Worship is what we were created for. This is the final end of all existence-the worship of God. God created the universe so that it would display the worth of His glory. And He created us so that we would see this glory and reflect it by knowing and loving it-with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. The church needs to build a common vision of what worship is and what she is gathering to do on Sunday morning and scattering to do on Monday morning.
But I'm mindful in a free society that people can worship if they want to or not. You're equally an American if you choose to worship an Almighty and if you choose not to. If you're a Christian, Jew or Muslim you're equally an American. That's the great thing about America is the right to worship the way you see fit. Prayer and religion sustain me. I receive calmness in the storms of the presidency. I love the fact that people pray for me and my family all around the country. Somebody asked me one time, how do you know? I said I just feel it.
George W. Bush
I so often feel terrible that I am not offering the worship God is worthy to receive. My worship is so inadequate and so fickle. What I am learning is that God is receiving the worship that God is worthy to receive. The Father is receiving it from the Son; the Son is receiving it from the Father. And I am invited - I am drawn by the Spirit - into that altogether worthy worship! God is being glorified quite well, thank you. God being rightly glorified is not my burden. It is happening - and you and I are being moved by the Spirit to enter into it.
Darrell W. Johnson
The law of giving and receiving is fundamental, and relates just as much to God as it does to us. As we go through the door of giving ourselves to God in worship we find that God comes through that same door and gives Himself to us. God's insistence that we worship Him is not really a demand at all but an offer-an offer to share Himself with us. When God asks us to worship Him, He is asking us to fulfill the deepest longing in Himself, which is His passionate desire to give Himself to us. It is what Martin Luther called "the joyful exchange."
As a writer of worship songs, I have a hunger to write deep songs of passionate reverence to God. Yet I'm aware I cannot sing before I have seen. All worship is a response to a revelation--it's only as we breathe in more of the wonders of God that we can breathe out a fuller response to Him....the key to a life of passionate and powerful worship comes from seeing God.
At that moment his soul is fuller of the tomb and him who lies there than of the altar and Him of whom it speaks. Such stages have to be gone through, I believe, by all young and brave souls, who must win their way through hero-worship to the worship of Him who is the King and Lord of heroes.
God is bigger than any problem. God in you is greater than any difficulty you have to meet. God cares for you more than it is possible for any human being to realize. God can help you in proportion to the degree in which you worship him. You worship God by really putting your trust in him instead of in outer conditions, or in fear, or in depression, or in seeming dangers, and so forth. You worship God by recognizing his presence everywhere, in all people and conditions that you meet; and by praying regularly. You pray well when you pray with joy.
Feelings are great liars. If Christians worshipped only when they felt like it, there would be precious little worship. We think that if we don't feel something there can be no authenticity in doing it. But the wisdom of God says something different: that we can act ourselves into a new way of feeling much quicker than we can feel ourselves into a new way of acting. Worship is an act that develops feelings for God, not a feeling for God that is expressed in an act of worship.
Eugene H. Peterson
The heavenly Father Whom we worship is the Father of the Truth, namely, of the only-begotten Son, and has the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, and those who worship Him in these Two do so because they believe in these Persons and act through Them. For the Apostle tells us that it is through the Spirit that we worship and pray (cf. Rom. 8:26), and God's only-begotten Son says, 'No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me' (John 14:6).
Passionate worship always leads to personal witness. Always. And what that means is . . . if we're not witnessing, there's a problem with our worship. We're not seeing God for who He is! We're not realizing what He's done! We're not realizing the magnitude of what He's done for our souls!
Since we are dead in sin, a spiritual light and flame in the heart suitable to the nature of the object of our worship, cannot be raised in us without the operation of supernatural grace... such a worship God must have, whereby he is acknowledged to be the true sanctifier and quickener of the soul.
In the conduct of our public worship where is the authority of Christ to be found? The truth is that today the Lord rarely controls a service, and the influence He exerts is very small. We sing of Him and preach about Him, but He must not interfere; we worship our way, and it must be right because we have always done it that way, as have the other churches in our group.
Aiden Wilson Tozer
The Church is the Church in her worship. Worship is not an optional extra, but is of the very life and essence of the Church. ...Man is never more truly man than when he worships God. He rises to all the heights of human dignity when he worships God, and all God's purpose in Creation and in Redemption are fulfilled in us as together in worship we are renewed in and through Christ, and in the name of Christ we glorify God.
J. B. Torrance
We believe that worship is far more than prayer and preaching and gospel performance. The supreme act of worship is to keep the commandments, to follow in the footsteps of the Son of God, to do ever those things that please Him. It is one thing to give lip service to the Lord; it is quite another to respect and honor His will by following the example He has set for us.
Joseph Fielding Smith
What is seen is not the Truth What is cannot be said Trust comes not without seeing Nor understanding without words The wise comprehends with knowledge To the ignorant it is but a wonder Some worship the formless God Some worship his various forms In what way He is beyond these attributes Only the Knower knows That music cannot be written How can then be the notes Say Kabir, awareness alone will overcome illusion.
Parents, what are your children learning from your worship? Do they see the same excitement as when you go to a basketball game? Do they see you prepare for worship as you do for a vacation? Do they see you hungry to arrive, seeking the face of the Father? Or do they see you content to leave the way you came?.....They are watching. Believe me. They are watching.
