Monday, July 29, 2013



Nearly every fast food restaurant today has a "Value Meal". 
These menus contain items that do not cost much, with a wide selection of choices for every taste. Although it's nutritional content may be limited, the menu is designed for people who feel hungry but do not want to spend much time or money on food. Spiritually, are we "Value Meal Christian"? We feel hungry, but in a hurry to get somewhere else, choose only quick bite of so called worship that does not cost much. As a result  of our choice, we often become spiritually weak and under nourished.
What can we do? We need to derive our patterns and practices of worship - all of them - from teaching and examples in God's Word. We must compile the examples and the plain instruction of Scripture and then determine the most reverent way to express our love, thanksgiving, and devotion to God. When our worship is based on the fact of God's Word, then we have a foundation to stand upon even when our feelings fluctuate.

The first recorded example of worship in the Bible is that of Abel and Cain. the second that of Noah.
In Genesis 8:20 we read that Noah walked out of the ark, built an altar, and worshiped God. Why? The Bible does not give a specific reason for Noah's action. But common sense dictates that Noah's immediate circumstances instilled the fear of God in him. He had just survived the greatest cataclysm in the history of mankind. He had been through an amazing sequence of events that left an indelible image of God's power stamped on his mind. Many years earlier, God had revealed to this man His will about the flood of destruction, the ark, and the salvation of his family. He spent much of his life building a structure that made no sense to him or to his incredulous neighbors. But obeyed God's Word as the writer of Hebrews recorded that:
"By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of righteousness which is according to faith." (Hebrews 11:7)
This man of faith must have marveled when it came time to load up the ark. Where did the animals come from? How did they know that they should come to the ark? How did they know where the ark was? apparently, God brought the animals to Noah. Then over the next few months Noah witnessed with his five senses the absolute destruction of all life forms from the entire earth. It was phenomenal! Mind-boggling!
Noah was right to fear God in response to this display of power. Yet Noah had respected God even before God had fully demonstrated His power. From the onset, Noah had done all that God commanded Him (Genesis 7:5), even though men must have have ridiculed and resisted him. While the scoffers jeered, Noah trusted God. Noah completed God's will because he feared God instead of man. As a result of his fear of God, he saw the mass destruction that befell his accusers and he experienced God's hand of deliverance. What did Noah see when he walked out of the ark? How did Noah feel? It is no wonder that he feared God.

Noah worshiped God because he feared God. The Genesis story indicates that the first thing Noah did when he walked out of the ark was to build an altar to the Lord. But noticed that there is no indication that God commanded Noah to build an altar and make a sacrifice.
"So Noah went out, and ... built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar." (Genesis 8:18-20)
Why was the building an altar was Noah's first act upon leaving the ark? Was he following a religious tradition that he believed was expected of him? No, the most reasonable explanation is that Noah, having been delivered from certain destruction, was motivated to worship God by a sincere desire. This explanation is especially probable in light of "clean" animal and every kind of "clean" bird. That statement is an interesting one. Not until hundreds of years later, in the time of Moses, did God incorporate into Israel's sacrificial system a distinction between clean and unclean animals. 
Remembering that Noah took on to the ark two of each kind of unclean animal, but seven of each clean animal. It seems likely that the term "clean animals" is a reference  to those animals that could be domesticated herds. Therefore, when God commanded Noah to take extra number of clean animals, it seems He was preparing to sustain Noah's family with those animals after the flood.  The next chapter, of the Bible contains God's command that allowed the eating of animals for the first time. So although the clean animals played a vital role in the sustaining of his family, Noah gladly sacrificed them in the process of worshiping God.
His example stands in stark contrast to the practice of our own day, when so many Christians prefer worship of convenience, worship that meets their needs but demand nothing from them. It is at this point that "Value-Meal Christianity" may be at odds with the example of Noah.  
Noah worshiped out of a HEART that feared the awesome power of God and was thankful for deliverance from destruction. Then he demonstrated his attitude through worship in which he sacrificed something of himself. Are we doing the same in our own worship?  

