Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November 10, 2010

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves......." Luke 9:23


There’s a recent song that was written by a young man who led the worship at church. He was an extremely talented singer, but the preacher there took him aside and told him that he could not lead the singing at church until things changed because he saw that he was more interested in the attention he received than in worshipping the Lord. This young man was angry at first and yet the words of the preacher were true, and he knew it. Six months later he wrote a song and taught it to the church there.

The words are these:
Heart of Worship
(words and music by Matt Redman)

When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless Your heart

I bring you more than a song
For a song in itself Is not what you have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about you
It’s all about you, Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about you
It’s all about you,
Jesus King of endless worth
No one could express How much you deserve
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is yours
Every single breath
Worship can only happen when it becomes focused on Him. It can never be about you, as young Matt Redman discovered.
He was humiliated when he was removed from his position by his Lead Pastor and I'm sure he was upset. Forbidden from doing the thing he loved the most when he knew he could do it well, hurt his spirit, not to mention his pride. But, as he cried out to God for comfort He found that God agreed convicted him about his pride issue. Being denied what he loved doing caused him to examine his heart and when he did he had to repent of his pride.
Worship took on a whole new dimension when his focus changed. His relationship to God went to a new level once he made it all about God and not about him. Now he could lead worship by worshipping rather than performing. Now he sang and played to an audience of One.
Matt Redman's life and ministry dramatically changed when he got to the heart of worship - loving God and living for Him. His singing became serving and his music became sacrifices of praise.
Why do you worship? What is your focus as you worship? Do you make it all about Him? Until you do you learn to deny yourself you will not get to the heart of worship.

November 9, 2010

"Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23

What do worship and stewardship have to do with each other? Why mention them in the same context?

I remind you that I define stewardship as "godly life management". Stewardship implies that you have a responsibility to manage your life in a way that honors God and accomplishes His will for you and through you. When you do that you add value to you life and demonstrate God's value in your life. That IS worship!

Worship isn't DOING, worship is BEING! You do worship because you are a worshipper.

I came across this excerpt from an article about worship that expresses this truth:

In his article ’Celebrating God in Authentic Worship’, pastor Glenn Wagner (Calvary Church, Charlotte, NC) points out: "I believe that one of the most evangelistic tools the church possesses, one desperately needed in today’s society, is authentic worship. People want to know, first of all, if God exists; then second, can they relate to Him? If God exists, is it really possible to connect with Him in a vibrant, dynamic way? In genuine, authentic worship, observers see real people connecting powerfully with the real God."

"The outflow of a focus on God, a submission to the real Jesus, and an emphasis on ever-deepening relationships is an energetic, joyful, Spirit-filled, congregational worship of the triune God. Genuine celebration erupts when God’s people discover who they are in Christ. And powerful prayer arises from the hearts of those who have truly entered the presence of God." PreachingNow Newsletter, June 25, 2002

Authentic worship is powerful because it involves the presence of the Lord. When you consider the power of entering the presence of God for and hour or so - what could happen if you LIVED in the presence of God?

Again, enter stewardship. Stewardship is managing your life in a way that allows you to dwell in the presence of God! God calls you to steward your life in such a way that you can be a worshipper.


Desire Him. Deny yourself. Daily follow!