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This Week’s Bible Readings Oct. 24 – 31
- Ezekiel 17-32
- Psalms 54-55
- I Thessalonians 1-5
Title: “A Genuine Encounter"
In a Nutshell: What does it mean to worship God authentically? What are the qualities of genuine worship? The New Testament does not give us a “prescription” for how to worship God. It would have been much easier if God had done that, but He wanted us to have freedom and creativity. We’ll look at several “healthy tensions” when it comes to worshiping God with our mind, bodies, and emotions (heart).
ICE BREAKER: Describe a time in your life (an event, personal worship time, etc.) when you had an awesome God encounter. What were the circumstances? How did that experience change your overall picture of what it means to worship God?
WINDOWS IN THE WORD
- What does 1 Sam. 16:7 teach us about genuine worship? Can you tell if someone else is worshiping God by how the look, act, feel, etc.?
- What does 1 Cor. 10:31 tell us about when / how often we worship God? Have you ever been guilty of having an “event-oriented” view of worship rather than worshiping in all of life?
- In what ways do we worship horizontally, and in what ways do we worship vertically? (Psalm 29, Eph. 1:3-6, 1 Cor. 14:26, Col. 3:16, 1 Cor. 11)
WINDOWS INTO MY HEART
- What is the number one priority when it comes to worshiping and serving God? (Matthew 15:8ff) Have you been focused too much on emotions or actions and not enough on your heart?
WINDOWS TO THE WORLD
- What do you believe is the healthy balance between staying rooted (tradition, hymns, doctrinal emphasis) and relevant (modern terminology, changes in style, etc.)?
- In what ways are your expressions of worship and service observable and compelling to the world (unbelievers) around you?
WHAT I SEE
- Did the explanations of any of the healthy tensions challenge your thinking about genuine worship?
- Worship and service cannot be separated. The fact is that we were created to serve God. When we worship God, we will naturally serve Him, and when we serve God, we are worshiping Him. As Christians, no matter how young or old, we all have something to do. We are servants of the Most High God! When we think of a servant, we may think of someone who reports to work for a specific amount of time and is paid a specific wage. That is an employee – not a servant. In the New Testament, the Greek word for “serve” is often “latreuo” and is often translated as “worship.” This is not the picture of a slave serving a master. It is the picture of a relationship of love that compels action. Romans 12:1 — “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.”