Archive for January, 2012

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A video that a classmate shared with my class:

Are we not all convicted? At some point of time in our Christian lives, we must have felt a bit like that, if not a lot. Many times we sing on Sundays, we just “go through the motion”. We sing the songs because we are expected to. I must confess there are some times I can sing the songs without even thinking about what I’m singing! I know the lyrics so well that my mind can be thinking about other things while singing.

Isaiah 29:13
The Lord says:

   “These people come near to me with their mouth 
   and honor me with their lips, 
   but their hearts are far from me. 
Their worship of me 
   is based on merely human rules they have been taught.

Worship is about the posture of the heart towards God. Singing without meaning is not worship at all. Singing is merely a tool to express our worship to God, and we do have many other ways to express it. The first time worship was mentioned in the Bible was when Abraham was tested to sacrifice his son on the altar. In Genesis 22:5,

He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

Abraham saw the sacrifice of his son as worship to God. Now let me clarify, that the act of sacrifice is not worship. The act of obedience was. Only sacrifice in true obedience to God’s instruction is worship. So we not only worship God with song, but with the lives that we live- in complete obedience to God. This is the posture of the heart that produces real worship. With that in mind, we can also ask ourselves if we are really surrendered to God. Many times we declare our surrenderedness during altar calls and camps. But the act of surrender is a daily affair. The decision we make at the altar is only positional surrenderedness. The lives we live in obedience to God is true surrendering and thus, true worship.

Next, let’s talk about singing of His love only on Sundays. 😀 Is this Biblical? Of course!

Philippians 4:4
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”

If everyday is surrendered to the Lord, then we must be in constant acknowledgement and awareness of the life that we are living- a life that seeks to glorify God. Personally, when I received this revelation, my heart was so full of God that every moment of the day, I could not help but sing and praise the Lord! Even when there was no song in my heart, I would speak and praise God for who He is. When I am walking to school, to church, on the bus, at home… This may sound weird at the start, but it is only a natural response when we stand in awe of His holiness and love. We just cannot help but want to praise Him! Praising God should be an every day affair.

The last point I would like to draw from the video is that worship is wholly and totally about God. It has got nothing to do with our song preference, the style of the worship leader, or whether the song ministers to us or not. So what if we’ve sung that song for years? Or if we feel dry and don’t feel like singing songs  at all? Worship was never about us. It’s about our Holy and Almighty God! When we sleep early the previous night, or leave home early so that we won’t be late- those are all acts of worship to God. Let us do our best to make sure that when God comes to receive our worship, we have the best performance we can give to Him.

Let’s make sure we live out what we sing, say and commit in obedience and worship to our God.

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I’ve started school at School of Ministry yesterday, and it has been really awesome. Every moment during the lectures, the Holy Spirit was ministering to me and changing my heart and my life. This week we’ve been learning about Praise and Worship, and I felt compelled to share on a certain issue here.

Being through 2 years of National Service, many guys would know the way people speak in there. Every single moment of the day, I would hear various expressions of anger, discontent or injustice through words. Now these words are so commonly used that they become part of people’s speech, whether they are using it in anger or not. Of course, I am referring to vulgarities.

I believe that Christians would generally not speak like that, but how about things like “Oh my God”or “damn”? They may seem less harmful or less vulgar, but they are not.

“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”
Exodus 20:7

Our God is the creator of the universe, the strong and mighty God who gives, who takes away, who judges and gives mercy. He is the God who loves and sent His Son to die for us. He is the God who rose from the dead. He surpasses all time, who was, who is, and is to come! If we proclaim Him to be our one true God, how can we, with the same mouth use His name to curse!

You must understand that we are talking about something serious here. It is not “try to reduce the number of times you say it”, or “maybe we can use words that don’t talk about God”. You would have missed the point. Too often we see God as our Closest Friend, our Provider, our Strong Tower, our Refuge and Strength. These are not wrong, but when was the last time we acknowledged God as the great and mighty God, the King over our lives?

Our generation of youth are seeking God fervently, taking part in Charismatic activities. They want to seek and know and feel God in their lives. The want the power of the Holy Spirit in the Kingdom of God. But they have not known the fear of the Lord. That our God is one who commands all respect and all glory in all ways. We are but little humans greatly indebted to a God who never needed to care about us!

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”
James 3:9-12

Fresh water and salt water cannot flow from the same spring. Likewise, if your heart has been changed by God and transformed into the likeness of Christ, you cannot help but speak good things that edify and build up. Only a heart with anger and hatred can bear vulgarities.

For all other forms of cursing and useless words, do you not know that we will be judged in the end for every word that we said? Every good word and every idle word, we will be judged.

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 

For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:33-37 

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