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 ‘worship is a lifestyle’

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):
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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”:
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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”.
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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
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(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
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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)
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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.”
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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.
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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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Understanding Worship

“I will praise Thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart; and I will glorify Thy name forevermore.” Psalm 86:12

How can we recognize authentic worship, and how can we make sure that we as individuals are authentic in worshipping our Almighty God?

 *  Is there a particular style or form of worship that is more authentic than any other?
*  Is there something that can be measured or seen in authentic worship?  

What is the focus of authentic worship, and what should be our understanding of what the word ‘worship’ really means?

Most importantly, HOW can our church experience the kind of dynamic worship that blows the doors off of our church buildings by spilling over and flooding into our daily lives and thereby impacting the community around us?

Perhaps, we need to look for the answer to this question:  “What did Jesus say about true worship?”

Jesus said that true worshippers will worship God in Spirit and in truth and that God seeks such worshippers (John 4:23 & 24).

What does it mean to worship God in Spirit and in truth?

The answer to this very important question often eludes God’s people, and sometimes there is very little attention given to the subject.   In over 35 years of active church life, since the time of our salvation, in the churches where Travis and I have served, we’ve heard very few sermons and Bible studies that specifically addressed the topic of worship in depth.  This topic may not be neglected in every congregation, but years of ministry have shown us that God’s people often have a lack of knowledge about true worship.  So many people seem to think that worship is a 25 minute time of singing just before the preaching begins in a congregational worship service.  Others have actually been told that the purpose of congregational worship is to “prepare the hearts of the people to receive the message from God’s word”  (preaching).  However, in reality, worship is worship!  Worship is our response to recognizing God’s ultimate worth.  The goal of worship is to give God glory We do not worship God in order to prepare for something else.  The preaching of God’s word is worship, too, when it brings God glory!   We worship through the proclamation of the word.  Unfortunately, many people have very wrong ideas about what worship is and how the concept of worship should fit into the everyday life of every Christian.

The primary focus for every Christian should be to relate to our holy God and worship Him, and yet we are woefully under-educated about how to do the very thing for which we were created and for which the church meets together every week.  In a corporate worship service and in the way that we live our daily lives, our focus should be on worshipping God and giving Him glory.   However, when we view God only through the lens of our own lives, what we want Him to do for us, and the blessings we seek, then our focus becomes all about us.   We become more concerned about what we get out of worship and not concerned at all about what we give!

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 (our response to our holy, almighty, and supreme God) 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!).

Worship 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.

Okay, so we’re supposed to give.  What happens when we come to a worship service without being ready to give?   There are a couple of scenarios.

A.  Sometimes we may feel that we have nothing to give.  God does not want our perfection…we have none.  He does not want us to pretend to feel anything other than what we feel.  If we are feeling lonely or sad, He wants us to confess that and give it to Him.  If we are struggling with trusting Him, He wants us to admit the struggle and ask Him to give us a heart of praise in the midst of it.  Whatever our burden may be, he wants us to lay it down and to exchange it for the garment of praise.  When we realize our need to be clothed with praise, intentionally seeking to give God glory in spite of circumstances, He can work in our hearts and lives in spite of any areas where we fall short of His will for us.  He meets us right where we are and continues to give the gifts of His presence, comfort, peace, assurance, gifts of the Spirit, and even quickens (wakes up and brings to life) His Spirit within us, enabling us to give and to worship.  Imagine what could happen when a whole congregations chooses the mindset of focusing on our Great God rather than on our problems, our faults, or the faults of others!  Wow!  That would be amazing!

B.  In contrast to this scenario, consider what happens when we sit down in the worship center and are not even aware that we could be bringing to God the offerings of praise, worship, our hearts and lives, exaltation, thanksgiving, and more through everything that takes place during the worship service (not just the singing!) ?   If we are not only unaware of our need to give Him praise but also unwilling to view the worship experience as one of giving, our focus is on self and ‘the Lord as He relates to me.’  Unfortunately, the end result of this approach is lifeless worship, selfish attitudes, and division within the fellowship.  If someone were to ask what we were doing, our response might be that we are giving God praise.  But unless we are truly praising God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and focusing on Him alone as though He were right there in the room with us (He is!), our words are nothing more that lip service.

