Monday, September 7, 2009

How do you Worship?

Worship is such an important part of our lives as Christians. Yet, sometimes we think worship is for Sunday morning only or when we are at church. Nothing could be farther from the truth. For this lesson I would like for us to look at Psalm 95 and 96. Read both of those Psalms and look at how the psalmist worshipped God.

In Psalm 95 in the first 5 verses we see that the psalmist cannot seem to think of enough ways to praise the Lord. The psalmist shares that we are to make a joyful noise before the Lord when we sing. I had a choir director from my youth who often made the statement about making a joyful noise. It doesn't necessarily say sing on key, but a joyful noise.

A very important clue is in verses 6 and 7 of Psalm 95. We are told to bow down, kneel and worship. The first few verse are about making a joyful noise. These verses are about being quiet, reflective and reverent in our worship.

Why is this contrast so important to us? There are many ways to worship God. Some people are comfortable singing, dancing, and having their hands in the air. Others feel extremely uncomfortable with such outward emotion. So, some enjoy worshipping quietly and listening to God. The wonderful thing about this for us is both styles of worship are described in the Bible. One is not right and one is not wrong. Worship is a time to thank and praise God for all his mighty works. When we worship we remember God's faithfulness to us no matter our style.

In verses 8-11 of Psalm 95 we see a troubling lack of worship. These verses talk about the Israelites in the wilderness and how they did not trust God. They often were in rebellion and complained. Their punishment was a entire generation that did not enter the promised land.

So we see a contrast between a worshipper and a rebellious complaining people.

God takes worship of Him very seriously. It is not an after thought. It is not even a once a week event. Worship should be in our hearts daily. We should find as many opportunities as possible to praise God.

Read Psalm 96 and see all the many different ways God can be praised and worshipped.

Why is worship important? When we get our eyes off ourselves and on to God we often get a right perspective of our situations. After all God has done for us how can we not worship Him?
We literally could thank Him non-stop and not run out of things to say to Him.

Let me ask you a few questions and if you are comfortable, please share your answers:

1. In your quiet time how much time do you spend time praising God and how much time do you spend telling Him your wants and needs?

2. Can I encourage you to spend one whole quiet time worshipping God and nothing else?

3. What is your favorite way to worship? Sing praise songs, be in nature, listen to God's voice, etc.?

4. Do you have a hard time getting still or quiet enough to worship?

5. Do you take opportunities to worship God throughout the day?

Praising God should always be on the tip of our tongues. Worship is a gift we give to God to celebrate Him and all of His goodness to us. May we not be lack the Israelites and be in rebellion and be complainers.

I look forward to hearing how you worship and any ideas you may have.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Secret

Read Paul's secret to success in life, Philippians 4:11-13. Paul wrote Philippians while sitting in jail, yet he could say I'm content in all circumstances, because Christ strengthens me. Our entire society seems to be discontented. In fact, it feels like we are all becoming drama queens. Every little thing becomes major. Do you see that with your children as well? Yet Paul had this inner peace. He knew because Christ lived in him that even if the worst thing happened he would be okay, due to Christ power. Pretty convicting!! I would encourage you to read all of Philippians. Philippians is often called the Epistles of Joy. Paul repeatedly say his joy is not based on circumstances, but on Christ. Here are some questions to consider and please share if you are comfortable:

1. Is my contentment based on my circumstances or my relationship with Christ?

2. What or whom steals my contentment the most?

3. How can I start living in Christ strength instead of my own?

4. If the worst thing happens in my life that I can imagine, will God still be on his throne
and in control?

5. How can I daily rejoice in the Lord always?

One of the things in studying these verses that truly stood out to me was Paul said he had learned to be content in all circumstances. So, Paul didn't come by it automatically he grew to learn to be content. So, we may not get there over night, but we can daily work on being content in all circumstances, because Christ is our power and strength. Please share your thoughts on these verses.

Friday, April 3, 2009

What pleases God?

In the April 2009 CWM Issue we talked about some of the things that please God. Please go to this link to find more verses that talk about pleasing God. After you complete the study, share some of the insights you learned from these verses.