“Redeeming the Compass of the Heart”

“Redeeming the Compass of the Heart”
Preached @ Harambee Church by
Caleb Mayberry on May 6th, 2007

Intro
Have you ever wondered why you exist? Amongst all our many desires, aspirations, and longings is there any unifying purpose? What does the bible have to say? We’re going to find out that the bible is very clear about what God created us for. Namely, we exist to worship God. We were created to worship our Creator. What I intend to do is demonstrate from scripture that worship is what we’re called to do and then unpack what true worship is and what that looks like.

We Exist to Worship
– Worship definition: Living in a way that testifies that God is treasured first and foremost in your life.
1. John 17:4-5 “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory I had with you before the world existed.”
2. Genesis 1:26 – 27 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
3. 1 Cor 10:31 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
4. Romans 12:1-2 “I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, and acceptable, and perfect.”
5. Greatest Commandment: Matt 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law? And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
6. Worship is obedience – John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments”
a. Trust in the goodness of God must accompany obedience. i.e. it must be a joyful obedience.
Why worship?
1. God commands our worship because he is about his glory and worship:
a. Isaiah 48:11 “For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.”
b. Revelation 14:7 “And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
c. 1 Cor 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
d. Psalm 96:6-8 “Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts!”
i. Analogy of military rankings: 4 star General, Colonel, Major, Captain, Lieutenant, Sergeant, Corporal, Private.
ii. The extent to which we dishonor God is in proportion to the difference between what he is and what we think of him to be.
2. God commands our worship because he loves us:
a. Matt 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
b. Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
c. We receive our greatest joy, happiness, and pleasure when we exalt and glorify God. The most loving thing that God can do demand his praise, for what he is doing in essence is pointing to that which is most valuable and treasured in the universe, namely himself. In God we find true and lasting joy.
d. What is true love?
i. God gives us himself, the most valuable being in existence (God is delighted in his creation, but only to the extent that it is a reflection of himself, a reflection of divine perfection. And because we are distinct beings this is more than just self-worship and exaltation; true love can exist.)
ii. God can only be for us if he is first for himself
e. We naturally praise that which we find value in (C.S. Lewis)
i. Praise completes our joy in God
What does worship look like?
1. Story of Job – Through the loss of family and all his possessions, Job’s gut reaction is to fall down in worship
2. Story of Jesus being tempted – Jesus is offered everything if we would only stop worshiping God.

What went wrong?
1. We ceased to worship God and have instead worshipped his stuff.
a. Romans 1:20-23
i. Analogy of gift-giver, God is offended.
b. Matthew 15:8 “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
i. Some people play church. They fake worship, but you can’t fake a heart that truly desires God.
ii. Problem is that we’ve broken the greatest commandment. We haven’t loved God with all our heart, soul.
iii. Not only have we rejected our only source of true and lasting joy and peace, but we have offended a holy and righteous God. (Romans 1:18)
What went right?
3. Story Jesus obedience to die on the cross. (ultimate act of love, ultimate act of worship)
a. Out great hope is in the cross of Christ. (Phil 2:8)
i. It is at the cross where we see the Justice of God meet grace of God.
ii. In one act by one man, God has enabled us to re-establish the relationship broken in the fall of Adam. Our sin is paid by Christ and we receive Christ’s righteousness and eternal life through trusting in the Son of God.
iii. Ephesians 1:7-12
1. Glory of God made manifest in Christ redeeming us. God gets his glory; we get everlasting life and joy.
2. It is only through the cross are we enabled to pursue the greatest joy and pleasure possible. It is only through the cross that we can become true worshippers of God.
3. Galatians 6:14 “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
Conclusion
1. Question: Do you worship God? Do you treasure God?
a. Phil 3:8 “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”
b. Two Paths: both involve worship; the only difference is the object of our worship.
c. Psalm 63:1-5 “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you; as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, an my mouth will praise you with joyful lips”
d. Psalm 42:1 “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.”

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3 comments so far

  1. Jalene on

    Something that especially stuck out in my mind about this sermon was the part about Satan bringing Jesus to a high place to look down on creation claiming that Jesus could have it if he would only bow to him.

    How absurd that must have been! I wondered if Jesus was at all tempted to say … “Dude… it’s already mine!” It would be like somebody taking me to my home and telling me if I bow down to him I can have the TV.

    I got to wondering about why was it so important to have such an absurd thing in the bible. This love letter God has given us is full of so much information. I believe it is the way He wants it or else it simply wouldn’t be that way. Why was this absurd thing important for us to know?

    When Satan tries to tempt us with the same line, it should be just as absurd because it isn’t his to give away. How can I even be tempted by that? It would be like a bum taking me to Bill Gates’ house and telling me that I can have all of it if I bow down and worship him. It might be all fine and good while the house is empty, but you’d better believe that when Bill and Melinda get home they will be calling the cops to get me out of there!

  2. sermonrant on

    🙂 Great thoughts Jalene. I think you hit on a very key point in that the reality underneath all temptations is that they ought not to be truly tempting. If we understand that everything belongs to God and that God is a good God that desires to have us inherit His kingdom, then what could Satan give us that God can’t give us? Really Satan has nothing to give and God has everything. And so it seems that temptation is rooted in some veiling of the full glory of God. We don’t see clearly and so we are tempted and must rely on the Holy Spirit to give us eyes to see the truth.

    An interesting thought to think about is that if Jesus was went through real temptation as we have, then there would seem to be some sense in which the glory of God was veiled in some way to Jesus Christ. Which is an odd thing to say given that Jesus lived a sinless life and is the God-man himself. Or if the glory of God was perfectly clear at all times to Christ, then in what sense could it be said that Christ was tempted in every way just as we are?

  3. Jalene on

    yes indeedy.. that is something to ponder. I guess it would fall under the same “category” of Jesus asking, “Why have You forsaken me?” and Him asking for the cup to be taken from Him, but saying, “not my will, but Yours be done.” That one in itself is quite the paradox I could get lost in. It would seem that even though Jesus is God, something happened to the relationship between Father and Son when Jesus was here that we just can’t understand. Or perhaps that eliment is just part of their relationship… that somehow Jesus is veiled from the Father’s knowledge/plans. The Trinity is a hard thing to understand in many ways, but I think on other levels there is absolutely no way that our finite minds could understand the deeper aspects of that kind of relationship.

    Some things I will just have to be happy not understanding until I get into heaven. But then again… I guess by then I won’t be to worried about getting the answers to my unanswered questions. 🙂


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