Archive for the ‘worship’ tag
Worship gets forced fitted into a narrow slot on Sunday morning. It makes it feel like our spiritual lives can be managed and our worship can be segmented into small time slots. Deep inside us, however, we know that this is not true. In fact, part of us cries out that this is crazy and lazy and selfish. But, we fuss and worry about that that narrow slot. We fight about it and what goes in it and how long it needs to last and how it should make us feel and how we are to participate.
But if all of life is worship — and Romans 12:1-2 says that it is, then what we do in the gathering of Jesus’ followers together on Sunday is to prepare us for a week of worship in the real world. Since Jesus defined a sense of his powerful presence where two or three are gathered together and live in accountable relationships with genuine confession and forgiveness, then worship invades offices, schools (no matter what any government says), hospitals, homes, ballparks, and parking lots with flashes of worship, moments of prayer, and exclamations of praise.
So why are you here? Why do you feel a kinship with another believer in a place where faith is foreign? Because there is a call to worship that resonates in your soul with another. The Holy Spirit inside you calls out to you to join your melody with the harmony of others who know and love Jesus.
While the following video is targeted for a gathering of believers on Sunday morning, I want to challenge us to hear it as a call to worship where we live, work, commute, play, spectate, learn, read, have coffee … I want to challenge us, the 2 or 3 of us that feel a spiritual kinship in whatever place God has placed us, to know that this is why we are here!
In my Heartlight.org post this week, “Star Bright,” I talk about the Magi (or Wise Men) who come from the east and worship Jesus. They undertook a long and difficulty journey to honor the newborn King of an enemy nation. They did this at great personal cost and risk. Yet these astrologers — astrology was a practice prohibited in both the Old and New Testaments for being associated with witchcraft — found their way to the manger where Jesus was born so they could worship Him. Meanwhile, Herod used the prophecies about the Messiah’s birth in the Old Testament to determine where the Messiah would be born so he could kill the child, Jesus. Herod saw this child as a rival to his control and sought to kill him, just as he did with two of his own boys who he feared would threaten his rule.
This story is a reminder of how easily we can use Scripture for ungodly means if we lose sight of it’s purpose and the basis of which we interpret it. A few questions seem in order to help us avoid misusing Scripture:
How can we get so far off base in our religious practice that we would reach the point of killing Him because He challenged us in areas where we were comfortable and didn’t want to be disturbed?
How do I use Scripture?
Am I using it to seek after God?
Am I reading Scripture to know God and not just know about God?
Am I listening to Scripture to obey it and honor God, or simply to justify what I do?
The key point is to remember that the center of Scripture and the key to understanding Scripture is a hunger and faith for Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15; cf. John 1:1-18; Hebrews 1:1-3).
So how do we keep Jesus at the center of our lives?
How do use Scripture as a Holy blessing, but not worship Scripture and lose sight of the character and compassion of Jesus?
Last Updated 11.17.2008
For 11/23 Christ in the House (3:18-4:1 & 4:5-6)
This is a focus on what is often called the “household rules” in Colossians. However, these “rules” are built on the call of Colossians 3:17 and the central place of Christ in our lives:
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Paul is not leaving to chance that folks will understand “whatever you do” and applying it to their daily life in their own homes. For some reason, believers have always seem to have trouble taking the things that are said to us as believers in our relationships and applying them to our own home life. But go back and look at Colossians 3:12-14 and then apply them to family life:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
How does this look in the day-to-day life of a family? … office place? … PTO or school association? … kids sports team members?
Imagine what would happen if we simply took these words to heart in our relationships at home!
Paul centers our relationships with each other in Christ – whether these relationships are in our home or workplace or everyday life.
Several key things to note:
- We have different roles to play in our lives
- Whatever our role may be, we are to see that as a place to honor Christ and serve Him in how we live out that role
- Our reward my not be visible until we see the Lord face to face, but it will one day be visible, because we are heirs of God
How we live in our homes and other places is our “liturgy of life” – our daily worship, ways and places we reverence the Lord.
So how does that impact how we serve and what we do to serve?
