The opening quote today comes from our Gospel acclamation. Today’s Gospel reminds me of Psalm 30 – I will praise you Lord for you have rescued me. I can hear my wife chanting it now. God is always there for us – He provides, He heals (ten lepers in the Gospel today), He forgives, He loves us unconditionally. The question today is, how often to we give thanks, are we that single leper who goes back to Jesus and gives thanks, on our knees, before the living God? Do we offer God the praise He so richly deserves?
I try to inspire thoughts through my posts most of the time. But knowing I’m just a regular guy like the rest of you, sometimes offering the thoughts and wisdom of other regular guys (and gals – thank you for that line Mr. Drewes) can be a bit of a help (especially when pressed for time). So here are some thoughts on worship from the web…the first one I copied from Bishop Barron’s daily reflections on the Gospel; the second is from an article posted online by Kenny Lamm, who has, over the years, saved various quotes from people who inspire proper worship of God.
Friends, today’s Gospel recounts the Lord’s healing of ten lepers, only one of whom comes back to give thanks. Leprosy frightened people in ancient times, just as contagious and mysterious diseases frighten people today. But, more than this, leprosy rendered someone unclean and therefore incapable of engaging in the act of worship. It is not accidental that the person responsible for examining the patient in ancient Israel was the priest. The priest’s job was to monitor the whole process of Israelite worship, very much including who could and couldn’t participate in the Temple.
What is so important about worship? To worship is to order the whole of one’s life toward the living God, and, in doing so, to become interiorly and exteriorly rightly ordered. To worship is to signal to oneself what one’s life is finally about. Worship is not something that God needs, but it is very much something that we need. Bishop Barron
From a post by Kenny Lamm (Quotes On Worship by Various Authors):
Below is a compilation of quotes about worship from a number of authors that I had collected several years ago. Take some time to read these and let them transform your thinking:
It’s God’s will that we become true worshipers. And when something is God’s will, he will move heaven and earth to help us do that thing. He wants us as close to him as we can possibly be. He longs to open the windows of heaven and pour out more and more of his love on us. Our only job is to surrender to him on a daily basis so that he can daily give us more of himself. But the Lord is such a gentleman, he will never force us to do anything. He leaves the act of surrendering up to us. And that’s where it has to start. – CeCe Winans
The Bible describes worship in physical terms. The root meaning for the Hebrew word we translate worship is “to prostrate.” The word bless literally means “to kneel.” Thanksgiving refers to “an extension of the hand.” Throughout Scripture we find a variety of physical postures in connection with worship: lying prostrate, standing, kneeling, lifting the hands, clapping the hands, lifting the head, bowing the head, dancing, and wearing sackcloth and ashes. The point is that we are to offer God our bodies as well as all the rest of our being. Worship is appropriately physical. – Richard J. Foster
Today God is calling his Church back to worship. This can be seen in high church circles where there is a renewed interest in intimacy with God. It can be seen in low church circles where there is a renewed interest in liturgy. It can be seen everywhere in between these two. It is as if God is saying, “I want the hearts of my people back!” And if we long to go where God is going and do what God is doing, we will move into deeper, more authentic worship. – Richard J. Foster
George Fox says, “Meet together in the Name of Jesus… he is your Prophet, your Shepherd, your Bishop, your Priest, in the midst of you, to open to you, and to sanctify you, and to feed you with Life, and to quicken you with Life.” – Richard J. Foster
Gracious God, the comfort of all who sorrow, the strength of all who suffer, hear the cry of those in misery and need. In their afflictions show them your mercy, and give us, we pray, the strength to serve them, for the sake of him who suffered for us, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. -Book of Common Worship
In the process of being worshiped… God communicates his presence to men. – C. S. Lewis
If you don’t worship… you’ll never experience God. – David Jeremiah
The infamous criminal Willie Sutton was once asked why he robbed banks. His reply? “Because that’s where the money is.”
