One author answered the question like this: "We worship God because He is worthy, not because we as worshippers get something out of it. If we look upon worship only as a means of getting something from God, rather than giving something to God, then we make God our servant instead of our Lord, and the elements of worship become a cheap formula for selfish gratification."
To experience and enjoy worship one must be willing to pay the price to have a worship experience that will please God. True worship will bring a transformation to the worshipper. Ordinary Christians want to be spectators. Most church members are content to attend church Sunday after Sunday without ever experiencing worship. And there are multitudes of people have no thoughts toward God at all!
To understand worship we must look at where it begins. Gen. 22:5, "...I and the lad will go yonder and worship...."
I. WORSHIP BEGINS WITH GOD
A. The first three commandments tell us that worship begins with God:
1. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." -- That leaves God only.
2. "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,.." That does away with any idols and leaves God only.
3. "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain;.." That leaves God only.
B. Unless God initiates worship, man would be helpless in worshipping Him.
1. Abraham's worship that was mentioned in Vs. 5 is in response to God's initiation.
2. Gen. 22:1, "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am."
II. WORSHIP IS OUR RESPONSE TO GOD'S COMMAND
Vs. 3, "...and went unto the place of which God had told him."
A. Response in Faith.
1. When Abraham began his journey to the mountain it was not an act of worship.
2. It was an expression of faith in God's Word
3. If faith is removed from this account it is nothing more than cold blooded murder.
B. The worship of God must be guided by the Word of God.
1. Our authority in worship, our pattern in worship, our object of worship is not the traditions of men, but a response to God's Word.
2. We clearly see that Abraham did something in direct response to God's Word.
3. Therefore, prompt, unquestion- ing obedience to the known will of God, as revealed in His word, is essential to true worship.
4. Until our life is in total surrender to the obedience and faith in God's Word, worship will evade our Christian experience.
Heb. 11:17, "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac; and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,"
C. Abraham's faith in God's Word enabled his obedience to experience the blessings of God's promises.
1. There are Christians who know nothing about worship simply because they have not acted in obedience to the Word of God.
2. Without worship the Christian life will be meaningless and empty.
3. It will sooner or later become a burden and an hardship to live as a Christian if we do not worship.
4. What act of disobedience has kept you from having a worship experience?
5. Just because we come to the morning service and call it a worship service gives no guarantee that we will worship God.
6. We must be obedient to His Word to enjoy a worship experience.
7. If we ignore the Bible we will miss out on worship, and without worship the Christian life is not enjoyable.
III. WORSHIP REQUIRES GIVING
Vs. 2, ...Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, .... and offer him there for a burnt offering..."
A. What it meant to Abraham.
1. Giving his son meant that Abraham's name would not be carried on.
2. Isaac was the seed.
3. He was the one that would carry on the name of Abraham, and now Abraham must sacrifice him unto the One who had given him originally.
B. This is instructing us that worship is not a cheap thing.
1. There must be a sacrifice required offered in worship.
2. What is our sacrifice?
3. What do we give that is costly and sacrificial?
C. David insisted that he give something of value for his worship.
1. II Sam. 24:24, "....neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing...."
2. We haven't worshipped until we have given.
D. Giving Is More Than Giving Money.
1. Our time.
a. How much time does God get each day of the 24 hours?
b. Does he get half?
c. Does He get a fourth?
d. Maybe a third?
e. How much time do we give Him every day?
2. Our ability.
a. God gives every church the talent and the work force that is needed to carry out the work of that particular church.
b. Are we doing what God expects of us?
c. There is no shortage on places to serve...only those who are willing.
IV. WORSHIP MUST GLORIFY GOD
A. Worship gives to God the place of absolute pre-eminence and thus glorifies Him, to the exclusion of all others.
B. Note: Rev. 4:10, "The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
V. WORSHIP BRINGS BLESSINGS TO THE WORSHIPPER Vs. 16-18.
A. Notice that God expressed His appreciation for this thing that Abraham had done.
1. God allowed Abraham to have his son again.
2. When we give to God in worship, He will certainly give it back to us again.
B. Those who honor God, He will honor them in return.
1. He will pour out His blessings upon those who honor and worship Him.
2. Abraham gave God his son, and God gave him back to him.
3. This is what God has done for you and I.
a. He has given us His beloved Son, with no reservations withheld.
b. He not only gave us His Son on the cross, for our salvation, but He now gives His Son to us, on the throne, for our satisfaction.
Rom. 8:32, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"
C. Worship will bring untold and unnumbered blessing to you, the worshipper.
VI. WHY SHOULD I WORSHIP?
A. Because of who God is.
B. Because of what He has done.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:" (Eph 1:3) "Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places," (Eph 1:20)
Will we worship God today? It is our choice. God has commanded it, He desires it, He deserves it, and He is glorified by it. He has given us His Son, will we give Him our worship?