Posts Tagged ‘worship’




YEAR LONG THEME IS LOVE. This year our church is focusing on Love for a whole year. Twelve different aspects of it.

This month’s them is Love Romances. It’s about loving God. We spoke about King David being a worshiper. His life was so powerfully successful. Why? He was a worshiper. He was called a man after God’s own Heart. He was a man’s man and he was a worshipper. Real men worship God!

Last week end we had one of the most successful inc movement Christian music ministry people (Ps. Aaron Lucas) speak to us about the War for your Worship and a Worship Encounter last Sunday night.

Living a life of praise and worship is what we call normal Christianity. Any person who has truly encountered God will be a worshipper. Look at Peter in Luke 5 – falls to his knees and says depart from me – I am a sinful man. To see God as He really is means we see ourselves in contrast and we are undone. What does worship mean? It’s used 15 times in Psalms alone. Here are some meanings translated as worship: Bow down, to stoop, to humbly beseech.

Church is not a spectator sport! We are here to praise and worship God, to enter in, to join with others in a meeting place with the creator of the universe! We can worship according to religious tradition or according to the bible. Many people have a deep love for tradition and it limits them to experience only part of what God has for them. So many Christians grew up without biblical praise and worship and are embarrassed by Christians who worship according to the scriptures. If we come together as a people and praise God and worship God together, great and awesome things will happen.

Remember the story of Jehoshaphat.(2 Chron 20:21-22) God inhabits the praises of His people. David Hogan, a pastor in Mexico has such incredible praise and worship that they sing nonstop for over eight hours, and then the presence and power of God falls so powerfully that every person in a half mile radius is laid out on the ground under the power of God.

In church I encourage you don’t come as a spectator but enter in. Don’t be afraid to be foolish in the presence of God. True passion and enthusiasm is not viewed as off putting by non-Christians but is a powerful witness of true believers.

Story: One of my sons at the age of about 7 began his basketball career standing just inside the sideline, fearful of venturing onto the court.

Our movement, inc/COC probably more than any other movement in the history of Australia was the most expressive in praise and worship. We were known for dancing in church, raising hands, shouting praise, falling down under the power of God etc. We were heavily criticised and vilified by most other denominations including other Pentecostal groups. Why were we extreme? Because we had a passion to obey the scripture.

Remember the definition of a fanatic is someone who loves Jesus more than you do.

This is what biblical praise and worship looks like:

Ps 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! (ESV)

What Gates? The gates of heaven! The gates of righteousness. The gates are the outer area, the first place we approach God, we are not even in His throne room yet. Thanks is powerful. It’s for God and it’s for you. Jesus said – Rejoice that your names are written down in the book!

Thirty-Eight times the book of Psalms encourages us to give thanks!

Ps 118:19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. (ESV)

After we are in through the gates, now step two is praise.

Ps 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! (ESV)

The outer courts are where the house of the Lord begins. The idea is we are coming closer to the ultimate destination – the holy of holies, the throne of God, the place of intimacy. Is that what you came to church for? If not why not? What did you come to church for?

Thanks, now Praise. Words for praise are meaning to: raise hands, play an instrument, to sing, to shine, to boast, to be clamorously foolish, to celebrate,

How do we express praise?

  • Come into the church – the house of the Lord –Ps 134 :1 Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who stand by night in the house of the Lord!
  • Clap hands: Ps 47:1 Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!

Story – The objections of the Ukrainian church to clapping.

  • Raising of hands: Ps 134:2 Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!
  • Sing a song to the Lord: Ps 84: 2 My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. (150)
  • Sing a new song: Ps 40:3 And He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many shall see and fear (revere and worship) and put their trust and confident reliance in the Lord. (5)
  • Dance before the Lord: Ps 149:3 Let them praise His name in chorus and choir and with the [single or group] dance; let them sing praises to Him with the tambourine and lyre! (AMP) (2)

Praise and worship in your own personal life.

