Saturday, August 28, 2010


It was blessed week to have the privilege to host pastor John W. Stevenson the author of "Worshiper By Design - A Unique Look At Why We Were Created" who was ministering in Singapore. I met pastor John twenty years ago and it was certainly no coincidence to cross path again to be inspired with a message concerning worship and the worship life of the church which the Lord has placed in his heart a mandate to be shared to the Body of Christ.

Pastor John in his book defines a worshiper as:

one who is INTIMATELY ACQUAINTED with, and has a DAILY RELATIONSHIP with GOD exhibited through OBEDIENCE.
He said, “You were NOT created to DO, you were created to BE”.
The first time you find ‘worship’ in Scripture is in Genesis 22. It reads:

" And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; I and the lad will go yonder; we will worship and return to you ." (verse 5 emphasis added)

It is important to note that Abraham was not going up yonder with a musical instrument to sing a song with Isaac. He was going up there to put the most treasured possession in his life to death, simply because God ask him to do it! So as you can see worship involves faith, sacrifice and obedience. These three elements set the foundation for all Christian worshipers.

God never intended for worship to be ‘synonymous’ with music and the arts. Christians tend to ‘compartmentalise’ worship. For example worship seminar tends to focus on the "doing" rather than Christian living. Why do worship workshops attract only musicians, singers and worship leaders? The reason is that Christians have drawn a line of demarcation between worship and the Christian life. True worship is a life of obedience and out of that life will flow songs of worship, which will delight the heart of God, rather than repulse Him as in the following Scriptures:

"Away with your hymns of praise! They are only noise to my ears. I will not listen to your music, no matter how lovely it is. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, a river of righteous living that will never run dry"(Amos 5:23-24 NLT).

You see, there really is no difference in singing a song out of a hymnbook or singing a song that is projected on a screen. The real difference is in the heart of the person singing. Singing "worship" songs does not make you a worshiper! Having a worship team does not make you a worshiping church! All of that can become religious exercise if we are not intentional to keep our hearts engaged in the exchange and remain in passionate pursuit of the ONE we are worshiping - JESUS! It is our daily relationship with Jesus that makes our worship of God genuine and authentic.

I believe the church has entered a season in which the Holy Spirit is confronting us about the things we have taught in many ways have moved us away from a worship relationship and a worship life to a place more focused on worship activity. If we are going to help bring about change in the Body of Christ, it must start with changing our own models, our vocabulary, and our teaching on worship.

Worship is not about doing! It is a lifestyle that flows from dwelling in the very presence of the Lord. The worship life of the believer is living with the awareness that we are daily in that Presence. It is living in the reality that we are in Him and He is in us. When we worship Him, we are not trying to work our way into His presence. we are acknowledging that we are already in His Presence and our worship of Him is what gives us access to relate to Him.

What does it take to be a worshiper of God? Considering our definition of a worshiper, we realize that to focus on the elements of music and the arts is to reduce worship to something less than God intended and something far less than He deserves. If a worshiper is one who is INTIMATELY ACQUAINTED with and has a DAILY RELATIONSHIP with GOD exhibited through a life of OBEDIENCE, we must move beyond songs, instruments, banners and art to something deeper and graner; we must move to something encompasses all of life and it involves faith, sacrifice and obedience!


(an extract from Worshiper By Design: A Unique Look At Why We Were Created by John W. Stevenson - for more information: )

Be A Worshiper \0/\0/\0/

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name
Psalm 29:2

Let us praise God CONTINUALLY because it is His due. Should J-H-V-H be left unpraised? Praise is the rent that He asks of us for the enjoyment of all things. Will we be slow to pay? Will a man rob God? When it is such a happy work to give Him His due, will we deny it? It blesses us to bless the Lord. Will we stint God in the measure of His glory when He does not stint us His goodness? Come, if you have become sorrowful lately, shake off your gloom, and awake all your instruments of music to praise the Lord! Do not let murmuring and complaining be so as mentioned among His saints. Will not the Lord be CONTINUALLY praised? Surely the very stones and rocks must break their everlasting silence in indignation if the children of God do not praise His name.

