Posted by Jerry White on May 9, 2016
With what attitude should God’s redeemed children approach Him, either in private or in corporate worship? Does it change how we should approach Him because we are in God’s grace and can approach His throne boldly? (Hebrews 10:19-20) Does our knowledge of His mercy, grace and love give us permission to treat Him casually, carelessly and flippantly? Has loss of respect for authority in our society affected our attitude toward this all majestic, holy God of the universe?
I have visited churches where people enter the worship service with food and drink like they are attending a sporting event. I have heard professing Christians speak of Almighty God with unworthy and disrespectful terms. Why is this so? Only one answer is possible. We live in a time when church attendees do not know in their heart who God truly is. They do not take seriously who God is according to His Word, nor have they ever encountered His presence revealed by the Holy Spirit so they know by experience that they are before the face of this pure, sovereign, invisible One.
Webster’s Dictionary defines reverence as, “profound awed adoring respect.” In your church do the people gather for worship with a profound awed adoring respect? When you meet with the Lord in private is your soul humbled with a profound awed adoring respect for the One who authored and purchased your salvation?
The Bible gives us illustrations of this attitude. Moses went to meet with God and heard Him speak, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” …And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. (Exodus 3:5) Isaiah had a vision of the throne of God with the seraphim nearby. These angelic beings were pure—never sinned— and yet their response in God’s presence is described: Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. (Isaiah 1:2) When the beloved apostle John saw His enthroned Lord in the Revelation he fell at His feet as one dead. (Revelation 1:17) I have seen God’s Spirit reveal the Lord’s pure presence so that those present were silenced and motionless before Him.
Deep heart awareness of who God is in His overwhelming beautiful majesty causes one’s heart to bow in profound awed adoring respect and worship, both privately and corporately.
Posted by Jerry White on Mar 10, 2014
The Father in heaven seeks true worshipers who will worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:23). Human beings were created by God to know Him, walk with Him, worship Him, and reflect His character to others. Adam’s transgression destroyed this glorious privilege for mankind. Salvation through Jesus Christ restores individuals to this original purpose. Nothing else satisfies a redeemed human heart like God’s original purpose walked out in daily life.
In our world where every one is beset with a multitude of distractions, how does a sincere believer maintain a heavenly focus (Colossians 3:1; Philippians 4:8)? We always contend with our weak flesh, an alluring world, and myriads of invisible demons who war against us. Much like Simon Peter, we lose our focus on Jesus Christ and begin to sink in the raging wind and waves of daily living (Matthew 14:22-33). Responsibilities demand attention and relationships require investment of energy. How does one keep focused with a holy and eternal perspective?
Psalms means praises. This is the key word in Psalms. Praise, thanksgiving, and adoration are activities of worship. This will be the primary activity in heaven (Revelation 4:9-11). Practicing these expressions of worship now keeps our heart focused on the glory of our great Lord and quickens our love and trust in Him. All through the Psalms we read about praise to the Lord. The last five Psalms begin with Praise the LORD (146-150). Psalm 144 begins, Blessed be the LORD, my rock. Psalm 145 begins, I will extol you, my God and King. The last verse of Psalms admonishes, Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD. Psalm 100:4 commands, Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! Jesus began the model prayer, Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Praise and thanksgiving must be spoken as an act of faith. Sometimes it is a sacrificial offering because our feelings are contrary. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name (Hebrews 13:15, ESV). With our lips speaking thanksgiving, adoration, and praises from our heart, we give our loving Father a sacrifice of worship that blesses Him. What does this do for us? It lifts our soul out of the miry clay of self absorption, worldly occupation, and demanding distractions into the realm of focusing on His beauty, grace, peace, and sovereign sufficiency—and yes, pleasing Him.
Posted by Jerry White on Feb 17, 2014
Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.
Luke 10:42 (ESV)
“‘Oh, but you don’t understand, Mr. Carroll. you don’t understand my responsibilities.’
I understand them very well. I have lived in literally scores of homes in the forty years of my ministry. On one occasion, I lived in the home of a woman who had seven children and a very unsympathetic husband. She had lost two other children at birth. Though she had a large home to care for and attended to the family business in her spare time, I never saw her disturbed once. There was always the fragrance of Christ about her life, and I marveled at it.
Whilst staying in her home during a conference, one morning about five o’clock I noticed light filtering in past the door, so I opened it very quietly and saw this woman kneeling by her piano. I quietly closed the door. The next morning the same thing again.
So, I asked her, ‘What time do you rise to seek the Lord?’
She replied, ‘Oh, that is not my decision. I made a choice long ago that when He wanted to have fellowship with me I was available. There are times when He calls me at five; there are times when He calls at six. And on occasion, He will call about two o’clock in the morning, I think, just to test me.’
Always she would get up, go to her piano stool, and worship her Lord.
I asked, ‘How long do you stay?’
