Sunday, July 31, 2011

With a Passion!


Psalm 34:3
Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.

Last Sunday, our pastors continued with their five-week sermon series based on the book, The Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, by Robert Schnase. The topic was "Passionate Worship" and Wallace and Emily, preaching in tandem, were truly ardent in their deliveries on this subject! Worship, whether in a traditional or, like ours, a contemporary service, is not about coming to church to "fill up your tank" for the week, expecting that is enough, nor is it a spectator sport where participation is optional. Passionate worship requires the utter and complete engagement of your heart, your mind, your soul, and your strength to glorify and exalt the Lord who deserves nothing less from you.

Passionate worship also demands preparation. Just as those leading the service painstakingly choose songs and prepare sermons applicable to the day's scripture to make it meaningful to the congregation, we must spend each and every day of the week in prayer, in the study of God's word, and in activities that enhance our awareness of God's presence outside of the building we call "church". One of my favorite things to do to heighten my cognizance of His presence is listening to contemporary praise music when I work out at the gym. While I don't sing out loud, it feels like I am as the lyrics and notes flood every recess of my mind; this has become an integral part of my spending joyful time in worship of the Lord each day.

So, I ask you: What could you do to bring an authentic passion to your worship experience? If you are already there, how could you encourage another to be more involved in body, mind, and spirit during worship? I pray this week you will reflect on this oh, so valuable and necessary aspect of being a Christian and find more ways to be passionate for the One who has so much passion for you!

Readings
Psalms 93, 96 or 34
2 Samuel 6:12-23
Romans 14:7-12
John 1:43-51

3 comments:

  1. Authentic passion… excellent thought Martha. I take heed to those two basic commandments of our
    Lord. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
    Worship, to me, is 24:7 devotion to Him. Work can be worship too, if I’m motivated by service to others. If all that I do is for the glory of God, that is worship. I think of what Jesus told the woman at the well. “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” John 4:24
    I’m so grateful to have discovered your amazing daily devotions. ~ Richest blessings.

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  2. Great reflections on worship Martha. Very encouraging too! May we all enter deeper and deeper into an awareness and an active adoration and awe when we worship God. So many times our wandering minds can have a way of allowing worship to be merely singing songs and thinking pleasant thoughts about God while doing so, rather than stretching our whole hearts up towards His throne and allowing the eyes of our hearts to be firmly fixed on him only. I like how you mentioned that worship is not a spectator sport. So true!

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  3. Debra and Jessica - thanks from the bottom of my heart for your insightful and encouraging comments. I'm feeling a bit inadequate today for some reason, and your words cheered me up and onward! God bless!

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Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Seven years ...