Category Archives: Worship

Connecting Worship to Real Life

When the story of the exodus is taught we often hit the highlights: slavery in Egypt, the burning bush, the plagues, crossing the Red Sea, Sinai and the 10 commandments, wilderness wanderings, spies in the land, etc. In all of that there is a very important chapter that gets left out that has something important to teach us about worship and that is Exodus 15. In Exodus 14 the Hebrews cross the Red Sea. They are told in advance that they are about to see with their own eyes God destroy the Egyptians. The water parts, they cross the other side and the Egyptians are killed in the sea. The very next verse (remember they didn’t have chapter and verse when it was written) says, “Then Moses and the Israelites sand this song to the Lord.” (Exo 15:1).

They worshiped.

Their response to God’s direct intervention in their lives…their very deliverance from slavery in Egypt was worship.

If you read the song they sang what you will find is that they very specifically recount the things they saw and they attribute every single action to the hand of God.

We generally worship God for two broad areas: who God is and what God has done, is doing and will do in the future. So part of worship is the overflow of the recognition of God’s involvement in our lives. God does something on our behalf and we respond in worship.

We see this all over scripture. It is in the psalms, in both the headings of the psalms that connect the psalm to real life events as well as in the content of the psalms themselves that both speak to God’s involvement and covenant faithfulness in the past as well as an expectation that God will work again in the future to bring deliverance from a new set of enemies or a new set of difficulties.

This is found in the New Testament as well. In the first two chapters of Luke we get three songs: Mary’s, Zechariah’s and Simeon’s. Each one of them speak into specifics of what God has done and will do in the future to save his people. This is in Acts too. We find it in Acts 3-4 where the healed formerly paralyzed man worships God following his healing and then the early church worships God following Peter and John’s chastisement by the Sanhedrin. Those Christians’ prayer in Acts 4 is directly tied to the verbiage of the Sanhedrin, only in a defiant reversal of the orders they received to no longer speak in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:17 vs 4:29-30).

Worship is connected to real life. In fact, life itself is an act of worship when one is in Christ (Romans 12:1).

Because we tend to define worship as corporate worship we have difficulty on this connection because when we gather someone will select songs that will not all connect with where everyone in the room is at spiritually, emotionally, etc on any given day. That isn’t a problem in and of itself. The solution is that we have to broaden our view of worship beyond the assembly and begin seeing and understanding our lives to be constantly in praise to God as we look for and see God’s work in our lives on a daily basis. When God answers a prayer. We thank him…even sing a song like “Thank you” which is a song that recognizes God’s involvement in our lives most specifically for God’s deliverance which has as much to do with salvation than it does with God helping me with the things I struggle with on a day to day basis.

As we recognize God’s involvement in our lives let us make the conscious effort to give Him praise.

Sermon on the Mount: A Good Reason to Leave the Assembly Early

Have you ever left worship angry? Let me ask that another way, have you ever left the assembly because you were angry and realized that you had to make it right before you sang one more song or said “Fine, how are you to one more person?”   Jesus straight up tells us that ifContinue Reading

The Mother’s Day/Father’s Day Preaching Divide

I am sure this isn’t news to you but there is a gap in how a lot of sermons deal with Mother’s Day vs. Father’s Day. Mother’s day sermons feel like a pep rally for mom’s. We cheer them on. We celebrate their awesomeness. We give them the praise they deserve. Mother’s Day sermons feelsContinue Reading

That’s the Night that the Lights Went Out on Worship

Two Sunday’s ago the unexpected happened…the lights went out during worship. We knew there was a problem with the electricity not running at full capacity early that Sunday morning but we at least had some lights but no AC. During the announcements the lights went out entirely, leaving us largely in the dark. A littleContinue Reading

Balancing Scripture and Explanation in Preaching

I believe there is something powerful that happens when God’s word is read aloud among the people of God. Unfortunately there are times preaching is more about personality than it is about the power that comes from the very nature of God’s Word. If a preacher did nothing but get up and read scripture thereContinue Reading

Has Powerpoint for Preaching Outlived Its Usefulness?

There have been a few articles out over the last week that bashed the effectiveness of powerpoint. Here are a few of those articles with a brief synopsis: Physicists, Generals And CEOs Agree: Ditch The PowerPoint This article basically says that in a variety of fields the experience has been the same, reliance on powerpointContinue Reading

God is Up to Something…

and it is important that we recognize it. Once we recognize what is happening, it is important that we celebrate it. When we do that people begin to connect ministry and worship with real life. Too often worship can feel like it happens in a vaccuum, in a disconnect from the rest of our MondayContinue Reading

Transcendence, Immanence & Generation Gaps in the Church

There is a tension in scripture between our God’s transcendence (being so much higher and greater and “other” than us) and God’s immanence (being close and personal and intimate with us). On one hand, God dwells in the heavens. On the other His Spirit dwells within us. There is a real tension there in howContinue Reading

Reality Television, Real vs Rigged and Implications for 21st Century Christianity

Reality television is booming business. Everything from Duck Dynasty to Pawn Stars to the Pickers…it seems there is a niche for just about everything. It begs the question, just how much of reality television is actual reality and how much of it is rigged? It is obvious that producers, writers, and actors have advanced knowledgeContinue Reading

Karate Kid, Discipleship, and Why Some Are Leaving Christianity

Mr. Miyagi knew discipleship. He knew what it took to train someone to be able to do the things he did. Miyagi trained Daniel this way, not because cars needed to be washed but because these were the moves Daniel had to repeat enough times that it became natural to him (think muscle memory). WhenContinue Reading

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