Worship Matters

Worship Matters. It sure does. It always has and it always will. There are times when I wish I could take people back, back some 2,000 years to the early NT Church as it was launched into a cold, dark, sinful world. The entire record we have in the Book of Acts indicates that despite what was going on in the horizontal – Worship mattered and it was effective. In fact, it even seems that the deeper and more intense the persecution and punishment was (for worshiping), that worship mattered even more to those who believed.

I think the Church, and Christians at large, would learn so much by doing some digging and really allowing God to work on their hearts as they view worship. But here is a fact:

Worship matters to God.
And worship must matter to us.

More often than any of us could count or track: we allow just about every distraction to get in the way. We have distractions on top of distractions, and sooner or later – we find that we just aren’t worshiping God. This can be in the context of personal/private worship encounters, and it will certainly drain over into our corporate encounters of worship (both of which are essential).

Let me add this: Sometimes people do go to church…but they don’t worship. Sometimes people sing songs…but they don’t worship. Sometimes people give, listen, and even serve, but they don’t worship. It almost seems impossible that any of this could happen, but let me assure you in case you are wondering: it does. It absolutely does.

Worship involves more, far more, than we often realize and understand. How so? – Here are 5 Reasons, among scores, of why Worship Matters:

  1. Worship Matters because We Surrender. All you have to do here is read Romans 12, vv.1-2. In this framework, the Apostle Paul tells the Church it is our “spiritual act of worship.” What is that?Surrendering to God! 
  2. Worship Matters because We Focus on God. So much contends for our time, attention, and money. The volume of reasons collected of why people “can’t” or “won’t” worship is the greatest volume of books in the history of the world. I argue, it is 1,000 times longer than the current IRS Code. But sincere worship is based on the premise that above all, we want to honor God. Worship is not based on my preferences or priorities – it is not based on my likes/dislikes – it is based on God first. That is focus on God! 
  3. Worship Matters because God Increases, and I Decrease. Often in life itself, we have to get out of the way so God can come in. I know – we are taught to be “problem-solvers” to be “fixers” and to “get things in order.” I am here to tell you, sometimes the thing we must do is get out of God’s way and allow Him access to be God! Don’t get in the way of your own experience: allow God to be God! (see John 3, v.30).
  4. Worship Matters because We Grow in God’s Grace. There is little argument that praising God is easier when things are well, fall into place, and go the way we want them to. Yes, when we get that “victory” we come praising and shouting to God. But in the many seasons and times of life, when things aren’t so good – God will use those to grow us in His infinite grace. Worshiping God in the valleys, and on the mountaintops, is equally necessary. He deserves and wants all of our worship! 
  5. Worship is Celebration. We celebrate the greatness of God, and as we worship Him – we celebrate all He has done! As a matter of fact, we celebrate no matter what has occurred because we know “He has our best interests at heart!” He always does. Psalm 100, vv.1-5 (read). It will bless your heart and it will stir you up.

No matter what your experience has been – you are worshiping something today. There is an endless list of “things” you can worship, and God will pretty much allow you to. However, the only worship that matters is the worship where He is the focus, the center, and the audience. May we worship Him in truth and in spirit, for He alone is worthy!

Porter

 

Get Them Here!

get-them-to-him

 

 

 

I really like this picture. Out of the many I have gathered over the years, this one just speaks of urgency. In case you’re not aware of if you are looking past it – the picture depicts more than just a hole in the roof or a massive construction issue. To me, what is demonstrates beyond anything else is the concern, desire, and love that friends had for their friend.

This is what’s recorded in Luke’s Gospel: “One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the Law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee, and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up to the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.'” (Luke 5, vv.17-20).

I think of what these men did, that day, and the incredible faith they showed. When one way seemed to be shut down, they got innovative. It’s almost as if they would not be denied on behalf of their friend. And the result: God was glorified through this man, this sinner, being saved. Yes He was healed (read on in chapter 5), but most importantly: he who was once lost, was found.

I wonder if we would go to such lengths for our friends? Do we show the same resolve, the same fortitude, the same passion? Will we do what is necessary to get them to encounter Jesus for themselves? We should be – continuously.

Don’t give up friends. Do whatever it takes in love. Father, give us all we will need, today, to reach out to others with the Good News. Help us to have the determination and courage that will be necessary so that no one misses out on the life changing transformation that has been made available through Your Son and that is provided today by Your Holy Spirit. May we be a people that take this mission passionately and seriously. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

-Porter