The fact that God was satisfied with Noah's sacrifice unfolds a picture of His grace. The account of Noah's sacrifice states that it pleases God, for "the Lord smelled a soothing aroma" (Genesis 8:21). It speaks of the whole person of Noah that was involved in worship. God saw the evidence of Noah's HEART of OBEDIENCE all through his experience with the ark.  He saw Noah's fear. He heard Noah's prayers. And God was pleased. He accepted this expression of worship. 
That wonderful grace of God must undergird our worship. If Noah had not experienced God's grace, he would not have been able to give Him true worship. Noah's life and practice teach us a very important truth. When we attempt to live for God, to serve and worship Him, without applying His grace to our lives, our efforts result in worship that is not pleasing to God. (an extract from True Worship by David Whitcomb and Mark Ward)

Monday, July 22, 2013





A good place to begin the study of TRUE WORSHIP is with the first example of worship found in the Bible, the story of Cain and Abel. In this account we learn that these two sons of Adam and Eve were different, not only in age and occupation, but also in character. 
Abel was a submissive shepherd (Genesis 4). This fact in itself, however, did not give him any natural advantage with God over his brother. Abel did not please God more simply because he was a keeper of sheep and Cain was a tiller of the soil. Yet shepherding was Abel's chosen profession, a choice that was based probably on a desire and ability to work with animals. It seems likely that Abel was quite satisfied that shepherding placed him in God's will.
What was obvious from Genesis 4 is that Abel understood God's requirements regarding sacrifices and offerings. "And the Lord respected Abel and his offerings" (Genesis 4:4). When it was time to bring an offering to God, it appears there was no argument from him - he was submissive to God's will and purposes.
In contrast to Abel, Cain was a farmer. When it came to pleasing God, Cain was not at a disadvantage simply because of his occupation. Farmer was then, as it is now, good and honest work. The prophet Amos was a farmer too - God certainly did not condemn Cain for his line of work. The Bible does not say why God rejected Cain's sacrifice.

Indeed it seems reasonable to assume that Cain was equal to Abel in his knowledge of God's requirement for offerings and sacrifices. But instead of submitting to God's parameters regarding his offerings, Cain chose to do his own thing in his own way. How do we know this? We read in Matthew 23:34-35 that Jesus in His discussion with the Pharisees declares that Abel was righteous and equal in status to one of the prophets - that meant that Abel had received God's Words and lived as a godly example before his brother Cain. Hebrews 11:4 states, "By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous." This is an affirmation that Abel exercised faith in what he knew about God, and that he did so not only in daily life but specifically when it came time to express worship fulfilling God's requirement. Whereas Cain worshiped the way he did because he had a HEART that was predisposed to oppose God. How do we know this? Jude writes, condemning rebellious teachers, "Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain." (Jude 11). Cain did not hesitate to do something religious, but his HEART was far removed from God.

"And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the first born of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry and his countenance fell." (Genesis 4:3-4)
Even though their outward offerings of worship seemed very similar, Cain and Abel offered different expressions of worship - because their HEARTS were different. Of course, it was to be expected that the outward expressions of their worship would be similar, since both men were aware of God's requirements:
1) Both Men brought their offerings to God at a set time 
- Here the Hebrew words translated "in the process of time" literally mean "at the end of time." What was that end? Maybe it referred to a thanksgiving offering that God prescribed at the end of the year or at the end of harvest in order to call man's attention to God's goodness. Maybe the phrase points to the end of the week, a Sabbath that commemorated God's day of rest after six days of creation.
2) Both also engaged in worship in the same place
- The words "brought ... an offering unto the Lord" probably indicate a specified location.
3) Both Cain and Abel were engaged in acts of worship 
-  The simple action action of presenting an offering implies bowing down before the mighty God to express submission or obedience. At least outwardly, Cain and Abel appeared to be doing the same thing. Yet beyond the apparent similarities, Cain and Abel were actually quite different in their expression of worship.
The distinction is an important one, and it applies to everything we see in the world of religion today. Not all expressions of worship are truly worship. Abel's worship proved that he had a HEART of submission to the Lord: he understood God's Words and trusted them, and he acknowledged God's authority to prescribe worship. He also expressed his submission by giving God the BEST he had to offer. "Abel also brought of the FIRSTBORN of his flock and their fat." (Genesis 4:4) - these terms always indicate a sacrifice of the BEST!
By contrast, Cain's worship was empty and self-centered. He knew God's requirements and he did what God required him to do - but no more. "Cain brought an offering of fruit of the ground to the Lord ... but [the Lord] did not respect Cain and his offering." (Genesis 4:3, 5).Fruit was an acceptable offering (i.e Mosaic law includes grain offering), but notice the glaring omission - the text does not say that Cain, as compared to Abel, offered his first or his BEST. Therefore we cannot say that Cain's offering of grain was inherently less acceptable than Abel's blood offering. 


