Worship Pastor / Composer Travis L. Boyd and his wife, Cynthia, provide inspiration and resources for the worship community and all believers through sharing the blessings of worship, faith, family, ministry, music, love, & life. We also share information about Worship Sounds Music, which can be found on our Worship Sounds website at worshipsounds.com ~ Downloadable Choral Anthems * Solos * Orchestrations * Worship Songs * Accompaniment Trax

Posts tagged ‘lifestyle worship’

The missing piece…What Every Christian Should Know About Worship

SOMETHING IS MISSING…

What is the missing piece of the puzzle?

What is the missing piece of the puzzle?

Many Christians try to do what they know they need to do in order to grow as a Christian and become more like Jesus. We read our Bibles, we pray, we attend church, we sing songs of worship, and we try to be a witness for Christ through the way we live our lives as well as by what we say. Some Christians even take responsibility for sharing the good news about Jesus when the opportunity arises. Sadly, for many Christians, there is still a nagging feeling that something is missing. My personal belief, based upon years of learning from scripture, from the writings and teachings of others (through books, sermons, articles, and conferences), and from my own experience, is that true worship is the missing piece.

KEY A:  RELATIONSHIP  THROUGH  WORSHIP
True worship connects us to the very heart of God like nothing else can.

Jesus said to the woman at the well that God is Spirit and that all who truly worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)  Jesus named only two requirements for authentic worship, and yet there are many Christians who don’t feel that they really understand what it means to worship.  Others may not have spent much time thinking about worship but would admit that their corporate worship experiences seem to be lacking in some way and that their personal worship time is practically non-existant

Remember that Jesus could have spoken to the woman at the well about anything, and yet He chose to talk about worship.  Certainly, acts of service and devotion are vitally important.  So is sharing the gospel, as well as other critical elements of the Christian life, such as discipleship, fellowship with other believers, Biblical knowledge, and prayer,  And yet, Jesus chose to talk about worship   His conversation with the Samaritan woman was life changing for her.  She was confronted with the truth about who she was.  She initially recognized that Jesus must somehow be very closely related to God since He knew everything about her, and she ultimately realized that she was seeing God Himself in the form of a man.  The woman’s response to these revelations of truth (who Jesus/God is and who she was) revealed the change that had occured in her life as a result of her encounter with Christ.  She, who had been such an outcast that she ceme to the well alone at a time when no one else would be there, suddenly wanted to tell everyone what had just happened to her.  She wanted to run into town to tell them about the man she had met and what He said.  She was full of joy and excitement.  She had recognized her need, seen the fulfillment of that need in Christ, said “yes!” in her heart, and was ready to share the news!  That’s what true worship does.  It changes us, empowers us, fills us with wonder and joy, and makes us want to share what (and Who!) we have known and experienced with others.  When we see God for Who He really is, the transformation that occurs as a result of that encounter with the living God is a part of why worship is so important for me, for you, and for every Christian.

Here are some truths about worship and some practical helps for understanding your role as a worshipper.

Key B:   UNDERSTANDING  WORSHIP  BEGINS
WITH  UNDERSTANDING  WHO  GOD  REALLY  IS.

Worship is not some mystical activity that only people who have a Doctorate in Theology can understand.  God is revealed to us through His presence, through the Holy Spirit, through His word, and through the blessings and even challenges of life when we are looiking for His hand at work.

God is ... header

Simply stated, our lives, our thoughts, and the attitudes of our hearts matter to God. If we are going to seek to live a life that uplifts and blesses the lives of others and honors our Creator God through purity of purpose and a legacy of lasting (eternal) impact on the world, God knows that we must first be in right relationship with Him. He longs for us to know Him as He knows us. After we have come into relationship with God by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, this is where worship comes into the picture. When we begin to understand who God really is and catch a vision of His infinite love and mercy, our reasonable response to this revelation of truth is…worship.

Remember that God does not desire our worship so that he can become great. He is already great. He does not need to be elected as “Supreme Ruler of the Universe” by all of humanity. He is already the supreme ruler of the universe. God does not desire empty accolades or flowery speeches of devotion. He desires relationship with us.

KEY C:  THE MINDSET OF WORSHIP
We are never closer to the heart of God than when we

* see ourselves and our need for God

at the same time that we

* see who He is (our all-sufficient Creator, Savior, and Sustainer)

and then respond in true worship.

Worship God in Spirit and Truth

Worship God in Spirit and Truth

KEY D:  THE  REQUIREMENTS  FOR  WORSHIP

1. JESUS  SAID  THAT  WE  MUST  WORSHIP  “IN  SPIRIT”.
How can that happen?

What do we need in order for relationship with God to happen so that we can worship God in Spirit? First, we need a bridge of salvation from God to man so that we can accept His provision for our spiritual need and allow Him to begin to work in our hearts, minds, and souls. Accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior allows God to begin the process of making us holy so that one day we can dwell with Him (without making Heaven unholy). If we are going to be in relationship with Him while still on earth and in the process of becoming like Christ, we must be given spiritual understanding and spiritual life. To accomplish this, God’s Holy Spirit comes to live within us when we come to know Him. Even a child can understand that Jesus gave His life in order to pay the penalty for our sin. It doesn’t take a college degree to grasp the fact that our salvation is the beginning of a process of becoming like Christ so that we may one day dwell with God in a holy place where none of the consequences of sin can exist. However, we must move on from that beginning point of salvation to learning and growing in the deeper spiritual truths, including our understanding of worship, which we can do with the help of God’s spirit, who leads us into all truth when we are seeking more.

So, God has done the initial work of making our salvation and relationship with Him possible. He has done the important work of helping us to grow in Christ through the indwelling of His Spirit, and He has also done the work of fulfilling the first requirement of true worship through the indwelling.  We can worship God “in Spirit” when we have the Spirit of God living within us after accepting Christ as our Savior (as long as we don’t allow sin or the concerns of the world to drown out the still, small voice of God’s spirit).  Remember what Jesus said.  God is Spirit, and when we worship Him “in Spirit”, we are connecting spiritually in a unique way.  Father God who sustains us and who has provided a a way of salvation throught Jesus, God the Son, responds to the Spirit of God within us.

Worship Him2. JESUS  SAID  THAT  WE  MUST  WORSHIP  “IN  TRUTH”.
True worship comes with surrender and getting real.

What about the “in truth” requirement for worship?  What does that mean?

First, as we come to an understanding of who God is and His characteristics as the Creator and Lord of all, at some point we learn that God knows all and that He looks upon our hearts. God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows us more intimately than anyone else ever could. He knows our fears, our failures, our sorrows, our sin, our hopes, our loves, and our priorities. He knows what we worship. Our job is to get real with Him.  We must come to realize that faking spiritual life or pretending to surrender to God or acting the part of a genuine worshipper will never be enough for true relationship with Him.

If we say that we worship God and yet devote most of our energy and thoughts to something else (even to all of the busy-ness of serving God that we sometimes allow to become a substitute for knowing and worshipping Him), God knows it. He does not want us to have divided hearts, and He longs for us to be spared the eventual pain that comes with focusing our lives too much on temporary pleasures or things or human relationships without seeking Him first. Since He knows our hearts and fully understands our spiritual struggles, it does no good to try to fool God with a “show” of worship. He is not fooled. We are only fooling ourselves, and we are falling into the trap of settling for less of God than He wants to give.

All to Jesus I surrender...

All to Jesus I surrender…

Secondly, we need to realize what God’s true nature is in relation to us, His children.  Jesus said that God is a giver who desires to give good gifts to His children. (Matthew 7:11)  We can never out-give God, and yet we try to hold part of ourselves back from relationship to Him, thinking that we don’t want to lose our identity. However, it is only when we are able to let go and give ourselves fully to God that He can show us what abundant life means.  He can then show us our true identity in Him (who He made us to be).  When we begin to understand the revelation of what God will do through us as we surrender to Him, we can begin the process of fully becoming every part of the whole of our true identity.  This is why Jesus said that He that tries to keep his life will lose it. While we won’t lose our salvation if we never fully surrender to God, we will lose the eternal impact that our lives were meant to have. We will lose the fullest meaning and purpose that our lives could have had. We will also lose out on abundant life.

Surrender handsThirdly, we have to get real.  It is only when we are willing to be real and honest with God (and even tell Him about our struggles to surrender fully to Him) that He can begin to work with the truth that we have accepted about ourselves and begin to teach us the joys of a life that is being transformed from the inside out. When we trust God with the truth (that He already knows) and come to Him with real desire to move forward in becoming like Christ, even though we know that we have a long way to go in that journey, that desire to bring God glory with our lives by becoming more like Christ is true worship. Our lives become the intentional expression of our desire to bring God glory through recognizing His infinite worth.* We then choose to allow God to fill us with His spiritual life as we continually surrender our mess to Him. That process is living Romans 12:1-2, our reasonable service of worship. That is living in an authentic relationship with God, worshipping Him in truth, as we continue to give Him our mess and allow Him to make our lives a message of God’s glory through a transformed life.

Romans 12

New International Version (NIV)

A Living Sacrifice

12 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. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

KEY E:  GOD  AND  JESUS  LEAD  THE  WAY  IN  SACRIFICIAL  GIVING

Remember these truths:

God is not asking us to do anything that He himself has not already done! 
He gave Himself. 

At a time when we were all takers, He gave.
We continue to take, and He continues to give.

Only true worship breaks the “cycle of taking” in our lives,
As we seek to give Him glory in all of life through living a life of worship.

Restating and expanding upon Key E:
When we worship God, we become part of an endless (eternal) cycle of giving which God began, which He continues in every moment, which He will continue throughout eternity, and of which He is always a part. 
(even when we are not in giving mode)

(i)  God began the giving.

1 Peter 1:20
“He (Jesus) was chosen (as our Redeemer, whose live would be given for all) before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.”

John 3;16 (NLT)  “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

(ii)  God continues to give in every moment of time.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  – James 1:17
(Note that God’s nature is that of a giver and that He does not change!)

22The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. 23They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.”…  – Lamentations 3:22 – 24

(iii)  God will continue giving throughout all eternity.

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”  – I Corinthians 2:9

“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”  – Revelation 21:23

(iv)  God is always a part of an eternal cycle of giving. 

“If you then, imperfect as you are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”  – Matthew 7:11 (WNT)

Therefore…

Key F:  WORSHIP  IS  ABOUT  GIVING  OURSELVES  TO  A  LOVING  GOD  WHO  HAS  GIVEN  HIMSELF  FOR  US  AND  WILL  CONTINUE  TO  GIVE  THROUGHOUT  ALL  OF  ETERNITY.

