Pastor Greg continues his eight-part series this week called “RESET.” As we enter this New Year it is a chance for all of us to hit the RESET button and symbolically lay down everything in our lives and only pick up the things God tells us to pick back up. It is a chance for a blank slate and a fresh start in our personal, physical, relational, business and spiritual lives as well as in the life of our church. This week, Pastor G talks to about resetting our life to connect with the sacred.
Worship is the heart poured out in gratitude and awe, expressing our appreciation of Who He is and what He has done for us by His grace through Jesus Christ. ~ David Hunt
The woman said to Him, “Sir, I see that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you people say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You people worship what you do not know. We worship what we know, because salvation is from the Jews. But a time is coming—and now is here—when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and the people who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” ~ John 4:19-24
Hagiazo (GREEK) ~ Kadosh (HEBREW)
Sacred, Holy, Consecrated
In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. ~ Isaiah 6:1-2
And one called out 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 trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. ~ Isaiah 6:3-4
Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” ~ Isaiah 6:5
Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. ~ Revelation 8:3-4
Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house. The priests could not enter into the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the Lord upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the Lord, saying, “Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting.” ~ 2 Chronicles 7:1-3
Shachah (HEBREW) ~ Proskuneo (GREEK)
It means to bow down or to fall down in worship. To stoop, to kneel, to crouch, to lie prostrate, to fully humble yourself. To show reverence. Proskuneo literally means to kiss toward.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. ~ Ephesians 2:19-22
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. ~ Acts 2:1-4
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
READ: John 4:7-26
1) As you read the background of Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well, what was it He said that made her decide He was a prophet?
2) What does Jesus mean when He says there will come a time when people will not worship God on either mountain? Where will people worship if not at God’s holy temple in Jerusalem? Why? What will bring about the change?
3) What does it mean to worship God in spirit and in truth? How do you know if you are worshiping in spirit and in truth?
4) What would our worship look like if we did not worship in spirit? What would worship look like if we did not worship in truth?
READ: Isaiah 6:1-5
1) What is a Seraphim and why does he have six wings? Why does he cover his face and his feet with his wings? What would happen if he did not?
3) Why does Isaiah say “Woe is me, for I am ruined?”
4) What does Isaiah mean when he refers to his own lips and the lips of his people as “unclean?” What made them unclean?
5) He mentions that he feels this way because his eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Why would seeing a vision of God sitting on His throne cause such concern for Isaiah?
6) How would you have felt if you had been in Isaiah’s place, seeing what he saw? How would you have responded? Why?
READ: Revelation 8:3-4
1) How does it make you feel to think about your prayers, mixing with the prayers of all the other saints in heaven right in front of God’s throne?
2) Why does Jesus give this imagery of incense and smoke as a symbol of our prayers?
READ: 2 Chronicles 7:1-3
1) Can you think of any other time in the Old Testament where God sent fire down from heaven to consume a burnt offering? Where was it? Was that a common thing from your memories of reading the Old Testament? Why do you think that is?
2) When God’s glory filled the temple, why did that prevent the priests from entering?
3) ) Pastor Greg mentioned he sometimes feels a little sad that he didn’t get to witness these kinds of events in person? Do you? Why or why not?
READ: Ephesians 2:19-22
1) Paul describes Christians being built into a spiritual temple, a dwelling place for God. Peter calls all of us “living stones” and essentially makes the same comparison. Have you ever thought of yourself as a living stone and part of the temple of God?
2) Since all of us are stones in the same structure, what happens it the stones begin to fight amongst themselves instead of staying united? What happens when the stones are completely unified in purpose toward God and toward each other?
READ: Acts 2:1-4
1) In what ways is this similar to what happened at Solomon’s Temple? In what ways is it different?
2) In what ways is this similar to Isaiah and John’s visions? In what ways is it different?
3) Why do the differences you see exist?
4) Have you ever had an experience like any of these where you saw or sensed the glory of God around you or on you or in you? If so, share it with your group? If not, would you like to have that kind of spiritual experience? Why or why not?
5) If you had an experience this any of these, what effect if any, would that have on your faith and on your relationship with God and other members of Jesus’ Body? Why?