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Does-My-Worship-Please-God

Does My Worship Please God?

Written by Jesse Schmidt, Canada

I am easily distracted by just about anything. In some cases, the distraction is temporary and does not really affect whatever I am doing. But then I’ve realized that this bad habit is manifesting itself when I am in the midst of the very thing I don’t want to be distracted from—when I am worshipping God during church service.

This often happens when I focus on the externals of such gatherings—say, when I am at a church that conducts a concert-style of praise (think bright lights, loud music, and a lot of flair). Although I may be singing along or even clapping to the beat, my mind tends to be filled with negative and critical feelings about the way the service is being conducted. My focus ends up not on the Lord, but on the things around me.

The more I’ve mulled over why I get so easily distracted during such times, the more I’ve started thinking about the act of worshipping itself. What, exactly, do we mean by “worship”?

Worship, according to Oxford Dictionaries, is to “show reverence and adoration for (a deity)”. We worship God with our entire lives. In John 4:23-24, Jesus explains that we ought to worship God in spirit and in truth, and that those who do so are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.

Have I fallen short of this definition of worship—especially when I am singing songs of praise in church? What does worshipping in spirit and in truth mean in such a context? How do we know if our worship is pleasing to God?

Worship God in Spirit

Worshipping in spirit means to worship with all of our hearts. Our worship to God, whether it is in singing songs of praise or in our everyday lives, has to come out of hearts that have a genuine passion and love for Him. Without this, our actions and words will be empty.

That means that whether I’m singing by myself in a small room or if I’m in a congregation, I ought to be able to praise God all the same. When we’re focused on God, external factors—how we feel or what circumstances we’re going through in life—will not affect how we praise Him. I ought to still be able to praise Him when I’m having a bad day or when things seem to go wrong.

One good example that never fails to inspire me is that of Paul and Silas when they were praying and singing hymns in prison (Acts 16:24-25). Even in their small prison cells and in their circumstances of tribulation and persecution, the two were able to praise God with all of their hearts. They were able to do so because their hearts truly desired and loved God.

May our hearts be like that of Paul and Silas. May we be able to learn how to sing to God regardless of our circumstances and environments.

Worship God in Truth

Worshipping God in truth is to adore Him for who He is. Jesus says that “[He is] the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). In other words, we need to understand God’s character and acknowledge who He is.

It is impossible for me to develop a strong attachment and affection for someone if I don’t know that person well. I can’t speak of how good God is (let alone sing praises and worship Him) if I don’t know Him personally and intimately. We simply can’t love and worship God if we know Him only through what others say He is like; we need to know Him for ourselves.

Praising God and singing to Him without a proper understanding of His truth and character can therefore lead to an empty expression fuelled by hype and good feelings. I can sing loudly in church and know all the songs by heart—but not have an intimate relationship with God. But that is not what God desires.

Ultimately, to worship God in spirit and in truth—to grow a heart that is passionate for God and to know His character—we need to spend time with Him. By reading the Bible regularly, setting aside time to pray and growing our relationship with Him, we will naturally also grow in our worship of Him. We have to know Him to love Him, and we have to love Him to desire to worship Him and show His worth in our lives.

ODJ_210716

ODJ: 5W1H-Worship 101

5W1H. What’s that? Students of journalism are familiar with the “Five Ws and One H” method of fact gathering. This approach is also known as the Kipling Method, because of the poem Rudyard Kipling wrote that opens with these words:

I keep six honest serving-men;

They taught me all I knew;

Their names are What and Why and When

And How and Where and Who.

At the close of the book of Psalms are five worship songs that answer the 5W1H questions. Known as Hallelujah psalms, each begins and ends with “Praise the Lord” or the Hebrew Hallelujah. Psalm 150 contains these answers to the 5W1H questions:

Where do we worship? God is to be worshiped wherever He may be found, “in his sanctuary”, both here and in heaven (v.1).

What do we praise God for? “His mighty works” (v.2). Everything that He did is worthy of our praise, for He did these things for us.

When do we praise Him? Every time He acts is an occasion for praise (v.2).

Why do we worship Him? Because of “his unequaled greatness!” (v.2). We praise God for what He does; for who He is.

Who is to praise God? Every creature, “everything that breathes” (v.6) is to worship the Creator God.

How do we worship Him? With joyous singing, accompanied by orchestral wind, stringed and percussion instruments. Even dancing makes the list! (vv.3-6).

Every line of Psalm 150 is a resounding call to praise God. He deserves the full and passionate expression of our affection and devotion. May all our worship today honor and bless our amazing, loving God!

—K. T. Sim

365-day plan: Matthew 15:32-16:12

July 21, 2016 

READ: Psalm 150:1-6 


Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! (96:4). 

