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Thursday, August 11, 2011

10 Things I Want the Students to Learn This Semester

1. The central focus of worship is God, not themselves or their feelings about it. The question is not, “What did I get out of worship today?” but “Am I prepared to meet and worship Almighty God and offer Him praise, honor, and obedient service?”

2. Worship is our obedient response to God’s revealed nature and character. Worship is not the music. Worship is not a feeling, though feelings may be a by-product. Worship that does not result in obedient response is unfulfilled worship. It’s like telling your spouse that you love him or her, but never show any do anything that relates that love.

3. One’s physical presence in a worship service does not guarantee worship.
Our physical presence is necessary, but we must be actively engaged, mentally focused on the purpose of our being in worship.

4. We are personally responsible for our preparation for worship. Distractions will arise, but in the end, whether we worship God or not is a choice we will make. We will not worship God by accident; it is an act of submission of the will.

5. Corporate worship is not a group of individuals having simultaneous quiet times. God has called the His Bride and Body “the Church.” Yes, it consists of individuals, but we must function as the body functions, co-dependent on each other and above all, dependent on the Head, who is Christ. The Church at worship is the Body of Christ united for the purpose of public submission to His absolute authority over life. The Body unites in worship and departs into all the world to make disciples.

6. Praying “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” also means we desire to worship here on earth was we will in heaven.
Our model for worship comes from Heaven: people from every tribe and nation, from all generations in worship around the central focus of the Lamb on His throne. Heaven is not about my finally getting every thing I want, but finally having all my wants focused on everything God desires.

7. God’s Word is the ultimate authority from which we make decisions: more than history, tradition, human intellect or personal experience.
In every decision we make, we must ask ourselves on what basis did I make this decision and realize that what God’s Word teaches is the final authority.

8. Leaders in worship cannot lead people where they have not been.
Having the title of “Worship Leader or Worship Pastor, doesn’t make you one any more than bringing a bicycle into a garage makes it a car. Those that lead, must be obedient practitioners of worship, models of what biblical worship is.

9. Thanksgiving and gratitude are essential components in worship.
If we are not careful, we will begin to think that we deserve God’s blessing, that we forget the immense amount of little things that He provides, not to even mention Christ’s sacrifice and the gift of an eternal relationship with Him. An attitude of entitlement is a polar opposite of what worship is all about. Gratitude is specific and continuous.

10. Unconfessed sin blocks one’s ability to worship.
This side of heaven, we will not be sinless. Our position in Christ is forgiven, but while we live and breathe here on earth we will have the capacity to yield to the temptations of our old nature. Our eternal destiny is secure, but we can break the fellowship with God by deliberately doing, or not doing what He commands. Just as we would not want a surgeon to do surgery with tainted instruments, God will not choose to accept our “tainted” worship, until seek His forgiveness, confess and repent.

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