Praise Him CONTINUALLY, for it will help you in everything. A man full of praise is ready for all other holy exercises. Even in times of pain and weakness he could still exalt the Lord (Psalm 34:1). Whenever you go to do any kind of service, even though it is nothing better than opening the shop or waiting behind the counter, you will do it all the better when you are in the spirit of praise and gratitude. If you are a domestic servant and can praise God CONTINUALLY, you will be a comfort in the house. If you are a master and are surrounded with the troubles of life, if your heart is always blessing the Lord, you will keep up your spirits and will not be sharp and ill-tempered with those around you

Praise will preserve us from many evils. When the heart is full of the praise of God, it does not have time to find fault and grow proudly angry with people around us. Somebody has said a very nasty thing about us. Well, we will answer him when we have finished the work we have in hand, namely, praising God CONTINUALLY. At present we have a great work to do and cannot come down to wrangle. Self love and its natural irritations die in the blaze of praise. If you praise God CONTINUALLY, the vexations and troubles of life will be cheerfully borne. Praise makes the happy man a strong man. “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Praising God makes us drink of the brook by the way and lift up our heads. We cannot fear while we can praise. Neither can we be bribed by the world’s favour, nor cowed by its frown. Praise makes angels of us. Let us abound to it.

Praise God because this is what God loves. Notice from Hebrews 13:15 how the next verse puts it: “With such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrew 13:16). Would we not do anything and everything to please God? It seems too good to be true that we can impart any pleasure to the ever-blessed One. Yet it is so, for He has declared that He is well-pleased with the praises and gifts of His children. Therefore let us withhold nothing from our dear Father, our blessed God. It will always be an honour to praise Him.

The final point -The verse Hebrews 13:15 reads, “Let us offer the sacrifice of praise CONTINUALLY.” The apostle Paul did not say, “Eventually get to work, when you are able to give up business and have retired to the country, or perhaps when you are near death.” Rather, he said, NOW ‘let us offer the sacrifice of praise.’” When Paul wrote this, he was probably in a low place, in shackles and chains, shut up in a dungeon in Rome. Sure we who are not in prison and none of us are galled with shackles on our wrists can certain join Paul in praising God CONITNUALLY.

As His church and people, we have received great favors from the Lord's hand. Come, let us join together with heart and hand of the Lord and worship joyfully before Him. With words and gifts, let us offer the sacrifice of praise CONTINUALLY.
(an extract from : Spurgeon on Praise – The joy and rewards of praising God!)

Saturday, August 14, 2010


By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name
Hebrews 13:15

As believers, we are called upon to offer to God a CONTINUAL sacrifice. Aren’t we glad that instead of presenting in the morning and evening a sacrifice of lambs and on certain holy days bringing bullocks and sheep to be slain, we are to present to God the sacrifice of praise?

Firstly, how do we offer this sacrifice CONITUALLY? “By him therefore…” at the very threshold of all offering of sacrifice to God, we begin with Christ. We cannot go a step without Jesus. The High Priest of our profession meets us at the sanctuary door. We place our sacrifices into His hands, so that He may present them for us. Without a Mediator we can make no advance to God. We are to offer CONTINUAL sacrifice looking to Jesus.

Let us offer sacrifice of praise to God continually …” that is to say, without ceasing. Let us make an analogy to that which says, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and say, “Praise without ceasing.”We are to praise the Lord our God, not only in this place or that place, but in every place; not only when we are in a happy frame of mind, but even when we are downcast and troubled. The perfumed smoke from the altar of incense is rise toward heaven both day and night, from beginning of the year to the year’s end. Not only when we are in the assembly of the saints are we to praise God, but when we are called to pass through “valley of the shadow of death”. Psalm 34:1 – “Bless the Lord at all times.” Offer the sacrifice of praise to God not just alone in your secret chamber, which is fragrant with the perfume of your communion with God, but in the field, there in the street, and in the hurry and noise of the exchange.

