All posts in “WORSHIP”

WORSHIP -NACCI PALLOTO

WORSHIP

NACCI PALLOTO

Exodus 3:5

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

One rainy morning I went for a prayer walk to be alone with God. I absolutely love the rain, so I don’t usually use an umbrella. However, this particular morning I thought it would be a good idea, so I grabbed the first one I could find. This umbrella had two different layers and with each step I took the wind caught ahold of the top layer and it made an obnoxious flapping noise. Frustrated and distracted, I asked the Lord what he wanted me to learn from this annoying situation. I wanted to focus on my time with Him, but all that captured my attention was this silly umbrella. After going through all the lessons I thought God wanted to teach me in my head, I turned the corner and the flapping stopped. Finally, there was peace.

Later, when the wind picked up again the noise returned and so did my frustration. Then, God began to speak. He told me that there were a lot of “umbrellas” in my life that I was carrying and that they were distracting me from focusing on Him. Pride, fear, insecurities, selfishness, bitterness, shame, and sin were things that I used to cover myself. I could not experience the blessings of God’s refreshing cleansing because I was too busy holding on to all of those things that were serving no purpose but distracting me from engaging in God’s best for me.

When God appeared to Moses through a burning bush, he told Moses to remove his sandals for he was on holy ground. Moses came before the LORD barefoot as a sign that he was removing anything that would separate him from God. Today, I want to challenge you to lay down your “umbrellas” so you can engage with the Lord without any distraction or separation. Set aside anything that serves no purpose and distracts you from giving God your full attention. Open your heart and mind to Him and allow Him to shower you with His blessing of cleansing. Let the waters of grace, forgiveness, joy, belonging, and hope rain over you as you close your umbrellas that are blocking you from experiencing God’s goodness fully.

QUESTION 1. What are you holding on to in your life that is distracting you from your relationship with God?
QUESTION 2. What is stopping you from letting go of those things and accepting God’s cleansing and goodness?
CHALLENGE: Take off your sandals and lay down your umbrellas. Take out the things in your life that are hindering you from engaging fully with the God who loves you and desires to be with you.

WORSHIP -ASHLEY MCNARY

WORSHIP

ASHLEY MCNARY

There is something about letting music take a person’s heart to a place where it couldn’t go otherwise. It allows us to get swept away in the moment, and it also gives us the opportunity to give God the glory and praise that he so rightly deserves. Yet, with all the benefits that music brings to worship, it can also be a large stumbling block as well.

Take Ashley’s story as the prime example. Since Middle School she was part of a large worship team at her church. By the beginning of her senior year in high school she felt that she knew exactly what good worship should look like. However, on one beautiful Sunday morning all that changed. When on a road trip with her friends they decided to attend a tiny little country church service just outside of town. And when it came time to sing, the Pastor asked the small congregation to pull out their hymnals. As she began to sing, her lips were moving and her face was smiling, but inside, pride took hold of her. She remembered thinking to herself, this is lame! I feel so bad for this church that they don’t even know how to worship or even know what real worship music is. This, she thought, is not worship! However, as soon as she began thinking this way, God began to convict her. And in that moment, Ashley never felt so humbled.

She felt God saying to her … read the words. Read the words that you are numbly singing, and ask yourself, are they powerful? Are they true? Do they honor, glorify and praise me? Upon reading the words, she began to pay attention and realized that the words were true; they glorified God, and they were powerful!

Ashley’s Realization: who am I to decide what type of song is worship? Worship is a state of my heart. And if I loved giving God glory, I could do it whenever and however it is presented.

From that moment on she began to sing out like never before. While she still preferred her own worship music and style, she realized that she didn’t need the drums, guitars, cool backgrounds, loud singing and familiar songs to enter into worshipping the God of the universe. While there is nothing wrong with those things, she realized that that’s not what worship is really about.

Psalm 30:11&12 “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever.”

QUESTION 1. What form or style of worship do you enjoy or find most worshipful? (Explain)
QUESTION 2. Have you ever found it hard to worship in an environment that is different from what you are used to? (Explain)
CHALLENGE: Don’t let a particular form or style of worship define what worship is. The next time you find yourself in an uncomfortable worship style, always remember that it’s not about style, but rather the words and the heart behind the words you are singing. Always ask yourself these questions; are the words you are singing powerful? Are they true? Do they honor, glorify and praise God our Savior and Creator? If they do, turn your wailing into dancing, don’t be silent and sing your praises to the Lord our God forever!

WORSHIP -CHRIS MORGAN

WORSHIP

CHRIS WORSHIP

II Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

I remember throughout most of my young life absolutely dreading the singing part of our church service. Our only musical instrument was a piano and all the songs seemed to go on forever with words that I was sure came straight from the 1400s. Whenever someone said the word worship I would cringe. But as I grew older, my view of worship began to shift.

I went to a friend’s church when I was a senior in high school and the music there was beautiful. It was raw and real. It rocked. For the first time ever I encountered God through music. Then the pastor talked about how worship isn’t just about singing; it’s a lifestyle.

