Introduction: What does it mean to worship God? Is it a state of
mind? Is it a physical expression? Can we get too “carried away” with
worship? What motivates us to worship? Worship styles have been
terribly divisive in some churches. Is it a sin to criticize the
worship style of others? Let’s leap into our study of the Bible and
find the answers to these questions!

  1. Reasons to Worship

    1. Read Exodus 20:4-6. How important is worship? (Both the
      first and second of the Ten Commandments involve worship
      of God.)

      1. What reasons does God give here to worship Him? (God
        appears to say that there are two types of people.
        Those who hate Him and those who love Him. God links
        worship to our love for Him. Loving God is a
        reciprocal thing: God loves you and you love Him. If
        God’s love for you results in your love and obedience
        towards Him, God will love you and your descendants.)

    2. Read Psalms 95:6-7. The Psalmist tells us that a motive to
      worship our God is that we are “the people of His
      pasture.” What does it mean to be pasture people? Is this
      like the phrase “being put out to pasture?” (When you put
      a flock into a pasture, you put them in a safe place where
      there is food and water. “Pasture people” are people under
      the care of God. One reason we worship God is because of
      His care for us.)

    3. Read Revelation 4:10-11. This is a scene of worship in
      heaven. What reasons to worship God are given here? (Not
      only did God create us, but He continues to sustain our

    4. Read Revelation 5:11-12. Here is another heavenly scene.
      What additional reasons do we have to worship God? (He
      lived a perfect life, and died in our place, thus giving
      us the opportunity for eternal life and heaven. What a
      powerful reason to praise and worship Jesus!)

    5. Read Revelation 14:6-7. What is the eternal gospel?
      (Worshiping God is part of the eternal gospel. This is not
      something that is an “old covenant” thing that God no
      longer expects. God again gives His authority as the
      Creator as a reason for worship.)

    6. God gives us many reasons to worship Him. Would He have to
      give us any reasons to worship Him?

      1. If not, why does He do it? (God could just say I
        demand worship, but He does not. It reflects God’s
        love and care for us that He explains to us the
        reasons to worship Him.)

  2. Time to Worship

    1. Read Exodus 20:8-11. What reason does God give us to keep
      His Sabbath holy? (That He created the world in six days
      and rested on the seventh day.)

      1. Review again Revelation 14:7. How does the “eternal
        gospel” that we are to worship God relate to the
        Sabbath? (The two hinge on the common ground that God
        is our Creator. Sabbath is a special worship time to
        remember God as our Creator.)

    2. A few days ago I read (yet another) attack on Sabbath-keeping. The article frankly admitted that the Bible
      contained no command to worship on any other day than the
      Sabbath. It admitted that the church did not have the
      authority to change a command of God. The new argument was
      that under the new covenant we now are living in the
      “Sabbath” time and we are now free to pick any day that we
      want to worship. Let’s assume for a minute that all of
      this is true. Given the nature of worship, what day would
      you choose to set aside to especially honor God? (The
      nature of worship is to exalt God and not me. With that in
      mind, I would pick the day He suggested I should worship,
      the day which reflects His authority as my Creator!
      Picking any other day seems counter-intuitive for the
      worship of our Creator.)

  3. Way to Worship

    1. Read John 4:23-24. What does it mean to worship God “in
      truth?” (Read John 14:6. Jesus tells us that He is the
      truth. The time “has now come” when our worship is
      centered on Jesus instead of the sacrificial system of the
      sanctuary in Jerusalem which merely pointed to a coming

      1. What does this suggest about the philosophy that all
        paths lead to heaven? All sincerely held views are
        equally acceptable in the eyes of God? (God tells us
        that “truth” is an essential part of worship.)

    2. Look again at John 4:23-24. What does it mean to worship
      God in “spirit?” (Read John 16:13-15. Jesus is at least
      referring to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit helps us in
      our worship to better understand God and His will for us.)

    3. What about your worship: Is it Christ-centered and Spirit-filled?

    4. My sense is that a “Spirit-filled” worship means that the
      Holy Spirit is leading our minds to a better understanding
      of God. For some, a “Spirit-filled” worship means getting
      rowdy in a way that others find unacceptable for worship.
      Is there an acceptable and unacceptable style of worship?

    5. Read 2 Samuel 6:13-16. King David is bringing the Ark of
      God (the symbol of God’s presence) to Jerusalem. The
      people are worshiping God by continually sacrificing
      animals (every six steps) while the King is worshiping by
      dancing “before the Lord with all his might” and “leaping
      and dancing before the Lord.” Have you seen any worship
      more rowdy than that?

    6. Read 2 Samuel 6:20. Michal is King David’s wife. My wife
      regularly gives me feed-back on my sermons and she
      generally has excellent thoughts. It appears that in all
      of David’s leaping, Michal thought that David’s leaping
      and dancing in his “linen ephod”( 2 Samuel 6:14)was too
      vulgar for kingly worship. Would you agree?

    7. Read 2 Samuel 6:21-22. What does King David teach us about
      the issue of whether worship must be dignified? (It seems
      our dignity is not an issue which should concern us.)

    8. Read 2 Samuel 6:23. What results from Michal’s criticism
      of David’s undignified style of worship? (She never has
      any children. She was the daughter of former King Saul and
      now the first wife of David. If she had a son, he would
      have had a good claim to the throne – which would have
      increased her importance.)

      1. What does this teach us about being critical of
        certain styles of worship? (I think Michal being
        barren symbolizes the barrenness of Spirit of those
        critical of enthusiastic styles of worship. Those
        critical of exuberant worship should beware.)

    9. Read Psalms 150. Compare the praise and worship depicted
      here with the praise and worship in your church. How do
      they compare?

    10. Friend, God has given us every reason to worship Him. He
      expects us to worship in Spirit and in truth. Will you
      open your heart to the joy of true worship?

  4. Next week: Lord of Our Service.