August 22, 2015

#7 Our Personal Worship Should Build Anticipation for our Corporate Worship

Throughout this study, we’ve been talking about worshiping God all week long.  However, I want to be clear about something.  I am NOT saying this will replace our Sunday worship time.  In fact, I strongly believe it will enhance our Sunday worship times.

If you scroll back to the archives on this blog (Feb/Mar 2012), you will find the “Why do we sing” study.  That study talks about why we do what we do on Sunday mornings.  But, there is a huge connection between our Sunday worship and our worship the rest of the week.  In fact, it leads us to our last point…


We spend a lot of time preparing for Sunday mornings and doing our best to provide opportunities for our congregation to worship God together.  But, honestly, I cannot lead our congregation into God’s presence.  Only Jesus Christ can do that through His sacrifice on the cross.  And the more we get to know God and the deeper our worship is throughout the week, the more anticipation is going to build to come together to worship God on Sundays.

I want our congregation to be excited about and look forward to coming together each Sunday…not just to see friends or to sing our favorite songs, but to join together to worship the God we’ve been worshiping all week long.

Bob Kauflin, a highly respected worship leader, has written a wonderful book called, “Worship Matters.”  In that book, he said,
“A worshiping community is made up of individuals whose lives are centered on the Savior they worship together each week. A worshiping community expects to encounter God’s presence not only on Sunday morning but every day.  A worshiping community recognizes that passionate times of singing God’s praise flow from and lead to passionate lives lived for the glory of Jesus Christ.”

I pray that our Sunday services inspire our congregation to worship God all week long.  And I believe our worship all week long will inspire us to passionate times of worship on Sundays.  They go hand in hand.

After this message, we closed the service with Matt Redman’s new song, “Unbroken Praise.”  I appreciate his words and challenge to let our deeds outrun our words and our lives outweigh our songs as we lead a worshipful life all week long.

#6 Worship God in Your Home

This next point takes us to Deuteronomy.  But, it is an area I felt strongly led to include with this message.  And that is the point that you should…


In Deuteronomy 5, Moses recaps the Ten Commandments.  Listen to the words in the very next chapter.

Deuteronomy 6:6–7
6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

This passage clearly shows the importance of passing down God’s teachings from one generation to the next.  I think the men of the home could also add the word LEAD in front of this point.  You should “LEAD worship in your home.”  God has placed a huge privilege and responsibility for men to lead their families.

What does that look like?  Well, that could be a whole series of sermons that someone more qualified than me should probably teach.  But if you look back at that passage, there is great encouragement to simply talk about God and His Word at every opportunity that you can.  It says you shall talk when you sit, when you walk, when you lie down and when you rise…that’s pretty much all the time!

This could look very different in different settings.  For us, with a 3 year old and a 4 year old, we talk about God by thanking Him for ice cream and sunshine and swimming pools and doggies and just about everything else we see in a day.  We also attempt reading Bible stories every night with our kids.  This typically consists of Madelyn telling me what she sees in the pictures while Theo is hanging off the side of the bed.  It doesn’t have to be overly formal, but we want our kids to see the importance of regularly being in God’s Word.

And little by little they are picking up more and more from the stories.

I’ve also greatly appreciated the help with this through Awana.  I’m sharing this not as a pastor of the church to promote a program, but as a Dad who has greatly appreciated the help and resources for training our kids.  Madelyn, who started Awana last year as a 3-year old, memorized a Bible verse every single week through Awana.  The Bible stories and lessons are great resources to read with your kids at an age-appropriate level.  Theo is old enough to join this year and we’re looking forward to that starting back up at the end of September.

Matt Boswell, a worship leader from Providence Church in Texas said, “Worship begins in the heart, is cultivated in the home, and is displayed in the church.”

I think that’s so true….worship begins inside our heart and with the renewing of our minds, it’s cultivated at home and all week long, and then we get to publicly worship together at the church on Sundays.

August 21, 2015

#5 Worship God by Loving Others

Romans 12:13-16
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.

Jesus said the Greatest Commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul with all your mind.”  Then He said there is a second like it, that you should “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

These passages alone make it clear that God wants us to worship Him all week long by loving Him and loving others.

August 20, 2015

#4 Worship God While You're Waiting

Romans 12:10-12 says, Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

There are so many good points in these verses, but the one that really stuck out to me for today was “Being patient in tribulation.”  We need to worship God while we’re waiting.  I know there are many in our congregation going through challenging issues and there many in the middle of situations that involve waiting on God’s timing.  Some are waiting to get married, waiting to have kids, waiting to find a new job, waiting for health issues to be clear, waiting for marriage struggles to resolve….there are all kinds of things that we have to wait for.

For us, Megan and I have a strong heart to adopt more kids.  However, there are a couple HUGE roadblocks that are keeping us from moving forward.  It would be so easy to get upset and ask, “God why did you put this on our hearts and then not allow us to do it?”  Sometimes it doesn’t make sense.

If you are in that place today, I want to encourage you to not get so consumed with what you’re waiting for, that in turn you miss what God has for you today.  It’s going to look different in different situations, but for us….it would even be easy to get so focused on adopting more kids that we don’t stop and treasure the two beautiful children God has already given us.  Remember that God’s ways are higher than ours….His plans are inscrutable…and His timing is perfect.

Sometimes these difficult moments of waiting can also be some of the most beautiful times of worship.  I think that happens when we realize whatever we are waiting for is totally out of our hands and we can say, “God, I trust you, I know Your plans are higher than mine, and I want to worship You while I wait.”

