“ He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. ” (Psalm 91:1) (Read by Max McLean. Provided by Zondervan.)

Thursday, June 09, 2005


Worship Is God’s Idea
People go to church for different reasons.
Some people feel obligated—they go
because it is the right thing to do. Others
go to church to maintain appearances or
to make friends or even to make business
contacts. And some view church as a safety
net, hoping God will protect and help them
if they attend church regularly. But Scripture
gives us a different reason to attend church—
worship! This lesson will teach you that
worship can revitalize your relationship
with God.
1. On Sunday mornings, what is the atmosphere in your home as your
family gets ready for church?
2. On a typical Sunday morning, what does your church do to create
an atmosphere of worship?
Read the following three sets of Bible passages and application notes.
Answer the questions for each set before moving on to the next.
2 Kings 17:35-36
With whom the LORD
had made a covenant, and
charged them, saying, Ye
shall not fear other gods,
nor bow yourselves to
them, nor serve them, nor
sacrifice to them: But the
LORD, who brought you
up out of the land of
Egypt with great power
and a stretched out arm,
him shall ye fear, and him
shall ye worship, and to
him shall ye do sacrifice.
When the LORD made
a covenant with the Israelites,
he commanded them:
“Do not worship any
other gods or bow down
to them, serve them or
sacrifice to them. But the
LORD, who brought you
up out of Egypt with
mighty power and outstretched
arm, is the one
you must worship. To him
you shall bow down and
to him offer sacrifices.”
For the LORD had
made a covenant with
the descendants of Jacob
and commanded them:
“Do not worship any
other gods or bow before
them or serve them or
offer sacrifices to them.
Worship only the LORD,
who brought you out of
Egypt with such mighty
miracles and power. You
must worship him and
bow before him; offer
sacrifices to him alone.”
Why would God require his people to worship him? Worship does not just benefit God—it
also benefits those who worship him. It keeps our lives in order. It helps us to remember all
that God has done for us and is a way of thanking him for it. Worship also causes us to rely
less on our own abilities to control events around us. When we worship, we throw off the
pressing demands of life to simply enjoy God’s presence. We keep ourselves from the sorrow
of following false gods that can harm us. Worship is not only appropriate, it is essential to the
well-being of our spiritual lives.
3. How have you benefited from a recent worship service?
4. Describe a time when you knew you were truly worshiping God.
L E S S O N 1 2
5. In what ways does worship deepen your relationship with God?
6. What happens to believers who never take the time to worship?
Numbers 28:1-2
And the LORD spake
unto Moses, saying,
Command the children
of Israel, and say unto
them, My offering, and
my bread for my sacrifices
made by fire, for a sweet
savour unto me, shall ye
observe to offer unto me
in their due season.
The LORD said to
Moses, “Give this command
to the Israelites
and say to them: ‘See that
you present to me at the
appointed time the food
for my offerings made by
fire, as an aroma pleasing
to me.’ ”
The LORD said to
Moses, “Give these
instructions to the
people of Israel: The
offerings you present
to me by fire on the
altar are my food, and
they are very pleasing
to me. See to it that
they are brought at the
appointed times and
offered according to
my instructions.”
In the Old Testament, the people brought animals to the tabernacle or temple as sacrifices that were
burned on the altar. God was pleased when these burnt offerings were made according to his instructions.
Today, God wants a sacrifice of praise from his people. His greatest joy comes from our genuine
worship. He does not want us to turn to him grudgingly or out of a sense of obligation but out of
love. When we imagine God to be a taskmaster demanding our devotion and obedience, worship
can feel like a burden. But when we realize that God delights in our worship, we will find true joy as
we offer him our praise.
7. How has your understanding of God’s nature encouraged—or
discouraged—your worship?
3 L E S S O N 1
8. In what way is the comparison of our worship with a pleasing
aroma helpful for you?
9. What kind of worship do you think is a pleasing aroma to God?
10. How can you offer praise to God this week?
Matthew 4:8-10
Again, the devil taketh
him up into an exceeding
high mountain, and sheweth
him all the kingdoms of the
world, and the glory of
them; And saith unto him,
All these things will I give
thee, if thou wilt fall down
and worship me. Then saith
Jesus unto him, Get thee
hence, Satan: for it is written,
Thou shalt worship the
Lord thy God, and him
only shalt thou serve.
Again, the devil took
him to a very high mountain
and showed him all
the kingdoms of the
world and their splendor.