Hebrews 13:4 makes that clear in the context of “worshiping God acceptably with reverence and awe”! Paul is even more specific in Ephesians 5:21 (although Colossians 3:17 and 3:22 effectively say the same thing). This is carrying out the implications of Romans 12:1 – our behavior in our relationships can’t be modeled on the world, but must be redemptive, like Jesus, no matter it’s context. Worship must extend to all of life!
We do not need to hear this de-emphasizing the importance of our gathering together as believers in worship and encouragement. Instead, what we hear is an elevation of the importance of what we do each day as our practical worship.
Are we really willing to put into our everyday living the things we say in “churchy” places?
Do we walk our talk in the places we can’t hide who we are? Remember how The Message puts 3:17:
Let every detail in your lives-words, actions, whatever-be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
Flowing as it does out of Colossians 3:1-4, we are basically supposed to bring a little heaven down to earth in our families. Our families must be a place where the Kingdom of God is lived!
A couple of observations are worth considering as well:
- Children are included in the community of Christ are called to obey their parents because this is pleasing to the Lord
- How we live in our families is considered crucial to our influence and leadership in God’s family:
- See 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 one on the qualities of leaders
- The statement about Jesus (Luke 2:51)
A key emphasis here will be on 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 and our being the Body of Christ to the world and our pledge to live that way as we share in the Supper.
Time in the Word – Have a cup of coffee, a Dr. Pepper, a bottle of water, & a bottle of grape juice on the table. Use them to go back and forth in an out of our daily routines and who we meet with and share table fellowship with. These are a reminder that communion time is our pledge to be Jesus’ Body in the world and live His life in all of our daily relationships — that our real worship, our liturgy of life, begins when we leave this place.
Worship Leaders Please Note!
I would very much like to have the Lord’s Supper at the end of the service especially at Daybreak, with maybe one or two songs afterwards. No closing thoughts then, have that earlier. I would do the communion service. We could do offerings and garden of prayer earlier in the service and have an elder or other minister do the Garden time.
At Refresh, we will have folks do the bread from the tables, but will pass the trays for the cup – drawing special attention to the “as we eat this bread we are Christ’s one body” and challenge each other to think of the places where we need to more completely let Jesus’ life be seen in those sets of relationships.
What are the key areas of your life where you are in relationship with others?
How do you influence each of these areas for Jesus?
Which is the hardest area of your life to influence for Jesus?
How can you better practice the principle of “redemptive use of your talk” (Colossians 4:5) with “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15) in your relationships?
Why is it so important that we practice these principles of Christ-likeness in our closest relationships?
Why do you think it was so important for leaders in God’s church to be good leaders in their families (1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 – qualifications for Elders and Deacons)?
Please Note: There are many one another passages in the New Testament — God’s directions on how we are treat each other (see at the end of the questions a list of one another passages). Please read through these and then answer these questions:
Why do you think it is so hard for us to apply these principles in our homes and business relationships?
Which of these is hardest for your to practice in your family relationships?
Which is hardest in your work/school relationships?
One Another Passages in the New Testament
Mark 9:50 “Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”
John 13:14 “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.”
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 15:12 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
John 15:17 “This is my command: Love each other.”
Acts 20:5-6 When it was time to leave, we left and continued on our way. All of them, including wives and children, accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray. After saying good-by to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.
Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another with mutual affection. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another.
Romans 13:8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
Romans 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another…
Romans 15:5-6 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Romans 15:14 I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.
Romans 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss…
1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
1 Corinthians 11:33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for each other.
1 Corinthians 12:24-25 But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
1 Corinthians 16:20 Greet one another with a holy kiss.
2 Corinthians 13:12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.
Galatians 5:13 But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
Galatians 5:15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Galatians 5:26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 5:19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs…
Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Colossians 3:9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices
Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another…
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
1 Thessalonians 3:12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.
1 Thessalonians 4:9 Now about your mutual love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.
1 Thessalonians 4:18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:13 … Live in peace with each other.
1 Thessalonians 5:15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
2 Thessalonians 1:3 We ought always to thank God for you,e brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.
Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 13:1 Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.
