BOLD: Practical Principles of Worship 2

Romans 12:1 (AMP)…on screen
I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of all the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies, presenting all your members and faculties, as a living sacrifice, holy, devoted, consecrated, and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable, rational, intelligent service and spiritual worship..
“A Heart of Worship
“Powerfully bold worship is an expression of the boldness of a surrendered heart.” 
  • A surrendered heart, is the difference between true worship and religious exercise
    • As a young man growing up in the church, I had the opportunity to see and experience this in a negative way.  sad to say its so easy to do.  We can easily go through religious exercise with truly worshiping God.  Gather for church, sing the songs, lift our hands, even jump and dance, even flow in the gifts of the spirit or appear to any way with a heart that is not truly surrendered to God.  I did this for years.  Its what we used to call playing church.  Going through the motions.
  • We’ve heard people say for years, coaches or teachers, “your acting like your heart is not in it”
  • The idea is when you’ve surrendered your heart, is when you have been given to God in a deeper way. 
Galatians 2:20 the apostle Paul wrote this…I am crucified with Christ yet not I but Christ lives in me, the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave his life for me.
The idea is Christ died for me, so I am going to live for him!
 >David obviously taught Solomon this precept, because in Proverbs Solomon wrote this…Proverbs 3:5,6
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Worship is all about a surrendered heart.  David is the epitome of understanding what worship is all about and understand the hearts role in all this.  God described him as having a heart the beats with His own heartbeat
  • The wonderful thing about true worship, it enhances the intimacy we have in a relationship with Jesus
The heart:  is the seat of our will, emotions, thinking.   The great thing about God is he does not want to break us but nurtures and graces us so we will willfully submit to his will. 
The heart is the place devotion, surrender, and commitment comes from.  Worship is as much about these words as it is anything else.  The activity of worship is that much more meaningful, when our absolute motive of life is to devote, surrender, and commit ourselves to the king and his kingdom.
In the bible when we see the word heart, it is a reference to the will, emotion, desire, thoughts, and life of a person.  Physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally.
This is why the greatest commandment is to Love the lord your God with all your HEART, SOUL, MIND, and STRENGTH. God is telling us love God with your whole life. Our whole selves.
BOLD worship starts in the heart and proceeds through our lives.  The best example I could give you of this is King David.  He was Bold especially in worship.  the expressions of worship flowed from him with ease, because his heart was so given to God.
1 Samual 16:7  
God doesn’t see they way man sees, man looks on the outward appearance of a man, but God looks on the HEART.
>The apostle Paul in the book of acts described King David as a man after Gods own heart.  the message bible says it this way.  That David’s heart, beat with Gods heart beat.
>Meaning what was important to God was important to David, what moved Gods heart, moved David’s heart, what broke Gods heart, broke David’s heart. 
David BOLDY gave his whole life to Father God for his use and purpose.
You can see it…
  • as a shepherd on the pasture, guarding, protecting, loving the sheep
  • as a bold young man who was moved to fight Goliath, because of his outlandish Gaul in Taking Gods name in vain.  You could see it is his BOLD response of Faith against the giant and in defiance of the fear of his own brothers and the entire Israelite army including King Saul
  • in his submission to Saul, even when Saul hated him and tried to kill him.  His heart was to honor God and honor the king.
  • As he became King at 38 years of age after waiting for over a decade for the purpose of God to be fulfilled in his life.  His desire was to reestablish zion, the city of God Jerusalem, It was his bold declaration as he worshipped in front of the ark of the covenant as the presence of God was brought back into the Great city of our Great King.
  • You can see it in David’s desire to build God a house, no one had ever up to that point on their own thought of God in that way.  Meaning, its not right that we have built homes for ourselves but we have not taken the time to build a house for God.
  • You can see it in his rule as king, the tenderness of his heart, the strength of his heart, the worship of his heart
  • Even in his failures, you can see it, as he realizes his treachery, he realizes the devilish the way he has handled himself and how he found his heart growing cold, lost his purpose, and begin to act out of selfish desire and ruthless self centeredness.  When he came to himself at the prophetic confrontation of Nathan, he immediately without hesitation became repentant, and his heart broke, and he turned his face to God and ask for mercy, and rededicated his heart, his house, his life to His King.
  • In his death, as he had created all the plans for the house of God, had prepared all the money and supplies for the house of God to be built and on his death bed explained to his son Solomon how to be a king, his heart reflected the heart of God.
So what does Bold look like?
1.  Bold worship is tender heart.  A heart that is soft and pliable before God.
2.  Bold worship is surrendered heart.  A heart that is unreservedly given to God
3.  Bold worship is Caring heart.  A heart that protects, loves and is compassionate.  breaks for what Gods heart breaks for.
4.  Bold worship is a submitted heart.  A heart that says God not my will but your will be done.
5.  Bold worship is Changed heart.  Not perfect but not pretentious.  Its authentic, honest and real.
6.  Bold worship is a Courageous heart.  A heart that stands in the face of pressure and challenge and says I will worship God anyway, and I will win this battle not for me, but for the sake of the Glory of God.
7.  Bold worship is an honoring heart.  A heart given to think, act, love and lead with the heart of God.
8.  Bold worship is a loving heart:  A heart that puts God first, others second, and self last.  A heart that loves God and His house.  a heart that says, Jesus died for me, I will live for him.  A heart that says, I will not build my own until I have built Gods.
9.  Bold worship is a full heart.  A heart filled with purpose, destiny, joy, and peace.
Take away:  I hope that you are taking away from this series the realities of worship.  That it is much broader, deeper and wider than the mere expressions of it. 
This week, take time each day, when you get up in the morning, just fifteen minutes, and surrender yourself to God, just say God I was made to worship you, you have saved me, and first and foremost I want my life to be given to you.  before I have had a chance to let the day carry me away in its business, I give myself my family my everything in surrender to you.  Use my life today to reflect your glory. 
Just take fifteen minutes and do this, sit in his presence and truly worship him, and let him prepare your heart for what he would have it to be.