God givesMany people don’t realize that the pervasive attitude of consumerism in society has leached into our mindsets about worship.  If we view worship as something that should be done only on Sundays and only during a corporate worship service, we have not understood the concept of lifestyle worship (worshiping God through the way that we live our lives by seeking to give Him glory in all that we do and all that we are becoming).  If we view worship from the standpoint of how much we are “getting out of it”, then we misunderstand worship completely.  Worship is not about the occasional obligatory 25 minutes of singing that some just endure during a church worship service.  Worship is also not about consuming a commodity.  It is not a cheeseburger or a steak.  It is not about your musical preferences or mine.  It is not about seeing and being seen.  Worship is not something that we do in order to check all of the spiritual boxes.

Instead, worship can become our natural state of being as we learn more and more about our merciful God, our victorious Savior, and our ever-present guide and helper, God’s indwelling and holy Spirit (then choosing to respond to all that He is with all that we are).

THE  KEY  TRUTH:  Worship is about giving.

Giving in daily life…

Lift up His name!

Lift up His name!

If we understand that worship is about giving, we can choose to live with an attitude of true worship (though none of us can accomplish it perfectly in this life).  We can seek to continually express God’s infinite worth* through living in such a way that every part of our lives ultimately brings Him glory.  This is something that we cannot do in our own strength.  In order to continue the process of becoming like Christ as we seek to live a live that brings God glory, we need God’s help in many ways.  He gives us guidance and strength through His word, through His presence, and through dwelling within us in Spirit.  Even as we are sseking to give worship to God through living “as unto the Lord and not unto men”,  He continues to give

Living in an attitude of worship, presenting our selves unto the Lord as a living sacrifice, is our “reasonable service of worship”.  (Romans 12:1 & 2) 

To state this truth in another way.  because of all that God has done, is continuing to do, and will do throughout all of eternity, we choose moment by moment to live in such a way that our lives bring glory to God, even in the small, everyday things.

“Whatever you are doing, let your hearts be in your work, as a thing done for the Lord and not for men.”  –  Colossians 3:23  (Weymouth New Testament)

“And serve them with all your soul in love, as unto our Lord and not as unto men,”  – Ephesians 6:7  (Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  – I Corinthians 10:31  NASB

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  – Colossians 3:17

“If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”  I Peter 4:11

Giving in times of corporate worship

Worship from the heart

Worship from the heart

If we understand that worship is about giving, then we can come to a corporate worship service with a heart that is ready to give!  Whether things in our lives seem to be going well or whether we are struggling or dealing with many trials, the fact remains that both a private worship time and times of corporate worship are about giving.  Even when the cares of life are weighing us down, we can be honest in prayer and tell God that we are feeling drained and exhausted and worn to a frazzle.  He already knows everything we are facing and everything we are feeling anyway, so we are simply coming into agreement with the truth when we admit our status before Him.  Then, we can choose to give the sacrifice of praise by making a symbolic mental, emotional, and spiritual exchange.  We give our burdens to God and exchange the spirit of heaviness that had been pressing the life right out of us for that lovely garment of praise.

When we lift up the Lord, He lifts us up, too!  We can never out-give God because He is constantly giving more and more.  There will always be an infinite number of reasons to praise Him.  When we come into a time of corporate worship ready to give the Lord praise, honor, exaltation, blessing, surrender, our lives and hearts, our focus, our struggles, our longings, and our raw need for God and for all that He is to be reflected in our lives, He will meet us right where we are and complete the cirlcle of giving (of which He is always a part).

WHAT  ARE  WE  SUPPOSED  TO  GIVE?

1.  We are to give God THANKSGIVING and PRAISE!

* Psalm 100:4   ”Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.”

* Psalm 9:1 & 2   “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart: I will tell of all Thy wonderful deeds.  I will be glad and exult in Thee, I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High.”

2.  We are to give God GLORY!

give God the glory(or, glorify Him)

* Psalm 86:12   “With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever.”

* Psalm 96:6 – 9   “Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts.  O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”

3.  We are to give God AWE and REVERENCE, acknowledging Him as the Lord and Creator of all.

(In some verses and some translations, “the fear of the Lord”)

* Psalm 111:10   “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!”

* Psalm 86:9 – 12   “All the nations You have made shall come and bow down before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.  For You are great, and You do wondrous things; You alone are God.  Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.  I give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with my whole heart; and I will glorify Your name forever.”

blessed is the Lord God4.  We are to give God BLESSING.  (Bless the Lord, bless the name of the Lord)

* Psalm 103:22   ”Bless the LORD, all you works of His, In all places of His dominion; Bless the LORD, O my soul!”

* Psalm 28:6 & 7   “Blessed be the Lord!  for He has heard the voice of my supplications.  The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts; so I am helped and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.”

5.  We are to give Him EXALTATION!*  (or exalt Him, exalt His name)

From the www.thefreedictionary.com, here are the applicable definitions:

1. to raise or elevate in rank, position, dignity, etc.
2. to praise highly; glorify; extol
* Psalm 34:3   “Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!”
*NOTE:  The word ‘exaltation’ sometimes gets confused with ‘exultation’, for which the definition is “to rejoice greatly, be jubilant or triumphant (or, as in triumph.  We rejoice greatly in His triumph.)  — same source

6.  We are to give Him SERVICE!
(giving of our hearts, our time, our gifts, and our lives in serving Him)

* Joshua 24:15   ”If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Worship by giving God all of you7.  We are to give Him WORSHIP!
True worship rises up from the people of God, who are choosing to intentionally express His infinite worth! **

**(see note at end of post)

You have probably noticed by now that there is some overlap in the various types of giving to the Lord.  For example, in singing praise to God, we can bless His name.  In the worship category of giving, there is overlap with all other types of giving.  All of these ways of giving to the Lord are worship (lifestyle worship) when we are giving with the purpose of bringing glory to God and expressing His infinite worth through giving our best to God in every area of our lives.

* Psalm 29:2   ”Honor the LORD for the glory of His name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness.”

* Phillippians 3:3   “For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

8.  We are to give Him our songs (SING UNTO HIM)!

* Psalm 5:11   ”But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.”

* Psalm 30:4   “Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name.”

* Psalm 59:16 & 17   “I will sing of Thy power; yes, I will sing aloud of Thy mercy in the morning; for Thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.  Unto Thee, O my Strength, will I sing; for God is my defense , and the God of my mercy.”   Psalm 59:16 & 17“I will sing of Thy power; yes, I will sing aloud of Thy mercy in the morning; for Thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.  Unto Thee, O my Strength, will I sing; for God is my defense , and the God of my mercy.”

9.  We are to give Him TITHES and OFFERINGS!

* Malachi 3:10   “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.  And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”

* Exodus 35:29  “The children of Israel brought a voluntary offering to Jehovah, every man and woman whose heart prompted them to bring for all manner of work, which Jehovah, by the hand of Moses, had commanded to be done.”

Honor the Lord10.  We are to give Him HONOR!

* Revelation 4:11   “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

* Psalm 96:6 – 9   “Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts.  O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”

* Proverbs 3:9   “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the first and best part of all your income.”

Just as we would honor a guest in our home by seeking to serve our best meal and prepare diligently so that all will be able to enjoy the best time of fellowship, we choose to give unto the Lord the best of all that we are and all that we have for His honor.   We honor the Lord by giving, just as He has chosen to honor us by seeking fellowship with us and reaching out to us through the gift of His very best.

11.  We are to give Him LOVE!

The words of Jesus Himself in Mark 12:30   “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.”

* Psalm 31:23   “Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.”

* Joshua 22:5   “But be very careful to obey all the commands and the instructions that Moses gave to you. Love the LORD your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold firmly to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.”

* Psalm 116:1   “I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.”

Give Him your heart12.  We are to give Him OUR WHOLE HEART AND LIFE!

* I Chronicles 28:9   “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.”

* Mark 8:35   “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.”

The Final KEY TRUTH:

 THERE  IS  NO  SUBSTITUTE  FOR  CORPORATE  WORSHIP  WITH  GOD’S  PEOPLE.

worship is whereIt is wonderful to have a personal understanding of worship that aligns with what scripture teaches, and it is vitally important that every Christian also begins to follow through and move forward from having knowledge about worship to actually putting into practice the truths that we have learned.  In other words, each of us must begin to view ourselves as not only a child of God, servant of God, and disciple of Christ but also as a worshipper.  The Bible tells us that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  Through worship, we are seeking more than just answered prayers and strength or comfort.  We are actually seeking to bless the heart of God with our own desire to give Him glory.  In choosing to live all of life with an attitude of worship, we are seeking to choose in every moment to do, say, and think in a God-honoring way.  Again, we will fall short, but our effort and our heart for God will not escape His notice.  He will meet with us in those moments of focused worship, and He will bless our efforts to bring Him glory through living in an attitude of worship.

Personal worship and living a lifestyle of worship are wonderful and essential to the life of every growing Christian, but those two elements of growth as a worshipper are not enough without regular corporate worship times with your church family.  Times of worship with the body of Christ are essential for the body and for the individuals who make up the body.  Here is what the Bible says about our need for corporate worship:

“We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.”  – Hebrews 10:25 (God’s Word translation)

Seeing the scripture within the context of other verses, consider the application for such a time as this:

A Call to Persevere
23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.…

Restated:  In order to persevere in our faith, we must not waver in our commitment to be a part of the body of Christ and to worship with the body of Christ.  We must hold on with all of our might to the certain hope we have been given, recognizing God’s faithfulness in keeping His promises.  We must encourage one another and work together to love each other within the church fellowship and to demonstrate the love of Christ to the world.  We must serve together, doing what is good in helping others both inside and outside of the church, in the name of Jesus.  We must learn and grow spiritually through the process of study and sharing testimonies of God’s faithfulness and proclamation of the Word.

And, we should remember that all of these things (corporate worship and all of the loving, serving, discipleship, and fellowship through the body) that can only be done by continuing to meet, worship, fellowship, and serve together as a body become even more important as time moves closer and closer to the return of Christ.

You and I cannot be who we need to be as Christians if we forsake meeting togther. 

If we are going to live in a way that honors and reverences the blood of Christ which sanctifies us, the passage goes on to say, we must demonstrate our love and commitment to the Lord through loving His body, the church, and meeting together with other believers for the primary purpose of worship and for discipleship, fellowship, outreach / missions, and service.  Verse 26 even refers back to the mention of forsaking meeting together and calls such practice “deliberate sin’, going on to talk about God’s judgement for those who have “spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the convenant, and outraged the Spirit of Grace” (vs. 29).  God does not take it lightly when those who know Him (and whom Jesus died to save) reject His body, the church.

Remember that we (Christians who make up the body of Christ) are all in the process of growing to be more Christlike, and we are all in different stages of spiritual growth.  Sometimes other Christians will disappoint or even hurt us.  We need to extend the same grace that we have been given to our fellow believers.  They may not have yet reached the point of conviction about something that they have done or are doing that is wrong or has been hurtful (sometimes unintentionally) to the body.  However, we can choose to demonstrate the love of Christ and the grace and mercy of God to them, knowing that love always hopes, always believes, and always trusts You may not be able to trust an individual, but you can trust the God who is at work in your heart and in theirs.

