42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved (Acts 2.42-47, ESV).
Memory Verse – And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. – Acts 2.42
The right worship is important. We have looked at our attitude in worship, the object of our worship, God; and why we should worship God. Many of us do these things very well and yes from time to time we forget or get side tracked in our worship. We all need a reminder to help us stay focused on the who, and why, but what about the what and when of worship?
We have had this passage in Acts as our focal passage for a few days and have not really looked at it too much. Well today we are going to look at a few things concerning the what and when of worship.
Just on a side note before we start; worshiping God can be done anywhere and in a variety of fashions. Therefore, do not take the examples or explanations which will be given as the only ways in which worship may be conducted. But a word of caution—we must never lose focus of Who we are worshiping and the purpose of our worship. If those two things are missing then worship is about us and not God.
The ‘What of Worship,’ what do we mean by the ‘What’ of worship? What are the aspects or tools we might use to worship? How do we worship our Creator, King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Of course, the best place to answer this question is by looking in God’s Holy Word.
Right here in Acts we see, “they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2.42, ESV). At first glance it might not seem like worship, but when we are immersing ourselves in God’s Word, His love letter to us, it brings glory and honor to Him, this is an act of worship.
They were fellowshipping with each other. Fellowship means we have a close mutual relationship or involvement with each other. As they fellowshipped with each other this brought them to a relationship of breaking bread or eating together and spending time in prayer together.
The larger concept we find from their teaching, fellowshipping and gathering is they were in unity. Because of their unity, the church had a positive impact on the community through their worship of God. The community saw God’s amazing love, grace, and mercy through them, how they treated each other, in the selling and giving so no one needed anything (vs. 44-45).
They gathered in corporate worship as well as in small groups (homes). They spent as much time worshiping God together as they possibly could and this translated into a community wide revival. They had gladness and generous hearts, praising God so all could see (vs. 46-47).
The Psalmist says, “Let everything that breathes praise the Lord” (Psalm 150.6, CSB). Everything that has breath, not just some things, or a few things, but everything, and yes that means us. Our problem is not that we do not know the ‘what’ of worship, but we have forgotten ‘when’ we should worship our Savior. It can seem like the only time we are to do so is when we come together, but if we read the Psalms, we can clearly see the worship of God is to be done anywhere and everywhere.
So, why do we have a problem with the ‘when’ of worship? Why is it we think it can only be accomplished at church or inside a church like structure? Some of the problems come from our disobedience of not teaching the next generation who, what, when, where, and how to worship.
Moses told the children of Israel to, “But be careful! Watch out and don’t forget the things you have seen. Don’t forget them as long as you live, but teach them to your children and grandchildren” (Deuteronomy 4.9, NCV).
Our worship needs to be taught, shown to our children, to the next generation. Too many times there are great gaps in our worship, we either have “old worship” or “new worship” and we seem to want to fight over which one is right or better.
Here is the real issue, it all comes from the heart, as we have already stated, God is looking for those who are “broken and contrite before Him” (Psalms 51.17), people who will worship Him in “Spirit and truth” (John 4.24).
When our heart is in the right condition then we are on the right road of worship, and we can begin to worship God anywhere, anytime. But our primary place of corporate worship is at church, where we come together to fellowship with like minded believers, lifting our voice in one to our Father in Heaven.
The author of Hebrews reminds us to, “hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10.23-25, KJV).
Notice two things the writer tell us here; first he wants us to ‘hold fast’ to hang onto the promise given by Christ which is secured by His blood and bound by our faith in Him. Because of this faith and His promise, we are to think about each other, causing each other to do good works with love in our hearts and minds. In other words, we are to be encouragers and helpers, always watching out for each other as we move through this life.
Second, we are not to ‘forsake the gathering of ourselves together.’ Well now, “You just don’t understand my problem, see…” Now we all have problems and issues and what better place to take them than to the throne of our Father. We should never run from His presence but towards Him when we have problems.
Church, the corporate gathering is where we should be able to find strength and support. Where we find prayer warriors, those who will rejoice with us, and mourn with us. This is what the word ‘exhorting’ means to be encouraged or consoled by verbal or non-verbal means. We are to do this until Christ returns.
What does this have to do with worship? How can we not worship our God, when we are together serving each other, encouraging each other, consoling each other, praising God for all He has done, crying out to Him for Help. In Spirit and truth, broken and humble, this is the kind of people God is looking for. This is the kind of people the community is looking to see, and when they do, they will want what they have.
The ‘what’ of worship is praise, His Word, prayer, fellowship with others and so on. The ‘when’ of worship is as God lays it upon us. Yes mostly in the church building, but it can be anywhere, however, we must not forsake coming together in corporate worship. This helps the body of Christ as well as the community who is searching for Christ.
O My God, Lord Of all the heavens I lift You up, giving You glory, praise and honor. I know You desire, a broken heart, one that is humble before You. Lord help me to be that kind of person. One who is looking after others needs before my own, considering what they want and need, before I think of myself. This is what Your Son, my Savior did. I thank You for His sacrifice on the Cross, without it I would have nothing. Lord, may my worship always be about You, be pleasing to You and You alone. As I share Your gospel give me boldness and a fearless heart so others will hear and know who You are. This I pray in Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ac 2:42–47). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ac 2:42). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Ps 150:6). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
 The Everyday Bible: New Century Version. (2005). (Dt 4:9). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.
 The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Heb 10:23–25). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
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