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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#979. Worship is the overflow of a grateful heart (30/1/24)

This week, we continue in our Luke - Exploring Who Jesus is series. We will be reflecting on Jesus’ welcome to the sinful woman who anoints Him with perfume in Luke 7. If you find these devotionals helpful, do feel free to pass them on to others. 


‘When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.  A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.  As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.’ (Luke 7:36-38)

Lesson: True worship is the overflow of the experience of God’s grace.

You can listen to this devotional at:


Worship is a very important but difficult to define subject. Our definitions of worship will vary and will be greatly influenced by our past experience of church or religion. Today, let’s learn about biblical worship from this woman. 

Firstly, worship is about giving worth to what or who is worthy (the term worship is derived from worth-ship). As we can see, true worship gives worth to Jesus. True worship will have the true God as the centre of attention. 

Secondly, worship is heart-felt. We will not be pouring out perfume, but we will be pouring out our praise and life of obedience and generosity from a heart of gratitude. 

Thirdly, worship is gospel-centred. This woman is overflowing with thankfulness for forgiveness in Christ. Likewise, true worship that is Spirit-inspired will focus our attention on how Jesus forgives us through the cross. This woman’s heartfelt worship to God - to Jesus - is built upon gratitude that she, a sinner, has been justified and welcomed by God by grace. Mike McKinley writes:

‘Her extravagant show of love for Jesus was evidence that God’s extravagant forgiveness had taken root in her life.’ (Mike McKinley)

Response

True worship is the overflow of the experience of God’s grace. So, how passionate and generous is our worship? How often do we worship? How caught up with God are we when we worship? Our answers to these questions reveal how aware and grateful we are of God’s grace that opens the door to enter God’s presence freely and meet with the living God. Michael Reeves writes: 

‘We only enjoy grace when we recognise what sinners we are. As soon as you vainly forget how great a sinner you are, God’s grace will cease to amaze you. This is a good litmus test of your spiritual health: Are you still amazed by his grace?’ (Reeves. Authentic Ministry. P. 11)
 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

This week is SIV Week so in this study, we will focus a bit more time on how we can bring our community to Jesus through Serving, Investing and inViting.


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Please ensure that the members of your group are aware and familiar with using the daily devotionals.


2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?


3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.


4. Study and pray together

This week is SIV Week so in this study, we will focus a bit more time on how we can bring our community to Jesus through Serving, Investing and inViting.


What is SIV?

SIV stands for Serve, Invest, and Invite. This is our very simple strategy to help bring our community to Jesus. We believe that God has placed us in relationships and in specific locations to be 'salt and light.' We can effectively bring people to Jesus by 'Serving' them, demonstrating the love of Christ in practical ways; by 'Investing' in the people to whom we feel the Spirit is leading us; and by 'Inviting' them into our homes showing hospitality and inviting them to church events, to Alpha, and ultimately, inviting them to come to Jesus through the gospel. 


Let's spend this time sharing, thinking and praying about how God wants to work through us to help our communities to come to Jesus.

Please read Luke 7:36-50

Note: Firstly, encourage the group to use the devotionals so as to cover more aspects of this text.

  1. Why were these religious leaders so unwelcoming to this woman and how can the church fall into a similar attitude?

  2. What does this account tell us about the gospel?

  3. From this account, what can we learn about bringing our community to Jesus?

  4. Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  5. How, as individuals and as a group, will you seek to bring your community to Jesus? Pray and talk about ideas in order to make a plan.

  6. Who are you regularly praying for to come to Christ?

  7. Lets now pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV.

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