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Worthy of Worship

Worthy of Worship

Scripture Reference: Psalm 145

Teaching Pastor: Steve Welch

Title: Worthy of Worship 

BIG IDEA: God’s grandeur and sovereignty ought to compel us to a life that worships him. But our view of God gets skewed by the world, the devil and our flesh. In this series, we seek to get a perspective corrective on the heart of our worship for God – praising him for who he is and all he does in our lives. 

Discussion Questions:

What a time of year to be enjoying God’s creation and getting more and more reminders of his creative power! Pastor Steve Welch helped us kick off our summer series this Sunday called, Worthy of Worship. He reminded us the critical need we have for a perspective corrective in our image of God in our heads and how that plays out in how we live – primarily through worship.

“Mountains are much grander than they appear…it occurs to me, maybe that’s what God wants for us… he wants us to give us perspective” – Steve Welch

  • What fills you with wonder? Imagine some of the moments you’ve had outdoors, enjoying Creation. Or perhaps children or grandchildren. Take a moment to consider what captivates your heart and fills you with awe.
  • What picture of God best illustrates how you truly relate to God?
    • Butler: “He’s always there for me…” may start good, but turns self-serving
    • Santa: “Lord, I need…I want…” turns God into a ‘Santa’ who makes our dreams come true
    • Police Officer: “God is always watching, waiting for me to step out of line”
  • Where do you think these come from?
  • Have you seen them play out in your life? What has that looked like?
  • Are there other pictures of who God is and how you relate to him?

6 Sections separated by statements of God’s character:

  • V3: The LORD is great and most worthy
  • V8: The LORD is gracious and compassionate (tying back to Ex. 34)
  • V13: The LORD is faithful to all his promises
  • V17: The LORD is righteous in all his ways
  • V18: The LORD is near to all who call on him
  • Take a moment to look over this list and praise him for these things. We refer to this as prayers of “Adoration”: using his word to ADORE him and remind us of who he is.
  • Are there any of these that are particularly dear to you right now? Any that are harder to believe?

V1: God is GREAT, yet personal – David says, “I will…”

  • EXTOL: to lift up and adore
  • RESOLVE: intentionally setting his course to praise, despite circumstances
  • SURRENDER: King David bows to the King of Kings
    • This gets at the core issue: WHO IS AT THE CENTER?
  • Who or What is at the center of your life? What are the most central motivating factors of your life that you look to as your gauge for success, provision, meaning, purpose or security?

When we relate to God as anything but THE center, we ultimately do not submit ourselves to him, but rather treat him as a “super” version of ourselves; someone we turn to in times of trouble that we can turn to.

  • Would a word like “surrender” be one you could use to define your worship?

“Illusions of our own strength cause us to overlook divine power and result in our rebelliousness against God. For this reason God brings low the proud who light themselves up and believe their own hype that they are special in and of themselves. God requires total, unconditional surrender of our pride… God’s grace does not come to us as a prop for His failing strength, but as the decisive question: Will you surrender, utterly surrender, to God’s dealing? Will you know yourself to be a sinner before God? When we accept our own weakness, we then also learn that we must totally rely upon God.” – David Garland

  • Is there anything about this quote that resonates with you or that makes you think? What thoughts come to mind as you hear this?

 We all worship… it’s not a matter of “if”, but “what” or “whom” do we worship.

We worship God when we bless his name…

“Everyday I will bless You and praise Your name forever and ever.” Ps. 145:2

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” Ex. 20:7

“Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!” 1 Chron. 16:10

“Yes, LORD, walking in the way of Your laws, we wait for You; Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” Is. 26:8

“Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” Matt. 6:9

“But all these things they will do to you on account of My name, because they do not know him who sent me.” John 15:21

“Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above ever name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.” Phil. 2:9-10

  • Whose name are you spending most of your time lifting?
    • Your own?
    • Your kids?
    • Your parents?
    • Your company/profession?
    • Your favorite brands?
  • When are you MOST likely to bless the name of the Lord? When are you least likely?

“No matter how much we suffer, no matter much our doubts, no matter how angry we get; no matter how many times we ask, ‘how long oh Lord’, prayer always finds its way to the doorstep of praise. This is not to say that other prayers are inferior to praise – only that all prayer when pursued far enough becomes praise. Don’t rush it. It may take years, decades even, before certain prayers arrive at their hallelujahs… Not every prayer is capped off with praise. In fact, most prayers, if the Psalter is the true guide, are not. But prayer, a praying life, finally becomes a praise. Prayer is always reaching towards praise and will finally arrive there.” – Eugene Peterson

  • Is there anything about this quote that stands out to you? Anything you find challenging? Anything reassuring?

 “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable” Ps. 145:3

David’s declaration of God’s goodness is rooted in the LORD’s character, not in our circumstances.

  • When was the last time you pondered the Unsearchable Greatness of God?
  • What are those things you notice that help correct your perspective on God’s character and less on your circumstances?

Two more images of worshipping God and his unsearchable greatness…

  • “Diet and Exercise”: I know he’s good and he has a plan for me… but I’m busy and I’ll get to it later.
  • “A Spill on the Floor”: I’m so ashamed and afraid… I’ll keep it hidden. I only think about God when I come upon the mess I’ve made. I should really do something about it, but…
  • How do these images of relating with God impact you right now?
  • Do you find yourself struggling with these?
  • What other analogies can you think of to define the state of your relationship with God?

“It is one of the defining marks of our time that God is now weightless. I do not mean by this that He is ethereal but rather that He has become unimportant. He rests upon the world so inconsequentially as not to be noticeable. He has lost His saliency for human life.

Those who assure the pollsters of their belief in God’s existence may nonetheless consider Him less interesting than television, His commands less authoritative than their appetites for affluence and influence.

His judgement no more awe-inspiring than the evening news, and His truth less compelling than the advertisers sweet fog of flattery and lies. That is weightlessness.

It is a condition we have assigned Him after having nudged Him out to the periphery of our secularized life…

Weightlessness tells us nothing about God but everything about ourselves, about our condition, about our psychological disposition to exclude God from our reality.” – David Wells God in the Wasteland

 

CHALLENGES

Take some time to identify what picture best reflects how you relate to God.

Read through Psalm 145 this week and look for ways to lift up God’s Great Worth.