Worship – what we value

Published by Jason Shiels on

Vision, beliefs and priorities series

6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you,[a] but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.

Matthew 26:6-13 NIV

Heres a few bullet points from Sunday 21st April 2024 message by Jason Shiels at Liberty Church Mid-Ulster, READ ON…

  • Worship is part of our design as humans. Eden was a temple garden but the fall into sin led to man putting ‘self’ front and centre rather than God himself. The consequences are plain for all to see.
  • God is restoring true worshipers by dealing with the root problem of humanity – sin and the heart of man, and restoring worship in spirit and in truth. This restores us to our original design as Jesus redeems us and works in our lives, 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4v23-24
  • There are many Hebrew words for worship that are foundational for our understanding of worship. These are challenging to study. If you don’t believe me look up the root meaning of the Hebrew word ‘Halal’ from which we get ‘Hallelujah’! Demonstrative worship (singing etc) that comes from the heart is not seen as ‘showy’ but rather normative in the Psalms and other Hebrew Scriptures. The Hebraic roots of our faith invite no disconnect between body, soul or spirit and this plays out in these Hebraic expressions of praise, worship and adoration.
  • Worship should be more about bringing an appropriate response to God and less about ‘what makes us feel comfortable’. Of course the amazing thing about God is that as we pour out worship and adoration to Him, this also brings joy into our own lives! We wouldn’t think of saying that we can express other aspects of obedience “just how we feel comfortable”. Worship is for God and not for us. However, we certainly do NOT desire any contrived or pressurised expressions of worship either. Worship is after all an ‘appropriate response’ to God, not for ‘man’.
  • Mary of Bethany will forever be remembered for her extravagant and lavish expression of worship. She also prophetically was foreshadowing Jesus’ burial by her actions with the pure nard poured out on his feet! She didn’t let the disdain and indignance of the disciples put her off! She was focused on the audience of one (Jesus).
  • We know that there is not ‘one way’ to bring worship to God. Worship is also an expression of our total life discipleship. So we don’t just worship on a Sunday, then live a ‘secular life’ through the week! No way. We also encourage respect for people who worship differently to us! After all, Gods knows the heart and knows what true worship is and isn’t.
  • It’s important to evaluate anything that hinders true worship and worship in a way that honours God. Singing songs with good theology is important to us and so is worship ‘in spirit’. We also believe that tradition shouldn’t ever be more important to us than responsive and meaningful worship. We are not anti-tradition, just ‘anti’ any traditions that hinder our worship and discipleship. We must also be aware that that so much of our culture in the West is now generated to serve ‘self’ rather than to have a heart of worship, so we need to make good choices in our followership.
  • One important component of New Testament worship in the corporate gathering is the openness seen toward inviting contributions from those present – ‘Each one has…..’.
  • We should neither worship God just FOR an experience nor worship God HINDERING any experience of God – if God wants to fill you with His Spirit, we surely need to be open to this? We worship God for God!
  • And……when the music fades, worship continues. As Matt Redman’s lyrics said,

“We’ll bring you more than a song for a song in itself is not what you have required”

Jason Shiels (25.04.24)

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1 Comment

DF · April 25, 2024 at 4:34 pm

Terrific. A full and comprehensive summary of worship that’s simple to work through and understand. Now
To apply it. Attractively presented format. Worship for dummies.

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