Worship: Where and How

Jesus travelled many places with His Disciples to teach them how man has been led away from God and how the Word of God will bring all people back to Him. In Samaria, Jesus was thirsty and met a woman at the well in the center of town. During that period of time, Jews and Samaritans did not talk with one another openly nor did they worship together as the Samaritans were outcasts. They did not go to Jerusalem but worshiped God on a high mountain.   

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.”Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” John 4:23-26

Truth Revealed to a Samaritan Woman

The place was Sychar in Samaria in the land of Joseph son of Jacob. They knew God and worshiped Him and were awaiting the promised Messiah who would reveal the Word and save them from this life. He gave her the truth of Worship being from the heart and mind without the need for blood sacrifice. Jesus showed her the way of salvation is through the heart and love of God and that an alter in a building means nothing but the truth is revealed in the heart, soul, and mind of the believer. Let’s look at what happened during the Babylonian captivity prior to this situation.

Worship During Captivity

More and more worship was done in the homes and animal sacrifices had ceased because of the edicts of the Babylonian Kings. They spent 70 years submitting to their captors with the oral remembrances and some scrolls. The Word of God was in the hearts and it kept many strong. Many Jews had to worship in secret to spare their lives. A lot of them became closer to God through prayer, the feasts, and the traditions they could practice. Upon return to Jerusalem, the people went back to their old ways. Those who learned and kept the heart open were outcast.

Worship From the Heart      

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” This portion of the Gospel Truth lets us know that worship, though important to do as a community does not come from watching others worship but begins in the heart. Hearing the Word of God in song and reading the Scriptures opens the heart to guides personal worship which is made louder than any heavy metal or punk band can turn up the speakers. The worship of God is heard throughout all of creation to the deepest regions of unknown (to us) space. But once again, it begins in the heart.   

You Can’t Pick Just One

The Triune God consists of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You cannot worship just one part of God without the other two. We thank Jesus for being the sacrifice but we cannot do that without praising God who made the sacrifice happen. We ask for the Holy Spirit to come down on us but without knowledge and faith in the Word (Jesus) and the Father, we cannot truly invite it in. The early Christians understood this and Jesus even said not to worship Him. Worship the Lord our God with every part of our being and we worship all of Him.

Worship Is Required

God demands our worship not in a strict demanding as we know discipline but out of Love. He is our creator so worship of God comes naturally whether you know it or not. Calling something God created pretty, beautiful, wonderful, even majestic, is worshiping Him because it is a way of thanking God for creating so that we can live. Do not worship the thing or the person, that is idol worship. Worship the Maker. Healer, Redeemer. 

Brothers and Sisters, Worship is required of us but be careful what and how we conduct ourselves during worship, especially when singing. Ensure the worship is from the heart and not just lip service and try not to get caught up in the song. If you do not know the song being sung, it is okay not to try and follow along trying to sing it. Listen and open your heart to the words.

Blessings to All,

 Rob, Servant of God

Praise VS Worship

This article is written by David Branham our Director of Music and leader of CROSSover Praise Band

What is the difference and definition of Praise and Worship?

In my own words, it can be as simple as just being directional. Praise is to lift God up. And Worship is to bow down and bring HIM in close to your heart.

Praise, according to the dictionary means: to express admiration or approval for; to express thanks and worship to God.

Worship, according to the dictionary means: to show profound religious devotion; to have intense love and admiration.

Understanding the difference between praise and worship can bring a new depth to the way we honor the Lord. Throughout the Bible, the commands to “Praise the Lord” are too numerous to mention. Angels and the heavenly hosts are commanded to praise the Lord (Psalm 89:5; 103:20; 148:2). All inhabitants of the earth are instructed to praise the Lord (Psalm 138:4; Romans 15:11). We can praise Him with singing (Isaiah 12:5; Psalm 9:11), with shouting (Psalm 33:1; 98:4), with the dance (Psalm 150:4), and with musical instruments (1 Chronicles 13:8; Psalm 108:2; 150:3-5).

