Friday, April 22, 2016

What Does It Mean to Be Holy?

Just what does it mean to be holy? By looking at someone's outward appearance, do you think you can tell if they are holy or not? You can't tell. We judge people by their outer appearances, but God doesn't care about what is on the outside. It has nothing to do with it.

Did you know that in Iraq, thousands of people are coming to Christ? That is something that the media doesn't share with us, but it's true. These people worship Jesus Christ under the penalty of death. We don't have to deal with persecution here in our churches, so why do we hold back in our worship of Him?

1 Chronicles 15:28-29 ~ "So all Israel  brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting to the sound of the horn, trumpets, and cymbals, and made loud music on harps and lyres. And as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out the window and saw King David dancing and rejoicing, and she despised him in her heart."

If we're going to dictate what worship should or shouldn't be, let's focus on what the Bible says it should look like. If we were to see these same people like King David and the people of Israel in our churches today, singing and dancing in the streets, we would think they are Pentecostal. Get over what you think is acceptable in worship in the church.

Today we want to focus on the 4 things we need to guarantee for our worship.

1. We want to be specific about our worship. (Presenting ourselves holy.)

Because Jesus has saved us. Because He is awesome in power. Because He is our salvation and righteousness and hope. Being specific is being holy.

Hebrews 12:14-15 ~ "Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled."

Becoming a dedicated vessel of worship.

1 Chronicles 16:26-32 ~ "For all the gods of people are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place. Ascribe to the LORD, O clans of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth; yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, The LORD reigns! Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it."

Nehemiah 9:3 ~ "And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for a quarter of the day; for another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped the LORD their God." 

2. We want to be constant about our worship. (In all things and at all times.)

Under King Solomon, worship was offered up to the LORD, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Psalm 33:1-3 ~ "Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings with loud shouts."

Psalm 40:3 ~ "He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD."

Psalm 96:1 ~ "Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!"

Revelation 5:9 ~ "And they sang a new song saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,"

If we walk with an attitude of worship it will affect everything we do. Try it for just one day and see what happens. It can't be contained.

3. We want to be passionate about our worship. (Be careful, God is alive.)

God is living and He is alive!!! If you research the word enthusiastic from the 1828 dictionary from Noah Webster, we can see that based on the Greek origins of the word, "En" means indwelling or eternal. "Thusi" means God, and "astic" means spasm. We should all be enthusiastic unto the LORD in our worship.

1 Chronicles 29:20-21 ~ "Then David said to all the assembly, "Bless the LORD your God." And all the assembly blessed the LORD, the God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and paid homage to the LORD and to the king. And they offered sacrifices to the LORD, and on the next day offered burnt offerings to the LORD, 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams, and 1,000 lambs with their drink offerings and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel."

Nehemiah 8:6 ~ "And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, "Amen, Amen," lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground."

2 Chronicles 5:11-14 ~ "And when the priests came out of the Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had consecrated themselves without regard to their divisions, and all the Levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, their sons and kinsmen, arrayed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps, and lyres, stood east of the altar with 120 priests who were trumpeters; and it was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the LORD, and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the LORD, "For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever." the house, the house of the LORD was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God."

First there was the cold, legalistic formality of worship that died. Second, under David a revival in worship was renewed, and third, with King Solomon, worship was something desired.

4. We want to be expressive about our worship. (Giving God our best dance!).

2 Samuel 24:24 ~ "I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing. "

Hebrews 13:15 ~ "Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name."

Psalm 29:1-2 ~ "Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength, Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness."

We have all heard the saying, "Tooting your own horn," but did you know that the meaning came from the Bible. It was in the story of the widow who gave two mites. In those days, they used to take a large horn and turn it upside down, so the large mouth was on the ground and the small opening was on top. As people came by to drop in their offerings, the amount of the offerings could be heard by the crowd and people would applaud. Then the widow came and placed her offerings of two mites, about a 1/3 of the size of a penny, into the offering place and no one applauded, but Jesus acknowledged her offering as being worth more than all the others. She gave all the money she needed to stay alive for the day and held nothing back from God. She knew she would go home and die because she had nothing left to live on for the day, but Jesus acknowledged her offering over those who gave more. What is your daily net worth? How much are you offering God each day?

We want to make very sure we are not like Jesus warned about the religious leaders of the day, those who would stand in the temple and say their lengthy prayers in public so that they could be heard, not caring if God heard it. They were doing it for public acknowledgment. We need to ensure our worship is for God alone. Nothing more. We want to make sure our worship is not what man dictates it should be.

2 Samuel 6:12-16, 20-22 ~ "And it was told King David, "The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God." So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. And when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. And David danced before the LORD with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn. As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, and she despised him in her heart. 

"And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, "How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants' female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself! And David said to Michal, 'It was before the LORD, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the LORD - and I will make merry before the LORD. I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be hold in honor."

Psalm 29:2 ~ "Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness."

We all express ourselves differently in worship and we need to devote ourselves to Him when we do it! 

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