We are a family of brothers and sisters in Christ, and the same principles of forgiveness, moving forward, and talking through problems that you follow with your own family must also be followed with your spiritual family.  This is one of the ways that we encourage one another to good works (one of the reasons given for not forsaking the assembling together of God’s family).  Forgiveness and reconciliation, resulting in spiritual growth for both parties and in greater harmony within the body, are good works!   Don’t allow your “right” to nurse a grudge or hang on to a hurt or misunderstanding to cause you to sin against the blood of Christ.

Remember, there is no substitute for worshipping together with other believers.

May God bless you as you seek to worship Him both personally and corporately, living a life that brings Him glory and discovering that relating to God as a 24/7 worshipper is the missing piece that you have longed to find.

Colossians 1:10   “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”

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* John Piper’s definition of worship. paraphrased.
This definition is found in the devotion titled  ”Bodies, Breakfast, and the Marriage Bed”  and subtitled  “A Meditation on Daily Worship”.
You can read the complete devotion at this link:  http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/taste-see-articles/bodies-breakfast-and-the-marriage-bed

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This post was written by Cynthia A. Boyd

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You may want to read some of our other posts and pages about worship:

OUR OTHER POSTS ABOUT WORSHIP: (Our pages, like the one on Lifestyle Worship, have titles that are always visible on the blog header.  Our posts are categorized, and all of the posts on worship can be found in our category called “Worship…with Wonder!”

Music is a gift…Worship the Giver!

Worship Planning and Preparation

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For further reading, here is a link to an article called,

“What is Worship?
A Survey of Scripture”

http://www.gci.org/God/worship

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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Walking in Worship

What does it mean to walk in worship, and how does that differ from having an attitude of praise?  What should be our motivation for seeking to walk in worship?  This article seeks to answer those questions through a brief study of related scriptures and what they mean to us in our daily lives as worshippers of God.  These are exciting truths from God’s word!  What an awesome thought to realize that our eternally loving and supremely powerful God wants to walk through life with me!

(Note:  This article was first published in the online magazine ChurchMag (see link at the end of this post.) +

"As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him."  Col. 2:6

(++  See photo credit and location information at the end of this article.)

“As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.”
~  Colossians 2:6

GOD IS WORTHY OF OUR PRAISE AND WORSHIP

There are many verses in the Bible which speak of praising the Lord and also give some of the reasons why we praise Him.

“Praise the Lord!  Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord!  Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forever more!  From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!  The Lord is high above all nations, and His glory is above the heavens.”    Psalm 113:1 – 4

From the rising of the sun until its setting…from the beginning of your day until the end…in every waking moment, the name of the Lord is to be praised.  The Lord is always worthy of praise.  In the verse above, the servants of the Lord are reminded of His supremacy over all nations and His unsurpassed and eternal gloryHe is worthy!

“I will sing of Thy power; yes, I will sing aloud of Thy mercy in the morning; for Thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.  Unto Thee, O my Strength, will I sing; for God is my defense , and the God of my mercy.”   Psalm 59:16 & 17

He is all powerful!  He is our defense and our refuge.  He is our strength and the God of our mercy.  God is worthy of our praise!   The Psalmist’s expression of praise through singing to Him at the beginning of the day is in response to the ultimate and supreme worth of our God.

“I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.  I keep the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”   Psalm 16:7 & 8

He is our counsellor and the guide and guardian of our hearts.  He is near to those who call upon Him, at our right hand, even during the night.  He gives us the strength to stand firm.  He is worthy!

“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the people.  Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him; talk of all His wondrous works.  Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek the Lord rejoice.”   Psalm 105:1 – 3

His works are wondrous; He is available when we call upon His name; His deeds are praiseworthy; He is Holy.  What an awesome God we serve!  He is worthy of praise!

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High; To show forth Thy lovingkindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness every night.”   Psalm 92:1 & 2

He is full of lovingkindness.  He is faithful.  It is a good thing to praise and thank Him!  He is worthy of our praise!

“But I, through the abundance of Your steadfast love, will enter Your house, I will worship toward Your holy temple in reverence, and awe of You.”  Psalm 5:7

Because of His steadfast love for us, God allows us to enter His presence.  Our response is worship…reverence…and awe.   He is worthy of our awe and reverence!  He is worthy of our praise!  He is worthy of worship…in every waking moment!

The eternal God of Creation, the God who saves us with His might and His mercy, the Holy and Righteous Judge, the Lamb of God who gave Himself for us, the Holy Spirit of comfort and conviction, the Lord of all and above all, our awesome God who is three in One, our loving Father God who embraces us in our sorrows and keeps every tear, our tender Shepherd…

He is all of this and more!  He is worthy of our reverence and awe.  He is worthy of our expressions of praise.  He is worthy of a continual attitude of worship. 

THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN PRAISE AND WORSHIP

Praise, by its very nature, must be expressed.  It is an expression of appreciation at a moment in time.  If I think of a compliment but have not expressed it, I have not praised the person who motivated the positive thought.  In the above verses, the Psalmists write of expressing praise through singing to God, blessing His holy name, thanking Him, entering His house, talking of His wondrous works, and making His deeds known.  Expressions of praise listed in other verses include magnifying the name of the Lord and exalting Him, giving Him glory and honor, playing instruments for His praise, dancing and shouting in praise, clapping and raising our hands in praise, and giving tithes and offerings as an act of worship.  Many of these expressions of praise are outward expressions and are done in public or within the congregation and family.  However, since God knows our hearts, He also knows when our hearts are praising Him.  Within the congregation, those expressions of praise become outward as we join our hearts and our voices with those of other Christians.  When it is appropriate and wise to do so, at the prompting of God’s Spirit, we also express our praise of God to others we encounter in our daily lives.  When our hearts and minds become so focused on the Lord that we are continually bringing to mind all that He is and all that He has done and then praising Him in response, we are living in an attitude of praise before the Lord.  He receives our praise whether is is spoken or demonstrated in the presence of others or whether it is spoken directly from our hearts to Him.

Worship can include all of the inward and outward expressions of praise already mentioned, but worship goes much farther in permeating our lives and being expressed through the way that we live our lives.  The very idea of worship is that God is worthy of all that we have to give.  True worship involves the commitment of all that we are and every part of our lives, focused on living in such a way that our lives will ultimately bring glory to God (as He empowers us to live for His glory… even in the giving of all that we are, we cannot out-give God!).  When we have recognized all that He is and all that He has done, to the extent that our finite human minds can do so, our intentions change.  We commit ourselves fully to God and begin to seek to glorify Him in response to all that He has done for us.  As we grow in Christ, God’s spirit reveals to our hearts that we must intentionally express His worth and His supremacy by seeking to bring Him glory in all that we are and all that we do (with His help).*

A LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP

“If we live, we live to honor the Lord; and if we die, we die to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”  Rom 14:8

“He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.”  IICor. 5:15

As God has been willing to personally come to Earth and give Himself in the person of Christ to live a life that demonstrated the grace and glory of God, ultimately choosing to die as a sacrifice for our sins and then be raised to eternal life as a seal and a promise of God’s saving work in human hearts, we must also be willing to give ourselves sacrificially.  This is our spiritual gift of worship to the One who has given His all for us.

““I appeal to you therfore, brethren, 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

This intentional giving over of all of life to God for the purpose of bringing Him glory is true worship.  It is an attitude of the heart and mind and a commitment of the life that is acceptable to God.  Paul says that our commitment to live as a sacrifice to honor the Lord is holy.  His presence and His help in following through with our commitment (to bring Him glory in all that we do, say, and think) allows us to grow in our expression of His worth, becoming more like Christ.  Whatever we are doing or thinking or saying, we are learning to live in an attitude of worship, seeking to express the infinite worth of God through our lives.*  Several times in scripture, a person is referred to as someone who “walked with God”.  Enoch, for example is described as a man who walked with God in Genesis 5:22 & 24.  Noah is also spoken of as a man who walked with God in Genesis 6:9.  In I Kings 8:25, the prayer of Solomon is that God would keep His promise to David, “Now therefore, O LORD, the God of Israel, keep with Your servant David my father that which You have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your sons take heed to their way to walk before Me as you have walked.'”  In some translations, the words ‘habitual’ or ‘faithful’ are used in these verses to further clarify the meaning of “walking with God”.  Such a testimony of faithfulness in walking with God requires that the intentions and desires of our hearts and the focus of our lives must be in seeking to bring glory to God.

HELP FOR THE JOURNEY

God knows that we cannot be faithful in walking with Him in an intentional and habitual attitude of worship on our own.  He knows that we need His help, His guidance, His strength, and His mercy and forgiveness.  That is why we have a Savior, and that is why we need His Spirit to indwell our hearts and lives.  God knows that we need reminders of who He is and that we must be intentional in seeking to bring glory to Him through our lives.  Consider this instruction from Deuteronomy 6:4 – 9

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.   Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

God knows that we need the reminder of seeing His word before us, even to the extent that we should have verses about who God is on our walls and above our doors.  Although this is an Old Testament scripture and refers in some instances to the significant items of clothing worn by the children of Israel, God’s admonition to His people was that they would intentionally place reminders of God’s love and faithfulness wherever they would be seen, as reminders to live an intentional life of loving and serving God with all of their heart, soul, and strength. These reminders would focus their attention on the Lord so that they would talk about Him as they got up in the morning, continue to talk and think about Him (and seek Him) when they would lie down at night and when they walked throughout their day.  In another passage, Deuteronomy 11:18 – 21, which is almost identical**, this admonition is made:  “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds…”  Or, as we read in Colossians 3:16 & 17, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

WALKING IN WORSHIP

When we become intentional in choosing to seek to live a life that honors God in every moment, we are living a lifestyle of worship and walking with God.  This kind of choice to walk in worship goes far beyond the expressions of praise that we often refer to as worship.  Praise is good thing.  We must always seek to praise God because He is good, and He is worthy of our praise.  However, expressions of praise can be tied to our feelings and our desires.  We often say or express in our thoughts a “Praise the Lord” when something happens that we are happy about.  Such expressions can become habit without thought.  However, walking in worship requires thought.  It requires our intention to do far more than just train ourselves to say and do the right things.  Walking in worship requires staying in close relationship with God through Christ, trusting Him to guide and help us, and seeking to intentionally live in such a way that our lives bring glory to Him.  Where we fail, God’s mercy upholds us.  And, as we learn to increasingly rely on Him, walking with Him, we are walking in worship.