True worship unites our hearts, because we all share a common focus…on Him!

Matthew 18:20 tells us that Jesus will be in our midst when we gather in His name!  Only as we lay aside every earthly attitude that would hinder true worship and put all of our focus on Him can we say that we are gathered in His name.  Without the presence of God, there is no power in worship.  The power comes from Him, not from us or from any specific forms of worship.  Whatever form our corporate worship service takes, if the people of God are not focused on bringing Him glory, then it is not really worship.

If I were a cartoonist, I would illustrate this post with some very meaningful cartoons.  These cartoons would depict how a fundamental misunderstanding of worship has resulted in a self-focus that is very harmful to the fellowship of the church.  The idea that the form or worship is the most important thing and the resulting attitude and fellowship problems can be well illustrated by several imaginary situations.

The Birthday Party
The first cartoon would picture a child’s birthday party where all of the guests have come wearing party hats with various slogans.  One hat pictures a chocolate ice cream cone with the slogan, “Just Say NO to Vanilla!”   Another hat says, “Bigger goody bags!”  Still another says, “More cake!”   You get the picture.  Unfortunately, the party guests would seem to have forgotten that the party is not about them and their preferences.  The purpose of the party is to celebrate and honor the birthday boy (or girl).   From experience as a party guest, I can testify that when one attends the party with the attitude that the party is for the honoree and that everyone wishes to contribute to the celebration of said person’s life, a guest can still have a great time and also the wonderful feeling of knowing that you helped someone you love have a really special moment in time.  There is joy in the giving because of  love!  Remember that God so loved that He gave!

Who is the guest of honor?

Who is the guest of honor?

God’s Sign
My second cartoon illustration would picture a congregation sitting in the pews, waiting for the service of worship to begin.  Several of the congregants are holding signs.  One sign says, “More hymns!”.   Another, “More worship songs!”, and still another, “More Southern Gospel”.  Other signs read, “More drums!’ and “Bigger choir!”   The second frame of this cartoon would show the platform area of the worship center.  Suddenly, a large cloud has appeared, hovering directly over the platform.  This is clearly not a normal cloud, for it is seemingly illuminated from within.   The third frame would show the startled looks on the faces of all of the members and ministers.  One person asks, “What in the world is that?”  In the fourth frame, an answer is given.  From the bottom of the cloud, a sign drops down with a 2 word message from God:  “More worship!”

Would we be worrying about our preferences if we could see Him?

Would we be worrying about our preferences if we could see Him?

In the Same Room
My third cartoon would again show a congregation in the pews (or chairs), with one very important difference.   This congregation is very visibly divided.  There are soundproof glass walls that extend all the way to the ceiling of the worship center and divide the seating area into sections.   Each seating area has it’s own mini platform in front, with a sign indicating the style of worship music that will take place in each section.  One section, labeled “Christian Rock”, has a full rock band set up, with lighting effects.  Another, labeled “Traditional Worship,”  has a choir and orchestra, and a piano and organ.   Another section, labeled “Southern Gospel,”  has a quartet warmed up and ready to sing.  Finally, the fourth section, labeled “Praise and Worship,”  has a praise band and praise team, a celebration choir, banners proclaiming God’s glory, and an incredible media set-up.   In the cartoon frame, a greeter has escorted a guest into the worship center.  As the guest takes in the scene, the greeter says, “Well, at least we’re still worshipping together!”   (Ouch!  Not really!)

[Note:  Remember that being together with our brothers and sisters in Christ is fellowship.  Worshipping together is divine communion.]

