Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Call to Worship

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together. Psalms 34:1-3 

I believe the psalmist, who happens to be David, shows us several great aspects of worship: blessing God, praising God, boasting about God, humbling ourselves before God, exalting God and magnifying God.  Verses 1-2 speak to personal or private worship and verse 3 the "with me" and "together" is an invitation for corporate worship.  I believe these go hand in hand; the private worship should impact the corporate worship and vice versa.  The call to worship is for God to be enlarged in every aspect of our lives.  And when He is ... I will bless, praise, boast, and exalt the Lord as I humbly bow before Him. 
For God to be magnified and enlarged in our lives says we, as the worshipper, must become smaller as we come closer to God!  True worship magnifies the Lord in the believer as well as the seeker.

Looking at the subject of worship both in the Old Testament and New Testament, we will discover two words that will help us: "Preparation" and "Participation."  In the Old Testament, as well as in the New, there were prescribed days of worship (feasts & sacrifices).  As the worshippers made their way to Jerusalem for an annual day or week of worship they prepared their hearts to participate in the act of worship.  And so must we.

Purposeful Preparation
Can worship just happen?  Yes, it can.  But true worship will occur more often if we take the time to prepare to worship.  Did you prepare your heart for worship before attending the last service of worship you attended?  Or were you like most of us who "wake up and show up?"  Preparing ourselves to worship sets into motion the work of the Spirit in our lives.

Psalms 100   Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

Let us ... make ... serve ... come ... enter ... suggest that I, as the worshipper, must prepare myself for worship so that I am focused not upon myself (wants and desires), but upon the Lord Himself.  I must mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically prepare myself to worship the One true God.

To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God. - Archbishop William Temple (1881-1944) 

Prepare yourself for worship by ...
·      Praying before so that you will be ready to pray when you arrive.
·      Read the Word before so your heart will be soft when you worship.
·      Sing or listen to worship music before so your voice will be ready to praise God.   Come hungry ... willing ... expecting God to speak.
On purpose worship says I prepare myself to participate.

Scripture to Claim:
Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go into the house of the LORD." 

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