IS IT PRAISE, OR IS IT WORSHIP, PART 3

Lord I hand It To YouIn Parts 1   and 2 of this article, we explored four distinct differences between praise and worship.  They are as follows:

  1. Anyone can praise Him, but only those who are in Him can worship Him
  2. You can praise apart from worship, but you cannot worship apart from praise.
  3. Praise invites Him to come, but worship invites Him to stay
  4. Praise ushers in His presence, but worship ushers in His habitation

Now let’s wrap up this series by examining the final three distinctions.

DISTINCTION #5:  Praise acknowledges Him as God, but worship reveres Him as MY GOD Continue reading “IS IT PRAISE, OR IS IT WORSHIP, PART 3”

IS IT PRAISE, OR IS IT WORSHIP, Part 2

1228667_64030698During our last Worship Factor post entitled “Is It Praise, Or Is It Worship, Part 1”, we discussed the first two distinct differences between praise and worship that were listed in the article entitled “Tapping Into The Image Of Christ.  The distinctions discussed were:

DISTINCTION #1:  Anyone Can Praise Him, But Only Those Who Are In Him Can Worship Him

DISTINCTION #2:  You Can Praise Apart From Worship, But You Cannot Worship Apart From Praise.[i]

Each distinction are equally important so if you missed last weeks article, click here to gain a better understanding of these two distinctions. 

Today, we will continue this discussion by expounding on the next two distinctions.  Due to their similarities, we will cover them simultaneously.

NOT ALL INVITATIONS ARE CREATED EQUAL Continue reading “IS IT PRAISE, OR IS IT WORSHIP, Part 2”

IS IT PRAISE, OR IS IT WORSHIP? Part 1

1019315_70338403In the early 80s, I worked in Chicago as an intern relying on public transportation for my daily commute.  After working second shift one night, I encountered a drunk man on my bus ride home.  He approached me with a not-so-enticing proposal asking if I had a husband. 

Attempting to take advantage of an opportunity to either preach Christ or to get this not-so-nice-smelling man off my back (whichever came first), I replied, “Yes, as a matter of fact!  I’m married to Jesus”.

“He’s the author and finisher of my faith too”, he exclaimed in a “how about that!” tone. 

Flabbergasted, I exited the bus thanking God that I arrived at my stop before having to pursue the conversation any further and prayed that he wouldn’t become my midnight stalker.

This drunkard acknowledged God.  He didn’t have a problem praising God.  Did that make him a worshipper? Continue reading “IS IT PRAISE, OR IS IT WORSHIP? Part 1”

ESPOUSED WORSHIP: Factor In A Little Give and Take

file000804537121One of the things I enjoy so much about the Bible are all the shadows, types, metaphors, allegories, parables and analogies; each providing the student of the word of God with a richer understanding of who He is and His intentions for us.  But one analogy that I’ve grown quite fond of is Paul’s depiction of our relationship with Christ compared with the relationship between a husband and a wife.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

(Ephesians 5:22-25)

While Paul is providing practical instruction in this passage to married couples; these same instructions provide a pictorial of worship at its roots, thus the same instructions apply. If worship is founded upon intimacy, then one may use the institution of marriage to illustrate worship. Continue reading “ESPOUSED WORSHIP: Factor In A Little Give and Take”

The Heart Of Worship

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And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. (Genesis 22:5)

Mahatma Ghandi once cited that there are seven deadly sins:  “politics without principles, pleasure without conscience, wealth without work, knowledge without character, business without morality, science  without humanity, and worship without sacrifice.[i] 

We often sing the song “I’m coming back to the heart of worship”[ii], but what lies at the heart of worship?  In one word, the answer is sacrifice. Continue reading “The Heart Of Worship”

The Ultimate Language Of Love

Photo provided by: Muriel Miralles de Sawicki
Photo provided by: Muriel Miralles de Sawicki

What language would you consider the most romantic?  I decided to google this just to get an idea of the average opinion on “The Top Tens List”.[1] Of course the poll was not scientific, but the findings were quite interesting.

I’ve always heard that French was “the language of love”.  After all, what sounds better than “je t’aime”?  But interestingly enough, it wasn’t ranked #1.

During my college years, I worked as an intern.  My manager was a very handsome older Greek man. I never thought much of him until the day I said something funny and he laughingly said, “Sharon, Sharon, Sharon” in his Greek accent.  OMG!  I almost melted.  I don’t know that I ever saw him in the same light after that. Whenever I would see him I would think “Please, just say my name!  Say my name!”  But low and behold, Greek wasn’t even among the top ten.  So much for “se agapợ” Continue reading “The Ultimate Language Of Love”

The Image Of Worship: What Does Worship Look Like?


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If you want good fruit, you must make the tree good. If your tree is not good, it will have bad fruit. A tree is known by the kind of fruit it produces. (Matthew 12:33, Easy To Read Version)

Having spent several years in South Africa, one of the cultural norms I’ve discovered is ancestral worship.  Most black South Africans who have are not born again seem to cling to this tradition.  It is a tradition that has literally split families apart once family members decide to serve Jesus Christ and Him alone.  There are various “acts of worship” that many people in this society incorporate into their lifestyles.  There is the slaughtering of animals as an offering to appease the ancestors.  Many people seek Sangomas (witch doctors) to consult their ancestors for guidance, healing, or what they perceive to be blessings.  Even some of the poorest of the poor erect elaborate tomb-stones in honor of the dead.  In some cultures, the departed’s name is no longer allowed to be spoken depending on his/her status in the community. Continue reading “The Image Of Worship: What Does Worship Look Like?”