James 4:11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another…
James 5:9 Don’t grumble against each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged …
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed…
1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
1 Peter 4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 5:5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
1 John 3:11 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
1 John 3:23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
1John 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God …
1 John 4:11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
2 John 1:5 And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.
“Worship is transcendent wonder.” (Thomas Carlyle)*
“One minor change to the oder of worship for Sunday.” (A friend talking about an upcoming worship gathering.)
From the sublime to the ridiculous?
Is this a misspell or a Freudian slip?
Neither: but maybe it’s a reminder that worship is not primarily about us, but about God and bringing others to appreciate and love Him. And this kind of worship is not just about what happens at worship gatherings, but it involves all of life.
“Our offering to God is this: We are the sweet smell of Christ among people who are being saved and among people who are being lost.” (Paul in 2 Corinthians 2:15 NRS)
In another place, he said it this way:
Everything you say and everything you do should all be done for Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus. (Colossians 3:17 NRS)
So how is your worship “oder”?
*From Heartlight.org, Quotemeal
Last Updated: 7.24.08
For Sunday 8.31.08
We will have a guest speaker on this Sunday, Chris Seidman.
Colossians 1:15-23 is a close connection to message Chris has. The message hinges at vs. 19-20. The first part focuses on Jesus’ pre-existence, majesty, incomparable greatness, crucial role in creation in both forming and sustaining, his victory over death, and his place of pre-eminence.
Delivered in one primary piece at Daybreak, but we will probably use a strong Communion video that will precede the Time in the Word.
It will be done the following way at refresh.
Early in the service, he will need about 10 minutes to focus on the greatness of Jesus. (Col 1:15-19)
We will use a video to lead us into the Supper, something like this powerful glimpse of the Supper.
The Supper time will possibly use the video to set up The Supper with Our Lord:
Then after The Supper, he will focus on Jesus and what he has done for us and lead us into a strong Garden of Prayer time to conclude our gathering together.
The focus will be on Jesus’ claims to be the one and only way to God and how this is affirmed in other places throughout the NT. “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me!” (John 14:6 also the the other I Am statements could be used here; Matt 13:16-17; Luke 10:16; Matt 28:18-20; John 5:63). This was also the message declared by the early followers of Jesus (Acts 4:12). In addition, the crucial role that Jesus plays in fulfilling and filling up Scripture (Matt 5:17; 2 Tim 3:15; Heb 1:1-3; John 1:1-18).
As I was reading from Colossians, recently, I ran across two words that jumped off the page and into my heart. I was actually using our Search God’s Word online Greek/English Bible and the Greek words used convicted me. The three words are areskia — “pleasing” (Colossians 1:10 NRS), eudokeow — “good pleasure” (Colossians 1:19 NRS) and hikanoow — “to qualify someone” (Colossians 1:12 NAS).
I remember old souls praying in times of worship many years ago asking that God would find our “worship pleasing in His sight.” Now, however, I hear so much more about whether or not worship pleases the worshipers — “I’m not sure I got a lot out of that?”
This latter point of view assumes that we are quaified — qualified not only to worship, but also to render an opinion on the “pleasing” worth of the experience. It’s almost like we’ve shared the fruit that Eve and Adam ate in the garden rather than body and blood of the Lord’s Supper. Instead of remembering the grace given us by Jesus at such a high cost, we assume we have the knowledge that makes us little gods that know all and that need to be pleased. If we aren’t pleased, in our opinion, worship isn’t a blessing … to us, to others, or to God. Rather than recognizing the amazing grace of being invited into the presence of God, we assume that we deserve to be in this moment of Holy Presence.
For me, it is incredibly convicting and sad that the first thoughts of many — oftentimes my first thoughts as well — are not, “How blessed I am to be with these people, in this moment, accepted and loved by our incredible God!” Instead, we often resort to the thinly veiled criticism, “I’m not sure I got very much out of that today.”
What difference would it make for us to approach our worship times as an awesome gift, an invitation into the presence of God, with people redeemed by the blood of Christ?
How do we more deeply appreciate being “qualified” to be a part of God’s family and being found as “pleasing” to God?
On the opposite extreme, how do we hear God’s words of acceptance and grace and not the doubts and self-criticism that the evil one would love to have us hear?