Monday, March 4, 2013

On Purpose Worship

So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.  Acts 2:46-47 

If you were asked "When do you worship?"  How might you respond?  Probably like the majority of us ... “worship is on Sunday mornings at 10:45 am” as we refer to our "worship service." 
When worship is discussed usually the mind thinks about the "how to" … personal preferences of music or the type/style of worship we like.  I believe we need to learn to respect all forms and fashions of worship regardless of how we might worship.  But each church and each individual has a particular form of worship they find most appealing.

It is interesting that the Bible does not give a clear definition of worship at least to time and style.  Why?  Because worship cannot be contained in one certain style, nor can it be limited to an hour or so slot on Sunday mornings.  Worship, like the One we worship, cannot be contained to time and space such as11:00 am at North Side Baptist Church. 

In other words the "how to" worship is not as important as the "who to" worship and the "why to" worship.

These early believers were purposely worshipping and it impacted two realms ... them and others.  These believers met and worshipped in the temple.  Though it does not define the only place or time to worship, I think it makes a point for our worship.  The temple had two primary functions:
11.)  The sacrificing to God,
22.)  The worshipping of God. 

It’s worth noting that sacrifice was always a part of the worship experience.  Worship is to be, in one aspect, "sacrificial" on the part of the worshipper.  This is modeled in our worship through our offering time.  It doesn’t take too much scrutiny to see that there does not seem to be a true spirit of sacrifice during the offering in most churches.  We are more about “taking up a collection” than having a time of offering.  At North Side, we connect the invitation to the offering because we feel it is important to have the sacrifice of ourselves attached to the time of giving.  Worship does not just invoke sacrifice; it begins with sacrifice.

While in the temple they were "praising God" which points to the focus of our worship being the Lord Himself.  When looking to the matter of worship our hearts are pulled toward the Psalms.  Here the psalmist shows in many instances the heart motive and life actions of worship.

A Psalm, a Song for the Sabbath day. It is good to give thanks to the LORD And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night, With the ten-stringed lute and with the harp, With resounding music upon the lyre.  Psalms 92:1-3

In your preparation for worship it is good to sing the songs of praise whether they are sung aloud or in your heart.  God honors the praise of His people.  Worship begins in the heart turning to God.

Scripture to Claim:
…the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who say, "Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, For the LORD is good, For His loving kindness is everlasting"; and of those who bring a thank offering into the house of the LORD. For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were at first,' says the LORD. (Jeremiah 33:11)

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