Sunday, February 15, 2009

ARE YOU A WORSHIPER - PART 2

WHAT IS TRUE WORSHIP?

"A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers.
God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality)." - John 4:23-24 (Amplified Bible)


There is so much within these verses. First, notice the Father is seeking (yearning, longing) such to worship. Secondly, He is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Let's consider a typical corporate worship service. We come into a service and the worship leader leads us some fast praise songs followed by some slow worship songs, then we begin to flow into the "river of worship" with some chord progressions. So when you say worship, to most believers the first thing that comes to mind is slow songs sung in a service.

WHAT THEN IS TRUE WORSHIP?

The first time you find worship in the Bible is in Genesis 22. It reads:

And Abraham said to his servants, Settle down and stay here with the donkey, and I and the young man will go yonder and worship and come again to you. - Genesis 22:5 (Amplified Bible)

Abraham was not going up yonder to sing a slow song with Isaac. He was going up there to put the most treasured possession in his life to death, simply because God asked him to do it! So you can see worship is a life of obedience. This explains why God passionately says to His own people who were singing songs to Him:

Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living. Amos 5:23-24 (New Living Translation)

WORSHIP IS A LIFESTYLE WE MAINTAIN!

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual (reasonable) act of worship. Romans 12:1 (New Internation Version)

"Worship is an act of obedience of the heart. It is a response that requires the very core of who you are, to love the Lord for who He is, not just for what He does." - Darlene Zschech

Worship is not a matter of skill and technique. It is not confined to just singing some songs during a weekend church service. It is a LIFESTYLE and daily experience. True worship flows from the life of one who has an intimate relationship with God.

Blessings
TPWC

1 comment:

Pastor Albert said...

Touchy Topic: Black and White Music
By Dick Innes

"Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp."1

How well I remember when I first came to the U.S.A. how moved I was by the singing in chapel where I attended college and how, when I was fresh out of college, in the little church I attended how we made the rafters ring with our singing. Back then the singing was in rich, full harmony. Also, on one occasion when speaking in a church in Perth, Western Australia, the singing was heavenly. On the fist line of the first song, I said to myself, "Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place." And he was.

There was a Chinese professor in the congregation that day. It was only the first or second time in her life that she had ever been to church. She told us how she was brought up in China under Mao Tse Tung and was taught that there was no God. "But," she said, "I know now that there is a God. I felt his presence here as never before."

In today's church, music is still one of the biggest areas of conflict. The "oldies" like the hymnology of the past while the "youngies" like the more contemporary music. I have two concerns and it has little, if anything, to do with whether the music is hymns or what has come to be known as praise music.

My first concern, with both the old hymns and the new praise songs, is that using modern technology has helped eliminate harmony from both the old and the new music. PowerPoint is wonderful for projecting announcements, the Scriptures, and sermon points, but I have problems with the music only in that it has all but eliminated harmony. The hymn/chorus words may be in full color but our singing is mostly in black and white. Frankly, being somewhat of an amateur musician myself, I find this singing without harmony rather lacking.

Could you imagine what it would sound like if every instrument in an orchestra only ever played the melody? How dreadfully uninspiring that would be.

In days gone by I used to play an electric guitar—but if I only ever played the melody, I'm pretty sure my family would have been "harping" (nagging) at me, especially Joy, my wife, for she plays both a harp and the piano. If she only ever played melody on the piano and on her harp, I'd probably be "harping" at her!

I may very well be wrong, but I cannot in my wildest dreams ever imagine that the singing in heaven will be without harmony. Harmony is a marvelous gift of God. As four-color printing is to color printing let's bring four-part harmony back into our churches to enrich our worship and praise of God. And, if our schools are no longer teaching our kids music and harmony, let's do it in our churches. And if our churches aren't teaching music and harmony, let's teach our kids at home. Like I said, harmony is a wonderful gift from God. Let's use it to glorify him and enrich our singing and worship—regardless of whether we sing traditional hymns or contemporary praise songs.

My second concern is to emphasize the fact that the most important thing in our singing is that it is coming from the heart and not just from the head—or the emotions. Authentic music and authentic praise of God only comes from authentic people—regardless of the style of music being sung or played.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for creating color for the world in which we live, for how monotonous it would be if the sky, clouds, trees, birds, flowers, the ocean and everything else were just black and white. And thank you for creating harmony and music so we can lift our voices in glorious harmony to sing praises and words of thanksgiving to you for all you have done for us. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 147:7 (NIV).

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