Worship. Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him should not perish of everlasting life for God did not send his son to condemn the world but that through him it might be saved.” John 3:16-17. Good News context for this: God saved you because He loves you. It is our reasonable response to worship God.
As a thank you to God who saved us through Jesus we gather and we worship. We choose to start each week with moments where we think and feel about, what He has already done for us in that He first loved us, and from that place we sing, we dance, we shout, we speak of his goodness. We start with a focus on the miracle of salvation that has already been done for us by God, through Christ.
Worship – Psalm 95 Previous weeks we’ve looked at Psalms 90, 91, 92. This week let’s look at Psalm 95.
Let’s read Psalm 95.
Psalms – collected prayers and songs, to preserve in poetic form the foundational understanding of the relationship between God and the human race through creation and redemption, arranged for congregational worship as well as in private devotion. (73 of 150 Psalms were written by David and the rest by at least 6 authors, written from the time of Moses through Ezra from 1,000 to 300 BC from the Exodus to the restoration after their exile to Babylon, collected during the reign of King David 1 Chronicles 23:5 and the rule of Hezekiah 2 Chronicles 29:30 and during the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah, Nehemiah 12:24, which explains some of the duplication.)
Let’s re-read Psalm 95: 1-7 “worship”
Let’s re-read Psalm 95:8-11 “bad news” Warning: Let us not “harden our hearts”. Get impatient, turn away, find other things to worship, for there would follow consequences.
Let’s focus on Psalm 95: 6 “worship” Worship, bow, reverence, show deference to, (like a child placing their head in your hand)
Jesus suggests that we start our prayer with adoration, “Our Father, hallowed be your name, “ in Luke 11:1-4.
In John 4, we read a story of Jesus talking with a woman who is hurting, from broken relationships, and searching for meaning in this life. Jesus talks about the way to eternal life that will cause someone who is desperate with thirst, to thirst no more. In an attempt to change the subject she asks a question about where and when we should worship God.
Jesus says, “the time is coming when true worshippers will worship the father in spirit and in truth. The father is looking for those who worship Him that way.” John 4:23
What attitude in worship that is acceptable to God? To be thankful and you show love with reverent awe.
Jesus uses a Greek term used to describe Hebrew and other Eastern practices of worshiping God with physical acts that the Greeks themselves looked down upon. It describes a worshipful kiss with reverence and the physical act of laying down in front of one you are worshipping in an act of submissive honor. Hebrew use of this Greek word included to bow, to kiss, to tremble, to venerate. They understood this to included adoration and veneration which is true worship, a choice, an act of the will, to worship one who is divine.
Jesus speaks of choosing to worship with all of your spirit. An activity that is not just physical mental or emotional, but spiritual. He also comments on choosing to worship in spirit and in truth. This would be to choose words that are true, that are based upon the truth. This means to speak the truth that God is the God above all other gods, the one true Living God, Yahweh our creator and Our Redeemer. This would include to declare that God is above all others. This would include to say thank you, to respond with gratitude and reverence toward the one who has redeemed you. This is to worship God with all of your intellect and all of your passion, in spiritual acts of worship that are based upon the truth, the Living Word which is Jesus Christ himself.
The New Testament church is encouraged to “sing Psalms hymns spiritual songs” to each other in Ephesians 5:19-20.
Music is an invisible phenomenon created by visible tangible objects. Physicists classify it as a form of light. The highest goal and purpose of music is to be a vehicle for God to express His greatness, glory, and His love to mankind. It is given to man to express his appreciation and worship to God.
“Psalmic Worship” – refers to the heartfelt, enthusiastic, expressive worship found throughout the Bible and described in detail in the book of Psalms.
David and the other psalmists uncovered a wonderful, foundational truth: emotional and physical responses that are a natural part of our human makeup find their highest fulfillment in the worship of almighty God. They described warm, satisfying, loving, emotional worship involving the total person.
Psalmic worship uses the voice (speaking 34:1, singing 47:6, shouting 27:6), the hands (lifting 63:4, playing instruments 33:2,3 string/wind/percussion, clapping 47:1), and body posture (bowing 95:6, standing 134:1, dancing 149:3). These nine forms are found in the Psalms.
The mind receives. The heart believes. The will is summoned. The emotions are ignited. The body expresses. The life shows forth Christ.
Weekend Worship – convened to serve and please God with our praises and to serve and meet people’s needs with God’s sufficiency. When we gather, it is not for a concert or a performance. It is a piece of time intentionally set aside to tune in to what God is saying and to respond to Him with our whole hearts.
Worship is for God but it is also for you. Passionate worship allows God’s presence to overflow you with His love and healing, lifting you up and filling you afresh. Worship is for our recovery, restoration, reviving, redemption, and refreshing.
The presence of God is a personal, real, and life-changing presence of a living God who abides in us and dwells among us. The church must have a passion for His presence and experience it in the corporate gathering as well as carry His presence into their homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces.
A wholehearted worshipping church is a church that is filled with God’s manifested presence where people’s lives are changed.
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It helps us to pursue activities together.
Gathering with other believers to worship God with all we’ve got, out loud, is a priority expression of our Thank You. As a church we worship, gathered and scattered, with our voices and bodies.
This practice is a part of God’s purpose for our lives and one way in which we can be a safe place to find & follow Jesus.