A young boy and his mother were on their way home after attending the opera when the boy said, “Mom, that man who did all the singing must think a lot of himself.” “Why would you say something like that?” the mother asked. “Because”, he replied, “Every time the man started to sing, he’d say ‘Me, Me, Me, Meee.'”
We don’t know exactly what songs the first century church had a habit of singing together. We have the book of Psalms, there are sections of scripture that are thought of as recognizable doxologies, and we even have a moment or two when the New Testament scriptures explicitly say certain individuals were singing. But for the most part we don’t have a numbered list of songs (i.e. a modern-day songbook) that identifies what the early church used in worship.
Although we may not be able to “confidently” identify any of the first century church’s songs, we can identify how they were meant to sing … and it wasn’t with the purpose of making it all about, “Me, Me, Me, Meee.”
“speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,” (Ephesians 5:19 NKJV)
Nothing about the singing of the early church was meant to be egocentric; it was quite the opposite! The early church’s purpose of singing in worship was to remind one another about the higher purpose of living in God’s calling (which is the context of Ephesians 5:19) and to bring, and give, glory to God within their heart. And if our modern-day purpose falls short of the same standard, then it doesn’t matter what song we’re singing, we’re making it about us and not about what God desires.
“Get dressed and lament, you priests!
Wail, you who minister at the altar!
Come, spend the night in sackcloth, you servants of my God,
because no one brings grain offerings or drink offerings
to the temple of your God anymore.”
Joel prophesied of a time when it would no longer be possible to worship God because of the destruction he would send upon an idolatrous, immoral, and unjust people.
God has sent a famine of his word upon the land today, Amos 8.11. Worship is no longer possible. People are playing with religion. Let the remnant hear and obey his word!
#votd #Joel #worship
REQUIREMENTS, EXPEDIENTS, AND VIOLATIONS
Christians are required to assemble for the purposes of worship, exhortation, and fellowship (John 4:24; Acts 2:42; 20:7; Hebrews 10:24-25). While we read nothing of church buildings in New Testament times, such are not wrong because they are expedient, convenient ways of doing what the Lord has authorized us to do. A place to assemble (including seats/pews, lights, etc.), whether in a private home, a rented hall, or a building constructed for that purpose inheres in and is authorized by the command to assemble. On the other hand, to fail to assemble and worship the Lord is a violation of His will, and therefore sin. Continue reading
Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.
Here are the topics you will find:
- In Spirit and Truth (Rick Brumback)
- Worship (Cody Westbrook)
- I Will Sing the Wondrous Story (Andy Baker)
- Approaching the Throne of Grace (Bruce Ligon)
- Preaching As Worship (Mike Vestal)
- New Testament Giving (Jon McCormack)
- Worship – The Lord’s Supper (Kerry Clark)
Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.
You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.
Copyright © 2018 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.
Romans 12.1-2 introduces the practical part of Paul’s letter and offers a framework to understand what follows. The last phrase of verse 1 has been variously translated. In 1993, David Peterson published “WORSHIP AND ETHICS IN ROMANS 12” in the Tyndale Bulletin. What follows is a quote from it.
If Paul’s expression is translated ‘spiritual worship’, there is a danger of accenting the inwardness of Christian worship and not taking sufficient account of the fact that we are to yield our bodies to God’s service. There is no doubt from passages such as 1 Corinthians 12:3; Ephesians 2:17-22; Philippians 3:3 that the Holy Spirit facilitates the worship of the new covenant era, but that does not mean that we are compelled to translate λογικὴ λατρεία as ‘spiritual worship’. On the other hand, ‘rational worship’ may only suggest a contrast between the offering of rational beings and the sacrifice of irrational animals. The mind is certainly central to Paul’s perspective here, but the focus is not simply on rationality. The service he calls for is the obedience of faith expressed by those whose minds are being transformed and renewed by God, so that they may no longer be conformed in lifestyle to the values, attitudes and behaviour of ‘this age’ (Rom. 12:2; cf. Col. 3:9-10; Eph. 4:22-4). Consequently, it may be best to read ‘understanding worship’, and to recognise from the context that this means ‘the worship which is consonant with the truth of the gospel’,13 [Cranfield] or the service rendered by those who truly understand the gospel and its implications.
#Romans #quotes #worship #truth
“Do not bring any more meaningless offerings; I consider your incense detestable! You observe new moon festivals, Sabbaths, and convocations, but I cannot tolerate sin-stained celebrations!”
Israel displeased God because the people carried through with the ritual of sacrifices and worship, but left their hearts behind. The prophet thundered condemnation and urged repentance.
God wants the whole person. He desires our undivided heart. Less than total commitment is unacceptable to him. What are we keeping back from him?
#votd #worship #Isaiah
“The Israelites did all the work according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses. Moses inspected all the work – and they had done it just as the Lord had commanded – they had done it exactly – and Moses blessed them.”
