First Things First

In corporate worship, we come to “put in,” not to “get out.”

—Emmett Price

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Worship Is for God

I am concerned when people say, as they do about certain occasions, “We want to have a meaningful worship experience.” Generally I find that the concern is not so much on what this worship is going to do for God, but on what it is going to do for the worshiper.

Stephen Charnock, the Puritan, wrote these words, “When we believe that we should be satisfied rather than God glorified, we put God below ourselves as though He had been made for us and not we for Him.” Worshiping in the spirit means that our spirits will be seeking God’s honor, God’s glory and God’s pleasure.

—Eric Alexander, “Worship: The Glory of Revival” Reformation and Revival Journal Vol. 2, No. 1 (Winter 1993)

Giving Thanks (2)

In the case of the God of the universe, such possibility of return [reciprocation for a favor bestowed] dissipates, as no human beings can offer anything in return that can do justice to the gift received. The only proper response, then, is praise and worship. In describing divine-human encounter, therefore, thanksgiving and praise understandably merge and become the one and only proper and response to God who is the source of all power and goodness.

In short, to offer thanks to God is to live a life of worship.

—David W. Pao, Thanksgiving: An Investigation of a Pauline Theme, 28, 164

The Audience of One

If we define all that we are before our great Caller and live our lives before one audience—the Audience of One—then we cannot define or decide our own achievements and our own success. It is not for us to say what we have accomplished. It is not for us to pronounce ourselves successful. It is not for us to spell out what our legacy has been. Indeed, it is not even for us to know. Only the Caller can say.

—Os Guinness, The Call

Not the Center

Biblically shaped worship is a powerful way to remind ourselves that although we are beloved by God, we’re not really the star of our own story. Only in union with Christ by the Spirit are we the children of God and brothers and sisters in the community of faith. 

—Robbie F. Castleman, Story Shaped Worship: Following Patterns from the Bible and History, 203-4