Tag Archives: Revelation

Worship Matters Part Five: True Worship Motivates Mission

God has never redeemed anyone to complacency Tweet this!!

If the only purpose of your salvation was to get you to heaven, God would have raptured you up to heaven the moment he made you alive in him. Instead, He has saved you to a purpose! Maybe you don’t know what this purpose is? Well, news flash: if you’re a Christian, you’re sent…if you’re a Christian, you’re to be on mission!

This passage in Isaiah is a great picture of this sending. Isaiah’s sins are atoned for and immediately he is sent. And he is a willing volunteer! When we encounter God in true worship, we will be motivated to heartfelt service. Our aim is to please the One who enlisted us (II Tim. 2:4)!

True worship always motivates mission. Any time you catch a glimpse of the glorious holiness of the Savior, it is a natural response for you to desire to long for others to experience him as well. God is worthy of your worship; He is worthy of your church’s worship; He is worthy of your friends/family/coworkers’ worship; He is worthy of the worship of the nations! Your desire should be to see them worshiping the same Savior!

Isaiah was good about not forgetting his fellow Israelites. He included them is his confession of sin (“I dwell among a people of unclean lips”) and he included them in his missions efforts (“Send me!”). He wanted his fellow Israelites to encounter this amazing God the same way he had. Unfortunately, the message he was tasked with preaching to them was less than encouraging (see 6:9-13).

John Piper has a great explanation of the motivation for missions. His says in his book Let the Nations Be Glad, “Missions exists because worship does not Tweet this!.” This is a great understanding and explanation of why we do missions. We don’t do missions because missions is our main purpose. We do missions because worship is the main purpose of humanity and not everyone is worshiping yet!

There is a beautiful cycle that God has established in moving his disobedient people toward being true worshipers. It begins with a revelation of God (“I saw the LORD”). The revelation of God’s holiness leads to repentance (“Woe is me!”). Repentance leads to worship (“Here am I!”). And worship leads to mission (“Send me!”). The cycle repeats because missions is the propagation of the revelation of God!

REVELATION –> REPENTANCE –> WORSHIP –> MISSION

One day, “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” On that day, “every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Until the glory of the LORD fills the earth as the waters cover the sea, our response is “Here am I! Send me!”Tweet this!

How do we do this? Here are three levels of application:

True Corporate Worship: The Church that Worships Together, Witnesses Together

In your church services, may your worship be in Spirit and truth, and may that in turn motivate you to do missions together until the earth is covered in worshipers!

True Individual WorshipPrivate Worship Motivates Personal Evangelism

May your private devotional life be so passionate that it ignites a fire in your bones that cannot be quenched until the earth is filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD!

True Family WorshipFamily Worship Produces a Picture of the Gospel for the World to See

Did you know that marriage was created as an image of what God’s relationship with the Church is supposed to be? If marriage is the shadow, Christ and the Church is the vignette. Your marriage and your family are to mirror the gospel to all those around you. When they see your unconditional love for your wife, husband, they see Christ’s unfailing love for his unfaithful Bride. When they see your willing submission to your husband, wife, they see the Church’s willing obedience to her Head, Jesus Christ. When the world sees your nurturing love and discipline of your children, they see God’s love for His people, for God disciplines the ones he loves.

Go to “Worship Matters Part One:  Seeking True Worshipers

Go to “Worship Matters Part Four:  True Worship Is Jesus-Driven

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Worship Matters Part Two: True Worship Begins with the Bible

Have you ever seen God in a vision?  Don’t worry, visions are not the normative way in which God has ever spoken to his people.  When Isaiah received this vision, it’s because God especially chose Isaiah to receive this revelation.  Through this special revelation of God, Isaiah 1) received his calling, 2) was then to preach this message to God’s people, 3) and was then to pen this vision down so that future generations of God’s people could benefit from this vision of God.  Even today 2,800 years later, here you are reading a blog article about this experience of God.

