Sermon:  The God We Worship

Summary:  We need to be aware of who it is that we worship.  There is no one Holy like 
God.  God is holy and knows all things, including what it in our heart, yet he extends 
a matchless grace to us in spite of our sin.  Our response to God's holiness and grace 
should be a life of worship to God.

Know:  God does not want ignorant worship, therefore we need to consider WHO it is 
what we worship

Feel:  A sense of gratitude and love to God

Do:  Reflect on God's character compared to our own, and the way God redeemed us.  
Identify appropriate expressions of worship and gratitude toward God.

Scripture Reading:  Ps 113:5

1. We are beginning a series on Worship.  What is worship?
	a.  Bible doesn't give a definition, but describes it
	b.  English word - Worth - ship,  To attribute worth
	c.  Worship to God attributes highest worth to him
	d.  Example:  Psalm 96, 29
2.  Before we get into what worship is, we need to consider who it is we worship
3.  We will look at three characteristics of God this morning

I.  God is Holy
	A.  What does it means when you say something or someone is Holy?
		1.  Means "set apart"
		2.  "Holy to the Lord" means "Set apart for" or "dedicated" to God
		3.  What does it mean to say that God is Holy?
	B.  Root idea of "holiness" is "different"
		1.  God is different - To speak of his holiness is about his "otherness"
		2.  Several passages speak of God's holiness
			a.  Isa 55:8-9 - My thoughts are not your thoughts…
			b.  1 Sam 2:2 - There is no one Holy like Yahweh
		3.  We sing "for such a worm as I"
			a.  Ever seen a worm?
			b.  How much of our world does he comprehend?  Not much
			c.  We are like worms trying to comprehend God
		4.  Many do not understand the holiness of God
	C.  God's holiness is not a comfortable, nonchalant thing
		1.  ILL:  Story of a bishop who always gave advice to pray, but never did himself
			a.  Tragedy struck, and he decided to take his own advice
			b.  Went to altar and prayed, God answered him audibly
			c.  Next morning, found him sprawled out, face down on the floor
			d.  Turned him over, was stone dead, lines of horror still on his face.
		2.  Several people in the Bible felt the trauma of God's holiness
			a.  Ex 19:16-25; 20:18-21 - Israelites thought they were going to die
			b.  Isa 6:1-5 - Woe is me!  I am ruined
			c.  Job 40:1-4 - Job placed his hand over his mouth 
			d.  Luke 5:8 - After miraculous catch, Peter “Go away from me,  I sinful man
			e.  Rev. 1:11-17 - Fell at his feet like a dead man
		3.  People who treated God as Holy received mercy
	D.  Do we reflect God’s holiness in the way we worship
		1.  God is not just our “buddy”
		2.  Tension of realizing the Holy Holy Holy God is near

II.  God is all knowing
	A.  God, who is most holy, knows you intimately
	B.  Psalm 139:1-6, 7-12, 13-16 
		1.  God saw you before you were born
			a.  Knows what you will say before you say it
			b.  Knows what you will think before you think it
		2.  God sees our every thought
			a.  Every dark, dirty deed, he knows it
			b.  Every shameful thought, he knows it
			c.  Can't hide from God
	C.  Take a look at this list of sins
		1.  Lust, greed, anger, hate, adultery, fornication, slander, gossip, stealing, 
		     homosexuality, pornography, lying, cheating, taking the Lord's name in vain, 
			-  If  I have left some out, write them down as well
		2.  Now, take your time - Circle all the ones you have committed in your life time
		3.  What if there were a hidden camera present when you did it?
			a.  What if your mother, or grandmother, or another relative were going to 
			      see it?
			b.  Would you cower in shame?
			c.  Imagine God watching that video tape!
		4.  Makes me want to cry out "Woe is Me"
			a.  I am a man of unclean lips, unclean thoughts
			b.  God, please, don't look!
			c.  Can't hide them from God
			d.  God knows it all.
	D.  If God were holy and all knowing at that was it, we would be in a world of hurt
		1.  Fortunately, that is not all there is to God
		2.  Brings me to the final point about God

III.  God is loving and merciful
	A.  Not only is God Holy, and All knowing, but compassionate as well
	B.  Consider just how God has demonstrated his love
		1.  Luke 12:7 - The very hairs of your head are numbered
			a.  Context - Not one sparrow is forgotten before God
			b.  God knows AND God cares
			c.  God loves you in spite of all you have done or thought
		2.  Most vivid example in the O.T. is from Hosea
			a.  (Hos 1:1-2) - Married a harlot, and she played the harlot
				- Was God displeased?  YES
				- Did God give up?  No
			b.  (Hos 2:14-17) - God continued to reach out to Israel
			c.  (Hos 3:1) - God tells Hosea to do it again - God never gave up
	C.  ILL:  Imagine
		1.  Your son, daughter, close relative, marrying a known whore!
			a.  What would relatives, neighbors, family and friends say?
			b.  Is that a very smart thing to do?
			c.  Would you try to stop him?
		2.  Then the wife cheats on her new husband.  What then?
			a.  "I told you that would happen!"
			b.  The guy decides to forgive and reconcile.
			c.  She does it again!  What next?
		3.  Most would have ended the marriage.  NOT GOD
		4.  His Love is greater that the sands of the sea
			-  In all our thieving, lying, adulterating, filthy ways, God still loves us
	D.  Most vivid image of God's love is on the cross
		1.  God says - I am not going to give up on my filthy, loose, adulterous bride
		2.  I am going to win her back by laying down my life on a cross
		3.  I will suffer for her sin, her filth, her shame, and her dishonor 
			a.  Not because she deserves it
			b.  She deserves to be cast out on the dung heap
			c.  But I am going to love her and be kind and gracious to her
		4.  That is both love and grace!

1.  So much more can be said about God
2.  God is holy, loving, merciful, loving
	a.  Started with holiness, can't appreciate grace unless realize he is holy
	b.  God's love is inexplicable.  But it is real
	c.  Some wrote songs - Wonderful grace of Jesus, "Just as I am"
3.  What are you going to do with it?  (Invitation)
4.  If already done this, realize God does not want ignorant worship
	a.  God is holy, knowing, loving and gracious
	b.  Response?  Worship Him with All your Life
	c.  Rom 12:1