Isaiah 61:3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

If you want to change your day from stress and anxiety to joy and refreshing, put on the garment of praise.

If you want to experience God’s presence and His life, enter into worship at home. Some people meditate at home, some people practice yoga, some people listen to classical music, BUT some people just choose to put up with worry, stress and negative thoughts!

For God’s own Valium; Listen to God; His remedy for stress, negativity and anxiety is this:

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. AND

Philippians 4: 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

You can live a lifestyle of stress and worry OR you can live a lifestyle of praise and worship. When you praise and worship you see God as He really is and you see you problems in comparison to Him and His resources then the problems seem small.

What now?

Will you choose to be a worshiper? Will you make room in your day to praise and worship God? Fill your house and your car with worship music. Sing along to the anointed songs of praise and worship. When trouble comes and stress arises, open the book of Psalms and pray those words of praise.


1. Do you think you live a life of praise?

2. What stops you from praising God?

3. Is self -consciousness a factor in how you express praise and worship?

4. Why was King David so free to dance before the Lord foolishly?

5. What can you do to enter into real biblical praise and worship?


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Well of course this month contains Valentine’s day, and as all good husbands know, it’s important to do something nice for the little woman to show her that romance is not dead; pretty sick maybe but not dead!

That being the case as we are talking about LOVE this year, and so February’s theme is LOVE ROMANCES. It’s about the love we have for God.

Are you in love with God?

If you are, how do you show it? “Love romances” is a story about how we express our love to God. If we love anyone truly, then of course we express it in many ways and the ways we express it shows that we love, and how much we love. Romantic love is defined as: love idealised for its purity and beauty, and, thinking about love and doing and saying things to show that you love someone. My definition of romantic love is: doing something special or creative to demonstrate that your special someone is very precious to you. It’s more often practiced by men towards women although women think about it more often and are more likely to see great value in it compared to men.

When we consider loving Jesus look at the great example of John the apostle in the gospels.

John 13:21-25

21 After Jesus had said these things, He was troubled (disturbed, agitated) in spirit and said, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, one of you will deliver Me up [one of you will be false to Me and betray Me]!

22 The disciples kept looking at one another, puzzled as to whom He could mean.

23 One of His disciples, whom Jesus loved [whom He esteemed and delighted in], was reclining [next to Him] on Jesus’ bosom.

24 So Simon Peter motioned to him to ask of whom He was speaking.

25 Then leaning back against Jesus’ breast, he asked Him, Lord, who is it? (AMP)


What a beautiful picture of intimacy!

John, who calls himself the “disciple whom Jesus loved,” has this amazing love relationship with Jesus. No wonder he wrote the first epistle of John which speaks so powerfully about love; and no wonder he was the only disciple present at the cross as Jesus died. John expressed his love for Jesus by being there and by committing to look after His mother, Mary.

Do you love Jesus? If so how do you express it?

Last week we shared a very significant message about David being a man after God’s own heart. This was because he was a worshipper. The key thought last week was – God is seeking such to worship Him.

We saw how incredibly successful David was as a King leading Israel to wealth and prosperity unseen from that time to this.

With David’s life and story occupying 66 chapters of the bible, more than anyone else other than Jesus, and his great success as a king, and God’s endorsement of him as “a man after God’s own heart”; you would think God wanted us to notice something about David! If Abraham is noted for faith and Moses for the law and Elijah and Elisha for miracles, what is David noted for?

He was a worshipper. He was a strong man AND he was a worshiper. He was a man of war AND he was a worshiper. He was a man’s man AND he was a worshiper. He was a man of incredible courage AND he was a worshiper.

Are you getting the message? In Australia, some great guys have been led astray by the thought that it’s not manly to worship God. Nuh!! Typical Aussie culture is that church is for women and kids! What a deception!!

If we are going to share a whole year on LOVE, then we will be speaking at some time about the love relationship between a believer and their Lord.

