Archive for the ‘True Worship’ Category

Worship…to Praise Him

By this point in the series this concept should be obvious. The point I want to make to you today is that the object of worship is to praise and glorify God. You can do this in many ways. However, a lot of churches may actually try to stifle you and keep you from doing this. They probably won’t do this intentionally but it will happen all the same. For example, dancing. Who here reading this blog as been told that you shouldn’t dance in church? I have been told this before, and I wish the people who said it could see the little girls in our church. There is nothing wrong with dancing before God. David, a man after God’s on heart, danced before God.

And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod.  So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn. 2 Samuel 6:14-15 (ESV)

Another example is prayer. You see in some denominations they have prayer books. One of these denominations is the Lutheran church. I have attended a service at a Lutheran church. They have their prayers written out for them. This, to me makes the service fell stilted and constricting. Prayer is personal, even when you’re praying before the church you should have the freedom to pray from your heart.

Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day,1 Kings 8:28 (ESV)

Finally singing can be restricted. We can around and around the bush arguing hymns versus contemporary music. Guess what, it doesn’t matter. When we make this an issue however, we restrict our worship to one type of music. The Bible just says sing to the Lord, so just sing!

Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day,
Psalm 95:1 (ESV)

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Psalm 98:4 (ESV)

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Worship…Not A Show

I mentioned this earlier. Worship is not a show. It is an expression of love. Even when we are in a large gropu of people, when we worship we should be focused solely on God and not on what others will think.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive the greater condemnation. Matthew 23:14 (ESV, note some translations may not include this verse.)

And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” Mark 12:38-40 (ESV)

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.  But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:5-6 (ESV)

Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them.  For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-4 (ESV)

Now the last one I want you to look at the last two especially. First we are to pray in secret. This doesn’t mean that we should never ever pray in public, it simply means that when we do we should not be superflorius with it. The second passage that I pointed out is the story of the widow and her two coins. Show of hands, how many of you remember this story from Sunday School, VBS, or children’s church? The way I remember it taught was from the point of giving and giving from the heart. I want to show you this passage in resoect to worship. The rich were giving simply for show. They were doing it to earn a place of honor in the community. The widow gave out of love. We want to follow her example and give our worship from love and not from pride.

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How to Worship

If you had to explain to someone how to worship, what would you say? Would you tell them that you’re supposed to raise your hands when you sing certain songs, or sway just a little to the rhythm, or bow your head when you pray? None of this is how you worship. What I mean is, that while these may be the motions that we use to worship, they are not all there is to worship.

A few weeks ago I shared some of the struggles I went through a few years ago. I didn’t finish the story. Here’s what happened. We moved. We moved because my parents felt led to plant a church, and we did. First, however we spent a year living with my grandmother an hour away from our target area. We went to an amazing church while we were up there. They have one of the best youth groups I have seen. I went to youth camp with them. While I was there, they taught me how to worship. What I mean by that is that they gave me the freedom to worship freely, something I had sadly never known. It was life changing. Now my dad pastors the church that we planted and I’m the preacher’s kid again. But this time its different. This time I know, beyond a shadow of doubt that I can offer up my praise to God without worrying what other people think. He set me free, and he used that church to do it.

I mentioned in the first post that worship was love. Here is what God has taught me about worship. Mark 12:30 (ESV) says, And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.Now, since worship is love, replace the word love in this verse with worship. Now it says, And you shall worship the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. That is what God has taught me, that I need to worship Him with my all, every day. The way we worship might be different for all of us, but as long as we do it with our whole hearts, our whole souls, our whole minds, and our whole strength, we will all be offering up true worship.

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Worship….For God Alone

I realize that to a lot of you this may seem very obvious. Yes, we should only worship God. Pretty simple, right? Actually I want to point out that anything that we put ahead of God in our daily lives, we are essentially worshiping. The very first commandment of the ten says, You shall have no other gods before me.(Exodus 20:3, ESV) Anything we put before God we a exalting as a god. We create idols for ourselves daily. The second commandment says, You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, (Exodus 20:4-5a, ESV) So when we give our worship to something other than God we are breaking two commandments. Our gods and idols may actually be good things, like books, eating right, or even school. However, so long as we are putting those things before God they are xtremely dangerous.

In the book of Judges there is a cycle, the Isrealites turen away from God, they our put under oppression, they cry out, a judge is brought up by God to save them, they repent, the judge dies, repeat. Sometimes I find this creeping into my own life. I find little things that I like to do getting in the way of my quiet time or school work. Then I will ask God to help me stop and get back on track. A few weeks later however, I have either returned to the same thing or found a new thing to distract me. I may still be able to worship God around these things, in my own mind that is, but I’m not giving Him my all. In order to have true worship however, we must give it all to God alone.

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What is Worship?

Worship. Supposedly we participate in this every week. At least once, depending on how your church does things. I say supposedly because just because our churches have worship doesn’t necessarily mean WE are WORSHIPING. Why do I say this? Because worship is not an just an act. It is not something you can just do to check it of a list. It has to come from your heart. Yes, you can act like you are worshiping. It can seem like you are worshiping to the people around you but so long as the actions do not come from the heart then they are a mockery to God.

The Webster’s New World Dictionary  Third College Edition defines worship as “extreme devotion or intense love of any kind.” So then worship is a form of love then, right? Love comes from the heart and since worship is a kind of love, then it must also come from the heart.

This is how I would define the worship we should have for God as Christains. True worship is an outward expression of the deep love that I have for God. It demonstrates to the world the personal relationship I have with my Savior. It is not just my outward actions but my thoughts. Worship is the seen form of the love that bubbles up from my heart.

We see people worshiping through out the Bible. It is a very important aspect of the Christian life. This week I would like to share with you various aspects of worship. First I want to know, to YOU, what is worship?

And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped. Exodus 4:31 (ESV)

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; 1 Chronicles 16:29 (ESV)

When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” 2 Chronicles 7:3 (ESV)

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! Psalm 95:6 (ESV)

And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11 (ESV)

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 (ESV)

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1 (ESV)

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