Sep 192013
 

Worship-In-Spirit-And-In-TruthOver quite a number of weeks now we have been looking at how we can have an intimate relationship with God. We have looked at prayer and bible reading and this week I am going to continue with the whole subject of worship. I could talk for a long time on this topic, however I am going to simply highlight a few points to help us as we draw near to God.

Worship is a direct expression of our ultimate purpose for living. The Westminster shorter catechism says that ‘Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.’

Because God is perfect, it is the most loving thing for Him to do to allow us to worship Him. The more we worship the more we are blessed. We become more complete as we worship and become to an ever increasing degree more like the one we are worshipping. We can’t of course ever reach His heights but we can take on more and more of His character as we spend more time with Him.

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit”. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Worship has two key components, as we see in John 4:

■ Spirit

■ Truth

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24 NIV)

Worship is not just a good idea or a nice thing to do, it is actually commanded in scripture. When Satan was tempting Jesus in the wilderness to worship him, Jesus replied swiftly:

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” (Matthew 4:10)

Not only does He command us to worship Him but He forbids us from worshipping anything or anyone else. Not obeying God’s command to worship Him is idolatry because the rejection of God as ruler stands at the base of every sin: we are by default rejecting God and lifting up something lesser in His place.

There are a great many worship CD’s that you can listen to and sing along to. You can download songs onto an MP3 player and worship in your lunch break, or play in the car when travelling to and from work.

(If you are not sure what music is good to help you worship, please contact me in the box below and I will send you some suggestions.)

You don’t have to be able to play an instrument or even to sing particularly well to be a worshipper; simply sing out to God what is in your heart. You will connect with Him like never before because that is what you were created for.

There is more healing joy in five minutes of worship than there is in five nights of revelry” (AW Tozer)

Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness, the nourishment of the mind with His truth, the purifying of the imagination of His beauty, the opening of the heart to His love, the surrender of the will to His purpose” (William Temple)

 September 19, 2013  Posted by at 11:34 pm Worship No Responses »
Sep 122013
 

Intimacy with God through worshipThis week in my series on developing a relationship with God, I will be looking at the whole subject of worship. This is a huge topic so I won’t be able to cover everything, but I hope to reveal how important worship is if we want to go deeper with God and know Him more intimately.

When you think about it, everybody can be considered to be a worshipper, whether they are religious or not. Everyone has something or someone they worship.

The object of peoples’ worship can be fairly obvious when we observe the tell-tale signs:

· What do they talk about most often?

· What do they spend most of their time doing?

· What do they spend all their money on?

The answers to those questions tell us what is being worshipped. It could literally be anything; a family pet, a car, a sports team, sex, even a political philosophy or something equally abstract.

Worship is in our DNA, we were made for it.

We were made to worship God. Worshipping God brings the greatest fulfilment, but conversely, worshipping other things will ultimately not satisfy. We can never get enough of what we are worshipping. We can spend ever more time, resources and energy pursuing personal satisfaction but if God is not the object of our affections there will always be something missing.

Growing in intimacy

For the Christian, worshipping God should be the natural inclination for a soul who has experienced overwhelming grace and mercy. Our response is to worship this great God who loves us, has pursued us and saved us, even though He knows what we are like.

In past weeks we have looked at the importance of prayer and bible study and worship can come out of these things. We can sometimes read something in the bible that in the moment takes our breath away and the logical and natural thing is to start to worship.

The place in the bible to start reading if we want to be drawn into worship is the book of Psalms. They follow the full gamut of human emotions, from despair to ecstatic joy, and they all teach us about God and His ways and how we can come to Him whatever situation we may find ourselves in.

Much more than just singing

We can quite easily have the idea that worship is mainly singing songs, however the bible is clear that it is so much more than that. We worship with our voices, yes, but also with our bodies, our hearts, our attitudes and our thoughts. We are worshipping God just as much when we are making honourable decisions that please God, when we resist temptation, act in a kindly way etc. as when we sing in church on Sunday.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24)

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. (Psalm 51:16, 17 NIV)

 September 12, 2013  Posted by at 9:35 pm Worship No Responses »