David learned to worship God as a young shepherd alone on the hills of Judea. Listen to one of his psalms (He wrote 78 of the ones in the bible)

Psalm 42:1-2

1As the deer pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for You, O God.

2 My inner self thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?

David learned to worship, he was led by the spirit of God and he had super revelations about God. Ps 89:26 He shall cry to Me, You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation! In the Old Testament God is always knows as Yahweh or Elohim the Lord God; but David has a revelation of God as a Father, which Jesus later reveals in the New Testament. He prophesies about Jesus on the cross when he writes:  Ps 129:3 The plowers plowed upon my back; they made long their furrows.

Later when disaster struck and his wife and children were captured and all his men likewise after their city was overrun; he goes to the place of worship in 1 Samuel 30:6 David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

David had only one bullet – worship.

At last when he was king and reigning in Jerusalem he brings back the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. We shared about this last week, and I want to show you again how David’s love for God was so great, and his life of worship was his key to greatness.

2 Sam 6:13

 12 And it was told King David, The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the City of David with rejoicing;

13 And when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling.

14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might, clad in a linen ephod [a priest’s upper garment].

15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.

16 As the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter [David’s wife], looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart.

In the story when David brings back the ark to Jerusalem he brings it 10 kms. from the house of Obed Edom to Jerusalem. Every six paces he sacrificed oxen and fatlings. If a pace is about 80 cms. then that’s 12,500 steps, or 2083 stops to sacrifice oxen and fatlings. If the priest took say 30 mins to prepare and sacrifice an oxen and a fatling, that’s 43 days nonstop or 86 days or three months if you work only in the day just to travel 10 kms! Imagine the cost of the sacrifices! Can you see the exquisite passion of David for God’s presence?

Do you love Jesus? If so, how do you show it?

In Acts 15:16 the bible talks about David’s passion for worship impacting our generation.

16 “‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it,
17 that the remnant[b] of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things 18 known from of old.’ (ESV)

Tabernacle of David is this place of worship. 288 singers singing in shifts around the clock for 33 years. God chose to restore the tabernacle of David; He chose not to restore the tabernacle of Moses, nor the temple of Solomon but the tabernacle of David. Because God is seeking such to worship Him.

In this tabernacle, the tent flaps raised up access so the Ark of the Covenant could be seen. David invented instruments to play, there was 300 trumpeters – all priests. Cymbals, harps, lyres, and a multitude of other instruments all for the purpose of worship. In fact it says 276 instruments.

In Ps 22:3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.(ESV)  God gets comfortable when God’s people worship Him. God’s supernatural presence is promised when his people worship whole heartedly.

With the tent flaps rolled up gentiles could have access, women could have access.

The restoration of David’s tabernacle is praise and worship in the church, leading to the manifestation of God’s presence and power among us. Let me tell you about a Pastor in Mexico called David Hogan. When his church pastors and people come together and worship, they sing for 8 hours and then God comes. They are laid out for hours.

In church, perhaps many do not understand worship. We let everything discourage us from worshiping God. We say, “I don’t enjoy it, I don’t like these songs, I couldn’t get here in time. I didn’t miss anything.” We see worship as optional, but God sees it as the only time when He receives.

I don’t ever want my kids and grandkids to grow up in a church where there is no worship, or worse, half-hearted worship. When we praise, we get the breakthrough – like Jehoshaphat – the praisers went out before the soldiers.

They had just came out of a fast. Don’t take weapons, take the singers. If you’re believing God for great things, be a praiser and a worshipper. If we are going to praise Him forever, we better start practicing now. In heaven there’s no preachers only worshippers. Church is not only for you, it’s for your children and for your grandchildren – our music and our worship needs to stay relevant for every generation.

Maybe you have thought, “I don’t feel like it…”  Jesus probably didn’t feel like it when He went to the cross, but He had such a love for you and for me that He was compelled.

Praise may begin as the sacrifice of praise. But it ends with the whole heart. Like a love relationship in a marriage that can grow stale and become passionless, so we can take God for granted and praise falls away and worship dries up.