Praise is the joyful recounting of all God has done for us. It is closely intertwined with thanksgiving as we offer back to God appreciation for His mighty works on our behalf. Praise is universal and can be applied to other relationships as well. We can praise our family, friends, boss, or paperboy. Praise does not require anything of us. It is merely the truthful acknowledgment of the righteous acts of another. Since God has done many wonderful deeds, He is worthy of praise (Psalm 18:3).

Worship, however, comes from a different place within our spirits. Worship should be reserved for God alone (Luke 4:8). Worship is the art of losing self in the adoration of another. Praise can be a part of worship, but worship goes beyond praise. Praise is easy; worship is not. Worship gets to the heart of who we are. To truly worship God, we must let go of our self-worship. We must be willing to humble ourselves before God, surrender every part of our lives to His control, and adore Him for who He is, not just what He has done. Worship is a lifestyle, not just an occasional activity. Jesus said the Father is seeking those who will worship Him “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23).

In Scripture, praise is usually presented as boisterous, joyful, and uninhibited. God invites praise of all kinds from His creation. Jesus said that if people don’t praise God, even the “stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40). When the Bible mentions worship, however, the tone changes. We read verses like, “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 96:9). And, “Come let us worship and bow down” (Psalm 95:6). Often, worship is coupled with the act of bowing or kneeling, which shows humility and contrition (2 Chronicles 29:28; Hebrews 11:21; Revelation 19:10). It is through true worship that we invite the Holy Spirit to speak to us, convict us, and comfort us. Through worship, we realign our priorities with God’s and acknowledge Him once more as the rightful Lord of our lives.

Just as praise is intertwined with thanksgiving, worship is intertwined with surrender. It is impossible to worship God and anything else at the same time (Luke 4:8). The physical acts often associated with worship—bowing, kneeling, lifting hands—help to create the necessary attitude of humility required for real worship. Wise worship leaders know how to structure a worship service to allow participants to both praise and worship the Lord. Often, services begin with joyous praise songs and transition to a quieter, more introspective opportunity for worship.

Worship is an attitude of the heart. A person can go through the outward motions and not be worshiping (Psalm 51:16-17; Matthew 6:5-6). God sees the heart, and He desires and deserves sincere, heartfelt praise and worship.

Time To Worship

Every minute of every day is a time to worship. It really depends on the type of worship you are doing but if it is glorifying God it is worship. My daughter Katrina and her friend Kyle were challenged by me the other night and 15 minutes after the challenge was issued, this is the result:

Not boasting or bragging but they sure do sound pretty good together. And yes I am playing the shaker in the background.

 

What is Your Legacy?

When we leave this earthly realm, what will we be remembered for? Will it be the type of car that we drove, the house we lived in, the money in the bank? Goodness, I hope not. The material things don’t matter. Our legacies are not about them. How you treat people and your general attitude are key components in our lives. Your faith in God and how you follow Jesus’ examples should be expressed in everything that you do, every day.

I was honored to be in the choir for a memorial service yesterday. When I heard that the woman was ill, I did not realize who she was. I am fairly new to the church and I am not extremely involved at this time. When I arrived at the church yesterday and saw the bulletin, I recognized her and everything clicked. Yes, I knew this woman. She was extremely nice and very personable. She always had a smile on her face and was quite friendly. However, I did not know her well.

At the “Celebration/Memorial” Service, the Pastors (yes, more than one) all had wonderful things to say about her. One of the pastors asked for the attendees to raise their hand if she had ever sent them a card, made them something or given them something. Almost every hand in the sanctuary went up. This woman was a nurse, nursing instructor, wife, mother, friend, and more to many. Even in her sickness, she wanted others to be uplifted. She was acknowledged as an encourager.

Last week in choir rehearsal, one of the men stated that when he saw her, she wished him a Happy Anniversary (it was 2 days away). Our lead Pastor said during his message that she wanted to know how his family and others were doing. She knew that her time in this world was ending, but she cared more about other people than herself.