What was the difference? Cain and Abel worshiped at the same time, at the same place, and through the same outward actions. But God "had respect" for Abel's expression of worship; the phrase means that He regarded it favorably and accepted it kindly. In other words God was predisposed toward the kind of worship Abel offered.
However, God "did not respect" Cain's expression of worship. Why not? What was wrong with Cain's worship?
Cain proved by his response to God's disapproval that his HEART was not right before God. When God disapproved of his worship style, "Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell" (Genesis 4:5). He did not ask for forgiveness or accept correction. Instead, he took his anger out on his brother, whose righteousness highlighted his own unrighteousness. That attitude characterized Cain's HEART, and it became obvious in his worship.
Cain became angry, and then he compounded his problems by refusing to do well. "If you do well, will you not be accepted?" the Lord asked; "and if you do not do well, sin lies at the door" (Genesis 4:7). When God rebukes us, as He did Cain, for failing to have a RIGHT HEART in worship, we still have the opportunity to do good. God challenged Cain to that end, but Cain was not interested. Instead of dealing with the sin expressed itself in false worship, he refused to acknowledge his error. That refusal led him into a downward spiral until he committed the ultimate sin of the flesh - murder.
(an extract from True Worship by David Whitcomb & Mark Ward)

In conclusion, THE ESSENCE OF TRUE WORSHIP - is expressed by those who have A RIGHTEOUS HEART - those who are intimately acquainted with and has a daily relationship with God exhibited through OBEDIENCE

Monday, July 15, 2013


"True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is a spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
John 4:23-24

The dictionary defines "Essence" as the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work. So when we speaks of the Essence of Worship, we are speaking of that "True Worship" which God is after.

The Greek word (Strongs G4352) for worship - PROSKUNEOto kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence

The Hebrew word (Strongs H7812) for worship - SHACHAH:  - to bow down, to prostrate oneself  before God in worship 

All of those in the Bible who encountered the living God in His glory fell on their face in worship. Both the Greek and Hebrew word speak about "bowing down" - do we see this often in our weekly worship service? Or more directly do we personally practice bowing down in our personal worship? But if bowing down becomes a form than it becomes a ritual and that's what God hates! (see Proverb 15:8). When our worship becomes superficial, it is an attempt to brush Him off and get on with the self-life. It bears the appearance of devotion, but there is nothing of relationship in it - no love, no honor, no passion.  

The Essence of True Worship is an attitude of the HEART that continually acknowledges God and values His character. In order for us to understand the Essence of True Worship, we need to go the Bible and apply the Law of First Mention, a principle that states the first time a word or idea is mentioned in Scripture is significant, for it sets a foundation and framework for any other time the word is used throughout the Scripture.

We first see the word "worship" in Genesis 22 in the account of Abraham offering up his son Isaac. "And Abraham said to his young men stay here with the donkey, I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship and return to you" (verse 5 emphasis added). Abraham did not go up to the mountain with a guitar or to sing a slow song. He was going up there to offer his most precious son Isaac! - this is the original context of the Essence of True Worship!  

