Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spiritual Disciplines of Praise & Worship

We've looked at Spiritual Disciplines associated with Lent.

Then - the most basic/most important spiritual discipline - Bible Reading

Last week - the most common spiritual discipline - Fasting and Prayer with the focus on Fasting

This week: the Spiritual Discipline of Praise and Worship

Praise: Verb means to value something. Noun - an expression (outward)
Praise is visible, vocal, audible adoration (spilling over into the body)
(you may adore inwardly but praise outwardly)

Hebrew has more than 50 different words to denote or describe praise....... (all actions)

Magnify, glorify, exalt, extol, remember, acknowledge, recount, proclaim, cry aloud, testify, give, ascribe, honor, kneel, prostrate 'self, lift - voice, hands, head, eyes, shout - for joy, with joy, in or of joy, in triumph!, celebrate, dance, circle in joy, skip about, leap, clap, call out, rejoice, be glad, burst forth with song, laughter, let resound, play instruments, delight in, take pleasure in.

Hallel - Boast/brag upon!!! with Yah (Hebrew word for God - Yahweh) - Psalm 146 - 150 : last 5 Psalms begin and end with Hallel-Jah. (Hallelujah)

Worship: from Old English - weorthscipe - to ascribe worth to..... to declare the value of....
to honor, exalt, extol, glorify, to express our admiration/esteem/respect/reverence
to look up to, bow down to.......

But NOTE: Worship is not to be expressed from afar, or exercised from a distance - it's coming into God's presence and there declare His worth.

The point of worship is to approach Him and (then) address Him as worthy...
1 Chron. 16:28-29
Psalm 100:1, 2, 4

So....... the idea of worship is:
1. Approach Him
2. Bring a gift - Deut. 16:16-17
3. Offer it to Him - example: praise!!!! Heb. 13:15
It can be done in public worship or private worship. Both are Biblical, commended, expected.

So..... why Praise and Worship?? to what end? purpose?
Answer: for Him, for self, for others....

I. For Him. God is absolute and unchangeable, our praise will not add to or take away from Him. BUT,
A. God delights in it. Psalm 49:1-4 (a) - "people". Psalm 22:3 (KJV) - "But Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel."

The Bible declares that you are created, called, expected, saved to worship. 1 Pet. 2:9

B. He is worthy!!! Psalm 18:3, 48:1, 96:4, 145:3 Rev. 5:9-10, 12-14

Remember means come and offer .... praise and worship is not about you!!! It's about HIM!! Psalm 111:10 (b) - "to Him belongs........"

II. For 'Self - Benefits of praise and worship.
A. puts my focus on God - His person, nature, character..... and concern!! Psalm 8:3-5
B. Therefore, puts problems into perspective.
C. Praise reminds me of His former deeds, mercies toward me.
D. Praise helps me recognize His present blessings.
E. Therefore, it increases my confidence (Faith) for today, tomorrow - Psalm 52:9
F. Which lowers anxiety (worry, fear, depression, etc.)
G. And, adjusts my (general) attitude - humility, patience, kindness, concern......
H. Also, praise and worship develops my intimacy with God. If I approach, present, and commune ..?! Phil. 310

III. For Others - public praise and worship offers:
A. Encouragement for believers - Psalm 40:1-3
B. Witness for non-believers
C. Testimony for future generations - Psalm 102:18

On one hand, we ought to publicly praise Him. 1 Chron. 16:8-9
However, don't make a nuisance of yourself in doing so. Prov. 27:14

Why are Praise and Worship considered a spiritual discipline???

Two reasons.
#1. Praise and Worship promote spiritual growth. (as evidenced from the former list...)

#2. Praise and Worship are not always easy to practice. - We're fallen people who live in a fallen world...
Maybe having a busy day, bad day, ..... a tragic day!!!

So, next week we will continue to look at:
1. spontaneous praise and worship
2. planned praise and worship
and will focus on:
3. disciplined praise and worship.

Psalm 103:19-22

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