5W1H. What’s that? Students of journalism are familiar with the “Five Ws and One H” method of fact gathering. This approach is also known as the Kipling Method, because of the poem Rudyard Kipling wrote that opens with these words:

I keep six honest serving-men;

They taught me all I knew;

Their names are What and Why and When

And How and Where and Who.

At the close of the book of Psalms are five worship songs that answer the 5W1H questions. Known as Hallelujah psalms, each begins and ends with “Praise the Lord” or the Hebrew Hallelujah. Psalm 150 contains these answers to the 5W1H questions:

Where do we worship? God is to be worshipped wherever He may be found, “in his sanctuary”, both here and in heaven (v.1).

What do we praise God for? “His mighty works” (v.2). Everything that He did is worthy of our praise, for He did these things for us.

When do we praise Him? Every time He acts is an occasion for praise (v.2).

Why do we worship Him? Because of “his unequalled greatness!” (v.2). We praise God for what He does; for who He is.

Who is to praise God? Every creature, “everything that breathes” (v.6) is to worship the Creator God.

How do we worship Him? With joyous singing, accompanied by orchestral wind, stringed and percussion instruments. Even dancing makes the list! (vv.3-6).

Every line of Psalm 150 is a resounding call to praise God. He deserves the full and passionate expression of our affection and devotion. May all our worship today honour and bless our amazing, loving God!

—K. T. Sim

365-day plan: Matthew 15:32-16:12

MORE
Read Psalm 146 and apply 5W1H to this song as you worship God. 
NEXT
What can you praise God for today? Why is He alone worthy of our worship? 

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05-what-if-there-was-no-church-(article)

What If There Was No Church?

Title: What If There Was No Church?
Materials: Illustration and Digital paint
Description: What if the building we called church were to be torn down by the authorities or destroyed by nature? What if there were no more “church” organizations? What if there were no more leaders to organized regular services or no preachers who wanted to teach? What would you do?

 

01-What-if-there-was-no-church

God wants us to worship Him both as individuals and as a community. Why? Because “we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:5). This description of Christ’s followers would be meaningless if we were to worship God as individuals.

 

02-What-if-there-was-no-church

You could read as many commentaries and Bible study guides as you can, but you’ll soon find yourself asking for help to understand God’s Word better, and for guidance on how to apply it in your life.

 

03-What-if-there-was-no-church

The Christian journey includes trials, tribulations, and challenges, which makes it a hard one to walk alone. There are times when we need that fellow human voice, comforting hug, or listening ear, to help us through the hardest times and remind us that we are not alone.

 

04-What-if-there-was-no-church

Unless you’re a hermit or rabidly anti-social, you will need the companionship of friends. Not just for the bad times, but for the good times too.

 

05-What-if-there-was-no-church

A gathering of some kind would welcome this new believer, introducing him to the rest of the body of Christ and showing him that he was really joining a corporate body of members who believed in the same God and who would give him encouragement and strength for the days ahead.

04. Ascetics-YMI

What’s Your Spiritual Style?

Title: What’s Your Spiritual Style?
Materials: Digital Illustration
Description: We all serve and worship the same God, but have you noticed how we each relate to God differently? God has made us all unique, enabling us to relate or draw closer to Him in specific ways. Which of these 9 spiritual styles do you identify with? Let’s embrace the uniqueness God has given to each one of us and support our fellow brothers and sisters as they relate to Him.

This project is based on the book ‘Sacred Pathways’ written by Gary Thomas on the topic of ‘Discover your spiritual style’.

1. Nature Draws You Close To God

You can’t help but admire the beauty of creation and find yourself drawing closer to God whenever you’re in a serene environment.

2. The Five Senses Draws You Close To God

You relate to God through the sounds you hear, sights you see, smells you whiff and tastes you savor.  

3. Traditions Draw You Close To God

You’re disciplined about your faith and place great importance on attending regular church services, tithing monthly and keeping the Sabbath.

03. Traditions-YMI

4. Solitude Draws You Close To God

You rather be left alone in a room to pray in silence, away from all the distractions of the world.

04. Ascetics-YMI

5. Action Draws You Close To God

You serve God through standing up for social changes. You prefer being in larger groups and often get energized by their interaction.

05. Activist-YMI

6. Caring For Others Draws You Close To God

You love caring for the needs of others. You see serving others as serving Christ.

06. Caregiver-YMI

7. Celebrating Draws You Close To God

You are enthusiastic about your faith and will express your joy through dance or movement.

07. Enthusiast-YMI

8. Contemplation Draws You Close To God

You place great importance on loving God, above acts of obedience.

08. Contemplation-YMI

9. Thinking Draws You Close To God

You enjoy learning new things about God which brings you to a greater appreciation of him.

09. Thinker-YMI