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The main ideas from this information are: - Worship is not about bringing sacrifices to cleanse our sins, but about focusing on God and His ultimate sacrifice for us. - Airplane Mode is a concept of disconnecting from distractions and stress in our lives, and spiritual disciplines help us achieve this. - Spiritual disciplines are intentional habits that help us grow in our relationship with God. - Worship is not just about singing songs, but about honoring and showing reverence to God. - Worship should not be centered around what we can receive, but about focusing on God and His character. - The definition of worship is to honor and show reverence for a divine being or supernatural power. - Worship is not limited to singing, but can take place in various ways. - A passage in John 4 discusses the topic of worship and the importance of the heart behind it. We don't bring our sacrifice to cleanse our sins, but we do focus on the One who made the ultimate sacrifice to forgive us of our sins. This is our entry point for worship. This is what motivates worship in me, right? It's God in His unconditional and eternal love sent His Son to take our punishment and become the final sacrifice for sin, thereby forgiving and absolving us of all of our sins, making us right with God. We have been in a really cool sermon series. I've really, really enjoyed this called Airplane Mode. And Airplane Mode is something that we're all familiar with, right? If you don't have one of these, I don't know how you live, but if you've got a smartphone, right? Some of you are like, it works. I promise you, you don't need one Pastor John, but I feel like I do. But everyone's got Airplane Mode on their phone and we use this, we use Airplane Mode to disconnect ourselves and this phone from all of the information that it wants to connect and receive, right? We use this when we go on an airplane. We're trying not to interfere with the navigation systems. They tell us, put it on Airplane Mode, right? But you know that we can use Airplane Mode anytime in our lives, or we need to take some time. My wife talked about it so wonderfully at the end of worship, about we need that time where we just pause, right? Where we disconnect and it's hard to pray with your phone in your hand because your notifications are coming through. It's hard to really focus on God when you've got your email and your text messages open or when you're looking at your phone to see how many likes you can get, right? Airplane Mode, it's useful in your life, right? But we also, the Airplane Mode that God has given to us in ways that beyond just our phone and beyond just hitting a button, the Airplane Mode that God has given us, we've said are spiritual disciplines in our lives. Spiritual disciplines. And when we say the word spiritual discipline, right, maybe the word discipline gives you a little bit of a, oh, I don't know if I like that word so much, but discipline simply means this. It means to train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way. And so the habits that you develop intentionally will define you and allow you to reap a major benefit down the line, right? Any habit in your life will reap a benefit or a consequence down the line. Well, our growth in Christ is the same way. Our relationship with God is the same way. If we are intentional about spiritual disciplines, about disconnecting from everything that's stressing us out, everything that we have on our minds and allowing ourselves to be swept away in the rat race, but we stop and we begin to employ these spiritual disciplines in our life, then you are going to find that you are growing. And our mission statement for Authentic Life Church is this, to build a community of fully devoted, authentic followers of Jesus Christ. In a word, we are committed to making disciples. And if you notice disciples, the root word of discipline or discipline is the root word of disciple. You can't have discipleship without discipline. But I love in Galatians 6, it says, Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, right? If all you're doing, if all you're sowing is what's happening in the here and now and everything that affects you and your body and your home, if that's all you're focusing on, right? It says, if you sow to please your flesh, from the flesh you'll reap destruction. Whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. It's this universal principle. And I've said this, I'll say it again. Write it down. If you want spiritual results, you've got to do spiritual things. If you want spiritual results, you've got to do spiritual things. And so, spiritual disciplines, the whole reason we talk about this, the whole reason that we call ourselves disciples and followers of Jesus Christ, is it's all about transformation. It's all about becoming more like Him. And so, we're on week five now of airplane mode, and we've discussed prayer and fasting, and we've discussed Bible study and Sabbath rest. But today, we're going to look at the discipline, and you may not see this as a discipline, but we're going to learn something here together, the discipline of worship. Now, first off, when I say the word worship, there is a particular image that is conjured up into our imaginations. It's what we just did a few minutes ago, right? We struck up the band, we sang songs to God, we sang these lyrics that express the various character traits of God. We focus on who He is, right? We sing songs of thanksgiving, and let me just tell you something. I so appreciate Pastor Neal, and it reflects my heart as well, that when a song comes along, they go through a bit of a review process, right? We don't just pick any old song because it has a good melody. We don't just pick any old song because every other church is doing it right now, and it's really popular. That's not why we do it. The songs that we select, we want them to be theologically sound, and make sure that they are not overly focused on me. There's a lot of worship songs out there that are focused on the worshiper and not focused on the one being worshipped, right? Or songs that have a very loose or a very weak or incorrect theology. And when we come together and we engage in what we call worship, we don't want to leave this place and