A similar reasoning motivates our enemy. Why does Satan work so hard at deceiving believers in Jesus? Why, in every generation, does he continually unleash legions of false teachers on the church? Answer: Because that’s where the worship is. The devil hates to see God honored. He will do anything to stop this. In fact, he would really like to steal this affection for himself. – From the iworship Devotional Bible
For years, the church has emphasized evangelism, teaching, fellowship, missions, and service to society to the neglect of the very source of its power – worship. – Robert E. Webber
In the words of Karl Barth, worship is “the most momentous, the most urgent, the most glorious action that can take place in human life.” That’s because it gets us ready for what’s to come.
Oswald Chambers put it this way: “Worship is giving God the best that he has given you. Be careful what you do with the best you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to him as a love gift. Take time to meditate before God and offer the blessing back to him in a deliberate act of worship.”
The worship most acceptable to God comes from a thankful and cheerful heart. – Plutarch
We worship whom we trust, and we trust whom we know. – David Jeremiah
God wants worshipers before workers; indeed the only acceptable workers are those who have learned the lost art of worship. – A. W. Tozer
Worship changes the worshiper into the image of the One worshiped. – Jack Hayford
Without worship we go about miserable. – A. W. Tozer
Worship and intercession must go together; one is impossible without the other. – Oswald Chambers
Richard J. Foster says: “To worship is to know, to feel, to experience the resurrected Christ in the midst of the gathered community. It is a breaking into the shekinah of God, or better yet, being invaded by the shekinah of God.”
Worship is rooted in an event – the living, dying, and rising again of Jesus Christ in history. – Robert Webber
In The Unquenchable Worshipper, Coming Back to the Heart of Worship, Matt Redman observes: “So often when my worship has dried up, it’s because I haven’t been fueling the fire. I haven’t set aside any time to soak myself under the showers of God’s revelation. Often, time is the key factor. But if we can find space to soak ourselves in God’s Word, his presence, his creation and spend time with other believers, then we’ll find that the revelation floods back into our lives; and our hearts will respond with a blaze of worship once more.
Worship is the highest elevation of the spirit, and yet the lowliest prostration of the soul. – Charles H. Spurgeon
Renowned Bible commentator William Barclay wrote: “When men worship Jesus Christ, they do not fall at his feet in broken submission, but in wondering love. A man does not say, ‘I cannot resist a might like that.’ He says, ‘Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all.’ A man does not say, ‘I am battered into surrender.’ He says, ‘I am lost in wonder, love, and praise.’”
A vital ingredient of worship is expectancy believing that something good is going to happen. – R. T. Kendall
“In worship,” declared C. Welton Gaddy, “silence is far more than the absence of sound. Silence constitutes a vital part of the divine-human dialogue. In silence, worshipers can experience interchanges with God that will not be known where silence does not prevail.”
I must take time to worship the One whose name I bear. – Oswald Chambers
Worship is the intentional attitudes and actions of focusing on God. – Byron Spradlin
Whenever the method of worship becomes more important than the Person of worship, we have already prostituted our worship. – Judson Cornwall
William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury (1942-44), wrote: “Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by his holiness; the nourishment of mind with his truth; the purifying of imagination by his beauty; the opening of the heart to his love; the surrender of will to his purpose – and all of this gathered up in adoration.”
