Monday, January 25, 2010

Romans 12:1-2 “I urge you therefore, 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. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable, or well pleasing and perfect.”

Worship is a way to honor God, to simply love on Him. And people worship God in different ways, to some people worship may be lifting of the hands, for some it may be doing a crazy dance. But either way, they’re bringing glory to God. There are people who are so totally overwhelmed by God, that His glory brings them to their knees, or even down on their face before Him, and yet at the same time worship for some people is just standing there quietly. Just because one person appears to just be standing there, while the other one is on their knees, doesn’t mean that neither of them aren’t worshiping God, they’re just worshiping Him differently.
Worship can be expressed through the arts, through music, through dance, through acting, through painting, and even through what we say and how we say it. In everything we do we can worship God, whether it be all out, hands raised worshiping, or it can be simply doing our very best for God, the Bible says that all we do should be done unto Him, for His glory (1Cor. 10:31), and by doing this we are offering worship to Him.
We were made by God, for God (Colossians 1:15-18), and God has created us to worship Him, (Isaiah 43:21 “This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise.”). We were formed for the specific purpose of bringing glory to God, Isaiah 43:7 says “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” Praise is the external form of worship. In Psalms we are told that His praise should constantly be on our lips, we are to worship Him with our voices. Psalms 34:1 says “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” We are to continually speak His praise throughout the day, even in those times when we don’t feel like doing it. Aside from praising God vocally we can also praise Him with instruments. Psalm 150:3-5 says to “Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet, Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals!”
Praise accomplishes several things; first off praise welcomes Gods presence. “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabits the praises of Israel” (Psalm 22:3). The Amplified says it this way, “But You are holy, O You Who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered].” God inhabits the praises of His people, praise draws God it, and it welcomes Him.
Secondly praise is obedience to God Himself; Psalm 150:6 says to “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” God created us to praise Him, if we keep quiet and do not praise Him, the very rocks and stones we walk upon will cry out and begin to praise Him (Luke 19:40 “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out”).
Praise and worship is a beautiful thing to God, He finds pleasure in it. In Psalm it says “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High” (Psalm 92:1). “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful” (Psalm 135:3). It also transforms the worshiper. If we have truly worshiped God, we will not leave the same way we came in, something within us will have changed, we will be someone else, or we will think differently. We become like what we worship, and the more we worship God, the more we become like Him; “Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them” (Psalm 115:8).
The very essence of who God is, is worthy of our worship, “Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together” (Psalm 34:3). Psalm 48:1 puts it this way “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountains of His holiness.” Just His name is worthy of praise, and His holiness causes us to stand in awe before Him. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 8:10). Who is God? And why is He worthy of our worship? Glad you asked. First of all God is all-knowing, meaning He knows how everything works, He has the answer to every problem we face, and He knows every fact, and every detail. God knows all about us, He knew us even before we were formed in our mothers womb, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).
God is ever-present; He is every where at one time. He knows the past, He sees the present, and He has seen the future. God is not bound by time. He cannot be contained, or formed. In Psalm 139:7 the question is asked, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” The answer is no where, He is the source of all that is, He created everything, and He has always been, and always will be. “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’” (Acts 17:24-28).
God is much more than just all-knowing, and ever-present, He is powerful. He is the Lord God almighty, and is worthy of all our praise. There is nothing He cannot do; He healed the sick, made the blind to see, and the lame to walk. The mute to speak and He raised the dead. His character is flawless, there is none as perfect as He is. He is unchanging, and faithful, He is consistent, true to His Character. His love knows no boundaries, and He is wise. There are no other gods, Isaiah 45:22 says “Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth. For I am God, and there is no other.”

Lifting of the hands is an outward showing of praise, by raising our hands in worship to God we are expressing our love towards Him, we are receiving Him into us. The raising of hands is also a symbol of our surrender towards Him. In Nehemiah 8:6 “Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, "Amen! Amen!" Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.” They raised their hands towards heaven as a way to express their love to the one who created them.
Shouting and the clapping of hands is used in worship to show victory and triumph, to let Satan know that we are victorious. It intimidates him. Psalm 47:1 instructs us to “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.” Psalm 66:1 says, “Make a joyful shout unto God, all you lands,” and in Psalm 95:1-2 the Bible again says, “Oh, come; let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” The word “psalms” means “a song of praise accompanied by a musical instrument,” therefore we are again instructed to use both our voices and instruments to worship Him.

“O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker” (Psalm 95:6). Bowing or kneeling before God in worship expresses humility and submission to His authority. It also shows surrender to Him. Revelation 19:4 says that “The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne saying “Amen! Alleluia!”



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