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Saturday, September 29, 2012

A few examples...

In addition to the New Testament command that believers must worship in Spirit and Truth, worship involves obedience, humility and fear and there are examples of each of these in the Old Testament.  In Genesis chapter 22, God commands Abraham to offer his only son Isaac as a burnt offering unto the Lord.  Every father has a love for their child that is beyond compare and it is unimaginable the feeling of emotional torment Abraham felt after hearing this command.  True worship is far from the mere feelings of our flesh, but this is a trend going on in today’s worship scene and right away can be classified as unbiblical. In this passage in Genesis, we can see that true worship is absolutely void of Abraham feeling like he is worshipping.  Many Christians may associate worship with whether or not they feel like they are worshipping the Lord, but verse 5 in this chapter tells us that Abraham associated obedience with worship.  Abraham was like any other human being and I’m sure that he had all types of things going through his mind on the way to Moriah and ever since the Lord's command.  Abraham yielded everything he had, including his feelings, to worship and submitted his only son to his God.  Worship is far from feeling like it is worship.  Complete obedience to the Lord is worship.  Also in the book of Genesis is the account of the great flood that destroyed all the earth and everything in it, except for Noah and his family.  All the friends Noah had, the industries he was involved in and the different cities of the world, were gone.  All Noah had when he finally came out of the ark was his family.  In chapter 8 verse 20, it says “And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD;…” There was nothing left on this earth to help restart life and economy and such and instead of finding shelter or food or ways to restart life on earth, Noah chose to worship God.  Noah saw that God destroyed everything upon the earth and therefore was in awe and fear of the power of the Lord.  Noah had never ever seen rain before the flood and just by using water, he saw that the almighty and powerful God could destroy everything.  Noah was fearful of God and worshipped God with fear.  There is another account of worship in the Old Testament.  The Lord gives permission to Satan to take away all of Job’s possessions, his sons and daughters, servants and cattle.  Later on, Job’s wife also turns against him and tells him to curse God and die.  Job 1:20-21 is probably one of the greatest record of the right attitude and expression of reverent humility to the Lord.  All of Job’s belongings and all of his life’s work had been taken away and yet Job “…fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,…  Job completely humbled himself and his life to the will of the Lord.  Complete humility to the Lord is worship. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The SOURCE of Worship

Secondly, the Holy Spirit is the source of our worship.  Jesus tells us in John 4:24 that when believers worship, it needs to be in Spirit and Truth.  The moment one comes to know Christ as their Saviour, The Holy Spirit is indwelt in the heart of that person.  In John 14:16, believers are told “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;” and also earlier in John 7:39 “But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive:…  Spiritual worship is sourced from the Holy Spirit, himself and God has graciously given the Holy Spirit to all who believe on the finished work of Christ.  It is the believers responsibility to yield their worship to God.  God is the source of our worship, but much more than that, He is the source of our whole life.  To clarify this point further, God is our life.  Paul writes in Colossians 3:3-4:

3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”
These verses state clearly that the believer’s life is sourced from God.    

Ephesians 1:13 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

John 14:26 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

The verses above gives believers assurance of the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit.  In each of these passages, the Holy Spirit is associated with truth.  This is an indication that we don’t know the truth and need to be taught.  It is such a blessing to know that the Holy Spirit ministers to us and teaches us the truth of God’s word.   John 4:24 commands the believer to worship in Spirit and Truth, both of which are sourced in the Spirit of God and scripture assures believers of this truth.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The OBJECT of Worship