“Make a joyful moise unto the Lord, all ye lands.  Serve the Lord with gladness; come fefore His presence with singing.  Know that the Lord is God; it is He that has made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.  For the Lord is good:  His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.”   Psalm 100 (all verses, 1 – 5)

+  Link to this article, published in the online magazine ChurchMag :  http://churchm.ag/walking-in-worship/#more-79882

++ PHOTO  CREDIT  AND  LOCATION:  The photograph used in this blog post was also used in the ChurchMag article.  Taken by Cynthia Boyd in the Spring of 2012, the photo is of the tranquil path leading to a garden pond behind the Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.

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* These paragraphs contain words and thoughts based upon both Col. 3:16 & 17 and on John Piper’s definition of worship.  This definition is found in the devotion titled  ”Bodies, Breakfast, and the Marriage Bed”  and subtitled  “A Meditation on Daily Worship”.
You can read the complete devotion at this link:  http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/taste-see-articles/bodies-breakfast-and-the-marriage-bed

** The companion passage, Deuteronomy 11:18 – 21, in it’s entirety:  Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.   Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.”

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Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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You Have a Lot to Give!

His mercies are new every morning!

What does it take to make a real and lasting difference in this world?  I believe that there are three key elements to living a life for Christ that has eternal impact.

1.  A love for your Lord and Savior and a desire to bring Him glory.

2.  A deep compassion for your fellow man.

3.  A willingness to do whatever it takes to fulfill the callings that you discover as the Lord leads you in using the abilities and resources that He has given to you.

I believe that these three factors are most important for several reasons.  First, in order for what we do and say as we live to have a lasting (eternal) impact, there must be a spiritual element involved.  In other words, the task must be something which we believe to be our calling at that moment; and, we must have a strong desire to glorify the Lord in doing what He has called us to do.  Whether our calling is teaching a Sunday School class, building or repairing structures on a mission trip, responding with kindness to people who come across your path, being the most effective worker you can be at your job, preparing a meal, helping someone directly, or singing in the choir, all that we do is important when we do it as to the Lord and not unto men.  It we are not relating, serving, and working to glorify the Lord, then our lesser motivation will limit the effectiveness of our endeavors.  Living to bring glory to God is true, lifestyle worship, and it is our purpose for being.  (Romans 12:1 & 2)

Secondly, another key element of our motivation should be our love and concern for others, which flows out of our relationship with the Lord.  People can tell when we really care about them.  Any deeds or words that are accompanied by compassion will be used by the Lord to make an impact far greater than physical help or an emotional lift alone could make apart from that God-given compassion.  What we are able to share becomes a far greater message that speaks to the hearts of people.  The message given by acts or words of compassion accompanied by the Love of God is that we care and love people because God cares and loves them.  This lets people know that God has initiated a response to their need because He loves them and has sent an instrument of caring to them in order to demonstrate His love.

Finally, our most excellent effort is called for in whatever we are doing.  When we live our lives to glorify the Lord, it becomes our desire to really make our lives count for His Kingdom.  However, we must remember that our job is to do our best with God’s help.  He will take our efforts, indwell them with His own Spirit at work in the world, amd multiply what we are able to do or say in ways we may not expect or ever know about while on the earth.  We are not responsible for the results.  We are responsible for our love for God, our response to Jesus (repentence leading to salvation), our attitude and our growth, and giving our best.  He will take all that each of us have to give and use it to accomplish His purpose in our lives and the lives of others.

So, don’t worry about which gifts you have or wish you had or about what the results of your efforts will be.  Those things are all in God’s hands,  Whatever your circumstances, you have a LOT  to give!  Your heart, your life, your compassion, your willingness, your obedience, your encouragement, your prayers, your hopes, and your efforts to allow God to work in and through your life are the best and most important ways that you have a lot to give to make a difference in this world.  Everyone can give these things!  From a prison cell, a hospital bed, a home full of pre-schoolers, a teacher’s desk, a business, a career position, and from every life circumstance, these gifts can flow!  You have a lot to give!   Blessings and encouragement to you as you do just that!

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– post written by Cynthia A. Boyd

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Song Story…”Much More Than a Song”

Wherever you go, God is already there.

“Much More Than a Song” was written as a result of a time of uncertainty and re-examination of priorities and truths in Travis’ life.  This time period began with the desire to sing a song and continues with the desire to bring God glory through all of life.  Several years ago, Travis was working on a powerful song that he planned to share as a solo at some point in the future.  The song was quite wordy and vocally demanding.  As Travis was singing the song over and over, trying to memorize all of those lyrics, he began to experience some vocal problems.  It was not unusual for him to have some allergy related congestion that affected his voice a couple of times every year, but this problem was obviously more serious than that.  Although he was not experiencing any allergy problems at that time, his voice was greatly affected, and he had significant pain when he tried to sing.  After the problem persisted and worsened, Travis did go to the doctor and to see a specialist about his voice.  He learned that all of his demanding vocal rehearsing had caused some damage to the vocal mechanism and created some strain and inflammation.  He was going to have to rest his voice and allow the damage to heal.  This was very difficult news for a Minister of Music and Worship.  He had no idea how long it would take for healing to occur or even whether the healing would be complete.  In other words, he didn’t know whether his voice would ever be fully restored.  Would it be as strong as before?  Would he still have the same vocal range?  Would there be any changes to his vocal tone or breaks in his range?  All of these were unanswered questions.

Travis prayed and waited and rested his voice, hoping to regain the full use of his voice but realizing that there was a possibility that he might not be able to sing in the same way that he had before this problem occured.  As in any season of uncertainty and waiting on the Lord,  Travis had an opportunity to re-examine his priorities and his own philosophy of living a life that glorifies the Lord.  He knew that leading God’s people in worship through music was not the only way that God could use his life.  Even though his passion for leading worship remained strong, Travis came to the point where he was willing to do whatever the Lord would have him do.  He was very aware that he could still live a life of seeking to bring glory to God, no matter what happened with his voice.   God gave Travis a song to express what He had been teaching Travis through the experience of losing what had formerly been one of Travis’ most important ministry tools.   That song was “Much More Than a Song”.

Through this experience, God gave the blessing of a song; but the lessons of the spirit that Travis gained were even more valuable.   It’s hard to put them all into words, but I will try:

Worship is more than a song.

Worship is more than any particular form of expression.

Worship is more than giving your best to God.  It’s being willing to give up your best and still give what you have left to God.

Worship is a passionate pursuit of God’s glory.

Worship may be expressed through what we do, but the act of worship never consists of any outward expression.  True worship always exists in the desire of the heart to bring Glory to God.

If I have ever truly worshipped God before a loss or a change in my life, I cannot allow such a change to alter my heart.

“Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised…” Psalm 96:3 &4a

 

Worship is a 24/7 attitude of the heart, a recognition of God’s supremacy and majesty that results in a constant desire to bring Him glory through my life.

Worship is much more than a song!

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“Much More Than a Song”  words and music by Travis L. Boyd, copyright WorshipSounds Music  is available on our website as a vocal solo or as an SATB choral anthem.  There is also a full orchestration available, which can be used to accompany either a choir or a soloist.  You’ll find the solo version on our home page and the choral version on our Adult Choir music page, where you can click on our unique video demo link to see and hear the music simultaneously at
http://www.worshipsounds.com

“Much More Than a Song” has been included in the repertoire of The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma, then under the direction of Dr. Bill Green.

“Much More Than a Song” has been part of the repertoire of the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Jubalheirs, under the direction of Dr. Jon Duncan (a large choral group consisting of women who are active in music ministry from all over the state of Georgia).
The Jubalheirs also recorded “Much More Than a Song” on their CD entitled “New Every Morning.”  For more information about this group and their ministry, see our post entitled, “Blessings Through Choosing to Praise God.”  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/blessings-through-choosing-to-praise/

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Here’s my Sound Cloud recording of the Medium Voice Vocal Solo
(available on our website’s Home Page in the left sidebar)

The sheet music PDF (with chord symbols) can be purchased for $5.00, with permission to make as many copies as needed for your Soloist and Accompanists or Rhythm Section.
The Accompaniment Track is sent as an Mp3 download and includes the PDF for a full page lead sheet to assist you in learning the song.  The cost for the Mp3 and lead sheet is $10.00.

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Here’s our  WorshipSounds Video Demo of the Medium Voice Solo
(Accompaniment Track + Demo)

(VIEW  VIDEO  DEMO  IN  FULLSCREEN  MODE  TO  SEE  LYRICS  BEST!)

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This post was written by C. Boyd

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Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make!  The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.  Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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WOULD   YOU  LIKE  TO  READ  MORE  POSTS  LIKE  THIS  ONE?

Link to our  “Song Stories”  category to see all of the song story posts:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/category/song-stories/

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WORSHIP: Definitions and Quotations

Worship is transcendent wonder.”

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“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”   Hebrews 12:28, NIV
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This post contains Scriptures about worship
as well as 67 quotes, definitions, or teachings about worship
from the sources noted.
In addition, there are 3 Dictionary or Bible Dictionary definitions of worship.
Several links to other worship resources can also be found here.
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For a lengthy resource on worship-related Scriptures
from both the Old and New Testaments,
see our page entitled,
“Lift Your Voice (Worship Scriptures)”
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Worship is discovering and declaring the magnificence of God, not just by our image-bearing and not just in sacramental acts, but the way we breathe every breath, take in every sight, hear every sound, and move as image-bearers through every day.
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NOTE
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Additional information about the above quotation (shared by the authors of this blog):
*
The “image bearing” term likely refers to the fact that we (human beings) are created in the image of God, according to Genesis 1:26.
Here is another scripture referring to our “image bearing”:
*
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.  ~  II Corinthians 3:17 – 18*
* Some translations of this scripture use the word “likeness”.
*
In addition, it is made clear in the passages below that, for Christians, also being bearers of His image spiritually makes us bearers of His glory (What an amazing truth!)
The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.  ~  II Corinthians 4:4
*
(Jesus praying for believers)  22 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.  ~  John 17:22 – 23
*
Did you know that the word translated “take” in the 10 Commandments has deeper meaning than just “use” or “say”? (You shall not take the name the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.  ~  Exodus 20:7)
*
Here’s some insight on the word “take” used in Genesis 20:7:
Take, throughout the Old Testament, is translated into English from seventy-four different Hebrew words. This one means “to lift up,” “bear,” “carry,” “use,” and “appropriate.”
*
In other words, I believe that we, as Christians, carry, bear, or take the name of the Lord with us wherever we go.  We are not only bearing His image and His glory but also His name.  And we are to bear His name in such a way that even carrying His name is reverent, worshipful, and bears fruit for HIs Kingdom.
*
How can we fail to live in a spirit of worship for our magnificent, incredible God, who has allowed us to bear His image as the very glory of Christ.  Wow.
–  C. Boyd
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Worship is not a moment or a song.  It’s a life of seeking to become the person God made you to be.
…Your job and my job is to worship God, and the way to do that is to find out what God made you for and do everything you can to do that thing, or those things as well as you possibly can for God’s glory.
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  1 Corinthians 10:31  New Living Translation (©2007)
The sooner you recognize God in everything you do, the sooner you will be able to worship Him in everything you do.  And that will be the best life you could ever imagine.  Not my word, but God’s!