Your heart’s desire, even if you haven’t realized it, is to live every moment in the wonder of worship. – David Jeremiah
Have an eye to God in every word you sing. – John Wesley
God’s training ground, where the missionary weapons are found, is the hidden, personal, worshiping life of the saint. – Oswald Chambers
When I worship, I would rather my heart be without words than my words be without heart. – Lamar Boschman
If we want to worship in spirit and in truth, we need to rediscover the capacity to wonder that God placed within each of us. – David Jeremiah
The time has come for a revival of public worship as the finest of the fine arts…. While there is a call for strong preaching there is even a greater need for uplifting worship. – Andrew W. Blackwood
If you truly meet God, you will worship; and if you truly worship, others will be drawn to God. – Gerrit Gustafson
What we worship determines what we become. – Harvey F. Ammerman
Stand true to God and he will bring out his truth in a way that will make your life an expression of worship. – Oswald Chambers
If our knowledge of God is superficial, our worship will be superficial. – R.C. Sproul
Man is never more truly man than when he worships God. – James B. Torrance
Worship is God’s enjoyment of us and our enjoyment of him. Worship is a response to the father/child relationship. – Graham Kendrick
We only learn to behave ourselves in the presence of God. – C. S. Lewis
Our heavenly Father loves us with an extravagant abandon. Passionate, undignified worship is our only reasonable response. – Matt Redman
If God were small enough to be understood, He would not be big enough to be worshiped. – Evelyn Underhill
God is to be praised with the voice, and the heart should go therewith in holy exultation. – Charles H. Spurgeon
Who is this God we worship? How nearly do our ideas about him approximate the reality? Are we ever guilty of forming a tamed and manageable deity and placing him within a cage in our minds? C.S. Lewis wrote, “(God) must constantly work as the iconoclast. Every idea of him we form, he must, in mercy, shatter. The most blessed result of prayer would be to rise thinking, But I never knew before. I never dreamed…”
God is not moved or impressed with our worship until our hearts are moved and impressed by Him. – Kelly Sparks
You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you. – Augustine
To worship in spirit is to draw near to God with an undivided heart. – Erwin Lutzer
Sing lustily and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep, but lift up your voice with strength. – John Wesley
Worship is the act of magnifying God. Enlarging our vision of him. Stepping into the cockpit to see where he sits and observe how he works. – Max Lucado
As you worship, so you serve. – Thomas L. Johns
In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him. – C.S. Lewis
I need to know more about how to worship and to praise my Father, for it’s the essential task that connects my temporal life with my eternal one. – David Jeremiah
Worship does not satisfy our hunger for God – it whets our appetite. – Eugene Peterson
A private relationship of worshiping God is the greatest essential element of spiritual fitness. – Oswald Chambers
Worship is transcendent wonder. – Thomas Carlyle
We are called to an everlasting preoccupation with God. – A.W. Tozer
The Sabbath is a time we suspend dominion work and instead worship the dominion-
Maker. We cease reaping for our own cupboards and instead bring an offering to Him. The Sabbath rest is not simply the pause: it is the essence. We rest not because we are tired. We cease our labor not because it is finished. We worship not because there are now grapes on the vine and cattle in the stalls. We rest and worship one day in seven simply because He is the Lord. – Dr. Richard Swenson
Forget an annual Mission Sunday. Make every day a mission day and every worship service a mission service. In fact, worship services need to be precisely what they say they are: worship service. – Dr. Leonard Sweet
Worship is the single most important thing in life. A.W. Tozer writes, “Why did Christ come? Why was He conceived? Why was He born? Why was He crucified? Why did He rise again? Why is He now at the right hand of the Father? The answer to all these questions is, ‘In order that He might make worshippers out of rebels; in order that He might restore us again to the place of worship we knew when we were first created.’” – John S. Miller
Humanity was born of of God’s desire for worship. Worship is the doorway to God’s love and provision. When we become worshipful people, the floodgates open and God enters our lives. – John S. Miller
“In general rejoice in him and make a fool of yourself for him the way lovers have always made fools of themselves for the one they love.” – Frederick Buechner
One of the most significant and important points to understand about worship is that it’s the point of the church’s being, not just a part. If worship is true to God’s purpose and plan, it will serve as the “front line” of Christ’s power to change and restore human lives. – Dr. Jack W. Hayford
With all the people watching, David celebrated God’s presence by “leaping and dancing before the Lord” (2 Samuel 6:16). David’s wife Michal became infuriated at his spectacle, even though his dance honored God. But as Michal watched, “she despised him in her heart.” When David arrived at home, she unloaded on him. As a result of her rejection, Michal had to face another kind of music – barrenness (2 Samuel 6:23)…. Barren, childless, fruitless, and unproductive are all adjectives that not only describe Michal, but also describe worship that’s neither pleasing to God nor obedient to his Word.