She did not want her service to be about her. She wished that the focus would be on her Savior, Jesus. Well, she mostly got her wish. Every word that was said about her pointed to Jesus. The music was from a list that she had put together, but was about Jesus. The message was about that gifts that Jesus had given her. The invitation at the end (not common for a funeral service) was for encouraging others to know the same God that she knew.

There will be tears, there will be grieving, but the legacy of this wonderful woman of God will live on. Her legacy of encouragement, love and grace. This world may have lost a bright light, but Heaven has gained an angel.I know in my heart that God welcomed her with open arms and said “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

I know in my heart that God welcomed her with open arms and said “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

CHRIST THE KING Sunday

Today in many churches and church calendars it is CHRIST the King Sunday.  Isn’t every day His? It is the last Sunday of the church calendar year. This is celebrated as a pre Advent event. We are in Nashville at Trevecca today after visiting my mom for thanksgiving returning our daughter to school and while here we will experience the service. Should be interesting. This week we be in preparations for the celebration of Jesus’ birth and we look forward to sharing how much Scripture foretold of His coming. 

Trust In the Lord Alone

There are many things going on in the world today where people are forgetting whom they need to completely put their trust in. Yes we need to have trust within the circle of family and friends but the trust in them is only temporary and earthly. I am not saying that we need to stop trusting in them, not at all because it is an ingredient in the glue that keeps families and friends together. Putting our trust in God will help keep us focused on Him even in our darkest moments when we feel lost in the temptations of this world. David had fallen into many trappings of the Adversary because He did not want us to succeed. David was now an easy target but as we know today even in his darkest times, David knew where to place his ultimate trust. 

Psalm 52:

Why do you boast of your evil, you tyrant, when God’s mercy is present every day? Your tongue, as sharp as a razor, plots destruction and works deception. You love evil more than good, lies rather than speaking uprightly. You love all words that eat people up, you deceitful tongue! This is why God will strike you down, seize you, pluck you from your tent and uproot you from the land of the living. The righteous will see and be awestruck; they will jeer at him, saying, “This fellow would not make God his refuge, but trusted in his own great wealth, relying on his evil plots.” But I am like a leafy olive tree in the house of God; I put my trust in the grace of God forever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done, and I will put my hope in your name; for this is what is good in the presence of  your faithful.

The evils of today have taken many forms as we have gone through the many church ages as spoken of in Revelation (not Revelations) and we are nearing the end. The evil that men do will surely be punished in the next world as it is running rampant in this one. In Psalm 52, the Psalmist speaks first of the evil and vile words that come from the mouth of those who do not know or trust in God. They use words of hate, jealousy, and other ungodly behaviors until the person is given his due on the earth by the devil when he is done with him. When the devil or false gods forsake you or do nothing at all for you, then you are truly damned. The only way is to humble yourself and plead forgiveness in this life while also placing your faith and trust in the only one that truly matters, God.

Of course, if it is not a true, sincere, fully humbling (think like how Scrooge changed) change of ways, the chances of eternal redemption are not so good. Those that see others who are not with God or don’t have Jesus (or however you want to put it), need to be mindful not to condemn but at least make known their folly. It may lead to the persons saving grace. Isn’t that where God wants us to put our trust, into His Amazing, Saving Grace?

The person mentioned above placed faith in something less than God. Things less than God (yes that is definitely including ourselves) cannot be feared as much as God can, cannot save you from eternal damnation like God can, and cannot love you as much as God does.   

Brothers and Sisters, the time is quickly approaching where we should be on the watch for the thief in the night. God will not tell us exactly when (even those who think to read the signs have been completely off), but He will tell us when the time comes. With that said, make yourself right with God. Humble yourself, grant God the full access into your heart that He not only desires but deserves because He is our creator/redeemer and not that human made product that lies their lifeless. Give God His Glory, Love As He Loves Us.