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Step 4: Worship

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Next Steps are designed to help us grow as Christians in two categories: God's Mission and God's Word. 

←Mission→ Look out to the world; look in at our lives. 


Mission Training: Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” 

When we share the gospel we are not trying to convince someone with mere words--as if you were trying to change someone's opinion about the best restaurant in town. Rather, the power of God is at work in the sharing of the gospel to open peoples' hearts and minds. When you share the gospel you are planting a powerful seed in someone's heart which God will cause to grow.

1 Thessalonians 1:5, 2:13 "because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. ... when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers."

Have courage, for when you share the gospel it is not limited by your ability to persuade with human wisdom; God is working in powerful ways, that we cannot see, to turn peoples' hearts towards himself.


Accountability Last time we set a goal to share our testimony with one or more persons from our prayer list. How did that go? Celebrate any victories and encourage one another to keep striving to share Christ's love and gospel with those around you! 


Goals & PrayerLooking at your prayer list, choose at least one person. How will you share Christ with them in the next two weeks (examples: share your testimony, share the gospel, invite them to church, study First Steps, etc.)? Share the name of the person you choose and the goal you’ve set. Pray for these goals and for one another.


↑Word↓ Look up to God's Word; look down to our lives. 

Gather Together Around God’s Word: Next Steps 4 - Worship

We were made to worship, we were saved to worship, and worship is something we will do for all of eternity.

What is worship?
Worship is affections of love, praise, fear, adoration, passion, reverence, awe, etc., that are ignited in our hearts by the Holy Spirit and fueled by a vision of the greatness of God. These affections become expressions of worship: songs, obedient lives, repentance, tears, bowed heads, lifted hands, acts of love, etc.

True worship overflows from sincere hearts.
Matthew 15:8-9 [8] “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; [9] in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
All the outward motions of worship are worthless and empty if they do not overflow from affections of worship in our hearts.

Balanced Worship
John 4:23-24 [23] But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. [24] God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

In this passage, the word “spirit” corresponds to how we worship, and the word “truth” corresponds to who we worship. The important thing here is balance. If we know and worship the true God we worship him in “truth”. Yet, if we fail to worship in “spirit” (affections overflowing from our heart) our worship becomes merely external actions. On the other hand, emotionally driven worship without adequate knowledge of God’s truth can be merely emotional frenzy. Truth worship is both deep emotions in our spirit coming from our hearts and thoughtful responses to the true God.

Discussion: Which is more difficult for you: worshiping God in spirit or in truth?

How do we worship?

Lifestyle worship
Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

We can worship God in everyday life  by living a life surrendered to God.  Affections of worship in our hearts lead us to want to give everything to God: our time, energy, talents, money, dreams, plans, and relationships. God accepts such sacrifices as worship.

Praise
Psalm 150 [1] Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! [2] Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! [3] Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp![4] Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! [5] Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! [6] Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!

[v. 1] - It is important to set aside special times and places to worship God (church gatherings, personal prayer time, etc.), and praise God everywhere under heaven at all times.

[v. 2] - Praise God for what he has done in history and in your life. Praise God for who he is.

[vv. 3-5] - Praise God with loud, exciting music and celebration, and praise God with quiet and reflection.

Take the Step! 
This week begin asking God to ignite and increase worshipful affections by opening your eyes to see more of his greatness and glory. Add worship to your prayer time.


Fellowship How is everyone doing? What was the most significant event in the past two weeks? Is there something heavy upon your heart? Does anyone need prayer?