say, well, worship was good, but what we mean is, we liked the songs that were selected, we sang my favorite song, or the band sounded really good, or things really got emotional, a couple people were crying, that's always a good sign, right? And we say worship was good. What we want to say when we leave on a Sunday morning, and we say worship was good, what we ought to mean is God was worshipped. God was really honored when we came together and we focused on Him, that He was worshipped and He was really honored, and our singing honored God, and our preaching of the Word honored God, and now I have a greater appreciation for who God is, and I'm even more enamored with Him and His character and the gospel than I ever was to me. That's a good worship service. When we say, hey, worship was good, listen, that has nothing to do with the band. Worship should never be about the band. It should never be about the music. The heart of worship should never be about the band, never be about the music, right? And so, but music is a great way that we can worship God. You know, music takes us to a certain place emotionally, a different space within our hearts that words alone don't take us, right? It moves us emotionally in ways that are unique to other forms of expression. That's why music is so important in all of our lives, right? We remember lyrics really easy because they're set to the tune of a song, and we're able to recall those songs throughout the week. We're reminded about who God is, and even with music, there are like resonant frequencies within music that evoke very specific emotions within us. As a musician, I've been a musician my entire life, right? I've learned what to play and how to play it, what intervals to use, what chord inversions to play to evoke a specific atmosphere or emotion that fits the particular expression of worship. Musicians do that, right dad? We know what we're doing when it comes to that. You know how to make something feel a certain way, right? Music has that power within our hearts and to evoke those emotions. And listen, these are all good things. I'm not here to like, you know, rain on music and worship. These are really good things. And I believe that corporate and private listening and singing is a very important act of worship. But I think that there is a problem when we define worship in a kind of a narrow way. If our only understanding of worship is how we feel when we sing songs to God. Right? If that's how we define it, I think we're a little bit too narrow. Because what worship has become, at least in this expression, for so many in the church, when I say the church, I mean the big C church, right? Globally, is what can I get from this? How does this impact me? This American mindset of I come into church and I'm blessed by the worship. And I'm going to sing songs about the blessings and the breakthroughs and all the things that I can receive. And if we're not careful, we get really caught up in worship being more about ourselves than it is about God. And it's really easy to do, but that's not really worship. Do you hear me? That's not really worship when it's about what I can receive or it's about me having my breakthrough or it's about me having my miracle, right? So worship means this, and this is just a dictionary definition, but it means to honor or show reverence for, as a divine being or a supernatural power, to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion. If you'll notice, there's nothing in our English definition that indicates that singing or music is essential for worship to take place. You know, God is big, infinitely big and powerful and awesome. And so if we just still worship down to singing songs together, I think we really miss the point of what worship is. And so we're going to read a passage of scripture together, probably familiar to many of you, but it's in John chapter four, beginning in verse 19. It says this, Sir, the woman said, I can see that you're a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem. Now he's talking to a Samaritan person, right? So they were kind of half Jewish and half other. And so they were kind of separate from the Jewish community. And so in their traditions, they worshiped the same God, but they had traditions whereby they would worship in a particular place, and the Jews had their particular place, which was Jerusalem. So woman, Jesus replied, believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father, neither on this mountain or in Jerusalem. So you Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. And he was right, right? The salvation came through Israel. Yet a time is coming, it has now come, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. Alright, so a quick definition of worship as it is used here. It's this Greek word, proskuneo. It means to prostrate oneself on one's knees, or more specifically, to kiss the hand of. Right? This is what this word means. Again, the definition of worship as used by Jesus and others in the Bible really have nothing to do with music or singing specifically, but more about a posture, a kneeling, a bowing low, a humbling myself as I kiss the hand, right? It all communicates a posture of submission to and reverence toward. And in this passage that we just read, Jesus makes a really, really strong point, because he's saying, you mountains, worship on Mount Gerizim, that's the mountain that they were standing on when they had that conversation, Mount Gerizim, and the Jews worship in Jerusalem, but none of that is going to matter anymore. Because true worship will have nothing to do with location, it will have nothing to do with ritual and law, because from this point forward, worship is going to be a matter of a heart and a posture toward God. No matter where you are, it doesn't matter what mountain or what city you are in, it won't matter what building you're in or what altar you bring your sacrifice to, your worship from this point forward is going to spring from your hearts. Don't ever think that this building is the place where you come to worship. The place where you come to worship. I mean it is, that's what we attempt to do here, so let me say it this way, don't ever think that this building is the only place where we come to worship. And don't think that the way that we worship corporately