Seven Words of Worship-Harland & Moser-Feb. 27, 2013

Week 6-Expression-February 27, 2013

Points to Ponder

v  God delights in our unique expressions of worship in response to His revelation.

  1. We are able to enter God’s presence only by His grace-His unmerited favor and transforming power provided for our benefit.
  2. In either case, worship comes from the one who is lesser and dependent as he or she understands and submits to the greatness of the One who is superior.
  3. Our worship expression is a clear indicator of the depth and quality of our relationship with God.  When we live a surrendered life in response to who He is and what He has done, our response as we encounter God is free and unhindered.  What someone else might think about our response really doesn’t matter.  Worship is truly all about Him!
  4. God wants to hear our unique expressions of praise.  We simply cannot allow worship leaders to worship for us.  They are expressing their worship, but God wants to hear our very own expressions of worship.
  5. Standards are good as long as they are God’s standards, and the Bible is filled with standards to guide our expression of worship.  However, our tendency as human beings is to limit ourselves and those around us based on our own emotional comfort level.
  6. The Bible provides both freedom and boundaries for authentic worship expression.

v  God created music and musicians to precede and proclaim His presence, His power, and His Word; and to prepare His people to receive Him.

  1. God created music and musicians to precede and proclaim His presence, His power, and His Word; and to prepare His people to receive Him.
  2. God created music and musicians to lead His people as they celebrate, thank, and praise the Lord.  God did not create and appoint musicians to worship for the people but to lead the people as they worshiped!
  3. The singers and musicians were one-harmonically and spiritually and the King of kings responded with His presence!  Now that’s what I want to see in out worship assemblies, don’t you?

v  God created singers and musicians to be “lead worshipers,” but the pastor is the true worship leader.

  1. We commonly refer to the music leader or minister of music as the worship leader, but the true worship leader is the spiritual leader of the church:  the pastor.  Every part of the worship service must be under the pastor’s authority and direction.  The pastor is the one who is charged by God with the overall welfare of God’s precious lambs, including God’s servant who is in charge of the music.
  2. Singers and musicians have a very specific purpose in worship:  to prepare our hearts to receive the Word.
  3. When this distinction is clearly understood the congregation benefits greatly.
  4. The pastor is to the worship service what the mother of the bride is to the wedding ceremony.
  5. When the pastor is a worshiper and understands his role as worship leader, there is great freedom in worship.

v  Four key parts of the worship service and one special element of worship can help us to express our worship.

  1. The Coming In…as we come into the sanctuary, we are literally and figuratively setting ourselves apart from the world.  We sing at the beginning of the worship service because music and musicians were created to precede the power, presence, and Word of God.  Once the coming in-the separating from the world-has occurred, we are ready to proceed with the worship service.
  2. The table of the Lord… is given as a visible reminder of God’s eternal sacrifice in Christ Jesus.
  3. The Proclamation of the Word…music was created to precede the Word, not to replace it.  When we gather in God’s name without reading or the preaching of the Word, the worship service is incomplete.  Our understanding of who Jesus is and what He has done is determined by teaching and preaching from the written Word of God.
  4. The Going Out…we have separated ourselves for a time to receive the table and the Word.  Now it is time for us to take that Word back into our homes, schools, offices, and neighborhoods.
  5. Baptism is the visible demonstration of the grace gift of salvation and the Great Exchange-our total immersion into the life of Jesus that He has given in exchange for our life of sin.  Baptism should be a time of great joy, celebration, and worship.

v  We worship God by serving Him in our everyday lives with reverence and awe.

  1. Paul’s ministry itself was an expression of worship.
  2. Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us hold on to grace.  By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.  Hebrews 12:28-29
  3. The cycle is complete:  God initiates, we respond, and He responds to our worship with His glorious presence!

Glory For Grace

Glory for Grace

Matthew 28:5-6

 Have you ever considered what would have happened if Jesus had left the cross?  The insults came in abundance, mocked by those where were “supposed to know.”  Recognizing that He had some power, “He saved other,” they said “but He can’t save Himself!”  The taunts continued, “Let Him come down and we will believe in Him.  If He is God’s Son let God save Him.

