Tuesday Refocus

Posts Tagged with "corporate worship"

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5 September 2017

The second movement of the Gospel story liturgy is 'The Fall.' Sin has distorted, warped and broken everything and everyone. As we gather God's people, some enter acutely aware of this reality addiction, illness, suffering, death, fractured relationships, fears, the list is endless. Those people need to be reminded that they are not alone in their sin here we are as a f...

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13 December 2016

'Worship expresses in song what God's Word is teaching. It is training our heart to believe and calling others to believe God's Word is true.' Kevin Peck This past Sunday we sang of 'Emmanuel' in song after song. That God is with us, God is among us, God is for us (Matt 1:23, Rom 8:31, Jn 1:14). But do we actually believe that is true? And I don't mean theoretically unde...

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6 December 2016

'Applying the Word should lead to praising the Lord.' Mark Dever What does it mean to apply God's Word to your life? To live in light of, in response to, and obedience toward what it says 'I have stored up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.' Ps 119:11 Scripture points us to Jesus. And in God's Word we see who we are and who we were made to be a p...

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22 November 2016

'In today's hurrying age, I am firmly persuaded that many Christians don't give time enough to the private reading of Scriptures.' JC Ryle Whether the stable and steady, or the uncertain and fearful I find myself returning to two places again and again: God's Word and God-songs songs that anchor the truth of God's Word to my soul. 'Be to me a rock of refuge, to which ...

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15 November 2016

'As Christians we do not look at the Bible from outside. We live in it. It is our story.' Lesslie Newbigin Scripture is God's Word that in every place from start to finish shouts of Jesus (2 Tim 3:16, Jn 5:39). It is our story, because we are a part of God's Story History. We are 'rooted and built up' in His Story (Col 2:7). And as we gather we look to His story, and a...

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8 November 2016

'That's the story of worship: God creates, sin corrupts, but Christ redeems. And all of us get to sing along.' Mike Cosper If God had not redeemed us, He would still be worthy of worship. But how much more should our hearts desire to rejoice when we see God's glory on display against the black, broken backdrop of our sin? Each week as we gather, we are retelling the Gos...

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1 November 2016

'Thy glory o'er creation shines, but in Thy sacred Word I read in fairer, brighter lines, my bleeding, dying Lord.' Anne Steele We see God's glory on display in creation. He has set His glory in the heavens. The skies proclaim His handiwork (Ps 19:1). From the slightest colour to the greatest cosmos, everything is spinning in worship of our Creator God. But God has also...

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25 October 2016

'We can spare everything except the Word. We profit nothing so much as by the Word.' Martin Luther Worship is always a response. And in our sung corporate worship, we are responding to God's Word, with God's Word, from God's Word and because of God's Word. It is read, taught, applied, prayed, sung, meditated on and lived out in our gathered time God's Word is sharper th...

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4 October 2016

'A dependent heart begets a humble heart. A humble heart begets a grateful heart. A grateful heart begets a joyful heart.' Burk Parsons Dependence: 'In His hand is the life over every living thing and the breath of all mankind.' Job 12:10 Humble: 'When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that...

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27 September 2016

'A rejoicing heart soon makes a praising tongue.' Spurgeon What causes a heart to rejoice? For the Christ follower there are infinite reasons that could move our hearts to rejoicing and our mouths to praise. If we look to Colossians for an opportunity for a rejoicing heart we will see over and over the common thread of our union with Christ. Received Him (2:6), filled in...

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20 September 2016

'O God, turn my soul from leaning on the things You have made, and may it lean on You who have made these things so wonderfully.' Augustine We love and admire gifts in all their forms. And while gifts should kindle affection for the giver, too easily we are drawn away to simply enjoy the gift itself. This is an exchange of glory (Rom 1:23). God is the giver of every goo...

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13 September 2016

'How long will it be before we discover we cannot dazzle God with our accomplishments? When will we acknowledge that we need not and cannot buy God's favour?' Brennan Manning Paul's sermon this past Sunday reminded me of this quote. We are those that have first received - nothing to earn, nothing to prove, it is all grace, all a gift of God (1 Cor 4:7). We have received...

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6 September 2016

'I am a person of the bent knee, the upturned hand, and the full heart.' E Stanley Jones If there was ever a posture and progression for the servant leader certainly this is it. Bent knee I once heard Louie Giglio say 'You should never stand in front of people before you have first been on your knees.' Bowing is an act of reverence (Phil 2:10), humility (Ps 146:8), de...

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30 August 2016

'Glory in His holy name, let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.' 1 Chronicles 16:10 Words are important. We need to use them carefully and work to make the familiar fresh again. And as those who lead in sung corporate worship, it is also important that we work to understand and explain the familiar words that carry a depth of meaning which enrich the songs we...

