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His Song In Our Heart

• Greg Boyd

Worship is important. However, worship isn’t just about singing. In this sermon, Greg shows how worship takes many forms and brings many benefits to the Kingdom.

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Worship is a central aspect of what we are called to do and be at Woodland Hills Church. From the very beginning of this church, we knew that worship is important. So we’ve tried to have worship be a central aspect of what we do in our corporate gatherings.

Worship is about ascribing worth to God. But worship is not just about singing. In fact, we’re supposed to worship God in every aspect of our life. Instead of having secular and sacred parts of our life, we are to make everything sacred and worship God in the process.

Throughout the biblical narrative, God’s people come together and worship the Lord with music. We distinguish between praise and celebration. Praise is singing truths to God, and they tend to be soft and tender. Celebration is proclaiming things about God, and they tend to be more rowdy. Celebration can be seen as not very dignified or sanctified, but it is very biblical. Celebration can include shouting for joy, clapping or raising hands, dancing or even instrumental. It is very physical and demonstrative because what we do with our bodies affects our minds and spirits.

Not everyone needs to be rowdy though. Some people are introverts and some are extroverts. Some like to dance around, and others can remain contemplative. But, in some way, we should all enter praise and celebration with our bodies. In the end, congregational worship with music is all about the choice to participate. That’s why the Bible sometimes talks about the sacrifice to worship, because sometimes it requires a little sacrifice of our preferences and moods in order to enter into worship. And our imagination is critical to entering into worship.

We make this choice to engage in worship because the Lord is worthy of this. And not only is the Lord worthy of this, but when we choose to engage in worship, it’s the best possible thing we could do for ourselves and one another. When the people of God enter into worship together incredible things happen.

First, we enter into the presence of God. When we worship together, we become conduits to God’s presence. And the degree that we don’t engage in worship, we inhibit the flow of God’s presence in this place. And yes, God is present everywhere, but there is a unique way that God is present during worship. And people that question God’s presence should seek to join whole-heartedly into worship. Sometimes, the coin drops in the slot and people finally experience God who they’ve been searching for. So, not just for our sake and God’s sake, but there are people around us that we should worship for.

Second, worship is a form of spiritual warfare. When God’s presence descends, it pushes back the forces of darkness. When we worship together, God’s presence pushes out demonic forces, strongholds of sin and addiction, marriages are healed and other miracles happen and all because we choose to worship when our moods and preferences are set aside.

In describing corporate praise and celebration, we haven’t talked about music styles. That’s because worship isn’t about a particular style but about our focus during worship. We need to shed our American culture of consumerism and choose to join in worship even when we don’t like the music style. Because it’s about our focus and not the style.

The Kingdom is about all people, from every tribe, tongue and nation, coming together and manifesting the truth of Jesus Christ. To manifest this diversity, we all have to die to our preferences. And not only do we have to tolerate the styles we don’t like, but we should choose to participate in and even learn to appreciate styles we don’t like. When we do this, we manifest the Kingdom here and now.

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Topics: Presence of God, Spiritual Warfare, Worship

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Focus Scripture:

  • Romans 12:1

    I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

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5 thoughts on “His Song In Our Heart

  1. Yes. Unity not uniformity is call of the church. A desperate call I may add. Greg has hit the nail on the head. Many churches are diverse but not inclusive. (I mean that in the christo-centric sense not as the world defines inclusion.) With the attitude of uniformity, these churches become homogenous as milk and not colourful as a quilt – intertwining our experiences in a rich tapestry of love.

    Many members end up bowing down to peer pressure; being like the majority; conforming to the masses; and leaving much of their self-identity at home. Cliquism. That works so against the freedom of Christ in the Spirit. Let’s embrace the “strangeness” in the Lord as Christ accepted us.

    “Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.” (Romans 15:7 )

    Greg I’m glad you are doing the work to promote our awareness of our inclusion in Christ, and we should treat our brothers and sisters the same. Amen Brother! Keep sharing that truth.

  2. Dave Pritchard says:

    (This response is in reply to a post that WH removed due to inappropriate content)

    Jesus Christ Himself –

    I used to be like you “Jesus”; seriously angry and pissed off at the world, thinking that life was just one big bogus rip-off! But then……..then one day I took the “Challenge”! As I was driving alone in my car, I heard this pastor say on the radio:

    “Even if you hate what I’m saying about the Lord and believe it all to be one big fat nasty lie, then all I ask is that you do this one thing and this one thing only, and it’s this – ‘Ask God to Reveal the Truth about Yourself, to Your Own Mind and Heart’. Just give Him that one question, that one chance and no matter who you are, what you believe or what you’ve done, I absolutely guarantee that He will do it, if you’re truly honest and sincere! Leave the door open and ask him to come into your mind and reveal to you who it is that truly you are.”

    At the time I just laugh this “challenge” off and thought, “OK, if you’re really and actually there and give a crap about me as a human being, then go on, show me who it is and what it is, that I really am!

    So I did, I took the “challenge” of the question……And guess what – HE DID! It took a while, but when He did, He Completely and Utterly Blew Me Away with His Love and Compassion! Not only did I see what I truly was, but He shared with me Who He Truly Is!

    My Life has never been the same!!!!!

    Oh, I suppose you could just well…..slink off and stay angry and cynical at everything and everyone…….but why? You’ve got a choice here Dude! Go on, I challenge you – ask God to reveal the truth about yourself to your own mind and your own heart! I am 1000% positive He will answer you!


  3. Dave Pritchard says:

    Wait! I’m glad the mean comments gone but now my response doesn’t make any sense! Ho well…… HA!

  4. M85 says:

    Wonderful testimony Dave!
    When God reveals himself to us personally it truly is amazing.

  5. Dave Pritchard says:

    Thanks M85! However, it might make a little more sense if I hadn’t taken the rotten carrot from our good friend “Mr. JCH”
    Anyway, I hope he finds Peace!

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