This CONTINUAL sacrifice of praise is to be natural. It is called “the fruit of our lips”. These lips of ours must produce fruit. Our words are leaves – how soon they wither! However, the praise of God is the fruit that can be stored up and presented to the Lord. Fruit is a natural product. It grows without force, the free outcome of the plant (on condition that we stay abide in the VINEJohn 15:1-8). So let praise grow out of your lips as it’s own sweet will. Let it be as natural to you, as regenerated men and women, to praise God as it seems to be natural to profane men to blaspheme His sacred name.

Last but not least, I want to recommend this blessed exercise of praise – “to offer the sacrifice of praise to God CONTINUALLY,” because in so doing, you will discover your reason for being. Every creature is happiest when it is doing what it is made for. An eagle would die in the water, even as a fish that is made to swim perishes on the river’s bank. Christians are made to glorify God. We are never in our element until we are praising Him. The happiest moments you have ever spent were those in which you lost sight of everything inferior and bowed before J-H-V-H’s throne with reverent joy and blissful praise. I can say it is so with me, and I do not doubt it is so with you. When your whole soul is full of praise, you have at last reached the goal at which your heart is aiming. Your ship is now in full sail. Your life moves on smoothly and safely. This is the groove along which it was made to slide. Your new nature was fashioned for the praise of God, and it finds rest in doing so. Keep to this work. Do not degrade yourself by less divine employment.
(an extract from – Spurgeon on Praise – the joy and rewards of praising God)
May this song Living Sacrifice by Chris Christian inspires you to offer your life as a living sacrifice of praise CONTINUALLY to Him!


Saturday, August 07, 2010


Let's continue to look at king David's passion for God's dwelling place. Psalm 27 was probably written when he was exiled from home and being hunted by king Saul and his men. The Psalm does reveal that David was in great danger from violent evildoers (v2) who were lying about him (v12) and wanting to kill him (v2 & v12), and Saul and his men qualified. David was confident (v3), courageous (v14) and unafraid (v1).

The secret of David's public confidence was his private obedience: he took time to fellowship with the Lord and get directions from Him. David knew that the most important part of his life was the part that only God could see, and this was one priority he would not negotiate. ONE THING (v5)- David was living in the wilderness of Judea, away from the sanctuary of the Lord, but he was still able to enter into fellowship with his God. God's house was but a tent (v5-v6), for the temple had not yet been built, but it was still referred to as "God's temple" (see 1 Samuel 1:9; 33).

King David's passion for God's presence:
a) kept him safe in the days of trouble (v5)
b) God's dwelling was his shelter (v5)
c) set him high upon a Rock - of his salvation (v5)
(an extract from Be Worshipful by Warren W. Wiersbe)

Our dwelling (or abiding) with God can be expressed in many ways: communicating through prayers, finding Him in His Word, experiencing Him through praise and worship, in fact anywhere if we learn how to "Practice The Presence of God" (See previous posts). The Psalms which are literally "songs" and singing them are one of the key into His presence (dwelling, secret place).

Let's look at some of King David's passion for God's dwelling place in the Psalms:
* Psalm 26:8 - I love the house where you live, O LORD, the place where your glory dwells.
* Psalm 42:1 to 4 - As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.
* Psalm 43:3 to 4 - Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.
* Psalm 52:8 - But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever.
* Psalm 55:14 - But it is you, a man like myself,my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship a we walked with the throng at the house of God.
* Psalm 61:3 & 4 - For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
* Psalm 84:1 & 2 - How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
* Psalm 84:10 - Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
* Psalm 91: 1 & 2 - He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say [b] of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
* Psalm 92:13 & 14 - The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
* Psalm 135:1 & 2 -
Praise the LORD. Praise the name of the LORD; praise him, you servants of the LORD, you who minister in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God.

May this song inspire you to renew that passion for
His Dwelling Place:

Stay Blessed!