Category Archives: Worship

Worship and Suffering: Praising God from the Ashes

In scripture, suffering and worship go hand in hand. The greatest book on suffering ever written, the book of Job makes this connection at the very beginning when everything begins falling apart in Job’s life,

20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
    may the name of the Lord be praised.”

22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” (1:20-22)

Worship and mourning are not mutually exclusive. If we misunderstand worship to be praise conditioned upon positive circumstance then we misunderstand the very nature of worship and the very nature of God. Worship is unconditional in that we offer it to God no matter what, in all circumstances. At the same time the thing that happen in our lives have everything to do with the content of our worship. We praise God out of the reality of what is going on in our lives. The scriptures never sugar coat worship as if God is co-dependent to our “everything is fine” addiction. No. Worship in the Bible is in tune with reality because worship and suffering and not mutually exclusive. Even these words of Job are offset in the text, assuming that they are a song. Job is singing.

If there is still any doubt about this please take a moment to read the Psalms. It won’t take you long to realize that those songs frequently call out to God from troubled circumstances. This worship is a worship that recognizes God’s worth and worthiness from difficult circumstances and then calls on God’s covenant faithfulness to make things right again.

If you are suffering and down maybe it is time to try worship. It is good for the soul.

“The lord gave and the Lord has taken away, may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 Say Something that is Typically Missed

The reason we go to a particular verse often dictates the meaning we find in the verse. If we go to Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 looking for instruction on how to worship we end up missing some of what Paul actually wrote. Here is what he wrote, “Do not get drunk on wine, whichContinue Reading

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 importantContinue Reading

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

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