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Definitions of the word worship from 3 sources:

wor·ship

/ˈwɜrʃɪp/worship/ [wur-ship]: noun, verb; -shiped, -ship·ing or ( especially British ) -shipped, -ship·ping.

As a noun
1.  reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
2.  formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: They attended worship this morning.
3.  adoring reverence or regard: excessive worship of business success.
4.  the object of adoring reverence or regard.
5.  ( initial capital letter ) British . a title of honor used in addressing or mentioning certain magistrates and others of high rank or station (usually preceded by Your, His, or Her ).
As an adverb (used with object)
6.  to render religious reverence and homage to.
7.  to feel an adoring reverence or regard for (any person or thing).
As a verb (used without object)
8.  to render religious reverence and homage, as to a deity.
9.  to attend services of divine worship.

10.  to feel an adoring reverence or regard.

Origin: before 900; (noun) Middle English wors ( c ) hipe, worthssipe, Old English worthscipe, variant of weorthscipe; see worth, -ship; (v.) Middle English, derivative of the noun

Related forms

wor·ship·er, noun; wor·ship·ing·ly, adverb
mis·wor·ship, verb, -shiped, -ship·ing or ( especially British ) -shipped, -ship·ping.
Synonyms: honor, homage, adoration, idolatry. honor, venerate, revere, adore, glorify, idolize, adulate.

– Definition source #1, above, from Dictionary.com, Unabridged, Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2012

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– Definitiion source #2. below, from the same website with a different dictionary

Collins World English Dictionary
worship (ˈwɜːʃɪp)
vb , ( US ) -ships , -shipping , -shipped , -ships , -shiping , -shiped
1. ( tr ) to show profound religious devotion and respect to; adore or venerate (God or any person or thing considered divine)
2. ( tr ) to be devoted to and full of admiration for
3. ( intr ) to have or express feelings of profound adoration
4. ( intr ) to attend services for worship
5. obsolete ( tr ) to honour
n
6. religious adoration or devotion
7. the formal expression of religious adoration; rites, prayers, etc
8. admiring love or devotion
9. archaic dignity or standing
[Old English weorthscipe, from worth 1 +-ship]
‘worshipable
adj
‘worshipper
n
Worship (ˈwɜːʃɪp)
n (preceded by Your, His, or Her )
chiefly ( Brit ) a title used to address or refer to a mayor, magistrate, or a person of similar high rank
Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition 2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
‘);
Word Origin & History:

worship

O.E. worðscip, wurðscip (Anglian), weorðscipe (W.Saxon) “condition of being worthy, honor, renown,” from weorð “worthy”  + -scipe. Sense of “reverence paid to a supernatural or divine being” is first recorded
c.1300. The original sense is preserved in the title worshipful (c.1300). The verb is recorded from c.1200.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Definition source #3, below, also from Dictionary.com, but from a Bible Dictionary
Easton Bible Dictionary
Worship definition

homage rendered to God which it is sinful (idolatry) to render to any created being (Ex. 34:14; Isa. 2:8). Such worship was refused by Peter (Acts 10:25,26) and by an angel (Rev. 22:8,9).

Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

worship

broadly defined, the response to the appearance of that which is accepted as the holy-that is, to a sacred, transcendent power or being. Characteristic modes of response to the holy include cultic acts of all kinds: ritual drama, prayers of many sorts, dancing, ecstatic speech, veneration of various persons and objects, sermons, silent meditation, and sacred musicand song. Also included in worship are acts of private response: spoken or unspoken prayers, silence, the assumption of particular postures, ritual acts and gestures, and individual acts of veneration of persons or objects.

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** QUOTATIONS ABOUT WORSHIP of the ONE TRUE GOD, AND HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST **
compiled from various sources
Source A, from   http://allaboutworship.com/ *

* Note:  Links provided have been researched, compiled, and added to the respective quotations by C. Boyd for this blog post

“Worship is the believer’s response of all that they are – mind, emotions, will, body – to what God is and says and does.” -Warren Wiersbe
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_W._Wiersbe

“Worship of the living and true God is essentially an engagement with Him on the terms that He proposes and in the way that He alone makes possible.” -David Peterson  (from this book:  http://www.amazon.com/Engaging-God-Biblical-Theology-Worship/dp/0830826971/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334811456&sr=1-1 )  Also, http://www.davidgpeterson.com

“True worship is when a person, through their person, attains intimacy and friendship with God.” -William Temple
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Temple_(bishop)

“If worship leaders only worship when they lead, they are not worshippers. They are mere musicians.” -Bill Johnson
http://www.bjm.org  (Pastor Johnson’s personal ministry website)

“Depend on it, my hearer, you never will go to heaven unless you are prepared to worship Jesus Christ as God.” -Charles Spurgeon
http://www.spurgeon.org/aboutsp.htm

“Surely that which occupies the total time and energies of heaven must be a fitting pattern for earth.” -Paul E. Billheimer
http://crosslifebooks.com/authors_author.php?authorid=14  (brief author’s biography)

“Worship is the correct response to the presence of God.” -Doug Hanley
Worship leader and composer of worship songs   http://freshsong.tripod.com/music.html

“To worship God is to admit that we are entirely contrary to Him, and that He is willing to make us like Himself.” -Brother Lawrence
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brother_Lawrence

“We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit.” -A.W. Tozer
http://www.awtozerclassics.com/page/page/4891818.htm

“Any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.” -A.W. Tozer

“The shortest route to deeper and richer worship is a clearer theology.” -P.D. Manson

Source B,  From http://www.worship.com/

  • Louie Giglio: Worship is our response, both personal and corporate, to God for who He is, and what He has done; expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live.
  • Josh Riley: Worship is everything we think, everything we say, and everything we do, revealing that which we treasure and value most in life.
  • John Piper: Worship is what we were created for. This is the final end of all existence-the worship of God. God created the universe so that it would display the worth of His glory. And He created us so that we would see this glory and reflect it by knowing and loving it-with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. The church needs to build a common vision of what worship is and what she is gathering to do on Sunday morning and scattering to do on Monday morning.
  • Mark Driscoll: Worship is living our life individually and corporately as continuous living sacrifices to the glory of a person or thing.
  • Harold Best: Worship is the sign that in giving myself completely to someone or something, I want to be mastered by it.
  • William Temple: Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His Beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose – and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.
  • David Peterson: Worship of the living and true God is essentially an engagement with him on the terms that he proposes and in the way that he alone makes possible.  David Peterson
  • Dan Block: Reverential human acts of submission and homage before the divine Sovereign, in response to his gracious revelation of himself, and in accordance with his will.
  • John Stott: Christians believe that true worship is the highest and noblest activity of which man, by the grace of God, is capable.
  • A.W. Tozer: To great sections of the church the art of worship has been lost entirely, and in its place has come that strange and foreign thing called the ‘program.’ This word has been borrowed from the stage and applied with sad wisdom to the type of public service which now passes for worship among us.
  • William Temple: To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.
  • William Barclay: The true, the genuine worship is when man, through his spirit, attains to friendship and intimacy with God. True and genuine worship is not to come to a certain place; it is not to go through a certain ritual or liturgy; it is not even to bring certain gifts. True worship is when the spirit, the immortal and invisible part of man, speaks to and meets with God, who is immortal and invisible.
  • D. A. Carson: To worship God ‘in spirit and in truth’ is first and foremost a way of saying that we must worship God by means of Christ. In him the reality has dawned and the shadows are being swept away (Hebrews 8:13). Christian worship is new covenant worship; it is gospel-inspired worship; it is Christ-centered worship; it is cross-focused worship.
  • John Frame: Redemption is the means; worship is the goal. In one sense, worship is the whole point of everything. It is the purpose of history, the goal of the whole Christian story. Worship is not one segment of the Christian life among others. Worship is the entire Christian life, seen as a priestly offering to God. And when we meet together as a church, our time of worship is not merely a preliminary to something else; rather, it is the whole point of our existence as the body of Christ.
  • John Piper: Strong affections for God, rooted in and shaped by the truth of Scripture – this is the bone and marrow of Biblical worship.

 

NOTE:  A  FREE  “What is Worship?”  READER’S  THEATER  SCRIPT, written by Travis L. Boyd, can be found on our blog at:
https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/what-is-worship-readers-theater-script/

Source C:

Worship Articles by EXW (EXperiencing Worship) Staff March 21, 2011
GREAT QUOTES ON WORSHIP 

“The whole person, with all his senses, with both mind and body, needs to be involved in genuine worship.” Jerry Kerns

“The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express the same delight in God which made David dance.” C.S. Lewis

“When God’s people begin to praise and worship Him using the Biblical methods He gives, the Power of His presence comes among His people in an even greater measure.” Graham Truscott

“God is to be praised with the voice, and the heart should go therewith in holy exultation.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“Without worship, we go about miserable.” A. W. Tozer

“‘A glimpse of God will save you. To gaze at Him will sanctify you.” Manley Beasley

“We only learn to behave ourselves in the presence of God.” C. S. Lewis

Source D:   http://www.gotquestions.org

Question: “What is true worship?”
Answer:
The Apostle Paul described true worship perfectly in Romans 12:1-2: “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable, or well pleasing and perfect.”
This passage contains all the elements of true worship. First, there is the motivation to worship: “the mercies of God.” God’s mercies are everything He has given us that we don’t deserve: eternal love, eternal grace, the Holy Spirit, everlasting peace, eternal joy, saving faith, comfort, strength, wisdom, hope, patience, kindness, honor, glory, righteousness, security, eternal life, forgiveness, reconciliation, justification, sanctification, freedom, intercession and much more. The knowledge and understanding of these incredible gifts motivate us to pour forth praise and thanksgiving—in other words, worship! ………..Worship is to glorify and exalt God – to show loyalty and admiration to our Father. *

* NOTE:  There are additional paragraphs in the response to this question.  For the entire answer to the question “What is True Worship?”, go to http://www.gotquestions.org/trueworship.html

WORSHIP QUOTES FROM VARIOUS SOURCES

FROM http://www.higherpraise.com/worship/worship_worshipisalifestyle.htm

Every time you open up your heart in obedience to God and worship Him with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul, our beautiful Lord responds with His magnificent presence. – Darlene Zschech

Regardless of the method, the act of worship must be in spirit and truth–from our rational consciousness and consistent with the rest of our lives (see John 4:24). We don’t have to be great singers or musicians to worship God. But we do need to be in a personal relationship with Him and live with the truth of His greatness reflecting through all we are becoming and all we do.  – Darlene Zschech, from http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/component/content/article/1490-worship/27159-worship-is-more-than-a-song

We must not convey to the world the impression that the worship of our God is a boring, lifeless ritual. We have been redeemed from sin. Let us therefore praise our Creator as His children who are grateful for His bountiful blessings.
FROM  http://www.gotquestions.org/worship-service.html

Worship means honoring someone that we love. But we can only love someone if we know them in an intimate or personal way. Knowing about a person is different than knowing them personally. As Christians, sometimes we think knowing about God can replace knowing Him intimately through worship.  ~  David Jeremiah, from the book Knowing the God You Worship  http://www.davidjeremiah.org/shop/p-2992-knowing-the-god-you-worship.aspx

“Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he comes in the clouds of heaven.”