‘Oh, that is up to Him. When He tells me to go back to bed, I go back. If He doesn’t want me to sleep, I simply stay up.’
She was the epitome of serenity. She had made a choice, a choice that was not easy for her to make, for God had to take an idol out of her life before she made it; but when He took that idol, she was Christ’s and Christ’s alone.”
Joseph S. Carroll
How To Worship Jesus Christ, 17-18
Posted by Jerry White on Dec 12, 2013
And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him, Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Matthew 2:11 (ESV)
“There is great significance in the action of the wise men. Their long and hazardous journey had culminated at a manger! The King they sought was but a babe—suckled at the breast of a peasant woman. No pageantry—no courtiers—no display. A dismal manger—a peasant woman—a babe. Lesser men would have turned aside.
Let us note carefully the sequence of their actions. Without hesitation they prostrated themselves—they worshiped—they presented their gifts. This has ever been the only order acceptable to the King. Prostration speaks of submission—the attitude of a slave to the Master—the subject to the Sovereign. Our entrance into His presence must begin in like fashion—submission followed by worship. But why worship? What else but ascriptions of worth can issue forth from a truly submissive heart that has seen the King? The presents can wait until I present myself. My gifts will not increase His wealth—but my surrender will satisfy His heart.”
Joseph Carroll (1919-2008)
Founder, Evangelical Institute of Greenville
1993 Christmas letter
Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,
Bow down before Him, His glory proclaim;
With gold of obedience, and incense of lowliness,
Kneel and adore Him; the Lord is His Name.
Posted by Jerry White on Dec 1, 2013
You will find it helpful to read this prayer out loud with your heart as your prayer.
“I magnify You, O Lord, I exalt Your name, for You are great and highly to be praised. I praise You for the glorious splendor of Your majesty and the power of Your awe-inspiring acts. Your power is unlimited…absolute…beyond imagining. You are able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or dream of. ‘There is nothing too hard for You.’ Who is like You, ‘majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders’?
O Lord Most High, You rule over the heavens and the earth, for You made all things by Your great power, and You keep them existing and working by Your mighty Word. You are exalted high above every star and galaxy in the entire cosmos…yet You are also ‘the God of all mankind,’ the great, personally present, personally involved God who loves, rescues, and takes care of all who trust You. You exercise Your gracious authority over all nations—and over each individual in all the world. There is none like You, the true God, the living God, the everlasting King.
I praise You for Your sovereignty over the broad events of my life and over the details. With You, nothing is accidental, nothing is incidental, and no experience is wasted. You hold in Your own power my breath of life and all my destiny. And every trial that You allow to happen is a platform on which You reveal Yourself, showing Your love and power, both to me and to others looking on. Thank You that I can move into the future non-defensively, with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead, for you hold the future and You will always be with me, even to my old age…and through all eternity.”
31 Days of Praise, 50-51
There is none like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might.
Jeremiah 10:6 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Sep 12, 2013
Gazing upon the Lord from a heart of worship keeps the vision of Him clear. The result will be the glorious transformation of your own life into His likeness. The Scriptures reveal the secret by saying: But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18 NASB).
The hymn-writer, Freda Hanbury Allen, pens it so beautifully in the hymn, “Within the Veil.”
“Within the veil:” Be this, belov’d, thy portion,
Within the secret of thy Lord to dwell:
Beholding Him, until thy face His glory,
Thy life His love, thy lips His praise shall tell.
“Within the Veil,” for only as thou gazest
Upon the matchless beauty of His face,
Canst thou become a living revelation
Of His great heart of love, His untold grace.
“Within the veil,” His fragrance poured upon thee,
Without the veil, that fragrance shed abroad;
“Within the veil,” His hand shall tune the music
Which sounds on earth the praises of thy Lord.
“Within the veil,” thy spirit deeply anchored,
Thou walkest calm above a world of strife;
“Within the veil,” thy soul with Him united,
Shall live on earth His resurrection life.
What more can be done than has already been done? The work of Christ is finished, and in Him God has blessed you with every spiritual blessing. He is worthy of our worship.
Posted by Jerry White on Jun 17, 2013
Therefore God, your God has anointed you with the oil of gladness.
“He makes us glad, but how can we make Him glad? By our love. Ah! We think it so cold, so faint; and so, indeed, we must sorrowfully confess t to be, but it is very sweet to Christ. Hear His own eulogy of that love in the golden Canticle [Song of Solomon]: ‘How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! How much better is thy love than wine!’ See, loving heart, how He delights in you. When you lean your head on His bosom, you not only receive, but you give Him joy; when you gaze with love upon His all-glorious face, you not only obtain comfort, but impart delight. Our praise, too, gives Him joy – not the song of the lips alone, but the melody of the heart’s deep gratitude. Our gifts, too, are very pleasant to Him; He loves to see us lay our time, our talents, our substance upon His altar, not for the value of what we give, but for the sake of the motive from which the gift springs. To Him the lowly offerings of His saints are more acceptable than thousands of gold and silver. Holiness is like frankincense and myrrh to Him.”
