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First15: What is worship?

First15 on January 2: What is worship? Scripture: "But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning." Psalm 59:16

Devotional: For the rest of this week we will break down the individual components of the First15 by sharing with you God's heart for each of them. The majority of the efforts of First15 will be spent in simply guiding you to God's heart and aspects of his character, but occasionally we will cover some teaching and tools to make receiving a revelation of God simpler and more satisfying. This week is one of those weeks where we will get back to the basics of Christianity and find God's heart for some simple tools he has given us to encounter him. Today we will cover the powerful tool of worship!

So what is worship? When we go to church or gather with other believers why do we sing? Clearly not everyone finds singing and music to be one of their greatest passions. So why do we do it? First, it's incredibly important to understand that worship is first and foremost about God and his desires. Consider worship a time we get to carve out to satisfy the longings of God's heart. God loves when we sing to him and about him! Ephesians 5:19 tells us to "be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart." John 4:23 states, "But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him." God seeks for people to worship him. Think of that! You have an opportunity every day, through worship, to satisfy the God who created every star, the concept of beauty, music, emotion and all of heaven and earth! You! Even in your sin. Even in your weakness. You can bring God immense joy and give him what he longs to hear.

Second, it's important to understand why he wants your worship. Worship is a beautiful way to illustrate your love for God. God loves music. He's the creator of it! Imagine a loved one of yours for a minute. It could be a friend, a wife, a husband or a family member. Think of that person's favorite things. Maybe they like cooking, music, literature, sports, etc. How much joy would it bring them for you to demonstrate your love to them in a way that would bless them specifically? Saying I love you could be cooking a meal, taking them to a baseball game or singing them a song. God feels that way when you worship him through music. The great thing is that it isn't about your singing ability. It's about your heart. God is after having your heart, totally and completely.

Lastly, he wants you to worship because it's the best thing for you to be doing. Worship is a unique time where you can declare that God is most important. Worshiping him when you first wake up declares that he is the most important thing in your life. He comes first and is more important than sleep, food, loved ones, or work. Worshiping him at different times in the day brings your life into focus. It helps put the first commandment to love God back in first place. He especially loves your worship if you’re not musically inclined! It shows him that he really is more important than what you feel you are naturally gifted at. It demonstrates that you love him and want to love him in ways that you might not naturally feel that you would. I am naturally gifted in music, but I wouldn't naturally be a cook. There's something about cooking for my wife that shows her my love in different and sometimes even better ways than writing her a song. It's me getting outside of myself to give her something she personally loves.

So as you have an opportunity to worship today and every day, remember that it's about God and what he loves. It's a chance for you to step outside of yourself and give him something that will satisfy his heart. It's a chance for you to decide that he is the most important person in your life. Doing it daily will help you live a life of worship where you work, in your relationships, in your thoughts and emotions. Of everything we do here in the First15, worship is the most important piece. It's the best way for you to connect to God, just you and him. As you worship, you will begin to realize his love for you, his nearness and his character. God's love for you is immense, and he loves to pour it out on you as you sing to him!

Worship: "Heart of Worship" by Matt Redman

Guided Prayer:

1. Ask the Spirit to give you a fresh desire to worship God. That the desire of your heart could be similar to that of David's in Psalm 27:4 which says:
"One thing I have asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple."

2. Ask God to show you how much he loves when you worship, to give you a revelation of his great love for you.

"That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19

3. Write down what God reveals to you.
Write down the way his presence in worship makes you feel and if he reveals anything about you or himself.

Commit yourself to growing in your desire to worship. If you continue to worship you will grow in your connection to God and therefore your desire to worship. Just commit to being consistent, and you will see your life transformed and "filled with all the fullness of God."

Extended reading: John 4

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