The Power of Unity

Posted in Attitude, Perspective, Unity, Worship by PCraig on June 15, 2017

Have you ever seen a car stalled and someone gets out to start pushing? The car is barely creeping, but then one or maybe two others run over from their cars and start pushing and the person steering has to eventually push on the brake to avoid hitting something. What happened? It’s a great picture of the power of unity. One person could only accomplish so much, but efforts were multiplied when others joined.

The Bible is filled with encouragement along those lines, such as in today’s reading of Psalms 133 of the One Year Bible. Why such a push for this coming together?  I think God knows our tendency of focusing way too much on ourselves. We think about ourselves all the time and so little on others.  All that changes when we come together though, especially in worship.

In worship, I begin to focus on God first of all. At least that’s what true worship does. I come before Him offering my life, my lips and my legacy (or future). When I do that, it becomes all about Him. What He wants me to do, how He wants me to act, where He wants me to go, instead of my thoughts, ways and agenda.

Also, when I get around God’s people and get busy serving, I don’t have as much time to think about my needs, wants and desires. In other words, I’m not near the selfish person that I woke up being this morning. Instead, I make my life about helping others, serving their needs, and ministering to their concerns.

True worship brings us to a place of unity where our desires are placed under His and others. The result is that the world sees that submission and the power of God flowing through it, and wants more of it. That’s just one of the reasons to be in the atmosphere of worship as often as possible; it brings us together.

 

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Whatever Worship

Posted in Attitude, Missions, Worship by PCraig on June 20, 2013

Our missions team just returned from Peru yesterday and here are some thoughts:

  • You can worship God anywhere in the world.  We had some awesome worship times in the church in Chincha, Peru.  We didn’t need to have the same language as long as we had the same Spirit.
  • Your body can be totally exhausted, but inside feels incredibly alive because of the sense of accomplishment and gratitude of God using you to make a difference in this world.
  • There’s nothing like putting God first and giving of yourself in service to others.  It’s what Jesus meant when He said that by losing our lives we would find them.
  • Whether carrying cement, tying rebar, or sitting in worship service together, the love you can experience with people of other cultures is powerful.
  • Seeing people in need helps you appreciate all that you have.  Everyone should get out of their bubble and see how blessed they are.
  • I love watching people go on their first missions trip and see how their lives are forever changed.  I’m sure our Heavenly Father loves watching it more.

During the missions trip, one of our team reminded me of the verse where Paul said, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Col. 3:17)

You can make anything glorify God today (even carrying cement) if you’ll do it as unto Him.  May He be honored in your life and mine each day by whatever we do.

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The Power Of United Worship

Posted in Attitude, Fellowship, Humility, Submission, Worship by PCraig on June 11, 2013

I’ve been reading Ephesians this week and I can’t get away from the emphasis Paul puts on unity, one another and joining together.  Why such a push for this coming together?  I think God knows our tendency of focusing way too much on ourselves. We think about ourselves all the time and so little on others.  All that changes when we come together though, especially in worship.

In worship, I begin to focus on God first of all.  At least that’s what true worship does.  I come before Him offering my life, my lips and my legacy (or future).  When I do that, it becomes all about Him.  What He wants me to do, how He wants me to act, where He wants me to go, instead of my thoughts, ways and agenda.

Also, when I get around God’s people and get busy serving them, I don’t have as much time to think about my needs, wants and desires.  In other words, I’m not near the selfish slug that I woke up being this morning.  Instead, I make my life about helping others, serving their needs, and ministering to their concerns.

True worship brings us to a place of unity where our desires are placed under His and others.  Where He can teach us to be unselfish.  The result is that the world sees that submission and the power of God flowing through it, and wants more of it.

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The Heart Of Worship

Posted in Attitude, Heart, Worship by PCraig on June 6, 2013

Somehow many people think worship is about them.  You find this by hearing them say things like, “I really enjoyed that worship today” or “I liked the choices of songs for worship” and “I didn’t care for the way they did that song today.”  What is common in all these statements?  They all begin with “I” instead of “He.”  The ultimate destination of worship is to lift up Jesus not you.  Now, while seeking to lift up Jesus, you will be edified yourself.

When Jesus talked to the woman at the well, she was more focused on the location of worship than the attitude of worship (John 4).  Jesus redirected her attention to the thing that matters most to God: our heart.  He expressed God’s search for worshipers is not in a particular style, external location or format, but rather an internal goal.  God is looking for those who will worship Him “in spirit and in truth.”  In other words, quit arguing about the external things of worship, and start working on the internal things of your soul submitted to Him.

Why did people in Jesus day argue about where to worship?  Because it’s easier to argue about the place, style, or form of worship than it is to address our wicked hearts that need the penetrating power of God to worship in “spirit and truth.”  Most of us don’t need a location to worship we need the transformation of worship to make us more like Jesus.  But, that’s a lot harder to find.

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What Qualifies As Worship Today?

Posted in Worship by PCraig on May 30, 2013

Is the beating of drums, whining of guitars, and synthesizers really worship?  What happened to pipe organs and robed choirs?  Can you worship without singing a hymn from a hymnal?

If there’s anything that gets people wired up these days – it’s what many refer to as worship.  But, are we really talking about true worship or is it more about personal styles?

Let’s first look for a biblical definition of worship.   This gets a little complicated because the word worship is mentioned in over 200 passages of the New King James Version of the Bible.  It covers everything from bowing down, bowing heads, gladness, drawing near, standing, serving, falling on your face, making sacrifice, and many other references.  Because of the breadth of position, we can assume that there is more than one way to worship.  In other words, it seems possible to stand, sit or lay and worship God.

If this is the case in position, then it might be the same in song choice as well.  Next time we’ll look into that and see what we can learn.  Stay tuned.

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Most Important Ingredient in Worship

Posted in Attitude, Worship by PCraig on June 30, 2011

What is the most important ingredient in worship? As I was pondering this question, here’s what I came up with: unselfishness. To me, worship is all about the OTHER person. It is so not about YOU – at all!

There is a battle for worship. People want our worship, we want our worship, God desires our worship and Satan would like our worship. The most difficult person to keep away from stealing God’s worship is YOU.

Here’s what people say, “I wish they would sing the songs I like to hear.” Or, “I just can’t worship to that kind of music.” Let me ask, what does style have to do with content? In other words, why do you have to have a certain song, or style of music to worship the Creator? What did the people of God do to worship before your favorite composer was born? Could you have worshiped with David when all he had was a little harp and his voice and sang some of the repetitive Psalms? (Read how many times a phrase is repeated in Psalm 136 and try singing it in worship)

The bottom line in worship is that it is not about you, it is all about Him. I can worship God in silence, or loud music, soft music, rock style, jazz, southern gospel, modern and even country styles. Styles come and go, but true worship is directed to the object that is worthy of praise. There are all kinds of styles mentioned in the Bible of worship, so let’s not get caught up in the minors and instead major on the One who alone is worthy of all our worship.

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