What is the Essence of True Worship? What does it mean to present yourself as "living sacrifice"(Romans 12:1)? Is there a set time and place for it, or does it encompass all of our lives? Worship defines the relationship between God and His people and touches every aspect of our existence. 

Pastor John W. Stevenson in his book "Worshiper By Design - A Unique Look At Why We Were Created" aptly defines that "A WORSHIPER - is one who is INTIMATELY acquainted with, and has a DAILY relationship with GOD exhibited through OBEDIENCE."  The life of a "Lifestyle Worshiper" involves Faith, Obedience and Sacrifice: 
 Faith - Without faith it is impossible to please God
Worship Is In The Heart and not in the art
Obedience - Doer of the WORD
Sacrifice - Bowing Down to His ways
Reverence - The Fear of the LORD
Holiness - Set apart for His GLORY
Fellowship - Friend of GOD

THE ESSENCE OF TRUE WORSHIP is more than singing a song, a good feel or nice lyrics led by a worship team in the corporate gathering. We often think of worship as words and songs that come out of our mouths. It is so much more. It is a LIFESTYLE, a sacrificial way of living that acknowledges every moment of every day that there is ONE far more worthy of our allegiance than ourselves. When His interests consistently supersede ours, and we act accordingly, we are worshiping.

TPWC will attempt to share and expound more on the series of the ESSENCE OF TRUE WORSHIP in the forth coming posts.
Have a blessed and victorious week!

Monday, July 08, 2013


Are you trapped in a prison of despair, doubt or anxiety? Learn to release the power of praise. The apostle Paul's letter to the Philippians is one of the Bible's most unique books. Some scholars call it "the epistle of joy" because the word "joy" or "rejoice" appear in it 16 times. Yet what is amazing is that this letter about Christian joy was written from a prison cell! While Paul was under the watchful eye of Roman guards, bound in chains, he wrote some of the most uplifting spiritual words ever penned. In the letter's four short chapters the author continually exhorts us to praise God no matter how dark our circumstances are. He writes: "I will rejoice" (Philippians 1:18, NASB), "I rejoice and share my joy with you all" (Philippians 2:17), "I urge you, rejoice in the same way" (Philippians 2:18), "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord" (Philippians 3:1) and "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4)."Paul always looked for the hidden blessing in every trial. Have you been complaining about your situation? Grumbling short-circuits faith, but joy revives it."Like a broken record, Paul hammers the same theme over and over and over. REJOICE! The word "rejoice" actually means "to re-joy." It's like a reset button on a computer. When any type of electronic equipment goes out of whack, a reset button will get it back online. That is what happens when we rejoice: The joy we've lost is restored and our feeble faith rises again.
Perhaps Paul wrote this message to the Philippians because he remembered his first visit there. It was in Philippi that Paul and Silas were arrested and thrown into jail by the city's magistrates. Yet while the two men sat with their feet fastened in stocks, they began to pray and sing hymns. Long before the invention of sub-woofers, this Holy Ghost jam session triggered an earthquake that shook the foundations of the prison and shattered everyone's chains (see Acts 16:25-26).
Do you feel bound by your circumstances? I know I do. Sometimes I feel literally trapped in a tiny prison of limitation and delay. And because of today's weak economy, many people who have enjoyed a carefree life in the past are facing job loss, financial uncertainty, debt and a dismal lack of opportunity. Yet when I pray about my own situation I always am led back to the ancient words of Paul to the Philippians: "Rejoice in the Lord!"
Perhaps right now, in this difficult season, you need to put Paul's message on your iPod and play it over and over. The supernatural joy that is released in praise will do many things:

Praise shatters despair
You think your situation is hopeless? Paul was under house arrest, and he couldn't leave his cell to preach the gospel. Yet he wrote: "Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that [my imprisonment] will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:18b-19). Know that God is working behind the scenes. The clouds over your head may be dark, but praise will lift you above them so you can see the sun again.

