Participants: Mike Leno
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000045
00:29 A mother was teaching her young daughter
00:32 about reverence in church.
00:36 Okay, honey, do you know why we must be quiet in church?
00:40 The mother said to the young daughter.
00:43 The young daughter thought for a moment
00:44 and then very seriously looked up at her mother and said,
00:47 because people are sleeping.
00:51 Worship is something that, it's sometimes hard to define.
00:57 Is being quiet always reverence?
01:02 Is good music always worship?
01:07 Does it take good preaching
01:09 in order for there to be worship?
01:11 Do you have to have preaching in order to worship?
01:15 The most important issues of life
01:19 I believe are issues of worship.
01:22 The great conflict between Christ and Satan
01:25 is a conflict over who to worship.
01:27 The temptations of Christ in the wilderness
01:30 were centered around the issue of worship.
01:34 Keeping the Sabbath is an issue of worship.
01:38 The conflicts spoken about
01:40 so graphically in the Book of Revelation
01:43 are centered around worship,
01:45 true worship versus false worship.
01:48 Even everyday decisions having to do with family,
01:51 career, money, all of those things
01:55 center around what you worship.
01:59 Today want to talk about two things.
02:02 The crises of worship and the glory of worship.
02:07 A man came into my office a few years ago
02:10 and stated that he didn't like attending church anymore
02:12 and of course I wanted to know why.
02:15 Well, he said I just,
02:17 I'm not challenged intellectually anymore.
02:21 Well, to be honest with him
02:22 I had to admit that I had been there.
02:24 Yes, there been many times when I have been to church
02:28 and felt like my brain had gone to sleep.
02:32 There was a time in my life while I was going to school
02:35 and I was being challenged by my professors.
02:37 And then when I went to church I felt like
02:41 there was nothing really there of interest.
02:45 I realized later that was my problem
02:49 more than it was the preacher's problem.
02:54 What do we go to church for? What do we worship for?
02:57 Why do we come here to get something,
03:00 education, social contact, entertainment?
03:04 You see, part of the problem
03:05 I believe is our consumer mentality in this 21st century.
03:09 Worship becomes an experience that we judge good,
03:13 bad or indifferent much the same way
03:14 that we would rate a car, a blender or a movie.
03:19 The fact is in true worship
03:23 we come into God's presence to do something,
03:26 to give something, not to get something.
03:32 Now, as a preacher I don't want to bore people.
03:36 We need education, we need good social contact,
03:39 church should benefit people
03:42 but the primary purpose of worship
03:45 is not to get something but to give worship to God.
03:51 In 1 Kings 12
03:53 we have a very fascinating story of the transition
03:56 from the reign of Solomon to his Rehoboam.
04:02 Solomon had been,
04:04 frankly pretty lousy king toward the end of his life.
04:07 He had married so many wives from all over the world
04:11 and they had brought their foreign gods
04:14 and forms of worship with them
04:16 that eventually Solomon lost his way
04:19 and he started worshiping gods from all over the world.
04:24 Well, when Solomon died his son Rehoboam
04:28 was the crown prince ready to take his place.
04:33 At that time there was a gentleman named Jeroboam
04:39 who left Jerusalem one day and ran into the prophet.
04:47 This was the prophet spoken about in 1 Kings 11,
04:53 and this prophet met Jeroboam
04:56 outside of Jerusalem on the way.
04:58 The prophet's name was Ahijah.
05:01 And he met Rehoboam-- Jeroboam--
05:05 by the way do you know how they get
05:06 Jeroboam and Rehoboam straight?
05:08 I was to have that problem
05:09 and I finally realized that Rehoboam is a repeat.
05:12 Rehoboam is the son of Solomon.
05:15 So when Solomon died you had a repeat of Solomon
05:19 which was Rehoboam.
05:20 Well, just a little mental trick I use,
05:21 hope it works for you.
05:23 So Ahijah met Jeroboam on the road
05:26 secretly outside of Jerusalem.
05:29 This was before Solomon actually died.
05:31 In fact and he took of his shawl
05:34 and he ripped it into 12 pieces
05:37 representing the 12 tribes of Israel.
05:40 And he turned to Jeroboam and he gave him 10 of them
05:44 and he said the Lord has given the 10 tribes of Israel for you
05:48 to become a great kingdom.
05:51 Well, when Solomon died you might expect for Jeroboam
05:55 to immediately lead a, lead a revolt
05:57 and take the 10 tribes and be done with it.
06:00 But interestingly enough Jeroboam didn't do that.