Do you love Jesus? If so how do you show it?

What Now?

It’s time for an attitude shakeup!!

It’s time for us to be a worshiping church more than ever before. It’s time for every man and every woman to put on the garment of praise and worship the living God. To be an example to our kids and grandkids. It’s time to get to church early, to value worship, because we love God, and we can’t wait to get together with God’s people to sing and shout and clap and dance and raise our hands to the one who gave it all for us! Shall we stand and worship right now!


1. Have you ever fallen in love with anyone? tell us your story.

2. Tell us how you fell in love with Jesus.

3. How do you express love to Jesus?

3. Why is praise and worship so vital in a church?

4.  Is our Aussie culture a hindrance to praise and worship?

5. What can you do to enter into praise and worship more in your life?

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This year the theme of the whole year is LOVE. This month the theme is Love seeks.

As we got the preachers together in early January this year to discuss our theme for the month and how our messages should be constructed, we thought about the significance of the prayer and fasting time taking place this month, not only in our church, but right across the whole of the inc church movement in Australia. We saw it was a time of seeking God, and asked ourselves the question, how does that relate to Love? We always begin with God. God seeks, and we used the verse in week one:         Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. We see the heart of God in seeking out lost people and when His great love for people breaches our hearts then we respond by seeking Him; (1 John 4;19 We love Him because He first loved us. (AMP)) and not only Him; but joining in His great commission to seek the lost of our community also. Fasting is the concentration of passion and humbling ourselves to ask for His mercy to be upon this city.

In week one we introduced the year-long theme of love and spoke of its significance. In week two John spoke of the prodigal son and how the Father was seeking the son to return. How great was his love. The father in the story shows us God the father and his love remaining steadfast and seeking for the son to come home, waiting at the farm gate.

In week Three Rhys shared the three stories Jesus told of lost things in Luke 15; the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. In each story someone is seeking the lost item. In each story the item is found and in each story the result was rejoicing. The stories Jesus told illustrate how much God values lost people and the extent to which He seeks them out to save them.

Today I want to show you why God is seeking certain people to give them great victory.

Our key verse for today is: John 4:23 A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers. (AMP)

What does it look like to worship in Spirit and in Truth? If I can understand that, I can be one of those people that God the Father is seeking.

The bible describes King David as a man after God’s own heart. 1 Sam 13:14 But now your kingdom shall not continue(Saul); the Lord has sought out [David] a man after His own[a]heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince and ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.

Why do you think God called David a man after my own heart, after all, he sinned greatly in adultery and murder?

In the bible there are 10 chapters are about Abraham, 11 chapters about Jacob who became Israel, 10 chapters about Elijah and Elisha, but there are 66 chapters that relate directly to David, over 1200 references to David in the bible and he is mentioned 59 times mentioned in New Testament!

When you think of faith, you think of Abraham; when you think of the law you think of Moses; when you think of miracles you think of Elijah and Elisha; but when you think of David you think of praise and worship. David wrote 78 of the Psalms, far more than any other writer.

David was a man after God’s own heart, a man of worship. There must be a reason why God chose to lift up David as the one for us to clearly see. God is saying, “This man is the one I hold up as being after my own heart.” He is more prominent in the bible than anyone else except Jesus. Why? – because he was a worshipper. It was because He loved the presence of God. We see that when he is bringing the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem after he began to reign in Jerusalem and he is dancing before the Lord out in the open in the streets with only a priests linen ephod on as his clothing. This was an act of humility and also an act of joyful exuberance because he was so excited receive the presence of God back to the city of David.

In another time in David’s life he was at his lowest point after he had sinned by committing adultery with Bathsheba, and the baby of their union is deathly ill. David humbles himself and asks forgiveness and as he intercedes for the life of the baby; and then he hears that the bay has died. His reaction – he went to the house of the Lord and worshipped. At his highest point in his life and at his lowest point in life he has the same reaction – he worshipped. This is why he is a man after God’s own heart.

