Made to Worship
Transcript of the second sermon from the series on Provision Church’s Core Values. The sermon is titled “Made to Worship,” and comes from 1 Corinthians 10:31.
This series includes a Family Worship Guide. Find it here.
Worship is enjoying God over everything else.
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying,“You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You1 shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
The most miserable moment in human history was the instant that the first person decided to worship something other than the one true God. We call that decision – the choice to worship something other than God – sin. God hates sin because it means His creation is looking for eternal joy in something that cannot satisfy. Sin hurts His creation. Sin takes from God something that can only rightfully be His.
In fact, God created the world so that He could share his goodness with it. God didn’t need man or animals or planets or elements. He did need it but He is a generous God and generously He decided to share Himself with a creation.
In creating us, God made us to worship Him – to want Him, to enjoy Him, to be satisfied in Him. He designed us to worship Him at all times and in every way.
Worship Is Infused into Life
The first act of worship we’re told God desired from Adam and Eve was to care for the garden He created for them. He gave them a job. He gave them a livelihood. And that was the way God wanted to be honored.
The truth is that your every word, your every deed, your every thought is worshipful. The question is what you are worshipping. Which tree are you eating the fruit of?
Humans are godmakers. Little g godmakers. Look at the Jews that Moses led out of slavery that just saw God’s power in Egypt. They almost immediately started creating idols out of gold. The Babylonians and Egyptians declared their kings to be gods. Look at the Athenians in the Book of Acts:
“Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’
They were just making up gods as they went. But there is only one true God who cannot be created or destroyed.
Unless you are keeping your attention and affection on Christ, you are making gods in your life too. This can be obvious or subtle.
Can you think of a time when you found yourself in sin this week? If you lusted this week, you worshipped something other than God. We can identify that type of false god in our life pretty quickly. But there’s also the subtle idolatry of forgetting God. The idolatry of busyness and distraction and self. When we forget God we are making our own self the ruler of our lives.
Think about this: did you go to work this week for God’s glory or for your paycheck? It might be that you really are worshipping materialism or comfort instead of Christ.
Did you go grocery shopping for God’s glory? Did you go to school for God’s glory? As I’ve studied for this sermon, I’ve become more and more convinced of this: accidental worship is idol worship. We don’t accidentally worship God, we intentionally worship God.
This is what Paul says to the Athenians:
“What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[c] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,28 for
“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;
as even some of your own poets have said,
“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.”
Worship is infused into our lives. And God’s plan is for us to live and move and have our being in Him.
1 Corinthians 10:31 says it this way:
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
We know that all actions and words and thoughts – all of it is worship. But what determines whether it is worship towards God or something else?
Worship Is Determined by Love
Even your eating and your drinking is done out of love for something. It’s a question of priority and prize. What does your mind prioritize even in the mundane? We prioritize what we prize. We prioritize what we treasure and enjoy.
So God’s Word tells us to treasure and prize Jesus more than anything else at all times. Whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.
Consider this: God enjoys His glory above all else.
For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. 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.”
We love God by enjoying His joy. And God loves us by enjoying our joy. The great gift of this is that our joy is the same! God and His people both enjoy His glory above all things!
Because we love Him we invest all we do towards His glory!
In fact, God doesn’t care about the empty praise of His name. He doesn’t enjoy that. He enjoys our joy. That’s why he says:
“this people draw near with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
while their hearts are far from me,
and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,”
God doesn’t want the praise without the heart. Worship isn’t determined by the words or the place or the time it’s determined by the love.
A sad element of our cultural context is the perception that worship is limited to a Sunday morning event. We call this a Worship Service and maybe that’s a lazy title – maybe we should aim to change what this time is called.
When Jesus met a Samaritan woman at a well He made clear to her that physical location didn’t determine worship. God wasn’t interested in whether we were in church building or not. God is interested in His people worshipping in spirit and in truth.
He wanted their heart, genuine affection, and all of their life.
What do you love? What do you elevate in your choices?
The real key to worship is not just praise – it’s choice. Worship is continually choosing Jesus as your greatest love and prize. Why was the tree in the Garden? It enabled worship. Adam and Eve were choosing to obey and worship God.
It’s really helpful to view worship in light of obedience. Adam and Eve were acting in obedience in the Garden and they worshipped in and through their obedience. But the moment they chose disobedience to God they chose obedience to an idol. The moment we choose disobedience to God we choose obedience to idols.
1 Samuel 15:22
“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to listen than the fat of rams.
God enjoys our obedience more than our sacrifices. Our love for Him shines through in our obedience.
But here’s the thing: obeying Jesus is something we love to do when we understand who Jesus is and what He’s done for us. Jesus came to save us from the punishment from sin. Every single one of us is guilty. We’re born into sin because of the disobedience of Adam. We inherited His disobedience and desire to make gods, especially of ourselves.
The depth of our sin is unfathomable. Our punishment deserves to be brutal and harsh and eternal. There’s no hope of our fixing it. We can’t say I’m sorry enough. We can’t dig our way out of this hole. Justice demands a punishment.
But Jesus. He stepped in. Took the punishment that we deserved by dying on the cross. He took our sin upon Himself.
So He made a way for us to be saved from our sins. But He didn’t stop there. He also gave us a future. When He rose from the grave He defeated death and led the way for our resurrection. By rising from the grave, He gave us the opportunity to spend eternity with Him in paradise.
We were once bound for hell and Jesus alone with no help from us gave us paradise.
How could we not desire to worship Him? How could we not desire to obey Him?
If you aren’t a Christian consider calling on Jesus. Believe that He died for your sins. Make Him your Lord.