– John Wesley, quoted from Select hymns with Tunes Annext: Designed chiefly for the Use of the People Called Methodists

If the pursuit of God’s glory is not ordered above the pursuit of man’s good in the affections of the heart and the priorities of the Church, man will not be well served, and God will not be duly honored. I am not pleading for a diminishing of missions but for a magnifying of God. When the flame of worship burns with the heat of God’s true worth, the light of missions will shine to the darkest peoples on earth. And I long for that day to come!
–   John Piper, in an article from Decision magazine   http://www.billygraham.org/articlepage.asp?articleid=771

Worship is not music.  We can certainly worship Him without musicians and without a song.  And by the way, God does not actually seek worship.  The Word tells us that He seeks worshippers. He’s not looking for those who make the most beautiful music.  He’s looking for those who worship in spirit …  and in truth.  Music is only one of the ways that he has ordained for us to express our worship. Yet too many worship leaders today spend more time honing their craft and planning / rehearsing their worship sets, than they spend on their face, alone in worship.

– Steve Rice, from a blog article found at:  http://songsphere.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/authority-and-anointing/

(Corporate) “Worship isn’t about my way.  It’s about our community of faith and the best way for us together to offer our worship to God.  Because worship is about the community, it’s about the people we are trying to reach, and it’s especially about God.  So, the right qauestion for worship istn’t really, “Did I like it?”  The question is, “Did I encounter God in it?  Was I lost in wonder, love, and praise?”
Now remember, this worship talk is just one example of how the church (our church) is a very human community, with people who have different preferences and opinions and ideas which we think are right, but which differ from the preferences, opinions, and ideas of other people who likewise think the are right.”  (Other examples given here of areas where opinions, ideas, and preferences differ.)  “Here’s my point:  We have to be careful because we can let our preferences (my preferences) crowd out the church’s purpose, and our opinions can overwhelm the mission.  In other words, they can cloud the landmark.  They can march us right off the map, and and we can end up walking in circles.  And we walk in circles because it’s easy, all too easy, for us to confuse the good news of Jesus with good views we have.”  (our own ideas, opinions and preferences)

Our NOTE:  Since the primary purpose for the church to gather corporately is to worship God, worship is very much the mission of the church!   [One of several very important missions which include evanglism and witness (through personal contact and through preaching), service to others in the name of Christ, discipleship (through teaching, preaching, and mentorship) and baptism, prayer and personal devotion to the Lord, carrying the gospel beyond the local area (which we typically think of as “missions” and which is a continuation of our mission to evangelize and share a witness for Christ), and standing for what is right according to God’s word.]

– from a sermon by the Pastor Guy Sayles of the First Baptist Church of Asheville, North Carolina

Source E:  An excellent article about defining worship, written by Bob Kauflin @ http://www.worshipsource.com/articles/why-define-worship-worship-defined

Harold Best, in his book, Music Through the Eyes of Faith, defines worship in the broadest sense as “acknowledging that someone or something else is greater – worth more – and by consequence, to be obeyed, feared, and adored…Worship is the sign that in giving myself completely to someone or something, I want to be mastered by it. (pg. 143)

Dr. Dan Block, who until recently was a Professor of Old Testament at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, defines true worship as “reverential human acts of submission and homage before the divine Sovereign, in response to his gracious revelation of himself, and in accordance with his will.” (from Dr. Block’s For the Glory of God. course notes)

“Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His Beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose – and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin”.

—  From William Temple’s (1881-1944) Readings in St. John’s Gospel

“Worship is an active response to God, whereby we declare His worth.”  – source unknown

“The secret to freedom from enslaving patterns of sin is worship. You need worship. You need great worship. You need weeping worship. You need glorious worship. You need to sense God’s greatness and to be moved by it – moved to tears and moved to laughter – moved by who God is and what He has done for you.”  – Tim Keller

“Worship is your direct ministry to God.  Will you minister to Him today?”  – Ray Jones, Worship Pastor (from his facebook post)

“God’s intention has always been to call forth a people who will proclaim His praise and propagate His blessing throughout the earth. Let us do that today.”  – from the Worship Ministry facebook page  @  https://www.facebook.com/WorshipMinistry

QUOTES ABOUT WORSHIP FROM OUR BOYDBRAIN MUSIC BLOG POSTS AND PAGES:

1.  Worship is about intentionally giving glory to God through the way that we live our lives.  In every daily activity, in every encounter with people, in every circumstance, in every conversation, in every thought, in every place, every relationship, every use of our talents and the resources that we have been given, in every choice that we make, we learn to increasingly focus on God’s Kingdom, His will and purpose for our lives, and how our response will bring Him glory.   In other words, our lives are to be lived in a continual mindset of worship.  We bring glory to God when we work, play and interact with others  “as to the Lord and not unto men.”
– Cynthia A. Boyd, from our “Lifestyle Worship” page
To read the entire article, go to:
http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/lifestyleworship/

2.  God has shown us His eternal and pure love through the giving of all that He is.  He has given us His message, the Word, both in the form of the scriptures and in the form of the Living Word, Jesus;  He has given His creativity, order, power, brilliance and majesty in Creation; He has given His love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and patience in allowing us to choose whether to love and serve Him.  He has given us new life and purpose and an eternal home in Heaven through the gift of salvation.   He has given us His only Son, the most precious gift ever given, when we, as the recipients of this gift, were lost in sin and ugliness and the filth of selfishness.  If God is our model for giving, there are certain facts that are always evident about the kinds of gifts that truly make a difference.  First of all, His giving is sacrificial.  Secondly, His giving always has our best interests at heart.  Thirdly, He is ever present in His giving.  He gave us the earth as our temporary home, but he sustains it so that this life can continue according to His plan.   He gave us himself in the person of His Son, God with us, Emmanuel.  He gives us salvation and comes to live within us.  With every gift, God also gives Himself.  If we are to give a gift that has meaning and value to Him, we must also be very present in the giving, not just for a moment in time but for a lifetime.

What does the Bible have to say about our giving and how we must be present in the gift, in other words, giving ourselves?   From Romans 12:1 & 2, the meaning is abundantly clear: 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. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Because of God’s mercy, we know that He is good.  Our response to His goodness is our true and proper (in some translations, “reasonable”) worship:  the giving of ourselves.  This is to be a sacrificial gift, and yet we are allowed to continue living this earthly life.  We become living sacrifices, giving up our own will for His good, pleasing, and perfect will.  We allow Him to transform us through His Spirit.  As our mind is renewed, we gain some level of understanding of His purpose and His will for our lives.  As we give ourselves to Him, all that we are is changed and made new.  (II Corinthians 5:17  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”)  This new, spirit life within us causes us to want to live in a manner that brings honor and glory to the Lord, and this desire changes the focus of our lives.  We are no longer focused exclusively upon self and the world as it relates to our selves.  Instead, we begin to become aware that all that we think, say, and do has eternal importance.
– Cynthia A. Boyd, from our post entitled “Worship…It’s all about Giving!”
To read the entire post, go to:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/worship-its-all-about-giving-2/

3.  We know from Romans 12:1 & 2 that worship involves more than just the corporate gathering of God’s people.  Giving glory to God through the way the we live all of life should be the motivation for all we do as believers.
– Travis L. Boyd, from our post called “Worship in the New Testament”
To read the entire post, go to:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/worship-in-the-new-testament/

4.   The Bible tells us repeatedly to give God honor, glory, blessing, praise, worship, exaltation, joyful singing, thanksgiving, reverence, awe, and all that we are.  This is the key:  Worship is about giving!  It is not about us, or about our preferences, or about what we get out of the experience (although true worship does give back abundant blessings when we give Him the glory due His name!).  It is about seeing God for who He is…the Creator of everything that is, the Sustainer of Life, the Holy and Righteous One, the God of grace and glory, the Merciful Father who sacrificed His one and only Son out of love for us!  Our response then becomes an effort to give all that we are to Him, seeking to bring Him glory in all of life.  That is worship.
– Cynthia A. Boyd, from our post entitled “Understanding Worship”
To read the entire post, go to:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/understanding-worship/

5.  What a privelege and joy it is to be part of something that is older than the earth itself!  According to the book of Job, the heavenly hosts were engaged in worship of the Living God long before the creation of our solar system.  (Job 38)  In the book of Revelation, we are given vivid descriptions of worship that is going on in heaven even now.  (Rev. 4 & 5)  When something significant happened to Biblical characters, their first thought was to build an altar and worship the Lord.

…..When the church gathers for a time of worship, we are all given an opportunity to experience God’s power within a community of fellow believers.  Jesus spoke of the power of believers being physically and spiritually together (Matthew 18:20).  This is so important for the health of our spiritual lives and for the work of the  church.  Nothing else can substitute for being a part of a corporate worship experience.   Truly, the most foundational part of the Christian experience is worship of the Living God!  Believers need to rediscover the joy of worshipping the Lord with the church family.  True worship is a life-changing experience (that becomes a life style) of recognizing and expressing God’s worth.  He is worthy of our worship and praise!
– Travis L. Boyd, from our post entitled “Worship is Joy!”
To view the entire post, go to:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/worship-is-joy/

6.  (These quotations express some spiritual lessons that God was teaching to Travis surrounding the writing of “Much More Than a Song”.  What follows is an excerpt from the Song Story for “Much More Than a Song,”  with all of the worship quotes here written by Cynthia Boyd as part of the song story.)

Worship is more than a song.

Worship is more than any particular form of expression.

Worship is more than giving your best to God.  It’s being willing to give up your best and still give what you have left to God.

Worship is a passionate pursuit of God’s glory.

Worship may be expressed through what we do, but the act of worship never consists of any outward expression.  True worship always exists in the desire of the heart to bring Glory to God.

If I have ever truly worshipped God before a loss or a change in my life, I cannot allow such a change to alter my heart.

“Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised…” Psalm 96:3 &4a

Worship is a 24/7 attitude of the heart, a recognition of God’s supremacy and majesty that results in a constant desire to bring Him glory through my life.

Worship is much more than a song!

