Summary: Why Worship Can Change Your Life
A Worship Filled Life
Pastor Jeff Seaman
The loner we live the more we learn about the way God thinks, His nature, and His character through the things and persons the Lord puts near us. For example, when Dede and I had the honor of becoming parents for the first time, our whole life changed. Children are the best teachers; when you become a parent many things are revealed to you of which you were ignorant before.
That’s one of the reasons the Lord told His disciples, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven" (Matt. 18:3) ON another occasion, He said to the teachers, "Have you never read, ’From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?" (Matt. 21:16)
One of the best examples I can use to illustrate the difference between praise and worship is one I see every day when I come home. When my children hear me open the front door, a shout can be heard all throughout the house: "Daddy, Daddy…Yeah! Daddy’s home!"
Kids come running from every which way to hug my legs, to celebrate, to jump, and to shout simply because of the fact that I’m home. My wife and I have three children. When this celebration begins, I usually have all three of them on me at the same time. One will be on my shoulder, another hanging off one of my arms, and the other hugging me, kissing me, or all of the above.
These outward expressions of my children’s inner feelings of admirations, love, and rejoicing are a natural response upon seeing the one they love. No one "taught" them how to express this; it’s something that was birthed in them by God.
As I take them in my arms and tell them how much I love them, they begin telling me that they love me, and they shower me with kisses. Then something happens. Their tone of voice changes, their words, formerly of rejoicing, now become loving and intimate. They say things like: "Daddy, I love you so much… You’re the best dad in the whole world…You’re the most handsome dad." Phrases like that are music to a loving parent’s ears. Through this simple illustration we can see a basic difference between praise (celebration) and worship (Intimacy).
When our heavenly Father arrives, our natural reaction is one of rejoicing, celebration, and praise. Someone we love has arrived. Someone who means everything to us. Our reaction to Him is the same as my children’s reaction when I return home. But once we’ve drawn near to Him, had the privilege of being taken in His arms of love, and have received His caresses, the celebration changes to worship.
In worship we have the opportunity to tell Him our deepest, most intimate thoughts. To do this, one doesn’t need to make a lot of noise. On the contrary, it’s often necessary to speak softly, tenderly, and lovingly in order to make the most of the close communion we are enjoying with Him at that moment.
For many years it was thought that praise and worship were the same thing. Now the Lord has been leading us into the understanding that they are two different things. We must learn how to discern the time we spend with Him, whether in praise or in worship, so that our relationship ca be whole and complete.
The Bible speaks of the difference between these two things time and time again. Today I want to take a look at praise: the naturally festive reaction to the arrival of our Lord among us, or of our "arrival" (coming) before Him.
THREE THINGS THE BIBLE TELLS US PRAISE IS
1. PRAISE IS A PARTY
Ps. 100:1-2 "Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
(CEV) v-1 " Shout praise to the Lord, everyone on the earth.
The Hebrew words used in this passage are ruwa ("shout for joy"), which means "shout, raise a sound, cry out, give a blast," and renanah (joyful song) which means "shout of joy, joyful voice, singing, triumphing and ringing cry."
It’s interesting that in this passage we are ordered to draw near to God with loud and festive rejoicing.
Praise should be more like a party than a funeral. Many of us have false thoughts that coming before the Lord with joy and celebrations is irreverence. Yet the Bible not only teaches us that this is the way to draw near to God; it orders it. As we have heard said many time, "God does not give suggestions, only commandments."
Ps. 145:3 say, "Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise." Another translation says "Great is the Lord and worthy of supreme praise"