Man may behold what ugliness he likes if he is sure that he will not worship it; but there are some so weak that they will worship a thing only because it is ugly. These must be chained to the beautiful. It is not always wrong even to go, like Dante, to the brink of the lowest promontory and look down at hell. It is when you look up at hell that a serious miscalculation has probably been made.
Worship and spiritual hunger make you so attractive to God that your circumstances cease to matter anymore. He will move heaven and earth to find a worshiper. When you begin to worship with all your being and desire, your heart turns Him toward you. You capture His attention and attracts His affection.
While a creator does and must worship Man (which means his own highest potentiality; which is his natural self-reverence), he must not make the mistake of thinking that this means the necessity to worship Mankind (as a collective). These are two entirely different conceptions, with entirely - (immensely and diametrically opposed) - different consequences.
The true, the genuine worship is when man, through his spirit, attains to friendship and intimacy with God. True and genuine worship is not to come to a certain place; it is not to go through a certain ritual or liturgy; it is not even to bring certain gifts. True worship is when the spirit, the immortal and invisible part of man, speaks to and meets with God, who is immortal and invisible.
Suffering in the path of Christian obedience, with joy - because the steadfast love of the Lord is better than life (Psalm 63:3) - is the clearest display of the worth of God in our lives. Therefore, faith-filled suffering is essential in this world for the most intense, authentic worship. When we are most satisfied with God in suffering, he will be most glorified in us in worship. Our problem is not styles of music. Our problem is styles of life. When we embrace more affliction for the worth of Christ, there will be more fruit in the worship of Christ.
Regardless of the method, the act of worship must be in spirit and truth-from our rational consciousness and consistent with the rest of our lives (see John 4:24). We don't have to be great singers or musicians to worship God. But we do need to be in a personal relationship with Him and live with the truth of His greatness reflecting through all we are becoming and all we do.
This issue is whether or not our government should be infusing religion into the public schools. Our churches are very strong in this nation and I think that's great and everybody should have the ability to worship as he or she sees fit. I choose to worship not believing in God and government should not thrust a religious idea down my throat.
The greatest stumbling block for children in worship is that their parents do not cherish the hour. Children can feel the difference between duty and delight. Therefore, the first and most important job of a parent is to fall in love with the worship of God. You can't impart what you don't possess.
David knew that the very quality of his worship was not based on his own volition but on the object of his worship - the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Though our affections for God may wax and wane, His character is unchanging! We even see David speaking to his own soul, demanding of it, "Bless the Lord!"
The better (i.e., the more accurately) we know God through his Word, the more genuine our worship will be. In fact, the moment we veer from what is true about God, we're engaging in idolatry. Regardless of what we think or feel, there is no authentic worship of God without a right knowledge of God.
You said, 'I love you.' Why is it that the most unoriginal thing we can say to one another is still the thing we long to hear? 'I love you' is always a quotation. You did not say it first and neither did I, yet when you say it and when I say it we speak like savages who have found three words and worship them. I did worship them but now I am alone on a rock hewn out of my own body.
I have to seek God beauty. Because isn't my internal circuitry wired to seek out something worthy of worship? . True Beauty worship, worship of Creator Beauty Himself. God is present in all moments, but I do not deify the wind in the pines, the snow falling on the hemlocks, the moon over harvested wheat. Pantheism, seeing the natural world as divine, is a very different thing than seeing divine God present in all things . Nature is not God but God revealing the weight of Himself, all His glory, through the looking glass of nature.
...existence has become an unreasoning, wild dance around the golden calf, a mad worship of God Mammon. In that dance and in that worship man has sacrificed all his finer qualities of the heart and soul "" kindness and justice, honor and manhood, compassion and sympathy with his fellowman.
If leading worship is just about bringing a group of people into a room so we can get goosebumps and sing songs together, there's not much value in that. But if leading worship is a means to an end, that we leave this place as a different kind of people, as part of a new humanity that God wants to create... then that matters.
May I be born again and again, and suffer thousands of miseries so that I may worship the only God that exists, the only God I believe in, the sum total of all souls-and, above all, my God the wicked, my God the miserable, my God the poor of all races, of all species, is the special object of my worship.
After 9/11, there were a lot of things being said about how the God of Islam and the God of the Christian faith were one and the same, but that's simply not true ... The God that I worship does not require me to kill other people. The God that I worship tells me I am to love my enemy, to give him food when he's hungry and water when he's thirsty.
Houses of worship can be the heart of a community. They can be the cradle of a family. They can be places where our children go to learn, not just faith, but to make friends. They build connections. They are essential to a healthy America. And every community deserves the right to have those houses of worship operate in safety and peace.
The fall of Rome is often regarded as an object lesson in the wages of sin. Its contemporaries, however, more frequently laid the blame on the rise of Christianity. . . . Although they do not inquire into the future, and either forget or do not know the past, yet defame present times as most unusually beset, as it were, by evils because there is belief in Christ and worship of God, and increasingly less worship of idols.
For now we see the beauty of God through a glass, darkly, but then face to face; now we appreciate only in part, but then we shall affirm and appreciate God, even as the living God has affirmed and appreciated us. So now our tasks are worship, mission, and management, these three; but the greatest of these is worship.
N. T. Wright
We must never forget that this coutry was founded by men who came to these shores to worship God as they pleased. Catholics, Jews, and Protestants, all came here for this great purpose. They did not come here to do as they pleased - but to worship God as they pleased, and that is an important distinction.
Harry S. Truman