C. H. Spurgeon
Morning & Evening, February 15, P.M.
Self-centered immaturity causes one to think mostly of what he or she wants the Lord to do that will make them glad. We are making progress in the things of God when we begin to be occupied with what will bless our Lord. The lady who washed His feet with her tears and asked for nothing. Mary who broke the very expensive alabaster bottle of perfume and poured it upon Jesus in a pure act of worship. Paul who wanted to know Him more intimately and please Him in all things. These believers delighted the Lord’s heart.
Our deepest joy comes from longing to please and bless and honor and delight the Lord Jesus more than anything else. To love Him is to want to bless Him.
Posted by Jerry White on Jun 3, 2013
“The prophets saw the Lord our God. They saw Him in His beauty, and they tried to describe Him.
They described Him as radiantly beautiful and fair, a winsome being. They said that He was royal and that He was gracious. They described Him as a majestic being; and yet they noted His meekness. They saw Him as righteous and filled with truth. They tried to describe the manner of His love, with its gladness and joy and fragrance.
When the prophets try to describe for me the attributes, the graces, the worthiness of the God who appeared to them and dealt with them, I feel that I can kneel down and follow their admonition: ‘He is thy Lord—worship thou Him.’
He is fair and He is kingly, yet He is gracious in a sense that takes nothing away from His majesty.
The meekness and the majesty of Jesus. I wish I could write a hymn about that or compose music about it. Where else can you find majesty and meekness united?
The meekness was His humanity. The majesty was His deity. You find them everlastingly united in Him. So meek that he nursed at His mother’s breast, cried like any baby and needed all the human care that every child needs.
But He was also God, and in His majesty He stood before Herod and before Pilate. When He returns coming down from the sky, it will be in His majesty, the majesty of God. Yet it will also be in the majesty of the Man who is God.
This is our Lord Jesus Christ. Before His foes, He stands in majesty. Before His friends, He comes in meekness.
It is given to men and women to choose—a person may have either side. If he does not want the meek side of Jesus, he will come to know the majestic side….
When He appears to men again, it will be in majesty. In His kingly majesty He will deal with the pride and conceit and self-sufficiency of mankind, for the Bible says that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord and King.
To really know Him is to love and worship Him.”
A. W. Tozer
Whatever Happened To Worship?, 120-121
Compiled and Edited by Gerald B. Smith
Posted by Jerry White on May 30, 2013
Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped.
“When enjoying a praise time in church, I sometimes ask, ‘What is it about this that causes me to emote?’ Is it the rhythm impacting my body? Is it the harmony appealing to my mind? Or is it the melody entrancing my spirit?
God—who made me spirit, mind and body—wants me to respond with all my being. (Read Psalm 63:1 again.) So while refusing morbid self-dissection, I nevertheless find it valuable to try and pinpoint what it is that mainly stimulates me to worship what I hope is God.
Moses’ worship is triggered by nothing less than the truth about God’s character (verses 6-7). When this grips my mind, it becomes the deepest of all incentives, drawing out my spirit in wondrous praise.
Only then can melody, harmony and rhythm help me to express authentically what has impacted my mind. Anything less can deteriorate into a worship of worship. Such subjective enjoyment may send a thrill up my spine, but has little to do with worshiping God.
Here then is the watershed test. When the instruments have stopped, the Bible opened and the character of God expounded, does my worship deepen or diminish? If the latter, I would do well to plan periods of absolute quietness, until my mind, singly focused on God Himself, learns to respond in unaided worship.
Once that lesson is learned I will be in less danger of making too much of outward aids. Only then can I more safely use every faculty, as well as the rhythm and harmony of beautiful melodies, to more richly enjoy my worship.”
Thirsting After God, 149-150
When the Spirit reveals the Lord’s presence in alone times of stillness and quietness, then worship will rise up from one’s deepest self unaided by outside stimulus.
Posted by Jerry White on Feb 21, 2013
Fill thou my life, O Lord my God,
In every part with praise,
That my whole being may proclaim
Thy being and thy ways.
Not for the lip of praise alone,
Nor e’en the praising heart,
I ask, but for a life made up
Of praise in every part;
Praise in the common things of life,
Its goings out and in;
Praise in each duty and each deed,
However small and mean.
Fill every part of me with praise:
Let all my being speak
Of thee and of thy love, O Lord,
Poor though I be and weak.
So shalt thou, Lord, from me, e’en me,
Receive the glory due;
And so shall I begin on earth
The song for ever new.
Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
“Worshipping God is the great essential of fitness. If you have not been worshipping…when you get into work you will not only be useless yourself, but a tremendous hindrance to those who are associated with you.”