06:02 He along with a number of the elder of Israel
06:05 met with Rehoboam and they pleaded with him
06:08 not to continue the ways of his father.
06:12 You see, his father Solomon had become
06:16 rather hard task master in his later life.
06:21 He had taxed the people beyond their endurance.
06:26 He had made their lives miserable.
06:28 And they-- and so Jeroboam,
06:30 I mean the elders pleaded with Rehoboam
06:32 not to continue in the wicked ways of his father.
06:35 They said, if you will be easy on the people
06:37 they will love you and they will serve you.
06:40 Well, Rehoboam said as a good politician word he said,
06:45 why don't you go away for a while
06:46 and I will consult my advisors and come back in three days
06:49 and I will give you my answer.
06:51 So while they were gone during that three days time
06:55 Rehoboam met with the rising stars of the kingdom.
06:59 These were the, the bright young minds,
07:02 the young guys who were trying to make a name for themselves,
07:05 they were trying to secure their position in the kingdom.
07:08 And Rehoboam met with them and he said,
07:10 "What do you think I should do?"
07:12 And those young men said, "Look, here's what you do.
07:16 You make the taxes worse. You make the slavery worse.
07:22 You do everything that your father Solomon did,
07:26 after all he had a great kingdom.
07:28 You do everything he did and more."
07:33 Rehoboam unfortunately took their advice.
07:35 And so when Jeroboam and the elders came back
07:37 and said what is your answer?
07:38 Rehoboam looked at him and said,
07:40 you think you had it bad under my father Solomon,
07:43 well, you are going to have it even worse under me.
07:46 And this caused such a,
07:49 such a riot practically amongst Israel that finally
07:54 they were ordered to go home
07:56 and Jeroboam led the 10 tribes of Israel off by himself
08:02 while Rehoboam was left with the two southern tribes
08:05 Judah and Benjamin.
08:07 And that is in fact how the kingdom of Israel
08:09 divided into two kingdoms.
08:11 The northern tribes of Israel
08:13 and the southern tribes called Judah.
08:17 Well, Jeroboam knew that this was God's plan.
08:22 He realized that God and his infinite wisdom
08:27 often has to have plan B.
08:30 In his wisdom in this case
08:31 he, he had ordained that the 12 tribes of Israel
08:36 would be his ambassadors to the world so to speak.
08:39 And he worked with them and he worked through them
08:42 to try to attract the world to himself.
08:47 The problem was with the wickedness of Solomon
08:51 and then Rehoboam it became impossible
08:53 to keep all those 12 tribes together.
08:55 So in the wisdom of God
08:56 he had plan B already ready to go into affect.
09:01 I can't help but think that this applies
09:03 to many of our modern situations.
09:06 You know, it was never God's will
09:08 that different things should divide us like
09:12 theology, and race, and things like that.
09:17 You realize today that the church
09:20 is the most segregated part of society.
09:26 That was never God's plan but it was plan B
09:29 and there are good historical reasons
09:31 why we have to have different churches.
09:37 The fortunate thing is even under plan B
09:40 we can all worship together if we want to.
09:44 Even under plan B when Jeroboam led
09:46 those 10 tribes off by themselves
09:50 Rehoboam became the king of Judah
09:53 in the southern kingdom.
09:58 They were supposed to remain faithful to God's original plan
10:01 where the yearly festivals
10:03 would be celebrated in Jerusalem.
10:07 The problem was when Jeroboam realized
10:10 what was going to happen he realized suddenly
10:12 that worship was going to cause crises in his kingdom.
10:17 He thought he was going to lose people over this.
10:20 He said, if people go from my kingdom
10:22 and travel every year down to Jerusalem to worship
10:26 why they are going to forget about me
10:28 and they are going to follow after the house of David again
10:31 and I'm gonna lose out.
10:34 And unfortunately Jeroboam's insecurity over numbers
10:40 and worship caused one of the greatest apostasies
10:45 of all time in Israel.
10:47 In fact, the Bible says that he took golden calves
10:51 and set them up in different parts of the country.
10:56 Let's read in 1 Kings 12:26.
11:04 "Jeroboam thought to himself,
11:05 'The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David.
11:08 If these people go up to offer sacrifices
11:10 at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem,
11:13 they will again give their allegiance to their lord,
11:15 Rehoboam king of Judah.
11:16 They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.'
11:21 After seeking advice,
11:22 the king made two golden calves.
11:24 He said to the people,
11:25 'It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem.
11:26 Here are your gods, O Israel,
11:28 who brought you up out of Egypt.'"
11:30 What a lie? Can you believe it?