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

his is one of my favorite verses in the Bible.  “In the beginning God created…” The Bible tells an abundance of information of God, but just from this verse alone, believers can see how magnificently powerful the God of the Bible really is.  When we look around at God’s beautiful creation, we can see how infinitely intelligent God is, and learning about the intricacies of different animal life or the way the brain works or perhaps the way plants reproduce and how it knows what to do, tell us how much the Lord God cares about everything he has created.  Not only is this the God that created everything humans see, simply by speaking it into existence, but this is the God that holds together the tiniest particles in water that gives every human the nutrients his or her body so desperately need to survive.  This is a GREAT GOD who is worthy to be praised!  The very existence and longevity of our lives are in the hands of this great God.  God commands worship throughout His Word and it should be considered the privilege of all his children. God is also the One who knows our every thought before we speak it, the number of hairs on our heads, the supplier of the infinite depth of mercy that is needed for each of his children every day.  There is no wonder why God commands to be worshipped and yet worship to the all mighty and infinitely gracious and holy God needs to be done in a way that is pleasing to the Lord.  Oh! What a humbling thought, to think that fallen humans can even come close to pleasing the Lord with our measly and selfish ways.  In Ephesians, believers are told that we were created to be the glory, yes, the glory of God’s grace!  This in no way means that the believer can go on with his life and do whatever he pleases, but that this earthly life needs to be yielded in such a way that others might see the glory of God and that God would be honored.  God is a great God and worthy of our praise and worship, and not only worthy, but commands our worship and wants us to worship him in the best way we know how.  We’ll see later how detailed the Lord was in the Old Testament and the attributes of who God is, is infinitely greater than any human can think or understand.  The Bible says in Isaiah 55:8 that God’s ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts.  Earlier in Isaiah 9:6, we are told that one of the names of God is Wonderful.  There are numerous video clips around the internet that show the vastness of the universe.  There are still things in life that the greatest of scientists do not comprehend, God created everything humans can see and the vastness of the universe and the planets and stars should be enough to humble God’s children to realize that there is nothing they can do to please God.  The first sentence of the Bible is just a glimpse into who God is and for all eternity, God’s children will be learning more of who God is.  What a blessed thought!  The Lord God wants his children to be humbled to the place where everything we do points to who God is.  This is the God that we are commanded to fear and offer sacrifice, submissiveness, and worship.  The object of our worship needs to be the God that created us.  God wants our worship and our lives to be holy and acceptable (Romans 12:1) to him.  Worship needs to be biblical and directed towards the One who enables us to worship.  The next post will address our source of worship, the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A starting point....

 Whenever I have been engaged in a conversation regarding music, inevitably, the final question is does music really matter?  The short answer is, yes music matters greatly to God, and is also vital to worship, but there is another question that needs to be examined and that is whether or not a person’s music is just or right or pleasing to God the Father.  All throughout the Bible, God indicates for his children the proper and improper way to show homage.  Churches today, and many believers, are not defining themselves by what denomination they affiliate with, but with the type of music they involve themselves with and what type of music a particular church offers.  God’s children today are more interested in attending churches that offer the type of music that appeals to their flesh.  Lord willing, this series will allow illumination into the fact that the Bible conveys that worship must be from the heart and if the wrong type of music is in that heart, God does not accept that worship, even if that person is sincere.
Any time there is a discussion about an area of the Christian walk, there is something else that doesn’t always come to the forefront of the conversation.  The Christian walk includes all areas of life, and they all have one thing in common, that they are really an issue of the heart.  It’s true that some people have preferences for Godly music and just enjoy the old hymns of the faith and it’s also true that some people don’t seem to even have that much of a concern for the music they choose, because it’s just music.  God says in his word in 2 Peter 1:3 that believers have all they need for life and Godliness.

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

I think it is safe to say that music is a big part in our lives.  Worship involves sacrifice of our self and worship also involves Godly music, among many other things.  Worship also involves humility of heart before an almighty God.  The Lord seeks the believer’s heart whenever that believer worships the Lord.  One of the motivations for this book is to make believers aware that God only accepts worship that is from the heart, but in addition to that, worship that is pleasing and glorifying to almighty God, who is more than worthy to be praised!

Some books that I have read regarding music and even some messages that I have listened to, the author or Pastor began talking about music, from a musical standpoint or simply from an earthly perspective.  It had always been in the forefront of my desire to present this issue from the Bible’s perspective first and foremost.  All the chapters are backed by scripture, even when discussing the earthly aspects of music.    As was mentioned earlier, the real issue, in any area of the Christian life, is the heart and God’s Word is the only discerner of man’s heart.  Hebrews 4:12 states:

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.