How to Grow Your Church “Paul Style”

Temple of Zeus in Athens at Athens.

Image via Wikipedia

Acts 17:16

The longer Paul waited in Athens for Silas and Timothy, the angrier he got—all those idols! The city was a junkyard of idols.  Last night I was having my study time, and came across this passage of scripture.  I read this whole chapter and realized that Paul was a real strategists.  He may not have proactively thought through his strategy, the Bible doesn’t tell us, it just records what he did.  If you look at what he did you will find an interesting strategy for church growth, church planting, and the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It started with him getting mad.

It says, the longer he waited the more angry he became.  He was passionate about the need for religious clarity.  He was angry that these people were serving mere idols when all they needed was to know Jesus, to be informed.  His anger moved him to action.  His action however was not some arbitrary attempt at spiritual exercise that made him feel good about himself but did very little good for the kingdom or the people who so desperately need the truth.  His action was purposed, clear, and effective.  If you are planting a church, leading a church, or trying to grow a church this is a great blog for you.

How to make the church stronger in faith and larger in number.

1.  Get mad (passionate) about the community you are in.

I don’t believe that God always sends people to a specific place, but to a specific purpose.  Sometimes He clearly does send people to a specific place.  Whether he mandates the place or not, one thing is certain.  If you will grow a church in your community, you must be passionate about that community.  Do you know your community?  What are its successes or failures?  What are its accomplishments or conflicts?  What are the needs and demographics.  Be passionate about it and get a revelation of the churches role in that community.  Don’t find yourself answering questions no one is asking.  Know the community and be a solution.

2.  Gather Like minded leaders around you and talk about your vision to bring change or help.

Partner with other church leaders in the community, and your own top level leaders to gather around the same cause.  Sharing the Gospel, helping the community, disseminating the truth.

3.  Emmerse yourself in your community daily.

Teach your team and you yourself get to know the people and heartbeat of your city.  This passage says that paul went out into the streets daily and got in discussions with people who happened along.  Meaning he was friendly, connected, helpful, straightforward.

4.  Build relationships with community leaders and people outside your church.

Through the discussions Paul was having he built relationships with people.  Some people didn’t want to have anything to do with him, but others were interested in what He had to say.  His relationships grew until they invited him into their circle.  Gain influence with others to the degree that they will listen to you.

5.  Research and study your community to the point you can speak intelligently about it and relate to them.

Paul talked to them using their thinking, their philosophers to relate to them and draw them around to his point.  Remember Paul was driven by a passion for their souls, not by a need to be right, or prove anything.

6.  Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Paul did not beat around the bush or try to hide the fact that He was Christian and that was his purpose.  When we are so mysterious about our  agenda and what we are trying to do, it comes across inauthentic and is very off putting.  We are in the community to help, to contribute, to love, but most importantly and primarily to share the Love and Grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Don’t sneak up on people, just be who you are.

So I can hear people now saying, what is so important about growing the church , we just need to share the love of Jesus and see what happens.  Well lest you think that paul was  not promoting growth, or being strategic about it, please hear this scripture.  Acts 16:4-5 (MSG) As they traveled from town to town, they presented the simple guidelines the Jerusalem apostles and leaders had come up with.  That turned out to be most helpful.  Day after day the congregations became stronger in faith and larger in size.

God is all about growing the church spiritually and numerically and He is very strategic about it.