Worship…

True worship marks us and moves the Lord.

The following is an excerpt from a project I’m currently working on, and it seems fitting for a Sunday morning.

Enjoy…


What is it with Christians and all that singing?

Most churches have a component of singing which they call worship. In fact, nation-wide radio networks and TV channels dedicate themselves to 24×7 worship music. Today we’ll think about worship and figure out what place it has in the life of a Jesus follower.

First, let’s talk about the music, since most church people mean the songs we sing in church when they say worship.

Why do we sing in church? This singing does a number of things. Some songs we sing in church, serve to remind us of who we are in Christ. Others bring praise to Jesus for who He is and for the wonderful things He has done. This second group falls into the category of Praise and Thanksgiving.

A great songwriter from the past, David the shepherd king, wrote long ago,

Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. – Psalm 100:4

He also said this about praise in another of his songs,

Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. – Psalm 22:3

Or as the old King James version declares,

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. – Psalm 22:3 KJV

These verses teach us that our praise brings us into the presence of the Lord. This is why we talked about beginning our times of prayer with praise and thanksgiving. When we honor the Lord with our words of praise, it prepares our hearts to receive from His hand of blessing.

This is why we take the time to sing before the preaching of the Word in a church setting. If God comes and inhabits, or sits enthroned in our praise, and the psalmist’s metaphor teaches us, our hearts will be ready to receive the word like good seed in a garden.

But can we rightly call this worship?

Yes and no.

Much of what wears the worship label, consists more of praise or encouragement, and yet it can be part of worship.

Some would make the distinction that music becomes worship when its focus is more intimate. That worship is the beyond praise when we stop talking about Jesus and start singing directly to Him.

Jesus said, to a woman He met in Samaria,

But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. – John 4:23

In her song Dove’s Eyes, Misty Edwards, a worship leader out of the House of Prayer in Kansas City, wrote,

I don’t want to talk to You
like You’re not in the room,
I want to look right at You,
I want to sing right to You.

This captures the heart of worship. Worship does not talk about God to others. When we worship God, we set aside all the distractions of life, and focus our affections, all our attention on Him.

The Old Testament model of worship gives us a picture of what worship is supposed to look like. The sacrificial system of putting animals on the altar and sacrificing them to the Lord represents the laying down of our lives and giving ourselves into the service of the Lord.

So, worship in one sense could involve music and singing, and prayer and time spent with the Lord. But in the broader sense of the word, it’s about laying your life down before the Lord and saying I’m all in. I consider myself dead to my agenda and fully at your disposal.

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. – Romans 12:1

One of the most beautiful pictures in the Bible of worship comes in the last days of Jesus’ life. He sat at a dinner table in the house of some good friends, and in came a woman with a pretty bad reputation. She carried an alabaster box of ointment, worth a year’s wages at the time. She poured the ointment on His head, and weeping, she began to wash His feet with her tears and dry them with her hair. Anointing His feet with the ointment, kissing His feet, and generally making quite a scene.

The others at the dinner, His disciples and His host included were upset by this display, but Jesus received it and honored this woman as the only one to treat Him as was fitting.

This paints for us a beautiful picture of worship. This woman, who had been forgiving much, poured out the most precious thing she had at the feet of Jesus–her life in effect. When she walked away from this encounter with Jesus, He smelled of the perfume of her life, and she smelled like Jesus. In reality, a couple days later, as He hung on the cross, somewhere, lingering in the air, amid the smells of blood, the sweat, and the tears, would have been the fragrance of that ointment.

True worship marks us and moves the Lord.


Here’s Misty Edwards singing “Dove’s Eyes.”


cropped-BenHeadshotThanks for coming by

Worship Him today,

Ben

Be Enthroned – #WorshipWednesday

I love this! Hope you do too.

Be Enthroned

Verse 1
We’ve come to join the song
Sung long before our lives
To raise our voice along
Heaven and Earth alike

We’ve seen Your faithful hand
Your mercy without end
A king who bled and died
A God who sacrificed

Chorus
Be enthroned upon the praises of a thousand generations
You are worthy Lord of all
Unto You the slain and risen King we lift our voice with Heaven
Singing worthy Lord of all

Verse 2
All through this life we lead
And on to eternity
Our endless praise will cry
Jesus be glorified
Jesus be glorified

Bridge
Highest praises Lord of all
Highest praises Lord of all
(repeat)
(play this line when going back into the chorus)
Highest praises You are worthy Lord of all

Chorus (Alternate Chords)
Be enthroned upon the praises of a thousand generations
You are worthy Lord of all
Unto You the slain and risen King we lift our voice with Heaven
Singing worthy Lord of all

written by Hunter Thompson, Kalley Heiligenthal, Jeremy Riddle, Brian Johnson
© 2015 Bethel Music Publishing (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

Thanks to Bethel Music for these lyrics. You can find them here.-

Raise a Hallelujah – #WorshipWednesday

This is a wonderful worship song, that you may have heard or sung already, but this video includes the story of its origin. It’s a wonderful testimony of God’s hand and the power of worship. Join me this morning (or whenever) raising your own Hallelujah.

Blessings.


Raise a Hallelujah

Bethel MusicJonathan David Helser

I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies
I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief
I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody
I raise a hallelujah, heaven comes to fight for me

I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!

I raise a hallelujah, with everything inside of me
I raise a hallelujah, I will watch the darkness flee
I raise a hallelujah, in the middle of the mystery
I raise a hallelujah, fear you lost your hold on me!

I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!

