Formatting got weird but you get the idea anyway.

What is Real Worship?

Eli Westfall

Matthew 25:35-40; James 1:27

Student-led Sunday 7/25/10


  1. CIY Video
  2. Eat the sausage?
  3. Recap our CIY Challenges

T.S.: This leads me into what I feel to be the essential lessons that we learned from CIY:

  1. A. What is REAL Worship?
    1. a. I’m not talking about contemp. vs. trad. songs or style of service here.
    2. b. I’m talking about what is ‘REAL’ worship?
    3. c. What does God think of when he thinks about worship?
    4. d. What kind of worship makes him happy?
    5. B. I think that we can get an idea of what kind of worship makes God happy or what he is looking for when he thinks about worship by looking into the Scriptures:
      1. a. Micah 6:6-8 6 With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
      2. b. What was God trying to get at?
      3. Mt. 25:35-40 says, 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
      4. D. God says that real worship is caring for someone in need…
      5. E. Not b/c of what we get out of this but b/c they need it
        1. a. We don’t do it with a conscience awareness that God is watching with the intent to reward us
        2. b. We help other b/c it is the right thing to do, not b/c we expect to get praise for it
        3. c. Coincidently in Mt.6:2 Jesus says 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
        4. This passage in Matthew where Jesus calls us out for not helping those around us fits into the verses from Micah in that in v.8 of the Micah passage God says that he requires for us to do justice, love kindness & walk humbly with God… if you help ppl who need help that you encounter along the way you accomplish at least 2 of 3 of those:
          1. Do Justice – it’s just not right for us to  let ppl go hungry, be naked, be sick and not cared for or to suffer the indignity of jail alone (Jesus makes no distinction as to whether they deserved to be in those circumstances or not)
            1. i.      These are the simple things of life that every person should have.
  2. Love Kindness ­– when we do these kinds of things for ppl we do it b/c we love the rest of humanity, or as Lk.10:25-37 in the story of the Good Samaritan expresses are our neighbors.
    1. i.      Helping someone in need is the Natural expression of a heart that loves their neighbor.
    2. Further, what Jesus tells us here
    3. James, the very bother of Jesus, offers some insight into what God accepts as REAL worship.
    4. James 1:27, 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
    5. Let’s talk about religion for a minute… what comes to mind when we think of religion?
      1. Rules
      2. Regulations
      3. Rigidness
      4. Lack of love
      5. institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
      6. What did James mean?
        1. Worship in the sense of the outward expression of religion in ritual or liturgy or ceremony… that is worship, what we do outside ourselves to express worship to God
        2. Worship, James says, is caring for the orphans and widows…
        3. Anytime you see orphans and widows in Scripture, its speaking of ppl who can’t care for themselves.
        4. We see this terminology especially referring to ppl that God has accepted responsibility to care for as in Ps 68:5, 5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
        5. Or as in Zech. 7:6-10 where the Word of the Lord comes to Zechariah, 9 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’11 “But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears.
        6. According to these verses to be close to the heart of God is to care for those that can not care for themselves.
        7. Zechariah’s complaint regarding the ppl of Israel was that they were oppressing the widow & fatherless, the alien & the poor.
        8. This leaves us with the fact that we can have it ‘right’ on Sunday morning but completely miss the point with what actually matter to God.
        9. Watch this with me, cause its about to get crazy-
          1. Style songs are not what matters
          2. Powerful loving sermons are not what matters
          3. Saying all the right things during the communion meditation
          4. All the programs and activities aren’t what matters
          5. wHAT matters is doing the actual MINISTRY that Jesus started by reaching out to a world that so desperately needs him.
          6. If you were at Friday night’s session with Les Hardin what did he remind us Jesus was called? A glutton and a drunk.  Why? Cause he spent time with tax collectors, sinners and prostitutes.
          7. Are we prepared to do the actual ministry that needs to be done for this community? Or are we going to be contented to let the world die around us with no help from us?
          8. This Wednesday we have the perfect opportunity to get out and do ministry where rubber meets the road… Heart4 Homeless.
          9. Last several Wednesday nights have had great attendance… disappointed will Christ be if our attendance is weak this Wednesday?
          10. REAL Worship is serving the ppl who need it, the orphans and widows, those hungry or thirsty or naked or sick on in jail… are we going to throw our worship away and sit idly by or are we gonna do something about it?

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