(Song Story…”Much More Than a Song”   contains further information in addition to the excerpt above.)

7.  We must not become too focused on the vehicle of our praise (the use of our abilities and skills in presenting to God the gifts that we prepare in our lives).  Instead, our focus needs to be upon the Object of our praise…..our awesome and loving God and our victorious Savior.  In ministry, we often focus on plans and programs, goals, and ideas.  Yet, we must remember that it is the ongoing process of becoming like Christ that is the ultimate gift to our God.  With lifelong preparation and refinement by God’s Holy Spirit at work within us, our lives become a Kingdom gift that has eternal significance.  We have taken God’s best gifts to us:  His love, mercy, and grace, His forgiveness, His Son, His Life within us, His presence, His Spirit, His Word….and allowed these to transform us into the image of our Lord.  All other gifts pale in comparison.

— Cynthia Boyd  in our post titled  Mud Pies and Ministry

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OUR FAVORITE WORSHIP QUOTES:

* 1 *
“It is in the process of being worshipped that God communicates His presence to men.”

Author: C.S. Lewis      Source: Reflections on the Psalms

* 2 * 
“If you are not passionate about worship, then you don’t know how much God loves you.”

–  found on http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Worship-is-My-Lifestyle/12340

* 3 *
“A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, “darkness” on the walls of his cell.”   – C. S. Lewis

(from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/c/c_s_lewis.html )

* 4 *
“It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular , it is why he does it.”  –  A. W. Tozer

* 5 *
“Worship” is the term we use to cover all the acts of the heart and mind and body that intentionally express the infinite worth of God. This is what we were created for, as God says in Isaiah 43:7, Everyone who is called by my name, and whom I have created for my glory.  That means that we were all created for the purpose of expressing the infinite worth of God’s glory. We were created to worship.”

– John Piper

Our paraphrase of the main point:  “Worship is intentionally expressing the infinite worth of God’s glory.”

Our expanded paraphrase:  Worship is first a profound spiritual recognition of the infinite worth of God’s glory that elicits a life-changing focus on the infinite worth of God, which is then intentionally and whole-heartedly expressed through seeking to live a life that brings Glory to Him.”

The original definition by John Piper, as printed above, is found in the devotion titled  ”Bodies, Breakfast, and the Marriage Bed”  and subtitled  “A Meditation on Daily Worship”. You can read the complete devotion at this link:  http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/taste-see-articles/bodies-breakfast-and-the-marriage-bed

* 6 *
“Worship is the true believer’s appropriate and grateful response to the revelation of who God is and what He has done and is doing (His transcendance, His holiness, His omnipotence, His omnicience, and His grace, love, and mercy). It is characterized by a desire for a closer, more intimate relationship and knowledge of the Creator, total surrender of our will to His, and total obedience to His plan for our lives. It can and should be expressed in a variety of acts of praise and worship, including singing, prayer, lifting hands, clapping, bowing, shouting, and playing instruments. It is also expressed by our desire to glorify the Lord in our dailiy lives.” 
~ Travis L. Boyd, long-time Music and Worship Minister, composer, and co-author of the Worship Sounds Music blog 

 

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“Let the righteous be joyful; let them exult before God; let them be jubilant with joy!  Sing to God, sing praises to His name; lift up a song to Him who rides upon the clouds; His name is the Lord, exult before Him!”   Psalm 68:3 & 4

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These definitions and quotations were compiled by C. Boyd from the sources cited.

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Here’s a link to a video about what worship is and is not:  http://vimeo.com/2242310

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Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make!  The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.  Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.

http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-Jesus/

WORSHIP…it’s all about Giving!

The one true God,
the Creator of all that is,
has given to us everything that we have ever known.

Our lives,
our very breath,
our families,
our gifts and talents,
our earthly home,
sunshine and rain,
all of creation,
the capacity to love and be loved,
our minds and bodies,
our eternal souls,
His great love and mercy,
salvation,
and even His only Son

… all these are given to us from the hand of God the Father, the maker of Heaven and Earth.   What do we have that we can give to him?   Can any gift from the created ones be of value to the Creator of all that is?   After all, what do you give to the One who has absolutely everything?

God has shown us His eternal and pure love through the giving of all that He is. 
He has given us His message, the Word, both in the form of the scriptures and in the form of the Living Word, Jesus;  He has given His creativity, order, power, brilliance and majesty in Creation; He has given His love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and patience in allowing us to choose whether to love and serve Him.  He has given us new life and purpose and an eternal home in Heaven through the gift of salvation.   He has given us His only Son, the most precious gift ever given, when we, as the recipients of this gift, were lost in sin and ugliness and the filth of selfishness.

As we think about the giving and loving nature of God, it follows that if God is our model for giving, there are certain facts that are always evident about the kinds of gifts that truly make a difference.

First of all, His giving is sacrificial to an extent that we are unable to fully comprehend.

Secondly, His giving always has our best interests at heart.

 Thirdly, God is ever present in His giving.

*  He gave us the earth as our temporary home, but he sustains it so that this life can continue according to His plan

*  He gave us himself in the person of His Son, God with us, Emmanuel.

*  He gives us salvation and comes to live within us.

With every gift, God also gives Himself.  If we are to give a gift that has meaning and value to Him, we must also be very present in the giving, not just for a moment in time but for a lifetime.  Though none of us will be able to perfectly fulfill the goal of giving our all to the Lord, we must press on and continue, with God’s help, to focus upon Him and diligently seek Him, striving to grow in our relationship with Him and to surrender all that we are to Him day by day and moment by moment.

What does the Bible have to say about our giving and how we must be present in the gift, in other words, giving ourselves? 

From Romans 12:1 & 2, the meaning is abundantly clear:

“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. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Because of God’s mercy, we know that He is good.  Our response to His goodness (as it has been revealed through His choice to show mercy) should then be (according to this scripture) our true and proper
(in some translations, “reasonable”) worship:
the giving of ourselves.

This is to be a sacrificial gift, and yet we are allowed to continue living this earthly life.  We become living sacrifices, giving up our own will for His good, pleasing, and perfect will.  We allow Him to transform us through His Spirit.  As our mind is renewed, we gain some level of understanding of His purpose and His will for our lives.  As we give ourselves to Him, all that we are is changed and made new.  (II Corinthians 5:17  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”)  This new, spirit life within us causes us to want to live in a manner that brings honor and glory to the Lord, and this desire changes the focus of our lives.  We are no longer focused exclusively upon self and the world as it relates to our selves.  Instead, we begin to become aware that all that we think, say, and do has eternal importance.  Though we will never achieve perfection in this earthly life, we still seek to give to the Lord an intentional living sacrifice with every choice that we make.  We have the power of God through his Holy Spirit within us to help us follow through with our commitment to live for God’s glory, so we do not have to strive in our own strength.  We are to live as to the Lord, and not unto men.  (See Colossians 3:23 & 24)

When the very living of our lives has become an act of worship, recognizing God’s supremacy and worth in every decision and thought, worship is no longer an action but rather a lifestyle.  It’s a 24 / 7 / 365 … every moment of every day … goal of intentionally expressing God’s glory in all that we do, think, and say.**   In living out this lifestyle and this heart commitment to the One who has given us His all, we give the only gift that we can give to our Creator and Savior:  the gift of a transformed life that brings Him glory and joy!

CORPORATE  WORSHIP  AND  GIVING…

What about when we come together to worship the Lord?   How will we give to Him a time of focused worship that is meaningful and reverent, joyful and celebratory, and based upon what we read in the Bible about the types of giving that should characterize a gathering of God’s people for the purpose of worshipping Him together?  What are some of the Biblical references that could be applied to our efforts to give of ourselves to the Lord through worship?

1.  We are to give God THANKSGIVING and PRAISE!

* Psalm 100:4   “Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.”

* Psalm 9:1 & 2   “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart: I will tell of all Thy wonderful deeds.  I will be glad and exult in Thee, I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High.”

2.  We are to give God GLORY!

(or, glorify Him)

* Psalm 86:12   “With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever.”

* Psalm 96:6 – 9   “Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts.  O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”

3.  We are to give God AWE and REVERENCE, acknowledging Him as the Lord and Creator of all.

(In some verses and some translations, “the fear of the Lord”)

* Psalm 111:10   “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!”

* Psalm 86:9 – 12   “All the nations You have made shall come and bow down before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.  For You are great, and You do wondrous things; You alone are God.  Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.  I give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with my whole heart; and I will glorify Your name forever.”

4.  We are to give God BLESSING.  (Bless the Lord, bless the name of the Lord)

* Psalm 103:22   “Bless the LORD, all you works of His, In all places of His dominion; Bless the LORD, O my soul!”

* Psalm 28:6 & 7   “Blessed be the Lord!  for He has heard the voice of my supplications.  The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts; so I am helped and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.”

5.  We are to give Him EXALTATION!*  (or exalt Him, exalt His name)

From the www.thefreedictionary.com, here are the applicable definitions:

1. to raise or elevate in rank, position, dignity, etc.
2. to praise highly; glorify; extol
* Psalm 34:3   “Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!”

*NOTE:  The word ‘exaltation’ sometimes gets confused with ‘exultation’, for which the definition is “to rejoice greatly, be jubilant or triumphant (or, as in triumph.  We rejoice greatly in His triumph.)  — same source

6.  We are to give Him SERVICE (giving of our hearts, our time, our gifts, and our lives in serving Him)

* Joshua 24:15   “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Lift up His name!

7.  We are to give Him WORSHIP!

True worship rises up from the people of God, who are choosing to intentionally express His infinite worth! **

**(see note at end of post)

You have probably noticed by now that there is some overlap in the various types of giving to the Lord.  For example, in singing praise to God, we can bless His name.  In the worship category of giving, there is overlap with all other types of giving.  All of these ways of giving to the Lord are worship (lifestyle worship) when we are giving with the purpose of bringing glory to God and expressing His infinite worth through giving our best to God in every area of our lives.

* Psalm 29:2   “Honor the LORD for the glory of His name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness.”

* Phillippians 3:3   “For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

John 4:24   “For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

8.  We are to SING UNTO HIM!

* Psalm 5:11   “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.”

* Psalm 30:4   “Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name.”

* Psalm 59:16 & 17   “I will sing of Thy power; yes, I will sing aloud of Thy mercy in the morning; for Thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.  Unto Thee, O my Strength, will I sing; for God is my defense , and the God of my mercy.”   Psalm 59:16 & 17“I will sing of Thy power; yes, I will sing aloud of Thy mercy in the morning; for Thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.  Unto Thee, O my Strength, will I sing; for God is my defense , and the God of my mercy.”

9.  We are to give Him TITHES and OFFERINGS!

* Malachi 3:10   “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.  And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”

* Exodus 35:29   “The children of Israel brought a voluntary offering to Jehovah, every man and woman whose heart prompted them to bring for all manner of work, which Jehovah, by the hand of Moses, had commanded to be done.”

