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Archive for the ‘worship’ Category

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Just as all the glitters is not gold, so all that goes by the name “worship” isn’t worship.

In Matthew 2:1-11, the magi come to worship the One who was born the King of the Jews. They had searched for Him and were led to Him by God’s providential use of the star. When they found Him, they worshiped.

King Herod, however, proclaimed his desire to worship, too. His real intent became clear in verse 13: “Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him” (which was carried out in verses 14 through 23).

True worship focuses on the Lord and responds to Him, in this case with rejoicing and the giving of gifts. False worship is self-focused, self-interested, and ultimately seeks to suppress and destroy the God who alone is worthy of worship.

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This morning I had the privilege of preaching on the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem from Psalm 2. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: God responded to the rebellion of fallen humanity by installing His Son as King – submit to Him while there’s still time.

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Getting Ready to Worship

Worship is designed to remind you that in the center of all things is a glorious and gracious King, and this king is not you. (Paul David Tripp)

 

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There’s an interesting episode in the life and ministry of Jesus that’s recorded in Mark 14:3-9. While Jesus and His disciples were at the home of Simon the leper eating a meal, a woman took an extremely expensive vial of perfume, broke it, and poured it over Jesus’ head.

The response was immediate and strong: “But some were indignantly remarking to one another, ‘Why has this perfume been wasted?'”(v. 4). They thought the perfume could have been sold and the proceeds given to the poor. Verse 5 says, “they were scolding her.”

What this unnamed woman did was undoubtedly an act of worship. She loved Jesus and was responding to His grace and mercy. So was her act a waste? Is worship of God a waste?

The answer to that question is yes and no.

Let me explain. Worship IS a waste if it doesn’t come from the heart, if it involves simply “going through the motions” with no real thought given to what you’re doing. Even a beautiful act of devotion and worship is wasted if it isn’t done in faith. Conversely, worship is NEVER a waste if comes from the heart, and if there is real meaning and understanding at the core of it. Any act, no matter how large or small, is pleasing to God when it’s done in faith.

Therefore, no amount of money given to God and His work is ever wasted if it’s given from the heart. No tear is ever wasted in the true worship of God. No time is ever wasted if it’s given from the heart. No life is ever wasted if it’s given to the service of God and others as a honest gift to Him. No prayer offered to God in faith is ever wasted or of no value. No service or ministry to others is ever wasted if it’s done to please God. God is faithful and gracious to use and bless whatever we give Him or do for Him in faith.

The sacrificial gift of the woman was not a waste – it was worship, and true, genuine worship is never wasted!

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I had the privilege this morning of preaching on Romans 12:1 and Isaiah 6:1-8. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Because of what God has done for us, the only reasonable response is to dedicate all of ourselves to Him every day.

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As a pastor, I want to have some knowledge of what’s going on with the media and technology used during our worship services, but I don’t necessarily want to be an expert (I might be asked to run the sound booth!).

Lights, Camera, Worshipby Greg Zschomler is a crash-course in media and technical arts (as they’re called). Brief, easy-to-read chapters on subjects such as video projection, video production, graphics design, developing a web presence, social media, strategic stage lighting, theatrical production, costume and makeup design, audio reinforcement essentials, worship planning, and the building of volunteer tech teams.

I knew there was a lot involved in all of these areas, but I had no idea how much. There are a number of good suggestions in the book which could be easily implemented. Before reading it, I was concerned that the material would only be applicable to large churches, but not small churches (like the one I pastor). Those concerns were addressed with the realization that the basic principles apply everywhere.

Lights, Camera, Worship! is a good and necessary book. Tolls lege!

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I had the privilege this morning of preaching on John 12:12-19. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Jesus presented Himself as King which fulfilled prophecy, destroyed false views others had of Him – all of which demands a response.

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