is the only way that you can and must worship. Because it's not about geography, the place where you are, it's not about ritual or tradition. Listen, I know that as a charismatic church where, you know, we don't wear robes and follow liturgy, but we have our own liturgy here whether we realize it or not. It's just different than churches that are a little bit more focused on that, right? But we come in here and we do a specific thing every single week. It's a really great way to come together corporately and to focus on God. And so we don't break something if it, you know, we don't try to fix something if it's not broken. We have our own liturgy, but worship has nothing to do with the way we do it in here. If you're going to worship God, it really doesn't mean that you have to pick up a guitar. And it doesn't mean that you have to put on a, you know, your praise and worship station on Spotify. You don't have to do that. So it's not going to be about ritual and tradition, but it's going to, from this point forward, what Jesus is saying, it's going to be about your heart. So everything about who you are must be an act of worship unto God. Because worship is about a posture. It's about a posture before Him. It's about submission to Him. And it will change the way you feel about things. But if all that you do is treated as an act of worship, things like what we just talked about, right? Tithing and giving, that'll just be easy because your posture is submitted before the Lord, right? Visiting a sick person, bringing a meal or saying a prayer, that's not going to feel weird to you because you're submitted to the Lord. And so that becomes an act of worship, shifting the motivation of your life away from the American dream in your career if God is trying to lead you toward a calling or a specific thing in your life that won't feel like you've lost anything. Right? Because your heart, which is one that is geared in worship, is submitted before the Lord, is prostrated and kneeled before the Lord. All this stuff that we talk about, we say, well, this is how we ought to live as Christians. Well, it starts with our understanding of worship, which is our posture before the Lord. Our submission to Him. And it begins with a posture, reverent submission to a holy God. And when you realize that worship is about Him and it's not about you, then it'll be fine in the rest of your life when you feel inconvenienced for the sake of the gospel. There are several things that my wife and I could easily pull up and say, my wife and I could easily pull up and begin to enumerate that were very, very uncomfortable that we did, that felt like we were losing, that felt like we were missing out on our opportunity to achieve the American dream. But those things, when our hearts were submitted to Him, right, then it becomes okay not to have the material stuff. It's okay not fulfilling your dreams, but getting God's dream for you and fulfilling that. All of that is okay when your life is postured in reverent submission to a holy God when worship becomes the center point of all that you do in your life. It's not about the place. It's not about the rituals and the laws. It's about the heart and spirit and truth, right? So where does worship begin? We're talking about all this and we're saying, okay, so, you know, it's great what you're saying, Pastor John, but how do I get there? How do I get to that place? Well, let me give you a little bit of perspective that may change and shape how you view worship. In the Old Testament, there existed three forms of law for the Jewish people. The first form they had was the moral law, right? This was like the 10 commandments. Or the other laws that helped them to understand right from wrong and what God then defines as good or evil. That was the moral law. Then there was the civil law. This is kind of, you know, the part where maybe we get a little bit bogged down when we're reading through Leviticus sometimes. But the civil law, right? These are the aspects of the law that handled disputes and interpersonal relationships and how we deal with stuff. Like, you know, if you borrow an ox and that ox dies while it's with you, then how do you handle that? Crazy things like that, that the Bible has to spell out and deal with because he gave them the civil law so they knew how to relate one with another and how to handle things that came up. And then what to do then with people that are breaking the law, with criminals, like what do we do about criminals in our community, right? And so that was the civil law. So the moral law, right and wrong, good and evil. Civil law, how to treat one another. But then the part of the law that a lot of us think about most often is the ceremonial law. And the ceremonial law was the sacrificial system that dealt with focusing the worshiper's attention on God and thereby gaining right standing with Him. This is where you see in the Old Testament that they would sacrifice bulls and goats and the spilled blood of those animals made atonement for their sins. So they had a law to follow and they were hopelessly bound to sin and could not keep that law. I mean, you read all throughout the Old Testament, you read all these laws that are established for the Jewish people. They couldn't keep all that. They couldn't get it right. But because they couldn't keep the law and because they continued to sin, God put a mechanism in place whereby they would be able to receive forgiveness through a sacrifice. And that was what they called worship. They would come to the temple with their sacrifice, reminded of their sinfulness, reminded of the fact that they were to have been keeping the law, but they were not able to keep the law in their own flesh. And because of that, this animal then had to spill its blood to make atonement for my sin. That was what worship was. They went to the temple and they had to recognize their sin. They had to bring the sacrifice. And it sounds gruesome to us today, but it was necessary. And so in this context, worship had a lot less to do with telling God how great He is or expecting to encounter God's presence and get something from Him. It was about getting into a heart posture that says, I am hopelessly sinful and unworthy to receive your grace or your mercy. And then going through the sacrifice process