Volume. XXXII, No. 2
Sunday, 09 July 2017

Spiritual Disciplines Part Eight

Similar to prayer, most Christians would have some experience in worship. In some churches, the music team and song leaders are called 'the worship team'. So, is worship just about leading the congregation to sing hymns and songs to God? Singing is probably the easiest way for us to thank, praise, adore and glorify God but, worship is not solely singing. It is any act that causes us as a cooperate body of Christ, to focus on God; to praise, thank, adore and glorify Him. Most of the time, we find this time joyful. But what about in difficult times, times when we are in trouble, ill, being persecuted, when the possibility or notion of joy seems far away. In those times, worship becomes a discipline. It becomes our choice in spite of our personal feelings. It becomes a sacrifice of worship.

i)    Why would we want to practice it?
Revelation 4:11, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power.” We worship Him at all times, be it difficult or tedious because it is right and just to praise Him. It does not matter how we feel or what may be happening around us. Worship takes our eyes and focus off ourselves and our problems so that we focus instead on the One who deserves our focus. On who He is, on what He has done for us and is doing for us. When we do that, our perspective changes. Our faith in Him grows and we get a renewal of our hope in His future for us.
Paul in Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” The word 'service' has been translated to 'worship' in other translations. Worship is a service to God. Our sacrifice to God in worship and service must cost us. If it does not cost us, it is not a sacrifice. What is the cost to us when we worship God? What does it cost us when we come for Wednesday night prayer and Bible studies? What does it cost us when we attend church service on Sunday mornings? What is our cost when we join a neighborhood Bible study group? Hebrews 10:25, tells us, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is:” by faithfully attending cooperate worship, we learn the discipline of worship until it becomes a habit that we would feel uncomfortable if we missed it.
When our focus is centered on God during worship, when we concentrate on how He is worthy of our highest praise, we are less likely to love other things more than we love Him. In this, it helps us to stave off temptations.

Every time we worship God, we re-calibrate our focus on Him and this helps us to stay the course of the race that is before us.

ii)    What does it look like in practice?
The most familiar forms of worship are those that take place in a Christian assembly: our presence, our worship on Sundays and attending the various groups that meet during the week to study God’s word. We attend these and set aside our mental distractions and focus our attention on God while we are there.
Other than these, we can practice worship in our daily lives, in private worship. When we are physically exhausted, loaded down with discouragement, fear, confusion, doubt or uncertainty, we can take a few moments to lift our praises to God; in words, in song or even in silence. This we offer as a “sacrifice of praise” to God as described in Hebrews 13:15.

iii)     What are some indicators that we might need this discipline?
•    We have a habit of skipping church service for insignificant reasons.
•    When we are worshipping, our minds wander off.
•    We are battling discouragement, fears, confusion, doubts, and uncertainty in our lives and about God.
•    We are struggling against temptations that seem to overwhelm us.

iv)     How might we start?
•    Resolve to attend church services faithfully and find someone in the congregation to hold us to account.
•    Arrive at the church service early and spend a few minutes quietly focusing on God and prepare our hearts for worship.
•    Whenever temptation strikes or we get overwhelmed by problems, spend some time with God in praise, thanksgiving and adoration. Sing songs or pray aloud with words that give Him glory for who He is. Recall what He has done for us with gratitude and express our confidence in Him, knowing that He is in control of all the mayhem that is around us.

To be continued…
Dn Kevin Low

More Lively Hope



Winter break – There will be no Adult Sunday School, AFG, Ladies’ Fellowship, Mandarin Bible Study, Neighbourhood Bible Study & Wed Bible Study in July.
Annual Congregational Meeting – All members are expected to attend. Please keep this evening free.
Ministry, Fellowship & Committee Reports for ACM to be sent to Elder Colin Gan by 16 July.
Adult & Junior RPG for Jul-Sep available. Donations $1 per booklet.
Kitchen Duty helpers - This week: Team B. Next week: Team C.

Looking ahead
Annual Congregation Meeting, Sat, 5 Aug.
Baptism, Re-Affirmation & Membership Transfer, Sun, 6 Aug.
Holiday Bible Club, 9-13 Oct.

Prayer Items
Healing: Bro Yick Ho Lam’s father (cancer); Mr Balan Sanders (home); Sisters Peng Moi Gan (Sis Peng Ha Yeo’s sister), & Christabelle Selvanayagam.
Journey mercies: Bro Daniel & Sis Clara Ki (S’pore); Sisters Giok & Audrey Yeo (Adl); & others travelling.
God’s guidance & help with starting a Bible College.



© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041