Preparing for worship: from the inside out

Stating a
conviction again:  worship is not
exclusively what we do in services, but how we live our life and if I am truly
a follower of Christ then that ‘living’ changes.  If I am becoming more like Christ then I will
begin to act more like Christ and therefore love the things He loves and hate
the things he hates.  My vision of what
He loves and hates changes because I know more about Him.

 

Okay that
went around in a circle….

 

This week
we are introducing a worship song to our people: “From the Inside Out.” The
words to this reflect the thought of being more like Christ: ‘a thousand times
I failed;’ ‘consume me from the inside out;’ and ‘Lord I give you control.’ You
can find this song on YouTube here.

 

So how should
we prepare for worship this week?

 

  1. take time to privately worship;
    this can be in a quiet house, in the car singing songs of worship and also
    private worship spending time hearing God speak as you read His word or
    listening for God in silence.
  2. find out from your church what
    the theme of the service will be and pray that God will speak to you.
  3. Contact your worship leaders
    and ask what songs will be used this Sunday. Find recordings of them and
    do some practicing or just listening so that you can sing to God and not
    be distracted by the newness of the song.
  4. live a life of worship…trying
    to see things more like Christ everyday.
  5. How about taking a few minutes
    on Saturday night to get in a quiet place and talk to God about Sunday’s
    worship. (I am amazed at how much more connected I feel when I do this.)
  6. Pray for the people who will
    lead. This week I want to pray specifically for the tech people.  The activity on Sunday morning is
    hectic, but it is also ministry and we are connected in worship because of
    them.

 

Here are
some thoughts for the ClearView people:

Remember we
are in the middle of a sermon series, a study of the book of 1st
John.

The theme
of this book is centered around the question: “does my life demonstrate that I
am a follower of Christ?”  There some
encouraging words in this book and there are also some themes that can cause
one to do some deep thinking.  Last week
our pastor covered the last part of the chapter and the title of that sermon
was “The Sin Test.” The first thought covered was “a genuine relationship with
Jesus Christ will result in a changed life with clear marks.” This week we jump
into chapter 2. Take some time to read through 1st John chapters 1 and 2.


If you missed last week’s service you can
find an audio file of the sermon here or you can subscribe to the podcast here.

Fitness: love it AND hate it

Being intentional about fitness and exercise has become a part of my daily and weekly routine. For the last nine years I have made an effort to exercise each week. Most weeks it is five or six days a week very rarely less. As much as this is a routine there are still many days that I dread getting out of bed and going to the gym or out for a run or bike ride. This is the hate it part…

The love itpart is knowing that being active is the right thing to do.  I know that I feel better when I get in 5 or 6  days of exercise.  I know that we are created to move and 21stcentury lifestyle does everything it can to be against intentional movement.  I know that research shows I will have fewer days of being sick, fewer days of ailments and less chance of chronic and catastrophic disease.

So even though I might hate  the thought of exercise some days, I know it is the right thing to do.

If we don’t worship God…

If we don’t worship God, we’ll worship something or someone
else. 

John
Wimber

Preparing for Worship, it is OK to question God

This
Thursday series of blog posts is directed toward the worship teams and members
of ClearView Church
in
Franklin, Tennessee; however, the intent of the series
is applicable to any person who is searching for God and wanting to have a
conversation with Him.

 

It is very
apparent from reading Psalm 3,
4 and 5
and many others that David often questioned God.  Not that he questioned who God was or that
God knew the ultimate outcome, but rather the questions were “why am I going
through this now” “why aren’t You answering my prayer” “don’t You hear me?”

 

If we are
all honest, we can all say we have had those moments: questioning God, even mad
at God.  I don’t think that makes us any
less of a Christ follower. I believe God knew we would react this way. Why? Because
He is the very one who created those feelings.

 

I am glad
to know that I can be that open and honest with God. 

 

This Sunday
we, ClearView, will start the service by being reminded by the scriptures we
hear and the songs we sing that God is faithful; in Him there is sustaining
power for any circumstance.  Those
thoughts will be followed immediately with the question that David often
voiced: “God do you hear me?  If so why
does it seem you pass over my request?”

 

The second
half of the service turns a different corner and helps us recall and celebrate
the amazing gift of salvation and grace through Jesus Christ. 

 

My worship
throughout the week is more of an on-going conversation with God.  I listen as I read the Bible. Sometimes I
think of God and stand in awe and in silence. Other times I speak out-loud my
thoughts about Him or ask Him questions and still other times I find myself
singing songs. As we worship, privately, the next few days, here are some
things we can include to prepare us for Sunday’s corporate worship:

  1. Pray for our leaders: ask God
    to give the leaders wisdom for the direction of the service.
  2. Pray that each person will come
    to worship with an expectation of communicating openly with God.
  3. For the ClearView teams…log on
    to
    www.planningcenteronline.com
    and get more details about the service.

Worship is giving God the best

Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be
careful what you do with the best you have. 
Oswald Chambers