and afterward being so grateful for the blood that was spilled in order to atone for that sin and bring you into right standing with God. Worship had everything to do with recognizing sin and atoning for that sin. And that was a sweet-smelling aroma to God as He was made right once again. Or not Him, we were made right once again with God. He was able to have that with His people. This is what the Jewish people knew as worship. Now, did they sing songs? Yeah, remember in the 80s? Like Jewish songs became like the hot thing in churches, right? Jehovah Jireh, my provider and my grace is sufficient for me, for me, for me. They had their songs, they had their traditions. Did they read when they came together? Did they read and teach from the scriptures in the synagogues? Yes, of course they did. Did they tithe off of their increase? Yeah, all the time. But when it came down to the foundation and the heart of their worship, the ceremonial law, the sacrificial system, that was it. That was worship. And in fact, once a year a sacrifice was made to cover sins for all people. Not everybody had access to the animals needed to make personal sacrifices. Not everybody could get to Jerusalem to go to the temple. So in an annually celebrated day of atonement, all the sins of all the people would be forgiven through the shedding of blood. That's the foundation of worship. Are there other expressions of worship? Yes, but the foundation is recognition of sin, atonement for that sin. That is the entry point for our worship. That is the entry point. Because if we believe that worshiping God in spirit and in truth has nothing to do with ritual, location, tradition, but a posture of the heart, then this is how we get our heart into that posture. I'm going to read just a bit of a lengthy scripture. I'm going to read this to you, okay? Hebrews 10, beginning in verse 1, says this. The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming. Right? The Old Testament, all of the Old Testament is a setup for what's about to be fulfilled perfectly in the New Testament through Jesus Christ. So the law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming, not the realities themselves. For this reason, it could never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. So what's he saying? The sacrifices that they brought in their worship to the Lord, when they brought these sacrifices year after year after year, they were insufficient to make atonement for their sin. And so they had to be repeated over and over and over again. Verse 2, otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? Right? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said, Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me. With burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, Here I am. It is written about me in the scroll. I have come to do your will, my God. First, he said, Sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them, though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, Here I am. I have come to do your will. He sets aside the first to establish the second. Right? Do you see how this is the reasoning that the writer of the Hebrews is bringing us along here? The sacrifices were not sufficient. And because they were not sufficient, and ultimately that's not what God wanted, what's happened here is Jesus has said, This is not what you wanted, God, what you ultimately wanted. Was a sacrifice that would take care of sin once and for all. Not an annually repeated, constant, a sacrifice that would take care of sin once and for all. He sets aside the first to establish the second, and by that will we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Verse 11, Day after day, every priest stands and performs his religious duties. Again and again, he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sin. But when the priest had offered for all time, one sacrifice for sin, he sat down at the right hand of God. And since that time, he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice, he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. That's us. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First, he says, This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I'll put my laws in their hearts and write them in their minds. Right? It's not about location. It's not about ritual. It's about the heart, right? And his word that transforms our mind. Then he adds, Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary. Worship shifted here. With Jesus's final sacrifice, worship shifted. What this passage is basically saying to us is that the sacrificial system was never enough to remove sin once and for all. The sacrifices had to be repeated over and over. They are insufficient. But in Christ, the worshiper is cleansed by the blood of Jesus. The final once and for all sacrifice. So as we come before God now, we don't have to have a bull or a goat in tow with us to become a sacrifice for our sin. When we come before God, we don't bring a sacrifice to cleanse our sins, but we need to identify with the sacrifice that was made for us. We don't have to bring a sacrifice of our own because there's already been one final sacrifice that was made and that's Jesus Christ. So we don't bring our sacrifice to cleanse our sins, but we do focus on the One who made the ultimate sacrifice to forgive us of our sins. This is our entry point for worship. Pastor Neal just about preached this message in the middle of worship today. This is what motivates worship in me, right? It's God in His unconditional and eternal love sent His Son to take our punishment and become the final sacrifice for sin. Therefore, by forgiving and absolving us of all of our sins, making us right with God. And that is the motivation. That is what we focus on when we come into the church together. 3750 Michael Boulevard in Mobile, Alabama. Visit our website AuthenticLife.tv for more information about Authentic Life Church to find out what we have going on or to make a donation. You can also find us on Facebook. We'd love for you to join us on Sundays at 10 a.m. for our weekend service. We have excellent children's nursery and youth programs so bring the family. For Pastor John DiQuatro, I'm Scott Chestnut. Thanks again for listening and God bless you.
Airplane ModeAuthentic Life Church