There will always be those who say a crucified God is not God at all.  What use is a crucified Messiah?  Many more take the position if I only had proof then I will believe, but that is not the life of faith.  Faith is trusting in God’s Word and promises, because we know it to be true from experience.  Faith knows that with God all things are possible.

How it must have pained Jesus to hear the ugliness of that moment and to know that He could have come down in power and glory, bringing judgment on the crowd and the world.  But He didn’t He remained meek.  Some have misunderstood meekness for weakness.  Meekness is not a lack of power but rather power restrained.

If Jesus responded and left the cross we would all be in a hopeless situation under judgment from our sins.  In that moment He traded His glory for our grace.  What an amazing grace it must have been to hang on the cross with grace and glory, and redemption and judgment literally hanging in the balance.  Jesus decided to remain on the cross, remaining meek, remaining on the cross, remaining humble, remaining to finish the work of redemption.   “It Is Finished!”

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.  Come see the place where he lay.”  Matthew 28:5-6

“It is better to come out of a tomb than off of a cross.”  S.M. Lockridge

It is certainly better for us and the world that the grace of Christ was demonstrated at the cross, the victory of Christ at the empty tomb, and the glory of Christ at the end of the age.  As we thank Him for His sacrifice, celebrate His victory (that it may also be ours), and look expectantly to His coming glory.  Let us echo the words of Revelation 22:20b, “Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.”

 

Jesus invites…that Salvation May Come-Feb. 24, 2013

Jesus invites…that Salvation May Come-February 24, 2013

Scripture:  Luke 19:1-10, Revelation 3:20

Point 1-Jesus was on His way.  Jesus was on His was to Jerusalem that in a few short days He would give His life for the world that if they would believe they would receive eternal life.  Jesus always lived His life with a purpose in mind and the cross was ever before Him.  Yet even with the cross in His near future He makes the time to stop for others along the way.  So live your life with purpose and intentionality, but also make room for the divine encounters you may have with someone.

Point 2-The people you might least expect are also the ones that God desires a relationship with.  Zaccheus was a tax collector and rich.  He got rich in his profession by cheating the people he was responsible for collecting taxes from.  He was a small man and overextended his authority, making him a despised person in his community.  Who might we know that has wronged us, or have we ourselves wronged someone?

Point 3-Jesus invites us where we are, to be present with Him and begin our relationship with Him.  Jesus calls Zaccheus to come down so that He can go and stay at his house.  Jesus wants to make Himself at home in our hearts.

Point 4-Jesus invited and Zaccheus responded to Jesus invitation, not listening to the grumblers.  The first question is are we the one who needs Jesus or are we a grumbler?  Perhaps we don’t see ourselves as ones in need of Jesus grace, or we may be the one that grumbles because we think someone else doesn’t deserve His grace.  The third option is we recognize and respond to His invitation, and then thank God for His grace in Jesus for ourselves and others.

Point 5-An encounter with Jesus changes everything about a person.  The grumblers were upset because they thought they knew who Zaccheus was, but Jesus knew who He could be and the impact of Jesus on Zaccheus would not only bring salvation to Zaccheus but also a benefit to the community.  When Jesus dwells in us we are different and the world around us understands the greatness of God’s grace.  Our identity and actions become tied to His, and the world will know that we are His because of what He has done, and who we have become in Him.

Point 6-Jesus came to seek and save the lost.  Jesus comes seek those who are lost, but we should not be afraid.  He is not seeking to judge but to save.  In a few short days from this very event the work of grace will be complete.  Grace is always the work of God and done at His initiative otherwise we could do it through our work and that would set us up to compare and judge.  Grace is always the work of God through Jesus in the human heart if our hearts will be His welcome home.

Relation 3:20-Jesus stands and the door and knocks, will you let Him and celebrate those that do so that the world may be different because of Him.

There will always be grumblers.  Some will be upset that those of questionable character or actions may want to see Jesus or come to church.  Others may be upset or question how Jesus could or would want to save someone “like that”, although they may be less likely to say so with their words but by their actions.  Thankfully grace is not contingent upon the words of the grumblers but by the Word, Jesus Christ.  It is possible to be so lost that you don’t even know you are lost, it is truly grace that the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost.  Luke 19:1-10.