God gave Israel a pattern for worship. He did not allow them to approach him according to their own ideas. When they built the tabernacle and did the work as he directed, they were blessed.
God has a pattern for the church as well. What aspects of the church’s pattern bring a blessing?
#pattern #worship #VOTD
The song leader can start the song but they cannot make you sing.
A prayer can be led but that does not mean you will be able to honestly say amen.
Money can be placed in the basket but that does not mean it will be done with cheerfulness.
The word of God may be opened but that does not mean the same can be said about your heart.
The Lord’s Supper can be eaten but no one can make you partake of communion with the Lord.
When we bring the wrong attitude to worship we turn our holy kiss into a holy dis that hinders the sensitivity of our soul, our relationship with God and the worship of the church as a whole.
Anybody can go to church, but you have to want to worship God.
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”” (John 4:23-24 NKJV)
“As they came into the house and saw the child with Mary his mother, they bowed down and worshiped him. They opened their treasure boxes and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
The Magi carried precious gifts for the child Jesus on their long journey. They came to worship and gave the best offerings they could.
The King deserves the best of me, not only mine. When I give all of self, I’ll not withhold the best within my hand.
#worship #offering #VOTD
One morning during worship, my five-year-old daughter passed the collection-basket, as it came and went, with a greater sense of urgency than usual. I told her to slow down.
She responded by informing me the ushers were in a race. Less than a minute later she told me which one won.
I responded by telling her what a lot of us adults need to hear – worship isn’t a race.
“I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.” (Psalm 119:15 NKJV)
An area congregation publishes a monthly bulletin for the city’s saints, called “I Love Jesus.” I went to speak there last month by request. My designated topic was biblical authority and instrumental music in worship. I began the first of two lessons with the sentence, “I love Jesus.” And because I love Jesus, I love the truth of Jesus, since he is “the way, the truth, and the life” Jn 14.6. Probably, not a few listeners caught my reference to the title of their bulletin. This year is, for me, the Year of Love. It might seem strange to some to talk about such topics as authority and instruments from a framework of love. But isn’t that the best (and maybe only) framework in which to treat them? And every other spiritual subject as well?
#love #worship #truth
What good is it to call oneself a Christian and yet find reasons to not attend the service of the Lord’s church wherein saints gather together to worship the Lord? The many who identify themselves as Christians and fail in this area are Christian in name only, not in heart. They think they will be received by the Lord because of some semblance of attendance and some semblance of “the Lord knows my heart.” Surely, they think, “I am in better position than you might think I am.” Really?
Compare what you think with what the Lord said (as in the Charles B. Williams translation).
“Let us continue so to consider one another as to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. Let us stop neglecting our meeting together, as some do, but let us continue to encourage one another, and all the more because you see that the great day is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Those who love the Lord consider one another in their attendance, desiring to stimulate others toward faithful service and good works, glorifying the Lord. Those who love the Lord do not neglect their attendance.
The word “neglect” is an interesting word. The dictionary defines it to mean to give little attention to, to give little respect, to leave undone or unattended. Those who fail to regularly attend the services of the Lord’s church are guilty of exactly this, the words of denial not withstanding!
What good is it to be called a Christian and fail to meet with the saints because the kids have activities “to which I have to get them!”? What good is it?
It is only good in one’s mind, but not certainly the Lord’s mind. Those who love the Lord memorialize Him in the life lived. RT
“Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, ‘Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you’” (Acts 17:22-23 NKJV). “Religion” literally means “fearing some deity,” in this case, idols. Some people are “very religious” about the “gods” of: power, sex, money, sports, themselves, or things. “Worship without knowing” the God of Heaven and Earth and the Bible is vain. “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless” (James 1:26 NKJV).
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
“You must not do like we are doing here today, with everyone doing what seems best to him, for you have not yet come to the final stop and inheritance the Lord your God is giving you.”
Moses told Israel how to worship God once they arrived in the promised land.
What seems best to man is seldom if ever what God wants. Why is that?
Faulty reasoning abounds about worship. This devotional thought centered on Psalm 149.2-3 from a denominational pastor is a prime example of it. This is the entire piece:
This is fascinating because the tambourine and harp were created by other cultures. From the beginning of worship music, the people of God took the instruments that were available in their day and used them for the glory of God. This means that the Biblical picture of praise is one that can incorporate the contributions of any culture, any style. Since that is the case, what do you have today in your culture that you could use to praise His name?
Men choose elements and features of worship thinking that God will like it. They justify it by twisted logic. Gone is any idea of God authorizing what can be done or under what covenant. Culture trumps covenant. Personal preference wins over worship given to God by faith—that faith that comes by hearing the word of God, Rom 10.17.
Man has often sought “an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion” Col 2.23 ESV. And he even uses the Bible to do it. Continue reading