||2014-07-02 09:00:01, 조회 : 1,497, 추천 : 241
| Chapter 9 – Worship in God’s Covenant |
Hello to another ecstatic day to learn more about God’s Covenant. We will continue our studies by looking over chapter 9, Worship in God’s Covenant. As usual, the author starts us off with a verse, coming from Psalm 29:2.
“Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”
As we may know, amongst the covenant people, worship has been a key component. Throughout the generations, there was always time to set apart to bring honor to His name. Through offerings, prayer, singing, confessions of faith, and attendance upon the Word of God, covenant people from every age have shown worship to living in God’s covenant. Worship is central to God’s covenant and to life in the covenant community because it brings into focus and fulfills so many of the characteristics and purposes of the covenant.
One way to look at it is that worship is the arena in which the glory of God is most visibly celebrated and displayed. When the people of God are together on the Lord’s Day, we participate in a day specifically for God, honoring everything that He does. Also, worship is the context in which we as the covenant people most fully experience His presence. This is for at least three reasons.
First, worship has a concentrating effect on our hearts and minds. Secondly, worship allows for us to enter this focus together with others like us, whose very presence reinforces the importance of what we are doing. Third, in worship the presence of God is heightened among us, both because of the sacramental nature of the church itself, which is the body of Christ, and because of the sacraments, which leads us into the presence of the Lord. Nowhere is His presence more intensely experience than in the corporate worship of the covenant people.
Worship is central to God’s covenant because it is the primary arena in which we come to learn more about His exceedingly great and precious promises. And after the worship has ended, we feel refreshed, renewed, and ready to go forth and live for God according to the truth of His Word and the glorious prosper of His exceedingly great and precious promises. Also, worship is central to God’s covenant because it is our bivouac for the spiritual battle. To explain, we come together to submit ourselves to review under the loving scrutiny of our Sovereign General. Worship equips us for the spiritual warfare none of us can escape, and helps us more than any other aspect of the life of the church to be prepared to serve the Lord all the time. And we when we look at Psalms 50, we find God instructing the covenant people on the subject of worship.
Recently, there has been an epidemic of people making God much smaller and more intimate than we should be able to do. Although it might be true to “feel right at home” when we’re talking about the church, taking it further will only devastate us. In Psalm 50 God makes it clear to His people that, although He certainly loves them, He is not a God to be played with. He is our father indeed, but what He also comes to us as is a Judge. And this is how He presents Himself to His people. This is how He wants His people to come into when in His presence for worship. He wants them to rejoice with trembling before Him. If we are not able to tremble before Him and don’t fear Him, then it is an impossible task to grasp the true appreciation needed for His grace and mercy. If we can’t understand what we have been rescued from, then it is impossible to show any sign of appreciation. So we need to recover a clear view of God of the covenant as we come before Him in worship. We need to see God in His awesome power and might and tremble before Him, even as our hearts fill with a joy.
This should be spoken to us both subjectively, as well as objectively. Subjectively, God’s self revelation in Psalm 50 demands that we prepare our hearts and minds to come before this kind of God in worship. When we know God as he presents himself in His Word, we will be much more likely to know His actual presence and to be filled with a new awe for Him throughout the service that follows. Objectively, this deals with HOW we begin our service of worship. We need for our leaders to guide the people towards a proper worship. A guide to bring them closer to the Lord and to show God for what He really is. A helper to be the encouragement to bring families as well as with other members together and in unity towards the Lord.
One key thing to really take into mind is the fact that worship is our highest calling from God. Worship is for those who have entered into God’s covenant through the blood of Jesus Christ, and who sincerely follow Him in the life of godliness. God seeks such people to worship Him. We are not free in any way to worship God as we please, unfortunate evidence are the sons of Aaron. God has made know to His people what form they should use in worshiping Him. These include offerings, songs of praise and thanksgiving, confessions of faith, prayers, and the proclamation of His Word. But not only does He see if our form is right, but He also sees if our hearts are really engaged and if our lives outside of worship lead to the credentials of the assembly before Him. If worship is that important to God, then we should really make it something of importance to us as well.
