June 30, 2014

worship - a way of life

Worship is coming into God’s Presence, experiencing His Glory and responding with praise. 
Both amazingly and thankfully this is not just a once-a-week occurrence.  “It is not an event to be attended but rather a life to be lived.” (David Smith)
We experience God’s Presence and Glory in all things daily.  There is no service or ritual… just a relationship with the Father.

Worship as a way of life is:
- daily seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary – a daily focus on the Giver of all
Psalm 19:1 – The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
1 Chronicles 16:30-33 -  Worship the Lord in holy array; tremble before him, all  the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” Let the sea roar, and all that fills it, let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall the trees of the wood sing for joy before the Lord.
            Job 38:7 – “morning starts see together”
Psalms 65 13 - the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.
1 Corinthians 2:9 – No every has seen, no ear has heard no heart of man imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.
           (Psalm 148 - All of creation testifies and praises Him)

– being conscious of the fact that He is here… with you wherever you go.  And if He is with us always, we are always in His presence and again, we can respond with praise.
            Exodus 33:14 – “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.
Jeremiah 29:13 – You will seek me and fin me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Matthew 28:20 – and lo, I am with you always even to the close of the age.
Psalm 139:7-12 - Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?  If I ascend to heaven, thou art there! If I make my bed in Sheol, thou art there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there thy hand shall lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.  If I say, “Let only darkness cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to thee, the night is bright as the day; for darkness is as light with thee.

– an attitude – a focus.  Your focus in life speaks constantly to those around you for you, your person, will reflect where your focus lies.  If you focus on things (buying, having, making yours the best or most beautiful) you become materialistic.  If you focus on money you become greedy. If you focus on popularity you become shallow. If you focus on position and power you become corrupt.
Matthew 6:21 - For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matthew 6:24 - No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
Proverbs 28:26 - He who trusts in his own mind is a fool;
Proverbs 28:20  - but he that makes haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
But when you focus on God, who He is and what He has done you become a reflection of Him.  Others will see His light, His presence and His love through you.
Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Matthew 5:16 – In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

When you focus on God blessings follow…
Especially the blessing of His presence and His glory.
Your response will be daily praise.
This is a life of worship. This is my prayer for you.

Psalm 71:8 - My mouth is filled with thy praise, and with thy glory all the day.
2 Peter 1:3 - His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to His own glory and excellence,
Psalm 34:1 - I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psalm 35:28 - Then my tongue shall tell of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.
Psalm 61:8 - So will I ever sing praises to thy name, as I pay my vows day after day.
Psalm 71:14 - But I will hope continually, and will praise Thee yet more and more.
Psalm 104:33 - I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
Psalm 119:175 - Let me live, that I may praise Thee,
Psalm 145:2 - Every day I will bless Thee, and praise Thy name for ever and ever.

We can pray it, we can say it, we can sing it and we can live it. – Sheila Walsh

June 29, 2014

Praise – our response.

Worship is God’s Presence and Glory.
As we come into the presence of the LORD and experience glory, we can’t help but experience reaction. 
The Bible gives testament to many who responded to God’s presence and glory with praise.  Moses and Abraham fell to their faces. Some bowed down. Some trembled in fear. Some prayed. Some danced. Some sang. Some ‘raised their hands in the tabernacle.’ Some played the harp and lyre. Some said, ‘I believe.’
Their hearts gave a response of praise.
Our hearts respond to the LORD‘s presence and glory as well.
The response is Praise.

An act of expressing admiration; laudation; acclamation; devotion; extolment; exaltation; tribute; thanksgiving.

 “Blessed are those who dwell in thy house, ever singing thy praise!”(Psalm 84:4)
Through the response of praise good things happen.  We discover joy; find a desire to seek and know our LORD more intimately; we are reminded of who HE is and what He has done for us; we are joined together with one another.

 My prayer for you is to find the many blessings God has for you as you respond in praise. 

Exodus 15:2 - The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
Psalm 106:47- Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to Thy holy name and glory in Thy praise
1 Chronicles 16:9 - Sing to him, sing praises to Him, tell of all His wonderful works!
Psalm 7:17 - I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.
Psalm 9:2 - I will be glad and exult in Thee, I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High.
Psalm 35:18 - Then I will thank Thee in the great congregation; in the mighty throng I will praise Thee.
Psalm 47:6 - Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
Psalm 71:22 - I will also praise Thee with the harp for Thy faithfulness, O my God;
Psalm 84:4 - Blessed are those who dwell in Thy house, ever singing Thy praise!
Psalm 96:4 - For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
Psalm 106:1 - Praise the Lord! O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures for ever!
Psalm 107:32 - Let them extol Him in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly
Psalm 145:3 - Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable.
Psalm 149:1- Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise in the assembly of the faithful!
Psalm 149:9 - This is glory for all His faithful ones. Praise the Lord!

June 28, 2014

Glory in Worship

To worship is to experience God’s Glory.
Resplendent beauty; magnificence; majesty; greatness; grandeur.

