Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Panem nostrum cotidiànum da nobis hòdie

Give us today our daily bread.

I recommend reading John 6:22-59 before proceeding with this post. Here is a quick link for you. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/

Enough: This past Sunday evening we sang together a song called Enough. Many of you have probably heard it before. I used to have a problem with the words. "All of you is more than enough for all of me..." I thought the text just did not do justice to the depth of the Almighty's provision for us. But, when did our words ever truly capture the overwhelming magnificence of the King? He is more than enough. If He was only just enough, that would be enough. You see? He is all we need because we are completely dependent on Him.

Draw Near: In John 6 Jesus teaches that He is the living bread. No one who comes to Him will ever be hungry, none who believes in Him will ever be thirsty. To truly be fed we must come to the Word that became Flesh. That dwelt among. That laid down it's life for those welcomed as friends. "This teaching is hard," said some of His disciples. It is also encouraging I say. The daily bread is free. Just be drawn to your King and let His glory fill you. He is enough for you.

Personal: While I am largely thinking towards corporate worship, this is the place where our daily, personal worship is challenged. If you worship daily in word and deed, your corporate worship will be more faithful because your relationship with the Triune God will be more complete and in right standing. Call on the Name daily. Honor the Name daily. Bless the Name daily. Sing a new song daily. Let praises ring from your heart and lips daily. Worship with a smile. Remember: Spirit and Truth.

All glory, laud, and honor to the Bread of Life.

Grace and Peace,

Proverbs 30: 7 "Two things I ask of you, O LORD;
do not refuse me before I die:

8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.

9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, 'Who is the LORD ?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


"Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

What is God's will? How do we do His will? If God is all-powerful, won't His will be done regardless of our actions? In worship, it is God's will that His people worship Him faithfully, honoring His name as holy, being the Kingdom, worshiping in Spirit and in Truth, singing New Songs, singing Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, worshiping the Lord with gladness, worshiping Him with loud cymbals and stringed instruments, with trumpets, with our voices, with our whole beings (with run-on sentences).

Most of all, it is God's will that we worship Him with our lives; "Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship." (Romans 12) This may be the clearest instruction of how to worship in all the Scriptures. Worship of the Almighty is more than a song. Again I say to you that our lives are demanded to be faithful worshipers as citizens of God's Kingdom.

How can we worship with a song if we do not first worship with our lives?

God's Will? John 6:38-40 "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me: that I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." Christ is quite clear as to what His Father's will was for Him. If we are to be conformed to Jesus' image and in being conformed, exalt the Father as He did, then our worship should (and will) point others to the Way of salvation through Christ Jesus. This is a natural occurrence that we do not have to force when we worship faithfully. This is because faithful worship lifts high the Name of Jesus and the Truth of His life of love.

Until every knee bows, let us not be silent. And if the rocks cry out, let us sing even still! Amen and amen.

Grace and Peace,

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


In the second subject of the model prayer we encounter the phrase, "Your Kingdom come..." What does it mean for the Almighty's Kingdom to come? The first thing we take from the mention of kingdom is the kingship, or, kingliness of God. An American society seems not to cope with a king well. We love the right, the freedom, to vote and to feel like we take part in decisions made. We have some sense of control over our lives because we have a right to our own opinion. But this does not seem to fit into a kingly politic.

Do you ever stop to ask yourself where your allegiance lies? Have you ever thought about your worship as it relates to the Kingdom of God? If we were to juxtapose God's Kingdom with our earthly government we would realize that both demand allegiance. Both demand something from us. America has given us a contract that says our taxes buy us protection, some health care, and citizenship... God's Kingdom has offered a covenant. The covenant says that the Kingdom would send forth it's ambassador. The spotless Lamb. The Lamb would lay down His life, and take away the sin of the world. Free. No taxes. Citizenship in this Kingdom means we live an abundant life of magnification, service, and sacrifice. The great Love poured out through the Lamb demands devotion of our whole being. Small price to pay for the benefits of being a citizen of the Kingdom of God.

"Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all."

In our worship it is important to magnify the One God alone. Does the magnification of an earthly kingdom have any place in the Church's worship? We are citizens of two governments; earthly and heavenly. With which does our true allegiance lie? Render unto Caesar what is his. God wants our devotion though. God is jealous of His glory. He alone is worthy of it. Next time you approach the Throne in worship, think of yourself as a pilgrim on a journey home. You are here, you obey the laws of the land you are in, but your true allegiance lies with the King of glory. The Almighty. The One who was, is, and is to come.

Oh Lord, come quickly.

Grace and Peace,

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Faithful Ones

This morning in worship, a friend and I sang The Lord's Prayer which is a musical setting of the Model Prayer found in Mathew 6. I've heard this prayer one thousand times at least (not exaggerating). The staff at our church has been doing a lot of thinking about said Model Prayer and it's implications for our supplications. What implications does it have for our worship? We'll come back to that.

I got to thinking this evening about what is necessary in our corporate worship (the Preceptor can be so thought provoking). Our church played hostess to a most wonderful group from Benton, AR. called Pure Energy. All teenagers, 112 of them, they sang for us and led our congregation in glorious praise. Our students chimed in as well. It was magnificent. When 130 teenagers are singing in one voice to the glory of God it is hard to ignore. It felt great. I'm sure you're thinking, "Wow, The Lord's Prayer in the morning service and a choir concert in the evening, those folks have got it going on!" Well, perhaps we do have it going on. We're sure feeling good about it too. What is necessary in our worship? Certainly all this glorious music is. Surely a wonderful choir anthem each Sunday morning is required. The drums most certainly should not be heard. A nice instrumental number for the weekly offering. A quarterly observance of the Lord's Supper (don't want it to become monotonous, and please do not call it Communion or Eucharist). We need a good long and loud sermon with some warm and fuzzy illustrations (hope preacher man makes us laugh this week). A scripture reading. A prayer (not a corporate one though, it feels too...umm...liturgical?) And our music leader better play the guitar, because that looks good these days. And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, it BETTER make ME FEEEEEL GOOOOOD!

Someone once said to me that they did not feel like we should have the Lord's Supper each week. I told this person that I did not feel like I took part in true worship unless I did take Communion. My friends, God is not concerned in the least with how we feel about our worship.

In the discussion of style in worship there are many sides to take. As a worship leader one must make many decisions about what to sing, read and pray each week. As a worshiper there is but one decision to make: Will my worship be faithful or unfaithful? God calls us to be faithful. He expects and accepts nothing less.

The first part of the Model Prayer says, "Your name be honored as holy." The Psalms repeatedly command us to bless the Name of the Lord, Yahweh. The Name, the Name, the Name. Job blessed the Name of the Lord in his anguish. God does not just take the blessing of His Name seriously. It is necessary for Faithful worship.

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. O Lord, help us to honor Your Name as holy. Help us not to take Your name upon ourselves vainly, rather, teach us to carry it with honor and love. Put within us a passion to see Your name glorified, high and lifted up and exalted above all blessing and praise (Nehemiah 9:5). You alone are worthy of Your glory.

May we be found as the faithful ones.

Grace and Peace,