Hallelujah! You who serve God, praise God! Just to speak his name is praise! Just to remember God is a blessing— now and tomorrow and always. From east to west, from dawn to dusk, keep lifting all your praises to God! Psalm 103:1-3
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty. They tell of the power of your awesome works. They celebrate your abundant goodness. The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.he Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. Psalm 145:1-9
That day the Spirit led Simeon to the Temple.
So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,
“Sovereign Lord, nowlet your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. Luke 2:27-31
Lord, I passionately love you and I’m bonded to you! I want to embrace you, for now you’ve become my power! You’re as real to me as bedrock beneath my feet, like a castle on a cliff, my forever firm fortress, my mountain of hiding, my pathway of escape, my tower of rescue where none can reach me. My secret strength and shield around me, you are salvation’s ray of brightness shining on the hillside, always the champion of my cause. All I need to do is to call to you, singing to you, the praiseworthy God. When I do, I’m safe and sound in you. Psalm 18:1-3
HERE I AM TO WORSHIP
Light of the World You stepped down into darkness Open my eyes Let me see Beauty that made This heart adore You Hope of a life Spent with You
Here I am to worship Here I am to bow down Here I am to say that You’re my God You’re altogether lovely Altogether worthy Altogether wonderful to me
King of all days Oh, so highly exalted Glorious in Heaven above Humbly You came To the earth You created All for love’s sake became poor
I’ll never know how much it cost To see my sin upon that cross I’ll never know how much it cost To see my sin upon that cross I’ll never know how much it cost To see my sin upon that cross I’ll never…
I believe in … in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell; The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.” Isaiah 12:4
“I’ll take up the lute and thank you to the tune of your faithfulness, God. I’ll make music for you on a harp. When I open up in song to you, I let out lungsful of praise, my rescued life a song. All day long I’m chanting about you and your righteous ways.” Psalm 71:18-24
“Sir,” the woman said,“Where would you get that life-givingwater. It was our ancestor Jacob who gave us this well; he and his children and his flocks all drank from it.” Jesus answered: “Those who drink this water will get thirsty again,but those who drink the water that I will give them will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give them will become in them a spring which will provide them with life-giving water and give them eternal life.” “I see you are a prophet, sir,” the woman said.“My Samaritan ancestors worshiped God on this mountain, but you Jews say that Jerusalem is the placewhere we should worship God.” Jesus said to her, “The time is coming and is already here, when by the power of God’s Spirit people will worship the Father as he really is, offering him the true worship that he wants. God is Spirit, and only by the powerof his Spirit can people worship him as he really is.”(John 4:24)
Jesus engaged the Samaritan women about worship. The woman fixated on externals: a place, a well and a mountain.
In my opinion the Western church has a similar fixation: buildings, time, liturgy, professional clergy, proper attire, convenience, musical expression, Bible version, confessional standards, denominational titles and doctrinal statements … all of which miss the mark of “true worship“.
The church of Acts provides the essential of worship (today, most would vote for the preaching of the Word). “When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power.” (Acts 1:8) “The followers (120) of Jesus were all together in one place on Pentecost. All at once there was a sound from heaven like a powerful wind. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:1-4) Did you catch it? We’re not given a full picture. However, there’s no doubt: the assembled followers were waiting FOR and ONthe promised, power-full Spirit! In other words, without the presence and power of the Spirit worship is impossible … period!
It was the late ’90’s. Many from Immanuel attended an interdenominational worship conference. We returned with one conviction: the Holy Spirit is the commander-in-chief of worship! However, as regards the nuts and bolts … we didn’t have a clue! Our board agreed that I and one board member would meet for prayer prior to worship to wait on the Spirit. We invited anyone from the congregation to meet with us. Most Sunday’s there were at least four present. Gradually, the Spirit revealed to us what He wanted to do. However, there was a problem: ME! After all, had I not been trained in how to do worship? Weekly the Spirit would deal with me. However, I would dismiss his prompting! Gradually and graciously He continued and eventually won! (Note: many of the congregation were ahead of me). After that, our worship was filled with anticipation of the Spirit’s presence and power.
This is important! We would gather every Sunday in the same building and at the same time. The musicians would rehearse the selected songs. I would prepare a message. This did not change. What changed is our attitude. Though we had planned and prepared, the Spirit was ultimately in charge! What He wanted to do on any particular Sunday was THE ESSENTIAL!
Now, without accusation or intimidation I ask you: on any given Sunday IF the Holy Spirit wanted to “blow however HE wills“, would He find anticipatory reception of His presence and power in your church? Practically, would He be required to fit His agenda within the confines of your hourly, (or whatever) planned liturgy? Please, I don’t mean to be derogatory in any way! Yet, Paul said: “Don’t put out the Spirit’s fire. Don’t despise what God has revealed“(1 Thessalonians 5:19-20)
At the same conference we attended (early 90’s) a word was given about a congregation ((it was small and unknown at the time) in Sydney, Australia: 1) it would primarily be characterized by the free flow of the Holy Spirit in worship 2) it would produce worship music beyond that which the church has ever experienced 3) it would grow into a mega-church via lost young persons and 4) it’s impact would be world-wide. All of this has happened … and, then some! Below is a video of worship at Hillsong. Notice: 1) the young adults, 2) the quality of the music (words) and 3) the passion of those gathered. This may not be your “cup of tea”. However, remember, the Jewish religious leaders missed Jesus for the same reason!