In the life and ministry of Jesus, we see aspects of worship that help us to truly worship in spirit and truth.
Small strips of paper, paper shredder, paper, pencils, something to serve as a well, a ladle, pieces of paper listing gifts from God (forgiveness, acceptance, unconditional love, eternal life, etc.)
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- Jesus faced three temptations from the devil. In your own life, what three things tempt you? Write them on your strip of paper and fold it in half. Then, to symbolize your rejection of sin, run your paper through the shredder. How do you feel now?
- Using the ladle, dip into the “well” and retrieve a paper that has a gift from God written on it. Read the gift and describe how it can quench spiritual thirst.
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- Draw a circle with a line through the middle. Using John 4:24 as a guide, write on the right half of the circle the word SPIRIT and on the left half the word TRUTH. Think of other words to describe these two important elements and write them down.
- Thought Questions
Mary was one of the most blessed women in earth’s history, carrying the Christ-child in her womb. As you read in Luke 1:46-55 about her personal expression of worship to God, can you find pieces of the Old Testament shining through this song?
- “He has shown strength with His arm…”
- “He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts…”
- “He has put down the mighty from their thrones…”
- “He has filled the hungry with good things…”
- “He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy…”
The devil was interested in worship. He wanted Jesus to bow down to him. Read Luke 4:5-8. Look at other Old Testament passages that show how well Christ knew the Bible.
In this familiar story of Jesus speaking with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, what do we learn about worship? Read John 4:1-24.
- Worship is the thirsty longing of every person who is looking for satisfaction in life.
- Talking about worship is a great way to change the subject when you are uncomfortable.
- True worship is balanced and involves spirit (our hearts) and truth (our minds).
- We need more spirit—zest, enthusiasm, heart-reflection, emotion—in our worship.
- We need to be guided by truth—doctrine, teaching, law—in our worship.
Luke 19:37-40 gives us a taste of heavenly worship on earth. In Jesus’ triumphal entry, we see the followers’ joyful response to all Christ has been doing for them. How does this guide our current worship services?
- Worship must spring from our hearts as we reflect on Christ’s goodness toward us.
- Worship can be spontaneous and involve emotion and action.
- There will always be naysayers (Pharisees) who will be unhappy with enthusiasm, so just ignore them.
- Getting emotional is not a sign of true worship. The joy in this event was related to seeing Jesus.
- “The rocks will cry out” shows that all creation recognizes Christ as Lord.
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to the larger group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 2: Many churches today seem to worship in spirit but don’t seem concerned with the truth aspect of worship. Why did Jesus mention both? Is one more important than the other? Why or why not? How can your church find a healthy balance between the two?
- Option 3: Review the story in Luke 19:37-40. Jesus’ followers were worshiping Jesus publicly and without embarrassment because of all the miracles being performed before their very eyes. How can all the miracles you see in your life—however small you may think they are—enhance your worship of Jesus today?
Option 1: In John 4:23, Jesus said, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth...” Describe on paper what a true worshiper is. Based on your description, are any of us worthy to be called a true worshiper?
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Do you feel that you’re constantly thirsty for living water? What can you do to quench that thirst? Consider these possibilities: spending more time reading about Jesus, talking to Jesus as to a friend, worshiping with fellow believers, serving others, giving back to God, etc.
- Jesus knew Scripture and was able to reject the devil when tempted. Make an effort to memorize a new Bible verse every week, and use the verse as ammunition against the enemy when you’re tempted.