Maybe you’ve been having a hard time worshipping God lately, or maybe it’s something you’ve always struggled with. To break through, you need to find how you best connect to God, because every person is different. Maybe it’s when you’re walking through a forest, or praying alone in your room, or singing at the top of your lungs in your car. Whatever it is, find it and then do it. Worship is a lifestyle. As Christian author Richard J. Foster so eloquently put it, “Worship is our response to the overtures of love from the heart of the Father.”

QUESTION 1. How do you feel about worship? Do you see it just as the songs you sing on a Sunday?
QUESTION 2. When do you feel closest to God? Whatever it is, if you’re doing it for God’s praise and glory, it’s worship.
CHALLENGE: Find a worship style that works for you and then worship Him with all your heart and with every area of your life.

WORSHIP -ROSS BARNETT

WORSHIP

ROSS BARNETT

Matthew 6:24

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

“Everything we do is worship to something.

Take a moment and think about that statement. Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not? Sit with this thought for a moment. If this is true, what is it that you worship most?

Worship is not just worship music or the three songs you sing before the sermon at church. Worship can be defined as adoration and attention given to something or someone. But worship is more than the attention we direct toward God. In fact, there are a lot of ways we express our worship, and there are a lot of competing recipients of our attention and adoration.

In this passage in Matthew, Jesus makes it clear that we can only serve one master. However, He gives us the choice of whom we are going to serve and worship. This world has only so much to offer, but Christ wants so badly to give you more than you could ever imagine. In order to receive the gifts He has for you, you must be willing to let go of your pursuit of the things of this world. Worship is our way of expressing the choice we make when asked the question, “Whom will you serve?”

QUESTION 1. Make a list of how you spend both your time and your resources, what would appear to be your number one priority?
QUESTION 2. How can you show God your adoration for him today?
CHALLENGE: Based on your list you created in question 1. Figure out how you can adjust this list today to reflect your desire to worship God in all you do

WORSHIP -ROSS BARNETT

WORSHIP

ROSS BARNETT

Galatians 1:10

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Growing up, I possessed one characteristic that seemed to always get me into trouble. I wish I could say I have grown out of this trait, but I can say that I’ve gotten better at recognizing the damage it has caused(causes?). You see, I’m a relentless people pleaser. I have always loved to win the approval of others. For far too many years, I had no idea who I really was because I had spent most of my energy trying to be whoever everyone else wanted me to be.

Eventually, applying this endless effort began to catch up with me. I was exhausted. Trying to please people is hopeless because people are simply never pleased. I was fighting a losing battle.

The more of my time, energy, and identity I poured into trying to please others, the less I had left to give to God. All this time was spent to please the unpleasable, when all along, the God of the Universe had given his life for me because he was already pleased with me! I didn’t have to earn His favor or His love; I just had to embrace the truth of my identity.

God knows the damage people pleasing does to our hearts, minds, and souls. Why do you think He calls us to live differently? He wants the absolute best for us. If we place our value in anything other than Him, we will always come up dry—it’s inevitable. God wants to offer us so much more; that’s why his love and approval has already been given. It’s a gift, not a result of our effort. You are already valuable, loved, and approved. The hard work has already been done; now you get to respond out of your love for Him.

QUESTION 1. Whose approval do you strive to gain? How do you do so?
QUESTION 2. How can you serve God today in response to his love and favor for you?
CHALLENGE: Do not let others, who are unappeasable (unpleasable?), dictate your value. Serve the God who will never reject you and always love you!

WORSHIP -CAMERON MUNSELL

WORSHIP

CAMERON MUNSELL

Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Do you ever get so busy that you find it hard to spend time with God? Sometimes as Christians we get so busy doing things that we forget to take time to rejoice in all that God’s blessed us with. We tend to get so distracted by the daily grind of school, family, work, activities and other social life that we leave ourselves very little time to praise God and live in his presence. Unfortunately, time is not the only problem Christians face pertaining to worship. The other problem is self-centeredness; that is, we tend to place our focus on God when times are hard or when we need something, but when it comes to blessings that come our way we have a nasty tendency to take credit for them. We need to remember where our blessings come from, and we need to pray, rejoice and worship not only when we are in need, but also when things are going average or even great. The Bible tells us that we are to rejoice in the Lord always (Phil. 4:4)! Always is the key word in this Scripture. No matter what is going on in your life, God calls you to always rejoice and give him thanks, regardless of your circumstances. God loves you very much and he is there for you in the good times and the bad times (Matthew 28:20). So what are you waiting for? Rejoice! “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say Rejoice” (Phil. 4:4)..

QUESTION 1. Do you ever get so busy that you find it hard to spend quality time with God? Explain.
QUESTION 2. Have you ever been guilty of self-centeredness in your worship? Do you have a tendency to spend more time with God when you need something from him than when things are going good or great?
CHALLENGE: We Challenge you to live your life as an act of worship, praising God in the good and the bad times of life!
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