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Posts Tagged ‘praise’

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

My pastor stated in our adult Sunday school class that many of us have forgotten what worship should be all about. We so used to sitting in an audience to be entertained, be it in a theatre, concert, or on the couch binging on Netflix that we have a tendency to treat church like that.  We “watch” what is going on near the altar. We may participate by saying amen or sing a hymn. maybe nod when the sermon has a rhetorical question in it. Perhaps we feel a stirring in our hearts over the words of the hymn or what the preacher said. But often times, conversations on the way our the doors is whether or not worship was “any good” that day.

But that is not what worship should be about. It should be us entertaining our Lord, telling Him how much we love Him, honoring Him and giving Him the glory. It’s not about how well the choir sang, or if the preacher got off track, or if the service went off without a hitch. We are not to be the critiques and whine that the church just doesn’t do it for us. If we do, perhaps our focus is on the wrong thing.

It’s not about us. It’s about Him.

Then we are to go into the world, filled with His Spirit, to be His hands and feet to a hurting, confused world filled with lost people. Instead, we crawl into our air-conditioned cars and go out to lunch to be served by a waiter (who didn’t get to go to church but had to work instead) or to the store to be served by a floor clerk and cashier. When we make it home, there is laundry, or the game on TV, or projects to be completed before we hit the ground running on Monday. And church became just another check mark on the to-do list. That’s not worship.

I’ve mulled over his message all week like a cow chewing on its cud.  Not only did it challenge me to check my motives in the pew, but my private worship time as well.  Do I judge my quiet time with God by how I feel at the end? Do I rush through it so I can get to my other errands? Is my time less about praising God for who He is and more about what He can do for me? Is my daily Bible and prayer time just another check mark on my things-to-do-today list?

Euginia Herlihy, an author and spiritual leader from Capetown says, “Praise and worship shouldn’t be a few hours of church service entertainment. It should be our heartbeat and should never depart our lips. ‘Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song’ (Psalms 95:2).” *

Lord, is my worship time all about me…and then You somewhere in the mix? Forgive me if I have slipped into that pattern.

 

 

*https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/praise-and-worship

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Recently, this verse was part of my daily devotional readings.
Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”  Ephesians 5:18-21 (ESV)
sing-praises-to-god-2_coloring_page_png_468x609_q85 (1) 

I love to sing, except I can’t. I never learned to play anything but the radio, even after painful months of guitar,piano and ukulele lessons. I don’t read music. I have no idea how to make a high C or a B flat. I don’t even know if I am a soprano.

I recall going to a sing-along of Handel’s Messiah (my all time favorite)  with my niece. The choir master said if we didn’t know our voice range, perhaps we’d just better not try  to sing-along, but instead sit back and listen. Heartbroken, I did.
But my car is more forgiving. With the windows rolled up, I zip down the road with the Christian radio station on, singing praise songs to God. It lifts my spirit, soars my soul. Nothing alters my mood more than a foot-stompin’ hymn or a hand clapping song about my Lord. Some touch my heart as if they were written just for me. A prayer answered, a heavenly message received in the fifteen or so minutes I happened to tune in. Totally a God-orchestrated moment that would drop me to my knees if my foot wasn’t planted to the accelerator. Music is my worship catalyst.
If you feel the negative grouchies oozing into your day, turn on a Christian radio station. Mine is commercial-free, listener supported,  88.3 The Journey out of Keane, Texas. If you are not blessed to live near Fort Worth, TX to receive it through the airwaves, you can stream it live on your phone or computer.  Forget the songs about heartbreaks and cheating, or the angry lyrics about what is wrong with our world.  Instead, fill your mind with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. It make “giving thanks always and for everything” a lot easier!
picture from: http://twistynoodle.com/sing-praises-to-god-2-coloring-page/

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