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What is Worship? - Part 1

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I have been involved in leading worship in some capacity for more than 10 years. I’ve served in large churches, traditional churches and church plants, all with different styles and approaches to worship. The most important thing I have learned over time is that worship is not really about music.

The truth is - you and I were made for worship, but worship is much more than singing songs on Sunday morning. Whether you realize it or not, at every moment you are making value judgments about what you give your heart to. TV commercials try to sell you things that promise to deliver you from your unhappiness. Your friends and family give advice on your relationships, how you spend your time and even the best type of food to eat. Every decision you make is based on who you choose to trust and what you value. 

However, so many of our choices are not rooted in who God says He is, who He says we are, and what He says is best. In his book, Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller says, “If we look to some created thing to give us the meaning, hope, and happiness that only God himself can give, it will eventually fail to deliver and break our hearts.” In His grace, God allows the idols we worship to fail us. They never deliver what is promised and lead us to slavery, not freedom. 

The good news is that Jesus submitted himself entirely to the Father’s will and came to take the penalty for ALL our false worship. By the working of His Spirit through the power of His word, He reorients our hearts and minds that we would worship Him rightly, and Him ONLY. The good news is that Jesus won’t ever fail to deliver on what He has promised and He came to give freedom and new life.

So, if worship isn’t really about music, why do we spend so much time singing? That’s a good question. My hope is that our worship on Sunday helps reorient our worship during the rest of the week. Next week, I will tell you a little more about why we do things the way we do on Sunday morning. But in the meantime, consider these questions as you think about what worship is:

  • Who or what are you looking to for meaning, hope and happiness?
  • What does “worship” look like for you, day to day?
  • Why is Jesus worthy of ALL of your worship?
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