If you want an encouraging song to listen to while you're in one of these waiting situations, look up "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller.  

August 19, 2015

#3 Worship God by Choosing Good Over Evil

Romans 12:9 says,
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

I love the stories of Joseph in the Old Testament.  One particular story of interest for this point is in Genesis 39 when Potiphar’s wife was trying to persuade Joseph to sleep with her.  The passage says he ran out of the house to get away from her. He wanted nothing to do with evil.

As I’ve been thinking about this point more, I should have used stronger language than simply choosing good over evil.  We should be clinging and holding tight to good while we are hating and running away from evil.

Joseph didn’t linger around Potiphar’s wife and hang out and talk for a little while.  He didn’t flirt around with sin at all…it says he ran out of the house.

Sin will immediately come between us and God.  If we truly want to worship God all week long, we have to regularly running away from evil and clinging to what is good.

August 18, 2015

#2 Worship God by Using Your Gifts

In Romans 12:4-6 we read,
4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.

God didn’t give you gifts just to keep them to yourself!  He gave them to you so that you could use them to worship Him and bring glory to His name. 

Matthew 5:16 says,
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

We don’t strive to do good works to draw attention to ourselves, but we strive to do good works so others may give glory to our Father in heaven.

Last summer, I had a wonderful opportunity to go on a mission trip to East Asia.  It was a blessing to be a part of the class teaching about American culture and trying to build relationships with those students.  But, a personal thing that I like to do when I visit other countries is to try to find an authentic musical instrument from that culture.  So, one night on the trip we finished our evening plans a little early and a couple of us went to go search for musical instruments.  We talked with a few of the students in our class and they told us where the authentic instruments were.  So, we hopped on the subway and rode for over an hour to get to this place.  We made it and there was shop after shop of instruments and artwork.  It was great!  Except for one problem….we were too late and every shop was closed.  We didn’t think we’d have time to come back another night, so we just walked around and looked in the windows.  We were about ready to give up and started heading back to the Subway station, when we heard this beautiful-sounding flute.  We went toward the music and sure enough, she was standing outside a music store that was still open. 

We called her the flute angel.  She spoke a little English, so we tried to explain we were from the United States and I wanted to look at authentic instruments from their culture.  She immediately said, “Let me introduce you to the master.”  The master was the owner of the store and he actually hand-made most of the instruments they were selling.  He played several of them for us, we spent probably half an hour with them and just had a really good time.

If you go back to Matthew 5:16, we read again..
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

The flute angel was simply using the gifts that she had to let her light shine in a very dark place with no open music stores.  And when we saw her, she didn’t want glory for herself, she wanted to introduce us to the master.

In much more powerful ways than introducing our friends to a musician, I believe when we let our light shine, we will have opportunities to introduce our friends to the real Master, our Lord and Savior.

August 17, 2015

#1 Worship Requires a Renewal of Your Mind

There are passages all throughout the Bible on worshiping God.  You could read from Genesis to Revelation and hear story after story of God’s people worship Him.  So, in this study, we are only going to scratch the surface.  The main passage that I want to look at is Romans 12.

Romans 12:1 says, I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

To better understand the context of this verse, we need to look back a little bit.  The first 11 chapters of Romans contain some great theological studies of our God.  Even just backing up a few verses gives us a great introduction into Chapter 12.  Look at Chapter 11, verse 33.  It says,

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

One great definition of worship is that, “Worship is our response to God’s revelation.”  That’s exactly what we see here.  In Chapter 11 we read about the depth of His power and wisdom and then we read our instructions for how to respond…

Romans 12:1-2….
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

We learn very quickly from this passage that our bodies are a living sacrifice to God, so everything that we do should be offered as worship to God.  But the other part that stuck out to me was that it starts with the renewal of our minds.  We won’t know how to act or how we can worship God until our hearts and our minds are first focused on the Lord.


In the Old Testament, God was very concerned with how they worshipped.  In the New Testament and today, we now have direct access to God through Jesus Christ.  In John 4, when Jesus is talking to the woman at the well, He states how we should worship in spirit and truth.  Unlike in the Old Testament, the location and rituals of worship are no longer important.  We should be able to worship God wherever we go.  And it’s the renewing of our minds that should guide our actions.

Isaac Watts, who wrote hundreds of hymns, also wrote these words,
 “The Lord…has no regard for outward forms of worship, if there be no inward adoration.”

John Piper put it this way, “The key to praising Christ is prizing Him.  God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

I also want to point out here that the renewing of the mind has to start with salvation.  We can’t worship what we don’t know and if we don’t have a personal relationship with God, it has to start there.  But after we come to know the Lord, we must continue to grow.  We don’t want to settle at the level of transformation that we have right now. 

Pastor Kevin has said numerous times over the last couple months that we have been saved, are being saved, and will be saved.  It’s the same idea here…we are being saved and want to grow more and more like Christ.  To do this, we have to regularly be in God’s Word…Joshua 1:8 encourages us to “meditate on God’s Word day and night, so that we will be careful to do what is written in it.”

This is the point that was the most convicting for me during this study.  I was hoping for 2 or 3 points of this is how you worship all week long.  But this study really reinforced to me the importance of regular times in God’s Word.  We need to focus on that inward renewing of our minds, THEN we will know what God’s good and perfect will is in every situation.  That regular renewing of our minds will guide our hearts and actions to worship God all week long.