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23 August 2016

'Our perennial spiritual and psychological task is to look at things familiar until they become unfamiliar again.' GK Chesterton Have you ever done that thing where you repeat a word until it sounds weird all of the sudden? You have made the familiar unfamiliar once more. How quickly as those who lead corporate sung worship can the songs we sing, the versions and styles...

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16 August 2016

"Even when every other way is closed, the way of prayer is open." - E. Stanley Jones I shared on Sunday, songs are more than melody and lyrics they are prayers. These 'sung prayers' are the things that we believe, and the things that we want to believe. They echo father's cry of the boy with the unclean spirit: 'I believe! Help my unbelief!' (Mark 9:24) Our words in pra...

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9 August 2016

'Only after all the noise has spent itself do we begin to hear in the silence of our hearts, the voice of God.' AW Tozer In a world busy and loud, silence is uncomfortable. But the wisest man who ever lived declared: 'To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools.' Silence is both external: 'Be not rash with your mouth let your words be few;' and...

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2 August 2016

'witness is overheard worship.' Harold Best One of my favourite examples of worship leading of servant leadership in all of Scripture is John the Baptist. Witness to the light but not the source (Jn 1:8). The voice declaring but not the Christ (Jn 1:23). Sent of God but not worthy to untie the sandals of Christ (1:6, 27). We come already worshiping to our gathered ...

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26 July 2016

'Herein is wonder of wonders: He came below to raise me above, was born like me that I might become like Him.' The Valley of Vision Our world is loud, chaotic, distracted and completely bored. Even Christians are not immune we too must fight to allow the truth of the gospel to win our affections afresh in every moment. Servant leaders serve. They call out the beauty i...

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19 July 2016

'Oh God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more.' AW Tozer There is something very special about our gathered time as God's people in His presence to pour out His praises (Psalm 22:3, Matthew 18:20). But as we know, worship is not just what happens on Sunday morning. Worship is who we are and how we live every moment of ever...

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12 July 2016

'The word minister is not a title of power but a designation of servanthood.' - Francis Schaeffer On this team, we are all ministers serving in the area of music. Minister literally meaning, 'one who attends to the needs of others.' And what is the greatest need of the people we serve? To be made right with God. A need we cannot remedy only Christ can reconcile relation...

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5 July 2016

'Confidence without arrogance, humility without self-pity, power without swagger only the gospel steadies us.' Jared C. Wilson The gospel. The good news of who Jesus is, what He has done and who we are in light of that truth is the most important thing you will hear today and the day after that... and the day after that. The gospel is the most important thing for you to...

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28 June 2016

'It is true that God humbles us. Scripture also says to humble ourselves. In the formation of our own hearts, we have a part to play.' Scott Sauls In an instant, upon accepting Christ you were justified (declared righteous) with a righteousness not your own, but one that has been imputed (assigned/ascribed) to you by Christ's perfect life, death and resurrection (Philipp...

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21 June 2016

'Those saints stand highest in God's sight who are lowest in their own; the more glory is theirs, the more humble they are at heart.' Thomas Kempis More than any other prayer, the thing I ask God for this team is that we would see Him for who He truly is. No cheap substitute. No man-made shadow. No false 21st century slant, but the one true God, high and lifted up (1 Co...

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14 June 2016

'Being servants of all is the highest fulfillment of our destiny, as men created in the image of God.' Andrew Murray Every single human is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). But as followers of Christ, we not only bear the image of God, but carry the presence of God inside of us (Romans 8:11). We experience His presence together as we gather with fellow believers ...

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7 June 2016

'...O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel, and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word.' 1 Kings 18:36 This is the heart cry of a servant leader. Let it be known When God reveals Himself, the servant leader responds in emboldened declaration of that reality to the world (Jn 1:29)...

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31 May 2016

'I shall be humble enough to receive, grateful enough to pass on.' E. Stanley Jones What do we have that we did not receive (1 Corinthians 4:7)? Everything is a gift from our good, gracious Heavenly Father who uses each gift for His purpose (James 1:17, Philippians 2:13). Seen through the eyes of faith, even trouble, trial and difficulty can be a 'gift' conforming us to ...

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3 May 2016

'No man ever saw God and lived. And yet, I shall not live till I see God; and when I see Him, I shall never die.' John Donne What a thought that the glory, perfection, and beauty of God that is too much for sinful people to look upon, that dwelt in the midst of His people, that hovered in veiled-separation, that was ushered into unhindered relationship through the cross...

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26 April 2016

'Everything about Jesus spoke of servitude: if Jesus is our model of leadership there can be no avoidance of the style by pastors.' Eugene Peterson The best leaders are first followers. All believers are leaders in varying arenas whose lives and leadership should flow from a constant communion and submission to the leadership of Christ. What does it mean to be a servant...

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19 April 2016

'His service alone is perfect freedom.' Thomas Crammer On the surface what can appear like freedom, is actually being enslaved no responsibilities, no authority, no accountability, no obligations. It is the way that appears right in our hearts, but leads to death (Proverbs 14:12). As followers of Christ, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free (Galatians 5:1). An...

