To venable (verb): To randomly muse upon this and that.

Archive for the ‘Worship’ Category

Quiet Time.

One thing I have dwelt upon recently is why it is that people drift away from the Lord. Not only have such people lost their fire for their Lord, they seem to have lost their very life itself. Whether it be backsliding or proving that they have never had the Lord’s grace-given life, they fade away into oblivion.

One tentative conclusion I have reached is that a lack of attention to daily personal devotions has contributed to this disastrous outcome. Without the kindling of our hearts in His presence through the study of the Word and seeking Him in prayer we die; our life fades away. Without coming before the face of our God we lose our interest in His ways. The life of God is only experienced when we are knowing that glow from His presence into our lives through being in his presence.

When our souls are weary and the Lord seems distant, the remedy of spending time with the Lord comes and refreshes us in the walk of grace.

So we must have our quiet time. We need daily fellowship with our God. If we do not have this we risk fading away; we put our lives in peril. We set ourselves on a slippery slope to spiritual deadness.

And so how is your Quiet Time? And please feel free to challenge me about mine when you next see me. Our lives depend upon regular fellowship with the Lord in the quiet place. So let us not neglect this.

Church Newsletter

Here is our church newsletter for August 2018. It contains an article on how we prepare for worship.

Leading Services

Here is a presentation by Bob Kauflin. In it he gives great teaching on the subject of choosing and introducing hymns in a church service. There is most helpful stuff for musicians who play in church as well.

Worship By The Spirit Of God.

In Philippians 3:3 Paul tells the Philippians (and us) what characterises the true people of God. These people are said to be the circumcision (Phil. 3:3a). This is pictorial language which describes us as those who have given up living for the flesh. Three different facets which define the people of God are then presented. We who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh. (Phil. 3:3b). Our purpose in this study is to concentrate on what it is to serve God by the Spirit?

The word “serve” in this verse refers to service which is directed towards God. Hence, in many versions of the scripture the word is rendered as “worship”. This service/worship can be viewed in a general way and also in a specific way. Generally it refers to our whole lives being full of worship. So in our day-to-day lives we are seen as living lives which please God. When thought of specifically it refers to those times when the church comes together to worship. It is this latter aspect I want to concentrate upon, but there are significant cross-overs to the issue of “whole-life worship”.

So what is it, that we will find in a church worshipping God by the Spirit? How will we know, when a church is gathered together, whether or not they are worshipping by the Spirit of God? For that matter how will we know if we, at Feltham Evangelical Church, are worshipping God in an acceptable way? Let us go to scripture and see what we discover:-

Not physical. This issue is specifically derived from the context in which our statement is found. At the beginning of Philippians 3 we find the true Christian lifestyle contrasted to that of those who concentrated on outward forms. When we find a concentration on the things of the senses then we should conclude that this is not of the Holy Spirit. When seeing, touching and smelling are emphasised then the emphasis is not spiritual, but physical.

The Word. When the Holy Spirit is leading the worship then there is an emphasis on the Word of God. Everything, whether done or spoken, will harmonise with the requirements of the Word. Moreover, there will be the reading and proclaiming of the Word of God, with the Word element having prominence in the service. It is inappropriate to prescribe exactly how this takes place, but it will surely be there if the Spirit of God is there. In asserting the prominence of the Word in the ways of God we remember that faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ (Rom. 10:17).

The Christ. When the Spirit comes there is the glorifying of Jesus Christ. This is the Holy Spirit’s most delightful work; the Spirit loves to magnify Christ. As the Saviour has gone to heaven so the Spirit has come into this world; being sent by the risen Lord. Accordingly, we read the words of the Saviour ‘When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father – the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – he will testify about me (John 15:26). When there is much speaking about the glory of Jesus in a service we can inclined to conclude that the Spirit of the Lord is there.

Sin. The Spirit convicts of sin. So we read in John 16:7b-8 the Lord Jesus saying Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement. When the Spirit is working there is an awareness of our wrongness before God.

Praise. We read in Hebrews 13:15 about the fruit of the lips being a sacrifice of praise. This thankfulness is connected lives which confess His name and is through Jesus. It reflects a positive attitude towards God in all His goodness towards us. When the Spirit is present in the service there is a much thankfulness to and appreciation of God.

Understanding. On the Day of Pentecost when the Spirit came to manifestly demonstrate God’s new regime amongst mankind there was the special gifting of the disciples speaking in different languages so that all could understand (see Acts 2:1-12). When the people come together to worship God by the Spirit then there will be that awareness that everything is being done in an understandable way.

Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter of January of 2015

 

Church Newsletter

Here is our church newsletter for January 2018 with an article on worship.

Master Of Ceremonies.

I went to an occasion a little while ago and it was spoiled by the Master of Ceremonies (MC). The main issue was that he had too much to say for himself. Rather than sweetly and efficiently linking to the next item, he always wanted to have too much of a say about this and that. After a while it became tedious.

Contrariwise I was in a worship setting at around the same time and that was, I suggest, lacking in linkage into the songs. There would have been more engagement with the worship through a sensitive introduction to the songs we were to sing.

This all reminds me of how important it is to lead services and to MC in a suitable way. Sensitivity to the occasion is so very important. You need to remember that you are a servant. You are there to help the people into blessing. The people have not come to hear you and your jokes and your self-indulgence. The people have come for something more important. And if that is a church service it is for the worship of God. You are there consecrating all your being for the service of God and the people.

So we must be prayerful and careful about how we engage with these matters. Carelessness in a coordinating role from the front is reprehensible.

The Band.

It seems to have become de rigeur for a church that wants to be up-to-date to have the band leading (or I might say, less respectfully, dominating) worship. The band is normally drums, bass guitar, lead guitar, keyboard and vocalist. I find the arrangement somewhat intimidating seeing we do not have anything like a band format at Feltham Evangelical. Yet, I ask myself, should I be to easily impressed?

I am not sure that we have to accept that the worship in our churches needs to be led by “the band” or something of that ilk. Have we too easily acquiesced with the seemingly prevailing view that the band is necessary to lead our worship and anything less is second-rate? Too easily a band can degenerate into being an entertainment provider. Now this depends on the character of the musicians of course. But it just seems to me that we need to remember what we are there for. We are there to bring our hearts into worshipful harmony with our great Lord and Father and his Son by the Holy Spirit. We do not need impressive music to do this.

Now I am not condoning sloppiness here; certainly not. We do need to seek to honour God by having our worship times well-ordered. But I am wanting to make us thoughtful about the necessity of having the band. Nor do I want to reject more modern forms of musical expression in our worship; certainly not.

In all this we need to remember that it is not the band or music that should impress us; it is our God. The goal of musicians is to be facilitators in this.

 

 

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