God’s Glory is more than a great, awesome, magnificent, majestic, resplendent, radiant experience.  There are many verses in the Bible referring to the glory of the LORD filling the tabernacle and actually appearing or seen (Exodus 40:34-35, 2 Chronicles 5:14, 2 Chronicles 7:1; 1 Kings 8:11, Leviticus 9:6, Leviticus 9:23, Numbers 14:10, Numbers 14, 21-22; Numbers 16:19, Numbers 16: 42, Numbers 20:6).
God’s Glory is a great, awesome, magnificent, majestic, resplendent, radiant presence.
We see it. We know it. It fills us. It changes us.

When we worship we are in His Glory and we glorify Him.
Exalt, honor, laud, magnify, celebrate, sing the praises of.

To worship is to have the Glory of God, that radiance, dwell among us and in us.  We become glorified and the only response we can have is to glorify.

It is my prayer that worship will grant you His Glory and that you glorify!

Exodus 16:7- and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord.
Psalm 97:6 - The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.
Psalm 113:4 - The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens!
Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.
2 Peter 1:3 - His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
2 Corinthians 3:18 - And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Isaiah 35:2 - They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God.
1 Peter 4:14 -  the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

June 27, 2014

Presence… worship’s invitation and blessing.

The state of being with; in company of; proximity; residing with; existing at this time.

Worship extends to us the most wonderful invitation and opportunity one could ever imagine…
“Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker….Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise….Come into His presence with singing….Let enter His dwelling place and worship at His footstool.” (Psalms 92, 95, 100, 132)

When you truly worship, you enter the presence of God.
Worship isn’t just singing praise songs, saying prayers and listening to a speaker on life application or instruction of God’s Word.
Worship is meeting God; focusing on Him; kneeling before Him; knowing God is HERE.
Worship is His PRESENCE. 
Moses and Abram fell to their faces as they found themselves in the presence of the LORD.  When Moses came down from the presence of the LORD on Mt. Sinai “his face shone bright” from God’s radiance and glory. 
As we enter God’s PRESENCE through worship how can we not be affected?
“In Your presence there is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11).


Now I often consciously enter His Presence as I worship.  I sometimes find tears flowing.  His Presence is overwhelming…  maybe this is fullness of joy to the point of overflowing. I experience worship this way because I was forever affected by a moment in a worship experience involving over 50,000 people in a park during a Christian based ministry CityFest my family and I attended in Portland.  It wasn’t the musicians, the speaker or the number of people participating that changed my heart.  It was a specific moment… a moment of being in worship… cleared mind and open heart… focused on THE ONE WORTHY… standing with my family hands raised.  A moment I truly entered HIS Presence.  A moment I stood in His dwelling place.  A moment I felt an awareness that our daughter stood with us…. A very emotional awareness because she had physically left this world years earlier.  Emotion and joy overwhelmed my heart because for me to know she was there I was truly in God’s Presence. His PRESENCE transcends beyond time and separation.

Christ himself promised us this presence… HIS PRESENCE.  He spoke the promise in Matthew 18:20 saying “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I AM also.”
Every time we worship we accept that wonderful invitation.  We know He has kept His promise.  HE is PRESENT.

 I pray PRESENCE for you as you worship.

Psalm 95:6 - Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
Psalm 92:5 - Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Psalm 100:2 – Come into His presence with singing!
Psalm 132:7 - Let us go to his dwelling place, let us worship at his footstool.
Psalm 140:13 - Surely the righteous will praise your name, and the upright will live in your presence.
Psalm 89:15 - Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
1 Corinthians 14:25 - as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you”.

June 26, 2014

Worship...getting to the heart of it


This word has been spoken to me in several contexts as of late.

“I need to get something out of worship that I’m not finding right now” stated one.
"Please take a moment to respond to the Worship Vision Team questionnaire” the notice read. 
“I don’t need to go to church to worship” stated another.
“Our church has ‘contemporary worship’ and ‘traditional worship’ one proclaimed.
And it seems like each time I’ve turned on the radio as I have traveled I’ve heard the words being sung, “I’m coming back to the heart of worship…”

When something comes at me from different directions within a period of time I’ve learned HE is drawing my attention and it’s time to listen.  So, I’ve been spending some time standing still with “worship”.  Do I need to get to the core of the heart of worship?  What exactly is worship?

From the comments, conversations and observations, it would almost seem that the thought processes of quite a few lead to beliefs that worship is a ‘personal experience’ in that the focus is on “What type of worship suits me?  What do I enjoy? The experience I am looking for.  What do I get out of it? Is this meeting my needs?” 
It would seem that worship is a feel good activity that has become a self focused and self absorbed act - shrunk to be a small piece of our lives.
Isaiah’s words have caution for us, “The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules (29:13). 

Meaning: to render religious reverence; homage; honor; adoration; praise; glorify.

The word itself comes from a form of “worthiness or worth-ship”. 

Truth is...there really is only ONE worthy of reverence, homage, honor, adoration, praise and glory. 

Perhaps as we discuss, consider and stand still with worship, we need to turn our focus from the ‘personal’ act or worship to the PERSON of worship, our LORD.

 I will be continuing to stand still with a few aspects of worship over the next few days.  As I do, it is my prayer  true worship  changes the worshiper – not just finding a heart for worship but a true heart of worship.

Nehemiah 9:6 - You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.
John 4:24 – God is spirit and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.
Psalm 95: 6 - Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
Hebrews 12:28 - Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.