11:32 He told them that the golden calves were the ones
11:34 that brought them out of Egypt.
11:36 Verse 29, "One he set up in Bethel,
11:38 and the other in Dan.
11:39 And this thing became a sin,
11:42 the people went even as far as Dan
11:44 to worship the one there."
11:47 Interesting isn't it that Jeroboam sold the idea
11:52 of this counterfeit system of worship by using convenience
11:59 and he used culturally relevant symbols,
12:03 the golden calves.
12:04 People realized what the golden calves were.
12:07 They were a common symbol in the world that time.
12:11 They didn't just come out of nowhere,
12:13 the nations around them used the golden calves
12:15 as symbols of their deities.
12:18 And its interesting that
12:20 he would set them up out of convenience
12:22 to try to keep the people in his own kingdom
12:24 but they became so popular
12:25 that the people would travel even further.
12:27 The land of Israel was set to extend
12:29 from Dan to Beersheba.
12:30 That's when all 12 tribes were united.
12:32 So the town of Dan was the further northern most
12:36 boundary of the land of Israel
12:38 and people traveled all the way up there
12:40 to see the golden calf and to worship in front of it.
12:45 Convenience, attractiveness, and familiarity are not wrong
12:52 but the issue is, are we worshipping God
12:56 or we just worried about our own success like Jeroboam was?
13:01 What are we really here for,
13:03 to please the largest number of people or this a time
13:07 when true worship can take place?
13:10 Many things divide us.
13:11 Petty things, traditions,
13:12 personal taste, personality conflicts
13:15 but there are more serious things that divide us also.
13:17 Things like prejudice, self protection,
13:19 jealousy, pride.
13:20 We live in a divided kingdom today
13:22 there is no way of getting around it.
13:24 Wasn't God's original plan but plan B is taking affect.
13:29 Like the account in 1 Kings
13:31 there is lots of history that goes into that yet,
13:35 we can still worship together if we choose to.
13:38 Even in a divided kingdom
13:40 God designed worship to unite people,
13:45 not divide them.
13:47 He could allow no compromise.
13:50 Not because he was arbitrary and eventual
13:53 but because changing worship meant changing loyalties.
13:58 The way we worship indicates the identity
14:01 and the kind of person that we worship.
14:05 That is the crises of worship today.
14:08 Who do you worship?
14:11 But now I want to turn to the glory of worship
14:15 and to do that I want to turn
14:17 to that most worshipful book,
14:20 the Book of Psalms.
14:22 And we turn now to Psalm 95:1-7.
14:30 "Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord,
14:33 let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
14:37 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
14:39 and extol him with music and song."
14:44 Worship is not a spectator sport.
14:48 It uses the full range of emotions and expressions.
14:53 Verse 3, "For the Lord is the great God,
14:57 the great King above all gods.
14:59 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
15:02 and the mountain peaks belong to him."
15:05 The object and purpose of worship is to recognize
15:11 that the Lord is the great God.
15:15 Verse 5, "The sea is his, for he made it,
15:17 and his hands formed the dry land.
15:19 Come, let us bow down in worship,
15:21 let us kneel before the Lord our Maker,
15:23 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture,
15:27 the flock under his care."
15:30 The benefit and reason for worship
15:33 is that we belong to God.
15:37 There is a higher purpose to our lives
15:38 than just living for ourselves.
15:40 Worship guarantees that we look higher than ourselves
15:45 and that we belong to a higher purpose than just our own.
15:49 The fact of human existence is that
15:50 we become like that which we worship.
15:54 What we say we worship and what we really worship
15:58 are sometimes two different things.
16:01 What we really worship can often be revealed
16:04 by the way we spend our time,
16:07 what our check books reveal and what our priorities are.
16:11 Worship is a response to someone
16:14 who is already won our affection and allegiance.
16:17 You can't force worship.
16:19 You can only worship someone
16:21 that you are truly attractive to on all levels,
16:24 intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
16:28 I believe that we need to restore a sense of awe
16:33 and reverence in our worship.
16:37 There is a great truth that we need to hang on to
16:41 and that is that God came down to our level
16:45 in the sense that He became human like us.
16:49 But in our worship we dare not bring Him down
16:52 to our sinful level.
16:55 In John 15:15 we have one of my very favorite texts
16:59 in the Bible where Jesus said,
17:01 I no longer want to call you servants,
17:03 I call you friends.
17:06 Because the servant doesn't know his masters business,
17:08 he just does what he is told.
17:10 Jesus says, in affect telling them.
17:12 But a friend knows the masters business.