David was the greatest King Israel has ever had. The kingdom of Israel grew and extended and had peace for 40 years under the reign of David. And why do you think this man was so successful and why do you think that God has devoted do much of the bible to his life and his legacy? It is because God is seeking such to worship Him.

God is seeking true worshipers!

Listen to me business man, listen to me anyone who wants to see great favour upon your life – become a worshipper. When you think about how blessed you are, worship God for His blessings and goodness, when you think of how much pain you are going through when life is very very hard, worship God; because He is the hope of your life.

What if, during this time of prayer and fasting in this early part of the year, we could practice worship and learn the true value of worship and also receive the revelation of life as a worshiper. Don’t get this one wrong believer, God does not reward us because of works but faith, we are not acceptable because of our own works, but listen, this is how it works. If you truly see how great and amazing God is, how loving and how kind He is, so that you are compelled to love and worship Him; then you put yourself into a place where you can hear His voice and you can see and understand that He is with you, and He is for you, and He will never leave you nor will He ever forsake you. Then you will experience the victory like you have never felt it before. When you worship God comes and sits down at your table. In Psalms 22:3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises[a] of Israel.

Worship brings evangelism. Look at the story of the woman of Samaria in John 4. Jesus meets this woman who had five husbands and the one she was living with now was not her husband. They begin a conversation about worship and Jesus says the statement that we read at the beginning of the message today, God is seeking those who worship in Spirit and in Truth. God is seeking out those who worship Him in a certain way. Often we say that we seek God for His blessing and favour, but in this picture Jesus is saying God is seeking out the one who worships in Spirit and in Truth. How would you like God to be seeking you out?

God is seeking true worshipers!

The result of this conversation is that this woman goes back to the city and brings back with her the whole city, to hear about this Messiah, this one who “told me all I ever did”. Salvation came to that region that day out of a revelation on worship.

A city can be saved when God finds a church that is set out to be a people of worship. To love and cherish and value God for who He is – that is worship. The Spirit of worship creates the spirit of evangelism. It makes sense when a people are so in love with Jesus that they show it by their worship. Then unsaved people coming in are going to see real Christianity , real love, not hypocrisy, not likewarmness, not a religious ritual, not ambivalence, not a half-hearted attendance, but a people of passion in love with the one true God.

It’s interesting that Jesus quoted more from the book of psalms than from any other Old Testament book, more than from the books of the law, more than from Isaiah. Why? Because He knew the power of praise and worship and He knew the heart of David. He knew worship would bring about evangelism.

How much do you think David loved God?

In the story when David brings back the ark to Jerusalem he brings it 10 kms. from the house of Obed Edom to Jerusalem. (2 Sam 6:13) Every six paces he sacrificed oxen and fatlings. If a pace is about 80 cms. then that’s 12500 steps, or 2083 stops to sacrifice oxen and fatlings. If the priest took say 30 mins to prepare and sacrifice an oxen and a fatling, that’s 43 days nonstop or 86 days or three months if you work only in the day just to travel 10 kms! Imagine the cost of the sacrifices! Can you see the exquisite passion of David for God’s presence?

God is seeking true worshipers!

When you decide to be a worshiper, you’re opening the door for God the Father to seek you out! You’re opening the door for God’s powerful life of victory. You can decide to be a worshiper. It’s not based on feelings, it’s a choice. The bible says, We love Him because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19) Do you know you are loved by God?

What now?

Receive His love. Meditate on what He has done for you. Begin to express love through praise and worship to God. If you run out of words open the Psalms and speak it out. Get a worship CD and sing the songs to God. Worship at home, worship in the shower, worship in your car on the way to work.


1. Why do you think God describes David as a man after my own heart?

2. Which Psalm particularly inspires you?

3. How can a person, like David, worship God when things have gone wrong?

4. Can we worship God even when our feelings are negative?

5. What does worship look like for you? – Is it in Spirit and Truth?

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