founded on worship. We were created to worship. This what our catechism says: “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” God created us to worship Him
and He seeks us out to do just that… worship Him. John Piper says, “Evangelism exists because worship does not.” In other words, God seeks out people for His worship.
But not only does God seek out those who would worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, He also commands us to worship Him. “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of His holiness” (Psalm 29:2). That’s why we start our worship services with a call to worship. The all powerful God of creation calls His people into His presence to worship Him. But the truth of the matter is apart from Christ we can’t worship Him. So God, in His infinite mercy sent His only Son, Jesus Christ to atone for our sins so that we could worship Him. So not only does God call us to worship Him but He makes a way for us to worship Him through Jesus Christ.
But further still, another reason that worship is so important is because it will last forever. Think about it, as this earth passes away so will the activities that we busy ourselves with every day. Think about all the stress and worry that we pour into the activities of our day, when today they are here but tomorrow they are gone. Worship is the only activity that will continue on for eternity. And because we will worship God for eternity, the most important aspect of our present lives is worship. If we don’t enjoy worshiping God now, if we don’t want to worship God in this life, if we don’t think the worship of God is important, then why would we think that we would go to heaven? If we don’t worship God here and now, then we will not worship Him for eternity. It’s a very stark contrast. A person is defined by what or who they worship.
Another way we can see the importance of worship is simply by the sheer amount of space given in God’s Word that deals with our worship of God. In fact, God gave more instructions and warnings concerning His worship than probably any other topic in the bible. Almost the entire book of Leviticus deals with God’s
worship, large sections of Exodus go into painstaking details about the worship of God and the tabernacle, the book of Psalms is the hymn book of God’s people (the whole thing is primarily worship), and the first half of the Ten Commandments ultimately deals with the worship of God. God continually warned His people through the prophets about their worship. He warns them about their heart and their actions. Worship begins in the heart and flows outward. We can go through the motions of worship but if our heart isn’t in it then it’s worthless. But vice verse, if our heart is in it but our actions are wrong it is just as worthless. Think about all the sincere people who worship other gods. They have a sincere heart but the object of their worship is wrong. Or imagine coming to church at Mint Hill and sacrificing animals. Our hearts might be right but God wouldn’t accept our worship because the sacrificial system was done away with when Christ fulfilled it by dying on the cross. You see we know worship is important to God because He spends so much time and space spelling out for us how and why we are supposed to worship God.
So let me ask you some questions that I have been wrestling with: Why is church important to me? Does my schedule and do my priorities reflect the importance of worshiping God? Is my heart (my motivations and desires) involved in worship or is it rote tradition; am I going through the motions? “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 23-24). My prayer for us, my prayer for my own heart, is that we would be worshipers of God. My prayer is that Sunday morning would be about God’s children, “true worshipers,” gathering together to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Mint Hill Presbyterian Church exists to Glorify God by seeking the lost, making disciples, and worshiping the Savior. This is our heartbeat; this is why we exist…to worship our Savior.