1. Experience god

Experience God through WORSHIP.

You were created to connect with your Creator. This is the first and most important connection you will ever make. Our brokenness signals that something is wrong. And something, indeed, is wrong. We have been separated from God by our sins (Isaiah 59.2). These acts of rebellion against our loving Creator are the reason why this world is so dysfunctional. These sins against an eternally glorious, loving God warrant an eternal condemnation (John 3.18-20; Romans 6.23). This rebellion is something that every single one of us is guilty of (Isaiah 53.6; Romans 3.10,23). This is BAD NEWS.

The glorious GOOD NEWS is that God loved us so much that He did something about our alienation from Him. God the Son left the glories of Heaven and became one of us, dying on the cross in our place, and victorious raising from the dead for our justification (Philippians 2.6-11, 2 Corinthians 5.21). Salvation in Christ can be ours through repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ (Mark 1.15, Romans 10.9-10). We can be assured that whoever calls on the name of the Lord for salvation will be saved (Romans 10.13).

So what is the proper response to God's amazing gift of salvation? What is a Christian to do?

Paul answers the question in Romans 12.1...

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,

holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship." - Romans 12.1, NIV

For those of us who have experienced the saving grace of God in Jesus, worship is offering ourselves back to God in humble adoration and gratitude. As one songwriter put it, "He died for me... I'll live for Him."  This is a life of worship. Worship means to value something. By living for the glory of God, we are showing that we value God.

This is the heart of worship.

At Harvest, we come together weekly we desire to worship our Triune God (Father, Son, and Spirit) in the fulness of His glory and in a manner in which He is worthy. In his book Desiring God, John Piper defines worship as: "Strong affections for God, rooted in and shaped by the truth of Scripture - this is the bone and marrow of biblical worship." Biblical worship involves both the heart (strong affections) and the head (the truth of Scripture). 

Jesus called us to worship with both heart (emotion, feeling, spirit) and head (intellect, thinking, truth):

"But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." - John 4:23-24


We take prayer very seriously at Harvest. Jesus was clear that when his people gathered for worship, they were not to be known as a house of preaching (as vital as that is), a house of music (as helpful as that is), a house of fellowship (as encouraging as that is), or a house of education (as enlightening as that is). No, Jesus said,

"My house shall be called a house of prayer" (Matthew 21.13; Mark 11.17; Luke 19.46).

Our goal is to be known as a house of prayer.

A Word on worship

1 I will extol You, my God, O King;
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
And His greatness is unsearchable.

- Psalm 145.1-3

Worship is the appropriate response to God's amazing grace in our lives.  Sunday mornings at Harvest are designed to help you connect with Your Creator, worshipping Him in spirit and in truth. If that is the desire of your heart, here  are what we consider the four best practices for increasing the likelihood of experiencing God through worship on Sunday mornings at Harvest Jacksonville:

Priority - Make it a priority. There are only 52 Sundays in a year. Aim to be with God’s people as many as you are able.

Preparation - Throughout the week, pray for the upcoming worship service. If you know what the pastor will be speaking on, do some advanced prayer and reading. Do not schedule anything to go late on a Saturday night; get your rest. “Those who howl with the owls on Saturday night rarely fly with the eagles on Sunday morning.”

Participation - The worship service is not a “performance” by the worship team and pastor for an “audience.” The worship service is a gathering of God’s people to worship God. Participation is expected. Sing, pray, take notes during the message, shout “Amen” when you are inspired by the message.

Physicality - This is sort of an expansion on the previous ‘P’ (Participation), but is worthy of its own paragraph. We are to worship with the entirety of ourselves: mind, BODY, and spirit. The Bible is filled with commands and examples regarding the physicality of worship: clap, lift our hands in worship, kneel before the Lord, look up to Heaven, and much more.