17:16 But that is not mean
17:17 that God is just one of the guys.
17:20 He is not cool, He is not hip,
17:21 He is not just a casual occurrence
17:23 or an indulgent heavenly grandpa or Santa Claus.
17:27 In fact, God loves the losers.
17:31 He condemns the so called cool in crowd of Pharisees.
17:35 He respects a sincere choice for or against Him
17:40 but He has no tolerance for the lukewarm
17:43 who just take Him lightly.
17:46 God enjoys our worship as long as it's directed to Him.
17:52 If we make Him out to be something
17:54 He is not its just as bad
17:56 as if we were bowing down before golden calf.
18:00 You see, ultimately true worship must recognize
18:04 who God really is.
18:07 And we get this confused a lot of times.
18:09 The glory of worship is that it takes us out of ourselves,
18:12 it takes us out of our human contact,
18:15 context and let us contact the divine.
18:20 Now I like pleasant worship services.
18:23 I love music.
18:24 I love music that expresses the grandeur
18:27 and the grace and love of God.
18:30 But music itself is not music.
18:33 I love prayer.
18:35 I love to listen to people who can pray with a fervent,
18:40 faith and devotion to God.
18:46 But while prayer can be a great part of worship,
18:49 prayer is not in itself worship.
18:52 You can go through the motions
18:54 of something without really worshipping.
19:00 So what is worship?
19:02 When you go to your house of worship
19:05 and you walk in and you take your seat
19:08 and you listen to the music, you listen to the prayers,
19:10 you listen to the preaching.
19:12 Where is the worship?
19:15 I like to suggest to you that it's all around you.
19:18 Worship is that invisible component
19:21 when anyone turns their hearts sincerely to God
19:24 and gives Him praise and honor from their heart.
19:30 You see, worship can be loud as in Psalm 95,
19:34 let us sing for joy to the Lord,
19:35 let us shout aloud to the Rock
19:38 or you can be quiet as when Elijah heard
19:44 the still small voice on top of Mount Horeb.
19:51 It doesn't matter whether the preacher
19:53 challenges you intellectually or not.
19:56 It doesn't matter whether your best friends
19:58 are sitting beside you or not.
20:00 It doesn't matter if the music is beautiful or not.
20:05 Now we hope for all of these things.
20:07 We like for the preacher to be engaging
20:08 and educational and inspirational.
20:11 We like for the music to be inspirational and beautiful.
20:14 We like all of our friends to be there with us
20:17 but all of those things are not worship.
20:21 You see, worship is something that is best done I believe
20:27 in a group of people where we can have an environment
20:30 where a worship can take place spontaneously.
20:33 But ultimately worship is a personal thing.
20:36 Worship is what happens
20:38 between you and God spontaneously,
20:41 directly from your soul to God.
20:45 Is it possible to worship God all alone
20:49 by yourself in your house?
20:51 Yes, it is.
20:52 Is it possible to worship God
20:54 out on a mountain top somewhere?
20:56 Oh, yes, I had been there, I have done it.
20:59 Is it possible to worship God
21:02 while you are traveling down the highway to work?
21:05 Yes, it is.
21:08 But as in the days of Jeroboam and Rehoboam
21:13 worship is also designed to unite us
21:16 as we seek the Lord together.
21:19 There is a component of worship that cannot be alone.
21:23 Worship has a force and a meaning
21:28 that cannot be had any other place than with--
21:31 than when you are with fellow believers in Christ.
21:35 It's a wonderful thing when true worship happens.
21:38 At the heart of worship though,
21:41 at the very heart of worship is the kind of person God is.
21:45 The object of our worship
21:46 is what's important not the quality of our worship.
21:49 We don't worship, worship, we worship God in Christ.
21:57 All through Old Testament history
21:59 we have a picture of a loving God
22:02 who is doing anything He can to reach His people,
22:05 anything He can.
22:06 And He has to deal with the most
22:08 severe circumstances sometimes.
22:11 Slaves in Egypt are needed to be delivered.
22:14 Daniel in lions den,
22:17 he dealt with every conceivable human situation
22:20 and in every situation
22:22 he tries to point the people up toward himself
22:26 and the kind of person he was.
22:28 The Ten Commandments the great law
22:30 was intended to be a revelation of God's character
22:33 to attract people so that they knew
22:35 who they were worshipping.
22:36 And finally the pinnacle of God's revelation
22:40 about Himself was that God man, Jesus Christ.
22:46 He is the clearest revelation in history
22:50 of who God really was.
22:51 You want to know what God is like?