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12 April 2016

'Abandonment of ourselves is the kernel of consecration, not presenting our gifts, but presenting ourselves without reserve.' Oswald Chambers God has both given you life, and given you unique gifts (Genesis 2:7, Job 33:4, 1 Peter 4:10). But he does not want what you can 'do for Him,' what He wants is you. Not a little, not some, not the convenient parts, or enough that y...

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8 March 2016

'Grateful hearts want to monopolize the tongues of the people for the glory of God.' Spurgeon Gratitude is born in two areas: when we've been given something unexpected, undeserved or extravagant, and when we see a bigger picture past the present moment. Is this not the Gospel story? A grace and love that we do not deserve that moves us out of the present moment into ete...

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1 March 2016

'Pride is the oldest and commonest of sins. Humility is the rarest and most beautiful of graces.' JC Ryle Humility is the hallmark of the servant leader. It is also what God requires of all believers (Micah 6:8). But it is a 'rare' and 'beautiful grace,' because as simple as it sounds, it is impossible to create in our own strength. Humility is the gift given to those w...

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23 February 2016

'Remember Whose you are, and Whom you serve.' Oswald Chambers Easier said than done, right? The truth in that statement is key to understanding our identity and enabling our calling as servant leaders. Your Identity you belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20, 1 John 4:4). Your identity is in Christ (Colossians 3:3). You did not earn it, you cannot lose it, and it can never b...

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16 February 2016

'Mystery is not the absence of meaning, but the presence of more meaning than we can comprehend.' Eugene Peterson As we gather together for corporate worship, physical eyes only see the surface. Spirit-gifted spiritual eyes sense the mystery. The mystery of who God is, what He's done, who we are, and what is happening as we gather. And a glimpse is all it takes to see t...

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9 February 2016

'When the pressure of work for Christ is allowed to be the excuse for our not finding time to seek and secure His own presence and power in it, as our chief need, it surely proves that there is no right sense of our absolute dependence upon God; no deep apprehension of the Divine and supernatural work of God in which we are only His instruments, no true entrance into heave...

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2 February 2016

'I can only point with wonder, amazement, and awestruck admiration and say 'Behold God.' After that, it is you and God.' Tozer What does your serving say to our people? If it says anything other or anything more than 'Behold God,' it's time to adjust. The world has no shortage of wonders just a shortage of attention span and an ability to be captured by what is truly ...

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19 January 2016

'Prepare the preacher before preparing the sermon.' Tim Keller You may not consider yourself a 'preacher' or our songs as 'sermons' but I think the principle still applies to those of us who lead corporate sung worship. Our hearts and lives must be prepared before our songs. Absolutely, know and practice the songs that will NEVER be discouraged! But if our only time in...

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24 November 2015

'Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.' GK Chesterton Gratitude should be the perpetual posture of the servant leader. Happy because 'The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad,' and wonder-filled because 'what is mankind that He is mindful of us?!' (Ps 126:3, 8:4) And at the intersection of happiness and wonder we find gratitude. Servant leaders should be...

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17 November 2015

'O, chief musician, tune our lips to the melody of thanksgiving!' Spurgeon What is the melody of thanksgiving? Like the leper in Luke 17, who was healed, and 'turned back, praising God with a loud voice,' and falls 'on his face at Jesus' feet, giving Him thanks (v15-16),' it is the natural response to seeing God for who He is, recognizing what He has done, and understand...

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10 November 2015

"We slander God by our very eagerness to work for Him without knowing Him." Oswald Chambers We all know it is not our actions but our faith that justifies (Rom 5:1, Gal 2:16, Eph 2:8-9). So why is it so hard for us to live like we actually believe that to be true? Ultimately, and obviously because we are sinful and we constantly desire to justify, prove, and save oursel...

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12 May 2015

"It is sweet to give or do simply to please Him without respect to the public eye." Charles Spurgeon Leading with excellence is balancing and managing tensions. The balance and tension for those of us that lead corporate sung worship is that when we stand up to lead, what SHOULD be happening is the result of the overflow of the 'Lord Most High' being our 'Dwelling Place'...

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3 February 2015

'If love is true, there must always be a certain extravagance in it. It does not nicely calculate the less or more. It is not concerned to see how little it can decently give. If it gave all it had, the gift would still be too little. There is a recklessness in love which refuses to count the cost.' William Barclay We serve a God who loves extravagantly. Nowhere do we se...

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8 September 2014

'Worship must be Christ-centered, Holy Spirit led, in response to the Father, about intimacy and service, and always resulting in transformation' - Tim HughesI love this quote from Hughes, it so clearly articulates what worship is, and our role as leaders of sung corporate worship. Like we heard yesterday, if the Gospel isn't central - then what are we doing? Jesus is the ...

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