MODGNIK… what do we know about it? It’s one of the great mysteries of historic Christianity. It’s a completely upside-down way to understand God. It’s confusing, yet beautifully simple. But don’t worry, all will be revealed about this new series at Eastside!
Share your favorite worship song.
Not To Us
This week our focus is on the N in MODGNIK which stands for Not to Us.
Even though it’s thrilling, exhilarating, and fulfilling to be in this Kingdom where we put others first, where we descend into greatness by serving others, and where we encourage generosity to flow through us like a river, it’s not all about us. The first verse in the Bible does not read, “In the beginning, you,” but it reads, “In the beginning, God.”
The topic of this weekend’s message is worship. The word “worship” means the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration.
Have someone read Psalms 115:1.
One of the reasons we worship this amazing God is because He is loving and faithful. Throughout the Bible the word Holy is used to describe Him. He is set apart, different from any of us.
Whenever Scripture describes people coming face to face with God, there was a healthy amount of fear. These people were acutely aware that they were moral foul ups, screwed-up sinners in the presence of a holy, perfect God. Abraham entered God’s presence and confessed being nothing but “dust and ashes.” When Habakkuk heard the voice of the Lord, he reacted with a pounding heart, quivering lips and trembling legs.
Psalm 96:9 says “Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness, tremble before him, all the earth.” When we truly see God’s holiness, we realize that we deserve death, we deserve to be punished for our sins, that we are far from holy. God in His incredible love and grace sent us a Savior to redeem us. That is why we worship Him.
Music is one method of worship and what we first think of when we hear that word. Those of us who grew up attending church may have experienced different styles of worship. Maybe you sang hymns, or perhaps you grew up in a church that did not include musical worship.
If you grew up going to church, share what style of worship you grew up with.
If you didn’t grow up attending church, share your first time experiencing worship at Eastside.
How we were raised can influence how we view or experience worship. If you were raised holding hymnals while singing all the verses of “Amazing Grace,” it might feel weird to raise your hands and sing loudly. You might feel everyone is looking at you (they aren’t). Some of us will raise our hands but aren’t willing go to our knees during worship.
We might think there is only one way to worship, but in the Scriptures we see many different forms of worship. If you want to know the style of worship God loves, it’s not a mystery. There is a book of the Bible, Psalms, that shows us. Psalms is the biggest book in the Bible, with 150 chapters, focusing primarily on worship. It’s like God is saying, “This is really important to me!” For many of us, what we read in the Psalms doesn’t look much like how we actually worship.
Part of the problem is in the translation. You might be reading Psalms in English and come across the word “praise.” In Hebrew, the original language of Psalms, there are seven completely different Hebrew words that have been translated into one English word “praise.”
Gene shared the seven different Hebrew words for “praise,” and how the Hebrew dictionary defines them.
The seven words and their meanings are:
Halal – to rave, boast, celebrate, to be clamorously foolish
Yadah – worship with extended hand
Barak – bless by kneeling or bowing
Zamar – to pluck the strings of an instrument with joyful expression
Shabach – praise Me with shouts, and address Me in loud tones
Towdah – to lift hands in adoration
Tehillah – exuberant singing
Have someone read Psalms 150:3-5.
Read over the seven words for “praise,” and select which best describes how you love to worship. Which is the praise word or type of worship you are most uncomfortable with?
Share a time you remember feeling especially close to God while worshipping. How did that change or impact you?
Philippians 2 in the New Testament of the Bible talks about how Jesus descended into greatness to serve others, and how He humbled Himself by dying on a cross for us so we could have grace, freedom, hope, and purpose.
Have someone read Philippians 2:9-11.
There is no other name that has more power than the name of Jesus, and someday that’s going to be clear to everyone. Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
His name is lifted up in all 66 books of the Bible. Genesis starts with He is our creator and promised Redeemer. Revelation says He’s the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world.
Have each person look up a verse representing an attribute of God and share it with the group.
Darlene Zschech, worship leader and author of many songs, including “Shout to the Lord,” said, “Worship is not an event. It is not a Sunday morning ritual. A worshipful life is ‘a Christ-centered, Romans 12, everything-I-do poured-out-as-a-spiritual-act-of-worship’ life.” Which means in your walking, talking, living…You are constantly aware that Jesus is the center of all things for you.”
As followers of Jesus, we are called to a lifestyle of worship. We don’t need a worship band to worship God; we can worship Him alone, at home, even in our car. A worship-filled life takes the focus off of us and directs it toward God. It requires making choices that make worship a priority in our lives.
What are you choosing to focus your time and energy on?
Discuss this question: If truly worshiping God is my priority, how can I change my daily schedule to reflect that?
The space between not enough and too much can never be bridged. Seligman challenged his students. He said, “I want you all to go out and do one act that you know will make you happy. Then I want you to go out and do one act of compassion, one purely altruistic piece of behavior. Then write down your reflections to both of these things.”
Consider trying this experiment in your own group or with your family. Write down reflections and bring to share next week.
Honor someone this week with a text, a post on their Facebook wall, a handwritten letter, an email or a phone call. Next week share what you did with your group.
Pair off and:
Pray for the courage to believe that the more generous we are, we will have more.
Share a personal request you could pray for each other this week. Spend time praying for each other before closing.