22:53 You want to know what God's personality is like?
22:56 What He likes, what He doesn't like,
22:58 how He treats people?
23:00 You want to know what God is like?
23:01 You look at Jesus Christ
23:03 because that's what God is like.
23:05 Jesus came to earth to reveal the Father.
23:10 Do you know God?
23:12 I mean, do you really know Him?
23:16 If you really want to know God
23:18 I invite you to spend time with Him.
23:21 Spend time praying and studying
23:26 and experiencing who He is.
23:30 And because we are selfish human beings
23:32 it is best to not neglect the solitary study
23:37 and prayer and worship
23:38 but to do it with your human believing family.
23:45 My friends, there is no greater thing.
23:49 There is no higher purpose in human existence
23:54 than to know the person that you are worshipping.
23:58 There is no better way to worship God
24:02 than to know Him personally in the person of Jesus Christ.
24:07 A couple of years ago I came across something
24:12 that just grabbed my soul.
24:15 I wish I had written it but I didn't.
24:17 Its part of a sermon by a pastor Samuel Lockridge,
24:22 it's entitled "That's my King!
24:24 The Bible says, my king is a Seven Way King.
24:29 He's the King of the Jews, that's a racial King.
24:31 He's the King of Israel, that's a National King.
24:34 He's the King of righteousness.
24:35 He's the King of the ages. He's the King of Heaven.
24:39 He's the King of glory.
24:40 He's the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords.
24:42 That's my King. Well I wonder if you know Him.
24:47 David said the Heavens declare the glory of God,
24:52 the firmament show His handiwork.
24:54 My King is a sovereign King.
24:56 No means of measure can define His limitless love.
25:00 No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility
25:04 the coastline of His shore of supplies.
25:07 He's entirely sincere. He's eternally steadfast.
25:10 He's immortally graceful. He's imperially powerful.
25:14 He's impartially merciful.
25:16 Do you know Him?
25:18 He's the greatest phenomenon
25:19 across the horizon of this world.
25:22 He's God's Son. He's the sinner's Savior.
25:25 He's the centerpiece of civilization.
25:28 He stands alone in solitude of Himself.
25:32 He's august and He's unique.
25:34 He's unparalleled. He's unprecedented.
25:37 He's the loftiest idea in literature.
25:39 He's the highest personality in philosophy.
25:43 He's the supreme problem in high criticism.
25:46 He's the fundamental doctrine of true theology.
25:49 He's the carnal necessity of spiritual religion.
25:53 He's the miracle of the age.
25:55 He's the superlative of everything good thing
25:58 that you choose to call Him.
25:59 He's the only one qualified to be an all sufficient Savior.
26:03 I wonder do you know Him today?
26:06 He supplies strength for the weak.
26:08 He's available for the tempted and the tried.
26:11 He sympathizes and He saves.
26:16 He strengthens and sustains.
26:17 He guards and He guides. He heals the sick.
26:19 He cleansed the lepers. He forgives sinners.
26:22 He discharges debtors. He delivers the captive.
26:27 He defends the feeble. He blesses the young.
26:30 He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged.
26:33 He rewards the diligent. He beautifies the meek.
26:39 Well, I wonder if you know Him?
26:42 Well, my King He's the key to knowledge.
26:45 He's the wellspring of wisdom.
26:47 He's the doorway of deliverance.
26:48 He's the pathway of peace.
26:50 He's the roadway of righteousness.
26:52 He's the highway of holiness.
26:53 He's the gateway of glory.
26:58 Do you know Him? Well, His office is manifold.
27:01 His promise is sure. His light is matchless.
27:04 His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting.
27:07 His love never changes. His Word is enough.
27:09 His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous.
27:15 His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
27:18 I wish I could describe Him to you,
27:19 but He's indescribable.
27:20 He's incomprehensible.
27:22 He's invincible. He's irresistible.
27:24 Oh, you can't get Him out of your mind.
27:26 You can't get Him off of your hand.
27:28 And the Pharisees they couldn't stand Him,
27:31 but they found out they couldn't stop Him.
27:33 Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him.
27:36 The witnesses couldn't get their testimonies to agree.
27:39 Herod couldn't kill Him.
27:40 Death couldn't handle Him
27:42 and the grave couldn't hold Him.
27:43 Yeah, that's my King. That's my King.
27:46 Yeah, and thine be the Kingdom and the power and glory,
27:50 forever and ever and ever and ever and ever
27:52 and how long is that?
27:53 And when you get through with all of the forever's,
27:55 then, amen.
27:56 Good God, Almighty, amen.