“All this I will give you,”
he said, “if you will bow
down and worship me.”
Jesus said to him, “Away
from me, Satan! For it is
written: ‘Worship the
Lord your God, and serve
him only.’”
Next the Devil took
him to the peak of a very
high mountain and
showed him the nations of
the world and all their
glory. “I will give it all to
you,” he said, “if you will
only kneel down and worship
me.” “Get out of
here, Satan,” Jesus told
him. “For the Scriptures
say, ‘You must worship
the Lord your God; serve
only him.’”
Satan promised Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would bow down and worship
him. He was trying to turn Jesus away from his mission to pay for the world’s sin. Satan
L E S S O N 1 4
strongly opposes our worship, too. He knows that worship keeps us in communion with God,
so he tries to distract or prevent us from worshiping God. Jesus’ response to Satan reminds us
of our purpose: to worship God and serve only him.
11. How does Satan try to keep us from worshiping God?
12. What happens when we fail to give God our worship?
13. What usually distracts or prevents you from worshiping God?
14. How can you guard against distractions or hindrances to worship?
Halfhearted or indifferent worship is easy to achieve. Simply turn to
other gods or believe Satan’s lies that worship is boring, irrelevant, useless,
time consuming, or too much work. Yet, when we do that, we lose
the benefits that worship can bring to a dry spiritual life, for God longs to
refresh and renew us. Remember, true worship pleases God and brings
lasting joy.
5 L E S S O N 1
15. In light of what you have learned in this lesson, how do you want to
worship differently next Sunday?
Read Genesis 28:10-22.
God’s covenant promise to Abraham and Isaac was offered to Jacob as well. But it was not
enough to be Abraham’s grandson; Jacob had to establish his own relationship with God.
When he realized that God wanted to be his God and desired his worship and allegiance,
Jacob pledged himself and his future to the Lord. The majesty of God moved Jacob to worship
16. When have you felt overwhelmed by the majesty of God?
17. In what different ways does God reveal himself to us?
18. What would help you to remember God’s majesty throughout the day?
Read Exodus 20:1-6.
The Israelites had just come from Egypt, a land of many gods. The Egyptians believed that
each god controlled a different realm of nature, such as rainfall, fertility, or the afterlife. The
Israelites were used to the idea of worshiping many gods in order to get the maximum number
of blessings. When God told his people to worship him, that wasn’t so hard. But when he said,
“You shall have no other gods before me,” that was difficult for the people to accept. But if
they did not learn that the God who led them out of Egypt was the only true God, they could
L E S S O N 1 6
not be his people—no matter how faithfully they kept the other nine commandments. Thus,
God made this worship requirement his first commandment. From it, the rest of the commandments
flow logically.
19. What false gods attempt to lure you away from worshiping the only
true God?
20. How can we determine whether a goal, desire, relationship, or
material possession is hindering our worship of God?
21. What steps can you take this week to prevent other “gods” from
distracting you from your worship?
Read Exodus 20:8-11.
A God who is concerned enough to provide one day every week for us to rest and worship is
indeed wonderful! God created the Sabbath so that we would take a rest from work to spend
unhurried time in worship. Observing a regular time of rest and worship in our fast-paced world
demonstrates how important God is to us, and it gives us the extra benefit of refreshing our
spirit and strengthening our relationship with God. Thank the Lord for giving you a special time
every week to focus on him and offer him your worship.
22. How do Christians often rationalize or excuse their failure to
observe the Sabbath?
23. What demands or distractions compete with your worship on the
7 L E S S O N 1
24. What distractions could you eliminate from your weekend to help
you worship God?
Read Exodus 23:24-33.
God warned the Israelites about their future pagan neighbors who would entice them into false
worship and sin. Years later, when the Israelites entered the Promised Land, they found people
indulging in the most perverse kinds of idol worship. God knew that during this time his people
would turn away from him if they failed to keep his commandments. So he spoke to them
through prophets, fought their battles, and punished sin to remind them how much he loved
them and desired their obedience.
25. In what ways does our culture distract us from worshiping God?
26. What idols today draw God’s people away from the church and
true worship?
27. How can you guard against the negative influence of people who
encourage you to worship the gods of this age?
L E S S O N 1 8


Post a Comment

<< Home