10.  We are to give Him HONOR!

* Revelation 4:11   “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

* Psalm 96:6 – 9   “Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts.  O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”

* Proverbs 3:9   “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the first and best part of all your income.”

Just as we would honor a guest in our home by seeking to serve our best meal and prepare diligently so that all will be able to enjoy the best time of fellowship, we choose to give unto the Lord the best of all that we are and all that we have for His honor.   We honor the Lord by giving, just as He has chosen to honor us by seeking fellowship with us and reaching out to us through the gift of His very best.

Psalm 8:3 – 5  

When I consider Your heavens,

the work of Your fingers,

the moon and the stars,

which You have set in place,

what is man that You are mindful of him,

the son of man that You care for him?

You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beingsc

and crowned him with glory and honor.”

11.  We are to give Him LOVE!

The words of Jesus Himself in Mark 12:30   “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.”

* Psalm 31:23   “Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.”

* Joshua 22:5   “But be very careful to obey all the commands and the instructions that Moses gave to you. Love the LORD your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold firmly to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.”

* Psalm 116:1   “I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.”

Give Him your heart

12.  We are to give Him OUR WHOLE HEART AND LIFE!

* I Chronicles 28:9   “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.”

* Psalm 86:9 – 12    “All the nations You have made shall come and bow down before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.  For You are great, and You do wondrous things; You alone are God.  Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.  I give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with my whole heart; and I will glorify Your name forever.”

* Colossians 1:10   “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”

* Psalm 56:13   “For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light.”

* Mark 8:35   “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.”

In demonstration of His infinite love for us, God continues to give.
In response to our efforts to give, He gives again in return.  It is impossible to give more of ourselves that He gives of Himself.  For God and for Jesus, demonstrating perfect love for us has been, is now, and will always be about giving.  For us, in giving to God honor, blessing, exaltation, thanksgiving, praise, glory, awe and reverence, love, honor, service, tithes and offerings, songs, and all that we are in life and in our hearts is our gift of worship and devotion to Him.  Again, he responds with more giving.  He gives His presence in response to true worship, and all Heaven breaks loose!  The Bible is full of promises for those who will give to the Lord their all.
Giving is about worship, and worship is all about giving.

“Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts.  O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”‘   Psalm 96:6 – 9

GOD HAS GIVEN HIS ALL…may we follow His example.

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**Here is a link to John Piper’s devotion where this definition of worship, paraphrased here, can be found:  http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/taste-see-articles/bodies-breakfast-and-the-marriage-bed

The wording of the original definition (directly quoted) in the first paragraph of this devotion is as follows:

“Worship” is the term we use to cover all the acts of the heart and mind and body that intentionally express the infinite worth of God. This is what we were created for, as God says in Isaiah 43:7, “Everyone who is called by my name, and whom I have created for my glory…” That means that we were all created for the purpose of expressing the infinite worth of God’s glory. We were created to worship.”

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This post was written by C. Boyd.

For other posts on worship, view our category called “Worship with Wonder” at https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/category/worship-with-wonder/

We also have a page entitled “Lifestyle Worship”  at this link:  http://wwwworshipsounds.wordpress.com/lifestyle-worship

The titles of additional pages related to worship ministry (on topics such as creative worship ideas, worship planning and preparation, and avoiding burnout in ministry) can be found in the header on our home page at the bottom of the scenic photo.

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Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make!  The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.  Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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WORSHIP in the New Testament

“And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” Matthew 26:30

We know from Romans 12:1 & 2 that worship involves more than just the corporate gathering of God’s people.  Giving glory to God through the way the we live all of life should be the motivation for all we do as believers (lifestyle worship).  We also know that, according to Hebrews 10:25, God has set a priority on meeting together regularly.  Certainly, though we are to worship God intentionally every day as we seek to glorify Him in all that we say and do, corporate worship remains very important.  So, what can we glean from various scriptures regarding what took place in the earliest days of the church; and how do these truths apply to us today as individual worshippers and as members of a corporate body who meet together to worship?

There are five major areas of worship mentioned in the New Testament.  I will list the implications of each of these areas for church families as a whole (corporate worship) and for individuals who are part of a worship leadership team.

Prayer

PRAYER IN THE NEW TESTMENT CHURCH – Acts 4:23-31—The church was literally fighting for its existence in the early days.  They were constantly threatened with terrible punishment or even death because they were believers.  This fervent prayer expresses their desire for God to show Himself strong in the midst of difficult times.  The New Testament Christians, however, also were aware of the greatness of God.  Therefore, they would submit themselves to Him in humble and fervent prayer.

PRAYER IN THE CHURCH TODAY-  Prayer was first and foremost in the life of the New Testament church, and our communion with God must be a top priority in the life of our church today.  It must become the priority of our individual lives and the times that we spend together.  We are just as desperate for God to do a work as the New Testament church was.    

THE WORSHIP TEAM IN PRAYER – We must commit ourselves to regular, fervent prayer.  Our rehearsals must become permeated with prayer.  We must realize that the time we spend practicing music is secondary to our need for prayer.  God can do amazing things through us if we will commit to a faithful prayer life. 

Preaching

PREACHING IN THE NEW TESTAMENT – Acts 20:7-12 – The Apostle Paul was evidently both a very effective evangelist (Acts 14:1) as well as one who traveled about to various churches teaching them from the Word of God.  This remarkable passage makes note of the length of his message for the church at Troas on this particular occasion.  Peter was also well-known for his sermon on the day of Pentecost, and there must have been countless others who proclaimed the word of God through preaching.

PREACHING IN THE CHURCH TODAY – There are plenty of comments and opinions about what constitutes good preaching and what some consider to be not as good.  However, our only measuring stick must be the Word of God.  Is the Word being handled accurately by the preacher?  Are the truths explained in an understandable way, and is there a practical application being made to modern day life?  We must remember that our focus should be on what is being taught rather than focusing on the one who is doing the teaching.  Until we mature enough as believers to do this, there will always be people who think that sermons are boring and irrelevant, not interesting, not funny enough, and always too long.  God help us to fall in love with His Word!

PREACHING AND THE WORSHP TEAM – We must lift up our preachers in prayer faithfully.  As worship leaders, we are responsible for focusing our attention on the scripture texts as well as the explanations and applications associated with them.  Instead of talking about superficial things, such as what is being worn or not being worn, how effective the sermon delivery may have been, or the length of the sermon, we must talk about what we learned from God’s Word and what kind of an impact it will make on us in the days to follow.

Praise

PRAISE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH — (Acts 2:46) – The church made praising God a regular part of their corporate worship gatherings.  An interesting thing to note is that the Bible does not specifically say that when the believers praised God that they were always singing.  There are times when singing is specifically mentioned, such as Acts 16:25 (Paul and Silas in prison), but spoken praise is mentioned in the book of Revelation 4:10-11.  In Ephesians 5:19-20, singing is specifically mentioned; and in chapter 5 of Revelation, there are specific references to singing “a new song” (Rev. 5: 9-10) and singing loudly (Rev. 5:12-13)

PRAISE IN THE CHURCH TODAY –While our lives must reflect praise to God at all times (Sunday through Saturday), there is something unique, powerful, and mystical about God’s people joining together in corporate praise.  Whether it’s two believers singing hymns and praying in a Philippian jail cell, or 15,000 gathered in a mega-church, God inhabits the praises of His people.  We must explore ways to praise God as a church, and we must be willing to concede that “our way” is not the only way that is valid.

PRAISE AND THE WORSHIP TEAM — We must understand our role as leaders of worship for the church.  We are truly servants who should seek to serve God and the people of this church by our worship leadership.  We must allow God to challenge us and change us into what He wants us to be.  We must be willing to listen to new things, try new things, sharpen our skills, put in the time it takes to lead with excellence, and find out how we can best serve our church as worship leaders.

Offerings

OFFERINGS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH – It is interesting that financial offerings in the New Testament are generally spoken of in a very practical way.  (I Corinthians 16:1-3)   Aside from several Old Testament references, mainly in the book of Hebrews, the word offering is most closely associated with the life of the believer.  (Hebrews 13: 15-16, I Peter 2:5)

OFFERINGS IN THE CHURCH TODAY – We must not shy away from the practical nature of financial offerings.  God has determined that His people are going to finance His work.  We have to come to an understanding of our responsibility as believers to give regularly and generously.

OFFERINGS AND THE WORSHIP TEAM — It is criticially important that we offer to God all that we are and all that we have in order to be fully surrendered to Him.  That’s the only way that our lives will be open to his leadership.  In addition, it is hypocritical to think that we can be considered leaders in the church without being faithful in the area of financial stewardship.  Ask God to give you the faith to give as He intends for you to give.

Encouragement

ENCOURAGEMENT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH – An important part of any corporate worship experience in the New Testament was the practice of believers encouraging (exhorting) one another through both spoken word and through the use of music.  The epistles of the New Testament were written forms of encouragement that were read in the various congregations.  While there are other worship acts mentioned in the New Testament, such as fellowship, prophecy, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, lifting up holy hands, these really fall under the five major categories mentioned above.

ENCOURAGEMENT IN THE CHURCH TODAY—God knows that we need encouragement to live the Christian life abundantly.  We need encouragement from every angle.  We need to have sin in our lives pointed out regularly by God’s Word.  We need to celebrate victories in the lives of our fellow believers.  We need to cry with those who are hurting.  We need to be willing to take a chance to help a brother or sister in financial need.  We need to know that we are not in this thing alone.

ENCOURAGEMENT AND THE WORSHIP TEAM – As worship leadership team members, we have one of the most visible and influential platforms for encouraging the church!  Every anthem we sing or play, every image we put on the screen, every setting on the sound board should enable the encouragement of the church family.  We must strive to be outstanding encouragers in every way.  We must ask ourselves this before we open our mouths to share something with another church member:   “Will what I am about to say be encouraging or discouraging to the body of Christ?  Is this going to build up or tear down?”  Encouragement is contagious!

Each worship team member should make our leadership role in each of these areas of worship a matter of prayer and seek to consistently improve every area of servant leadership.  As you begin spiritual preparation for this week’s worship service, keep in mind the following thoughts:
*  True worship takes place when we realize the greatness of God and seek to glorify Him through our lives.
*  A regular gathering of the saints is necessary for our spiritual health!  Let’s be regular attenders!!
*  Every day of our life is an opportunity to live in such a way as to show our gratefulness for all of God’s blessings.
Remember, it’s not about the worship leaders.  It’s not about the preacher.  It’s not about the congregation.  It’s all about the incredible God we serve!

Post written by Travis L. Boyd as encouragement for worship leadership teams, first appearing as a devotional for our own worship team and as prayer reminders on our church’s worship team website.

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Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make!  The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.  Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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