Here you will find service outlines,
and additional writings.
Nov27ThuNovember 27, 2014
But Paul we love music and yes so do I. I love powerful music and I do believe it is part of our worship. That’s why we use music old and new but returning to the heart of worship is not about whether we use music or not, it is about our relationship with God. There are too many people lip-synching and their hearts are not in it. Look at the responses of people concerning worship. I have to say I am so tired of hearing about people complaining about worship songs. Anything from I don’t like the song, I don’t like the music, I don’t know it so I can’t worship, I don’t get the tune, too low, too high, not a hymn, not a chorus. I always tell people when we sing, if you can't sing, sing anyways, or read the words or listen attentively. Another is the service is too long, sermon is too long, I am not being fed etc. Another response is a non-verbal one where people don’t come prepared for worship and they are always late and they do not tithe. I include tithe because that is also worship. Worship has become narcissistic where it is all about me and not God. It should be Glory to God in the Highest, not how does this make me feel. Not only do we have the complainers from the older generation, now we have the younger generation complaining also. What a desolate state of affairs our worship is in. Their hearts are far from me. Matthew 15:18 “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” Many people who worship on Sunday are gossiping and complaining on Monday.
I would be interested to see how church would look if God was the gatekeeper at all churches this Sunday. By the way Jesus will be on the Day of Judgment so we had better get this right. Does he really care how nice you look on Sunday? Does he really care how great the worship team is, lighting and sound was? Does he care if the speaker is a silver-tongued orator? Does he really care if there is an expensive building? He does care if you tithe correctly. He does care if you spend time with him daily and not one-minute devotions. He does care if you think his book is more important than all others. He does care if you trust him. He does care if you wait on him. I hope you are seeing that worship is so much more than singing a few songs. On any given Sunday the church would look drastically different if the entrance to the church was narrow and not so wide. Most would not be allowed in based on their present view of worship. Matthew 17:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Take a look at Nehemiah 8 and 9. I will leave this for you to read but here you will see how the word of the lord was lifted up and read from daybreak till noon. Woe; stop right there; that is a long time! “5 Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. 6 Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.” The people wept when they heard the words of the Law. Sadly in our day there is a famine of hearing the word of the Lord. You will see in chapter 9 the confession of sins. I find it interesting that some of the church rituals such as the pulpit that was elevated, standing at the reading of the word continued but people lost the reverence for the word of God and have stopped bowing down before God with our faces to the ground in true worship. I am not talking about elevating the pulpit again but elevating the word of God. Most churches need to echo Hilkiah when he said, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord. When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes. 20 He gave these orders to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: 21 “Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the remnant in Israel and Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that is poured out on us because those who have gone before us have not kept the word of the Lord; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written in this book.” (2 Chronicles 34) The word of the Lord has been lost and it needs to be found once again. In our day people are bored with it unless there is story or a video and it needs to be short and sweet with no conviction. True worship leads to results of the early church where it moved in power.
This power does not come if you get into the right mood or feeling or by singing your favourite song or singing the song over and over again. That is not how it works. In humility on your face is true worship. Music is very important to the life of the church but it is just one part of worship. Singing / music is not the heart of worship but the heart of the church is obedience to God’s word and out of obedience “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40. Trusting in God and putting our hope in him leads to waiting on the Lord. If you are not doing that, then singing songs on Sunday morning is not worship but noise no matter how nice it sounded. It is all tied together.
Prayer: Lead us back to true worship by changing our hearts. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”