Praise shatters negativity
Have you been complaining about your situation? Stop talking trash. Remember that Paul was in chains when he wrote: "Do all things without grumbling or disputing" (Phil. 2:14). He knew the children of Israel were barred from the Promised Land because they grumbled against the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:10). Grumbling short-circuits faith, but joy revives it. Paul always looked for the hidden blessing in every trial, to the point that he thanked God even in the midst of shipwrecks, beatings, riots, death threats and starvation.

Praise shatters doubt
When you stop praising, you get stuck in the muck and mire of your own problems. All you can see is the here and now. But something supernatural happens when you rejoice in the Lord. You are lifted out of the prison of impossibility and translated into a realm where you can do "all things through Him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). When you praise, you go into a phone booth looking like Clark Kent and you come out looking like Superman!

Praise shatters anxiety
Paul said that when we hit the "rejoice" button and replace worry with joy-filled prayer, "the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7). Joy will calm your anxious heart and allow you to receive the promises of God.

Way back in 1970 a military chaplain named Merlin Carothers wrote a
small book called Prison to Praise. Today it has sold more than 17 million
copies in 53 languages. It challenges readers to thank and praise God in the midst of difficulties—and it's full of testimonies of everyday people who experienced miraculous breakthroughs when they obeyed this simple principle.
What Carothers wrote 40 years ago is still relevant today: "The very act of praise releases the power of God into a set of circumstances and enables God to change them. Miracles, power and victory will all be a part of what God does in our lives when we learn to rejoice in all things."

Source : Charisma Online - by J. Lee Glady (contributing editor of Charisma)

Monday, July 01, 2013


"Praise is the greatest work God's children can ever do. It is the loftiest expression the Saints can ever show. The highest manifestation of spiritual life is seen in men praising God." Watchman Nee - Assembling Together

"Praise is not something we experience occasionally, but is a garment which will be worn constantly by the last-day church (Isaiah 61:1-3). The garment of praise is the perfect answer for the depressions which are common to this generation." E. Charlotte Baker - On Eagles Wings

"The sacrifice of praise is the choice of every believer. You cannot be a successful worshipper without recognising the importance of your will in offering a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving." Terry Law - The Power of Praise and Worship

"Praise is a door to God's presence." Warren and Ruth Myers - Praise is a Door

"To praise the Lord for something He has done for us is easy, to praise God after we have been emotionally stirred toward Him is not difficult, but to praise the Lord as a sacrifice is a different matter. The way we feel from day to day fluctuates and changes, but God's Word is unchanging. We do not rely upon feelings to be in an attitude of praise but rather we recognise that His unchanging Word and His constant characteristics demand a people with a constant and unchanging attitude to His Word and commandment. We are therefore enjoined to offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips (not our feelings), giving thanks to His name." B. Maureen Gaglardi - The Key of David

"Praise releases the power of God into our lives and circumstances, because praise is faith in action. Praise is a permanent acceptance of what God has brought into our lives. We enter this attitude of praise by an act of our will, by a decision to praise God regardless of how we feel." Merlin R. Carothers - Power in Praise

Until the practice of praise in private is continuous and free, the practice of corporate praise will be inhibited by fear, self-consciousness and discomfort. The practice in the corporate sense is absolutely indispensable to the maximum worship experience." Jack R. Taylor - The Hallelujah Factor

"Praise is not a mass function, it is the response of an individual to His God. When a group of individual choose to unite in praising, their individual praises may blend into a group response, but every expression of the praise comes from a separate individual." Judson Cornwall - Let Us Praise

"Warfare through praise does not dictate to God what He should do ... it praises Him for His wisdom and might, recognising that He is capable of setting the problem in the best possible manner. We do not focus on the battle or the enemy; we look only to the solution - God!" - "But the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits." (Daniel 11:32) Bob Sorge - Exploring Worship

"Praise is born in faith, is an instrument of war and a method of creating an atmosphere for the presence of the Lord. Praise requires effort, will power and boldness." - TPWC