Techno Church
The fourth cartoon is unfortunately a really sad commentary and could take place not too far into the future.   In the first frame of the cartoon, each person in the worship center is wearing headphones and sitting in front of a screen.  You see, there is no longer enough unity to truly worship together, so the church of the future has settled for being in the same building at the same time.  Each individual controls their own “worship mix.”   At their personal computer screen, each person chooses which song videos they will see and hear on their screens and through their headphones.  They determine the style of the songs, which songs are sung, and even choose which group will perform them from a pre-recorded video menu.  Then, they can even choose their own sermon and preacher.  The middle frame shows everyone concentrating on their individual screens, isolated from fellow church members with their headphones and their individual worship service mix.  In the final frame, congregants begin to leave the worship center, having finished their ‘service’.  One shakes hands with another and says, “It was great to worship with you today.”   (Double ouch!)

I hope and pray that these last 2 cartoon depictions from my head don’t become reality!  We must begin to teach and preach and proclaim that true worship is about giving!   We’ll continue right down the slippery slope of demanding our own way and failing to extend any grace to other believers if we don’t begin to shout this message from the rooftops!  It’s not about me!  It’s not about you!  It’s not about one age group or another!  It’s not about a preferred musical style or your own particular list of favorite songs.  It’s not about formality or informality.  It’s not the style or cost of our clothing.

Worship is about Him!  It’s about giving God glory in every area of life, and corporately giving Him glory, honor, blessing, exaltation, thanksgiving, praise, and our whole hearts when we meet together to worship!  That, dear reader, is true worship!

Please, feel free to share this blog post with everyone you can think of!  God help us to worship Him in Spirit and in truth!

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This post was written by Cynthia A. Boyd, with full responsibility and no apologies for its content.

Lord, please use the foolishness of bold words to draw hearts to yourself!

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There are several additional posts about worship on our blog.  Read the following posts and pages for additional perspective, practical ideas, and inspiration:

1.  “Lifestyle Worship”  (page focusing on giving God glory in all of life)   https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/lifestyle-worship/

2.  “Creative Worship Ideas”  (page, self-explanatory)  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/creative-worship-ideas/

3.  “Worship ABC’s”   (good as a reminder or even for a dramatic or media presentation in worship)  post published Nov. 7, 2011  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/worship-abcs/

4.  “Worship Planning and Preparation”  (a comprehensive guide, with lots of inspiration and things to consider)  post published Jan. 26, 2012   http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/worship-planning-and-preparation/

5.  “Worship is Joy!”   (post focusing on the joy of giving God praise when we worship Him for who He is)   post published 1-31-2012   http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/worship-is-joy/

6.  Music is a gift…Worship the Giver!  (self-explanatory, very thought-provoking)

7.  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/worship-its-all-about-giving-2/   Our best post on what worship really is, with every point sharing solid scriptural truth.

In addition, our page entitled “Lift Your Voice” is an extensive resource page for worship related scriptures from both the Old and New Testaments.  Check it out at http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/lift-your-voice/

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Here’s a link to a great article on the subject of worship and preference and what the REAL worship war is all about, written by Stephen Miller and published by the online mag Relevant Magazine.

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/church/modern-worship-music-wars

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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 is Joy!

We all meet together at the foot of the cross, leaving behind anything that would hinder the worship of Almighty God.

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 armies of Israel were to go forth in battle, they were always lead by a group of worship leaders.  Have you ever wondered why?  It is because they recognized that they were powerless without God’s help.  They knew that if they acknowledged God as their strength, He would bring them victory.  Any time they got away from this truth, they suffered great defeats.  It is no different [for God’s people] today.  In order for God to empower and strengthen us, we must acknowledge His all-consuming greatness and submit to Him as our Creator and our Redeemer.  We must have the walls of pride and self-sufficiency come down in order to experience God’s full power in our lives and in the life of our church.

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!

“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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This post was written by Travis L. Boyd and is adapted from his article, “Worship is Joy!”  in the April 8, 2010, edition of The First Word, the church newsletter of First Baptist Church of Duluth, Georgia.

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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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