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Summary: This message looks at the Pharisee and tax collectors attitude toward worship.

“Coming Back to the Heart of Worship”

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

History of the heart of worship.

Luke 18:9-14 (quickview) 

9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed[a] thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortionist, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The song dates back to the late 1990s, born from a period of apathy within Matt’s home church, Soul Survivor, in Watford, England. Despite the country’s overall contribution to the current worship revival, Redman’s congregation was struggling to find meaning in its musical outpouring at the time.

“There was a dynamic missing, so the pastor did a pretty brave thing,” he recalls. “He decided to get rid of the sound system and band for a season, and we gathered together with just our voices. His point was that we’d lost our way in worship, and the way to get back to the heart would be to strip everything away.”

Reminding his church family to be producers in worship, not just consumers, the pastor, Mike Pilavachi, asked, “When you come through the doors on a Sunday, what are you bringing as your offering to God?”

Matt says the question initially led to some embarrassing silence, but eventually people broke into a cappella songs and heartfelt prayers, encountering God in a fresh way.

“Before long, we reintroduced the musicians and sound system, as we’d gained a new perspective that worship is all about Jesus, and He commands a response in the depths of our souls no matter what the circumstance and setting. ‘The Heart of Worship’ simply describes what occurred.”

When the music fades, all is stripped away, and I simply come / Longing just to bring something that’s of worth that will bless your heart… / I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about You, Jesus

Redman remembers writing the song quickly in his bedroom soon after the church’s journey together, with no grand intentions, by any means, for it to become an international anthem. He viewed the words simply as his personal, subjective response to what he was learning about worship.

WORSHIP IS MUCH MORE THAN SINGING SONGS!

WORSHIP INVOLVES OUR DAILY LIVES---Worship be more than just going through the motions.

ILL: Slipping through the Spiritual cracks: Each year we read or hear of students who have slipped through the cracks! They can barely read and teachers have passed them on to the next grade. There are many who have gone to church their whole lives and they have spiritually slipped through the cracks. The went to VBS, attended camp. They participated n the kid’s Christmas program and they baptized into Christ at a young age. They went to Sunday School and communion and bowed the head in a somber way. They come to church each Lord’s day. They make notes during the sermon and stand and sit, kneel through the service. As they walk out the door they get in the car and cuss because of the traffic. They throw their bible into the back of the car where it will stay until the next week. They love lord and appreciate what Jesus did, but somehow they have lost the heart of worship.


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