(Message 2) What is worship? Is it music? Is it hand-raising or quiet reverence? Worship can be expressed in a multitude of ways, but it must always include the heart of the worshiper – or it’s hollow worship and empty. Join us as we see how Jesus would undo hollow worship and how we can be true worshipers. #GCWWJU
Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him, “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.” (NLT)
You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce…’ (NLT)
“Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker.” (NLT)
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NLT)
“Praise his name with dancing…” (NLT)
“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing…” (NLT)
“Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.” (NLT)
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” (NLT)
Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.
What style of music do you enjoy and why?
Start thinking. Ask a question to get your group thinking.
Clay used the illustration of an empty pizza box. How would it make you feel if you received a package with nothing in it? How do you think God feels when we give an empty “package” to Him?
If we’re not careful, we can fall prey to hollow worship. How can we make sure that this doesn’t happen in our lives?
Clay said, “Worship is not the songs that we sing; it’s the life that we live.” Would you say your life is worshipful of God? Why?
Read Matthew 15:1-2 and 15:7-9a. When you read these words, what are the first thoughts that come to your mind? How would Jesus describe your worship?
Do you find it difficult or easy to do the following? Why or why not?
Bow before God in reverence
Raise your hands in adoration
Dance in celebration
Offer a sacrifice of praise (praising God even when you don’t feel like it)
True worship takes place when we daily surrender our lives to Jesus. What does that surrender look like?
Start sharing. Choose a question to create openness.
Clay mentioned many of the amazing names of God. Is there a specific name of God, or a characteristic of God, that sticks out to you the most? Which one and why?
In our lives, we will have the opportunity to worship God publicly and privately. Is there one that outweighs the other? What are the benefits of each?
What can you do this week to become stronger in your worship to God? Be specific if possible.
Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.
Expand the ways you worship God in and out of church—not just this week, but always.
Praise and worship starts out in adoration and thankfulness. Take time to write out things you are thankful for and take time in prayer giving God the thanks He deserves.
Start praying. Be bold and pray with power.
God, You’re our rock when we’re broken, our way when we’re lost, and our light on the darkest day. You are worth far more than every ounce of our worship, and every form of praise. Thank You, good Father. AMEN!