Archives For Worship

“The Israelites at the time of the exodus knew they had escaped the night of God’s judgement through trusting in the blood of the Passover lambs on their doorposts.

Notice that the blood was to be placed on the outside of their houses. The blood was for God to see, not for their benefit. The blood was not to make them feel good or feel safe. The blood was not for their feelings at all. The blood was to satisfy God. It was for his eyes alone. God said, ‘When I see the blood I will pass over you’ (Exodus 12:13).

We have peace, not because we feel good, but because God is satisfied with the blood. Only he can evaluate the worth of the lamb. Because he is satisfied, we have peace.”

— Terry Virgo, God’s Lavish Grace, (Oxford, UK: Monarch Books, 2003), 45

Worship that isn’t based on Christ, the cross, and the Word of God is worship that is based on emotion and feeling without truth. As worship leaders, we play a role in the spiritual teaching and shepherding of the people we have the privilege of leading.

These familiar passages should be at the forefront of our minds:

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Tim 4:1-2)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)

It is important to be building a strong connection between what we do in worship and the Scriptures in people’s minds. To help reinforce the basis of why we do what we do and why we live the way we live. I think it’s unfortunate when the only time people encounter the Word of God in a service is during the message.

But, how can we weave the Scriptures into the worship service? Continue Reading…

The Bible is more than just a rule book, and more than just a bunch of stories. It is the revelation of God. It paints a vivid picture of God’s love for mankind. It shows us the vastness and wonder of God’s inherent character.

Why is this important in the realm of worship? What is the connection between true worship and God? True worship is worship that happens in spirit and in truth (John 4). Without an accurate picture of God, our worship can’t be truthful, spirit-filled, connective, or meaningful. We will find ourselves in a trap of redundant and ritualistic worship without meaning or authenticity. But seeking to understand God’s nature, His true nature, frees us from redundant worship.

How does redundant worship take over in our lives? It happens when our vision of God is limited by our own experience instead of the expressive revelation of who He is. When we let our understanding of God be shaped solely by our own limited experience, we put God in a box of our own design. Putting God in this box (which can’t contain Him anyway), makes our worship limited and flat.

The good news is that the Bible gives us a clear picture of consistent and dynamic worship of God. In every situation where people encounter the true and unchanging nature of God, worship immediately follows. We see this in the life of Abraham, Moses, David, Job, Elijah, Isaiah, and many others.

In fact, the unchanging nature of God was so real to the Apostle Paul, that his writings often include periods of expressive worship that momentarily break from his train of thought. The reality, though, is that there really isn’t a break because sound truth and theology should always result in a true expression of worship. We see this in Paul’s writings in 1 Timothy. Twice in this letter Paul breaks into praise, using what is believed to be early Christian worship language, in response to the truth of God being revealed. In 1 Timothy 1:17, he writes, “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” in response and gratitude for the great mercy of God.

Again, at the end of the letter in 1 Timothy 6:15-16, Paul again expresses praise. Even in the midst of the very practical matters that Paul is writing about, he cannot escape the overwhelming truth and centrality of God. He says, “God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

These examples should serve to remind us who the God we are called to worship truly is, why He is worthy of our worship, and why worship is something we should engage in with our whole being. A true vision of God formed by the truth of Scripture will result in majestic and expressive worship in spirit and truth that happens in a way that engages all of who we are (emotions, intellect, spirit, body) in response to all of who God is.

Are you finding worship to be uninspiring, routine, or redundant? May I suggest you revisit who the God who has made a way for you to be redeemed truly is? Perhaps your vision and understanding of God needs to burst out of the box it’s been placed in and find a new expression capturing the wonder and majesty of the Creator of the universe. Then, together, we can truly express, “Blessed be the name of the Lord!”

How does God’s Word influence your journey of worship?

(Come back tomorrow for a list of practical suggestions of how to incorporate the Scriptures into a service of worship.)

In ? We Trust

Chris  —  June 24, 2011 — 1 Comment

Trust is an interesting thing.

It’s a foundational element of relationship, but it’s hard to gain, even harder to give, and very easy to lose.

There’s different levels of trust. We trust different things or people to different degrees, depending on many factors. If I was going to drive “off the beaten path,” I might trust my car to get me where I’m going, but I would trust a sturdy 4-wheel drive truck a whole lot more. My confidence would be higher in the truck than the car while going over bumps, rocks, and dips.

To trust is to have a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. There is a confidence, a certainty, a strong belief in what we trust in. Conversely, to not trust is to not have a firm belief in that same reliability, truth, ability, or strength.

Even though we may not realize it, trust is actually quite a prevalent topic in the Bible when it comes to the relationship between God and His people. For example:  Continue Reading…

Why I Do What I Do

Chris  —  June 22, 2011 — 5 Comments

There’s an amazing quote that has been floating around the Internet over the past few days. In case you haven’t seen it, here it is:

Why I Do What I Do: A Quote From John Wimber

“The difficulty will not be so much in the writing of new and great music; the test will be the godliness of those that perform and deliver it. In that sense some of our worship community is not well prepared. Many have been allowed into worship leading because there is a need for their worship and musical skills.

But little has been said to them about the need for godliness, spirituality and depth of maturity in their individual and family lives. Quite frankly, many of our musicians are just not steeped in a daily spirituality.”

– John Wimber

Whether you agree or disagree with the theology and philosophy of John Wimber and the Vineyard Movement, the significance of these words cannot be denied. Continue Reading…

One weekend, I shared these verses with the worship team:

Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn— shout for joy before the LORD, the King. (Psalm 98:1-6)

Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob! (Psalm 81:1)

Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious! Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name.” Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf! (Psalm 66:1-5)

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. (Psalm 95:1-3)

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100)

Did you notice anything about these verses? Continue Reading…

[Song] Great I Am

Chris  —  June 17, 2011 — 2 Comments

Recently, thanks to the guys at All About Worship (be sure to check them out), I heard this new song by Jared Anderson called “Great I Am.”

Take a moment and listen to it and watch it.

What do you think?

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