Michal continued to live her life, but it was a cardboard existence. She existed without all the joys that might have been hers. Congregations who fail to understand the purpose and true meaning of worship and who fail to worship according to God’s Word are subject to the same existence. – Dr. Jack W. Hayford
Four wonderful and reassuring truths form the basis of God’s self-revelation to his people. First, God is knowable. Count it all joy! God can be known – by us. Second, God wants us to know him; this is his heart’s desire. Third, God delights to be known. Fourth, God is constantly in the process of making himself known to people – especially to those who hunger and thirst after him. These are four plain truth, “good news” assumptions that every sincere worshipper may rejoice in and act upon when engaging with God in worship. – Dr. Bruce H. Leafblad
To worship God “in truth” is to worship God not as we think him to be, not as we hope him to be, not as we’d like him to be, but as he is. When people “see God” as he is, worship happens. Matthew 28:17 says, “When they saw him, they worshipped him.” The revelation of God’s person prompts worship. – Dr.B.H.Leafblad
In much of the evangelical community today, regular confession of sin has all but disappeared from public worship…. It goes without saying that sin in the church behaves the same way as sin in the world. It destroys, corrupts, divides, robs, perverts, damages, distorts, blinds, weakens, confuses, ruins, and kills. If sin in the world is an offense to God, how much more, sin in the church? We need to remember that Jesus Christ died not only for the sins of the world, but also for the sins of the church. – Dr. Bruce H. Leafblad
Worship won’t begin to make sense until we understand its place in God’s total plan. God gave worship so that we might become partners in his highest purposes. If we are obedient to God’s design for worship, we place ourselves under his kingdom rule. Most importantly, however, obedient worship makes possible a reinvestment of God’s rule among humankind. – Dr. Jack W. Hayford
…I’ve come to some conclusions in the last few years. The first is that God uses people who are desperate for his grace to lead others in worship. Vocal precision and perfection pale next to the posture of a worshipper’s heart. Secondly, worship is much more than singing, dancing, reading, or any other physical manifestation. Worship is an offering of ourselves – our bodies, minds, souls, and spirits – to God. Giving him the first fruits of our attention and affection is more valuable than anything we could ever put in the offering plate on Sunday. – Kim Hill with Lisa Harper
Te Deum (Fourth Century Prayer – Latin for ‘You Are God)
You are God and we praise you; you are the Lord and we acclaim you;
You are the external Father; all creation worships you.
To you all angels, all of the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and seraphim sing in endless praise,
Holy holy holy Lord, God of power and might;
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you;
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you;
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the whole world the holy church acclaims you,
Your true and only Son worthy of all worship,
And the Holy Spirit advocate and guide,
You Christ are the King of glory,
The eternal Son of the Father.
When you became man to set us free
You did not abhor the virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death
And opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory;
We believe that you will come and be our judge.
Come then Lord and help your people,
Bought with the price of your own blood;
And bring us with you saints
To glory everlasting.
…worship stands at the center of the church’s life and mission. It’s the summit toward which the church moves and the source from which all of its ministries flow. It’s the most important action the church is about. Worship informs the church’s teaching, gives shape to its evangelistic mission to the world, and compels the church toward social action. Worship is the context in which the true fellowship of Christ’s body is realized and where those who participate can find real healing. The single most important thing the church can do is worship. A vibrant worship life will glorify God, edify the faithful, and engage the seeker. – Dr. Robert Webber
Adolescence has a way of elevating the impact of peer pressure and inhibiting overt acts of tenderness toward fathers. Don’t allow that same syndrome to curtail your displays of worship to your heavenly Father. Extravagant worship should be the norm, not the exception. – Tommy Tenney
Do something great for our Lord today – offer Him the worship, the praise, the honor He so richly deserves.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.