So, we can wonder, then what does God inquiring from us when we worship? One, He is looking to see that the prescribed forms for worship are all properly in use. There is a reasonable arrangement within our form which fulfills all that he requires of us to properly give Him honor. Secondly, we need to keep in mind that worship is primarily a matter of our pleasing God, and not the other way around. God can be pleased by our worship as well as give honor to the Lord and to such a degree that He will be willing to give us the riches of salvation. Let us not forget that we do not deserve any of such things. We’re not worthy creatures at any degree and only deserve hell. So we should have a natural reaction in worship, we should pour out our hearts in adoring praise and thanks to Him. We should exalt his Holy Name.
Also, we need to see that worship is primarily a matter of the heart. Worship requires a heart of gratitude. God calls such thanksgiving a sacrifice towards him. The ideal way is constantly devote ourselves into give thanks to God, in all our activities, for all our concerns, in every situation and circumstance in which the Lord brings us. As well as God calling for us to pay our vows to Him. God takes our vows very seriously. Vowing falsely reveals that our hearts are not fully committed to God. We make vows all the time, especially in rash moments of gratitude or desperation. Such a heart makes God angry and can lead Him to create havoc in our lives until we get our act together and bring our heart into line with His. As we gather into worship, God sees our outward behavior with our hearts. If we are not fulfilling our vows, He is less than honored by whatever we may outwardly be doing for Him.
Another key thing to keep in mind, as written in Psalms 50:15, is the fact that God can see that our hearts are fully committed to Him when He is our first line of appeal in times of trouble or distress. God says our hearts will be right when we turn to Him first and when we call upon Him and when we look to Him to meet all our needs according to His riches in glory by Jesus Christ. When our hearts are truly dependent on Him, He will meet our needs. Maybe not in the way that we expect, but God meets the needs of those who trust Him from the heart and allows for them to know His perfect peace and joy in a crises situation that may occur in their life. Also, the inward aspect of worship is seen in how we are to respond to God’s covenant care for us. Honoring or glorifying God must begin from the heart or it will be merely superficial. To truly honor God at all times, whatever the situation may be, is the goal of our covenant calling, but it must come from the heart.
A final aspect of worship in the covenant community is shown in this Psalms 50. The fourth element of covenant worshiping is that it seeks the salvation of God. Worship is the primary arena in which we may bask in more deeply of God’s salvation and obtain a vision of it to grasp it. Worship should go over all aspects of His saving work. Worship should invoke on the power of God’s Spirit to make that salvation real. God desires for us to know more of His glorious salvation. When we worship Him the way that He wants us to, we can be sure that God will open up the riches of His grace in an even more glorious way to the community we are part of.
Now, we may be wondering on how we can start to worship God in his covenant, as He wants us to. We can begin by becoming more informed about the meaning, nature, and practice of corporate worship. In many churches, as well as the leaders of those churches, teach on how to worship, and they believe that they should just go along with how they’re preceding. But this is a wrong thought. If we want to consistently worship Him as He wants us to, we have to devote ourselves into studying worship. Also, we need to work at making sure that our services of worship are as complete as they can be. Worship planners and leaders need to carefully prepare each week to include that each service is in the form that God wants us too. Then our worship will be richer and more God-honoring to the extent that it is more faithful to God’s requirement. And what we can be guaranteed about is that God will notice.
As somewhat mentioned before, when we are worshiping him, we must carefully examine the state of our heart. During the worship, we should give ourselves a self-meditation, not sleeping, but really examining our heart and see that it is sincerely towards God. And finally, we should work to make sure that our worship of God leads to mission in His name.
If we have come to express our love for God in worship, then our natural response is to spread that love to our neighbors as well. As said in Matthew 22:34-40, we will fulfill all that the Law and the prophets require of us. In worship, God shows us His salvation and enriches our experience of His grace. He does so in order for the grace we have experienced to be spread through us to more and more people. Then His kingdom will make progress and His church be built as we wait for the return of our glorious Lord from heaven.
So, to conclude, I hope that you have seen the great importance that lies within worship. I hope that you will be able to see a difference in your next worship and truly examine your heart towards God and really be able to fulfill your life in faith. Thank you!
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