In the year that King Uzziah died
I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up;
and the train of his robe filled the temple.
Above him stood the seraphim.
Each had six wings:
with two he covered his face,
and with two he covered his feet,
and with two he flew.
And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook
at the voice of him who called,
and the house was filled with smoke.

Isaiah 6:1-4

The most important thing we learn about God from this vision is his complete and utter holiness.  God’s primary attribute is his holiness.  Many would say that God’s primary attribute is love.  Doesn’t the Bible even say, “God is love? (I John 4:8)”  God is love. But his love is a holy love. In fact, all of God’s attributes are defined through his holiness Tweet this!:

  • God’s love is a holy love
  • God’s justice is a holy justice
  • God’s judgment is a holy judgment
  • God’s wrath is a holy wrath
  • God’s grace is a holy grace
  • God’s mercy is a holy mercy

God’s holiness is demonstrated in the vision through his perfect and exalted royal majesty.  He is King. This is one of the great themes of Isaiah.  The reason many people have a hard time reading through the book of Isaiah is because of all the “woes.”  “Woe to you Damascus…woe to you Tyre and Sidon…woe to you Israel…woe to you Judah.”  They can’t find the profitability of reading these today (II Timothy 3:16).  But the reason the Holy Spirit inspired those woes for us to read even today is to show that God is not just the God over his chosen people.  He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.  He is the sovereign ruler over all the earth.  That is what the throne signifies.  This ruler sits on a high and exalted throne over all the earth.

But this vision took place not on an earthy throne, but in the heavenly temple of God.  It’s interesting that this temple has a throne.  Or should I say that it’s interesting that this throne is in a temple.  God is so high and exalted that no one deserves to approach him.  However, he desires, yea even commands, worship.  His throne is in a temple for the purpose of worship.

The seraphim in this passage that worship God are mysterious creatures that we don’t know too much about.  We know they are holy…yet even they cover their faces before this thrice-holy God.  We also know that they call out to one another in worship:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

This structure of three ‘holy”s in a row is the Hebrew version of the superlative.  It’s similar to us saying “really, really, really, holy” or “the most holy.”  God is so holy, that the entire temple is trembling and bursting with the glory of God.

What we learn from this experience when it comes to worship is that worship must begin with revelation.  Worship at root is our rightful response to all that God is Tweet this!.  For us to respond with worship, we must be exposed to who God is.  As stated before, a vision like this is not normative, so if you are waiting 4 God 2 reveal himself especially 2 you, don’t close your eyes and wait for a vision, open a Bible Tweet this!.

True worship begins with the Bible.  We encounter God through his revelation of himself.  And that happens through his Word.  Therefore here are three points of application with regard to corporate worship, individual worship, and family worship.

True corporate worship:  Worship with the church must begin with the Bible.

The church must keep the Word of God central in all that she does, especially worship.  Paul commanded Timothy something that we need to hear today more than ever:

Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture
– I Timothy 4:13

Reading of Scripture, both the dumb reading & preaching, must be central to the corporate worship service Tweet this!.

True individual worship:  Individual worship must begin with the Bible.

Each time I begin my private devotion, I start with a short prayer of illumination (something like Psalm 119:18) followed by the reading of Scripture.  Only after I’ve spent time meditating on the Word do I then pray and sing a psalm, hymn, or spiritual song (Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16).

One other encouragement I have for private worship is to ensure that you are meditating on Scripture and not just reading it shallowly.  One way to do this is to underline a particular verse or set of verses that you want to come back to to pray through or spend a few minutes studying.  I can’t say reading the Word without meditation is useless because God’s Word never returns empty (Isaiah 55:11), but if you just read and don’t spend any time thinking about what you read, it’s close to worthless.

True family worship:  Family worship must begin with the Bible.

Perhaps family worship is not something you have thought about much or even heard of.  It is not a new concept.  In fact, it was a part of regular life for the Christian family back in the day to have both morning and evening devotions every day.  Men would open their Bibles and lead their family in family worship.  When was the last time you opened your Bible and led your family Tweet this!?

Go to Worship Matters Part One:  Seeking True Worshipers

Go to Worship Matters Part Three:  True Worship Requires Repentance