In Worship Together

This week, we will focus on the importance of worshiping God as a practice that he uses to transform us. “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12.29

Monday – Isaiah 6.1-8. Isaiah received a clear sense of his identity as a prophet for God through worship. In this encounter initiated by God, Isaiah became keenly aware of the holiness, goodness, and glory of God. He also became keenly aware of his own need of cleansing. The focus in worship is on God himself. In focusing on the character of God, we come to see ourselves more honestly. We also discover who he can shape us to become, increasingly reflecting his heart and character. It all begins with God.

Tuesday – Psalm 68.4-6. “Celebrating God’s provision, the psalmist uses the phrase ‘makes a home for the homeless.’ This might refer to the fact that the Lord had led the exiled and wandering Israelites into a homeland, the Promised Land. The Lord wants to place us all into a home, to enable us to change our loneliness into being enfolded by his grace that is experienced in Christian community.” (Marva Dawn) Worshiping God together reminds us of this place of belonging and identity we now enjoy.

Wednesday – Hebrews 13.15-16. Concluding his letter, the author is doing some good old-fashioned “exhorting,” giving urgent advice. He urges these believers to “offer to God a sacrifice of praise.” Animal sacrifices are no longer required to make things right between God and people. God himself has done that through Jesus’ sacrifice. Now we worship by offering praises and obedience to God, by caring about others, and by sharing generously with others. Today, take time to enjoy God by expressing praise to him and by seeking to live as he would live if he were in your situation.

Thursday – Acts 2.42-46. Dr. Dennis Kinlaw wrote: “God’s greatest gift to any of us is himself. He came to Moses in a burning bush. He came to Saul on the road to Damascus. He has always come to me through persons who, in giving him, always gave themselves. And persons, like God, always come in families. It is in our physical, spiritual, and intellectual families that we find our life, identity, and treasures.” Could it be that worshiping God together is vital in discovering who we are and whose we are?

Friday – Psalm 34.1-8. “To worship God means to serve him. Basically, there are two ways to do it. One way is to do things for him that he needs to have done−run errands for him, carry messages for him, fight on his side, feed his lambs, and so on. The other way is to do things for him that you need to do− sing songs for him, create beautiful things for him, give things up for him, tell him what’s on your mind and in your heart. In general, rejoice in him and make a fool of yourself for him the way lovers have always made fools of themselves for the ones they love.” (Frederick Buechner) Today, do something you need to do for him.

Saturday – Psalm 103.1-8. “Sing to God one of the many songs based on Psalm 103, such as “Bless the Lord, O My Soul.” Pause and reflect, reminding yourself why you really want to bless God (to thank God and to praise God). If you don’t know such a song, either make one up using those words, or read the entire Psalm aloud.” (Jan Johnson, Invitation to the Jesus Life) Imagine yourself singing or reading the psalm in God’s presence. Because of the Holy Spirit, you are in his presence.