Sing a little louder (In the presence of my enemies)
Sing a little louder (Louder than the unbelief)
Sing a little louder (My weapon is a melody)
Sing a little louder (Heaven comes to fight for me)
Sing a little louder (In the presence of my enemies)
Sing a little louder (Louder than the unbelief)
Sing a little louder (My weapon is a melody)
Sing a little louder (Heaven comes to fight for me)
Sing a little louder!

I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!

Songwriters: Jonathan David Helser / Melissa Helser / Molly Skaggs / Jake Stevens
Raise a Hallelujah lyrics © Bethel Music Publishing

 

Throne Room – WorshipWednesday

 

Throne Room

Kim Walker-Smith

Dream after dream, You are
Speaking to me, breathing
Word after word of kingdom come
Here at Your feet, I can
See the unseen, truly
One look at You and I’m undone

I run to the throne room
I run to the throne room

And I fall on my face
With angels and saints
And all I can say is
Holy, holy, holy are You, God

My heart can’t contain
The weight of Your name
And all I can say is
Holy, holy, holy are You

Grace upon grace, all my
Fear falls away, only
Your perfect love for me remains
Oh, time after time You stay
Close by my side, burning
Fire inside I can’t contain

I run to the throne room
I run to the throne room

And I fall on my face
With angels and saints
And all I can say is
Holy, holy, holy are You, God

My heart can’t contain
The weight of Your name
And all I can say is
Holy, holy, holy are You

I run to the throne room
Before You, the only One
I run to the throne room
Before You, I’m overcome
I run to the throne room
Before You, the only One
I run to the throne room
Before You, I’m overcome

And I fall on my face
With angels and saints
And all I can say is
Holy, holy, holy are You, God

My heart can’t contain
The weight of Your name
And all I can say is
Holy, holy, holy are You

Songwriters: Jacob Sooter / Lindsey Sweat / Mia Fieldes / Kim Walker-Smith
Throne Room lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Essential Music Publishing, Capitol Christian Music Group

Thanks to Google for these lyrics.

Another In The Fire – Worship Wednesday

He there!

It’s another great day to worship our Father. Here’s a great song from Hillsong that I think you’ll love.

Blessings


There’s a grace when the heart is under fire
Another way when the walls are closing in
And when I look at the space between
Where I used to be and this reckoning
I know I will never be alone
There was another in the fire

Standing next to me
There was another in the waters
Holding back the seas
And should I ever need reminding
Of how I’ve been set free
There is a cross that bears the burden
Where another died for me
There is another in the fire

All my debt left for dead beneath the waters
I’m no longer a slave to my sin anymore
And should I fall in the space between
What remains of me and this reckoning
Either way I won’t bow to the things of this world
And I know I will never be alone

There is another in the fire
Standing next to me
There is another in the waters
Holding back the seas
And should I ever need reminding
What power set me free
There is a grave that holds no body
And now that power lives in me
There is another in the fire, oh
There is another in the fire, whoa
There is another in the fire, whoa
There is another in the fire, oh
I can see

And I can see the light in the darkness
As the darkness bows to Him
I can hear the roar in the heavens
As the space between wears thin
I can feel the ground shake beneath us
As the prison walls cave in
Nothing stands between us
Nothing stands between us

There is no other name but the name that is Jesus
He who was and still is, and will be through it all
So come what may in the space between
All the things unseen and this reckoning
And I know I will never be alone
And I know I will never be alone

There’ll be another in the fire
Standing next to me
There’ll be another in the waters
Holding back the seas
And should I ever need reminding
How good You’ve been to me
I’ll count the joy come every battle
‘Cause I know that’s where You’ll be
I can see the light

And I can see the light in the darkness
As the darkness bows to Him
I can hear the roar in the heavens
As the space between wears thin
I can feel the ground shake beneath us
As the prison walls cave in
Nothing stands between us
Nothing stands between

There’ll be another in the fire
Standing next to me
There’ll be another in the waters
Holding back the seas
And should I ever need reminding
How good You’ve been to me
I’ll count the joy come every battle
‘Cause I know that’s where You’ll be

Count the joy come every battle
‘Cause I know that’s where You’ll be
I’ll count the joy come every battle
‘Cause I know that’s where You’ll be, sing it again
I’ll count the joy come every battle
‘Cause I know that’s where You’ll be
I’ll count the joy come every battle
‘Cause I know that’s where You’ll be

Songwriters: Chris Davenport / Joel Houston

Another In The Fire lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

Thanks to Google for the lyrics.

Goodness of God – Worship Wednesday

 

Good Wednesday morning!

It’s been a while. Here’s a worship song I’m loving these days.

Enjoy,

Ben


 

Bethel Music, Jenn Johnson

I love You, Lord
For Your mercy never failed me
All my days, I’ve been held in Your hands
From the moment that I wake up
Until I lay my head
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God

And all my life You have been faithful
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God

I love Your voice
You have led me through the fire
And in darkest night You are close like no other
I’ve known You as a Father
I’ve known You as a Friend
And I have lived in the goodness of God, yeah!

And all my life You have been faithful, oh
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God, yeah!

‘Cause Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me
Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me
With my life laid down, I’m surrendered now
I give You everything
‘Cause Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me, oh-oh

‘Cause Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me
Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me
With my life laid down, I’m surrendered now
I give You everything
‘Cause Your goodness is running after, it keeps running after me

And all my life You have been faithful
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I’m gonna sing of the goodness of God

I’m gonna sing, I’m gonna sing

‘Cause all my life You have been faithful
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I’m gonna sing of the goodness of God
Oh, I’m gonna sing of the goodness of God

Songwriters: Ben Fielding / Brian Johnson / Ed Cash / Jason Ingram / Jenn Johnson
Goodness of God lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC