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Study Guide: Praise & Celebrate

Sunday September 20, 2009 | Greg Boyd

Focus Scripture:


Brief Summary:

Greg reminded us of the importance of worship, praise and celebration. We sometimes tend to collapse all three of these words together and associate it with the singing portion of a church service, but there’s much more to it that that.


Extended Summary:

Greg reminded us of the importance of worship, praise and celebration. We sometimes tend to collapse all three of these words together and associate it with the singing portion of a church service, but there’s much more to it that that.

We worship when we ascribe worth to God (Romans 12:1). Our whole lives can be expressions of worship to the extent that we are mindful of God and offer up our lives to God no matter what it is we are doing at the moment. This could be as simple as silently expressing gratitude to God while doing the dishes or mowing the yard. Of course, ascribing worth to God as a community on Sunday mornings is also worship.

We praise God when we express the truth about God as we address God directly. An example of this is found in Psalm 71:22: “I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God.”

We celebrate God when we proclaim the truth about God both to God and to one another. Examples of this include Psalm 98:4, 6: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music…with trumpets and the blast of the rams horn—shout for joy before the Lord, the King.”

Some things that happen when we praise and celebrate include:

  1. It brings us into God’s presence, whether we “feel” it or not. (see Psalm 100:1-2 and 2 Chronicles 5:13-14)
  2. Often it encourages us deeply. (see Psalm 27:4,6)
  3. It transforms us. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
  4. Praise and celebration is spiritual warfare. (Psalm 8:2)

Greg closed by reminding us that praise and worship must be passionate so that it reflects rightly the worth we ascribe to God. This doesn’t have to mean “rowdy” but deeply heartfelt and involving our whole self. (see Psalm 103:1) Finally, praise and celebration sometimes involves sacrifice. We don’t always “feel like” praising and celebrating but God is worthy of it none-the-less. (Hebrews 13:15 and Psalm 57:6-9)


Reflection Questions:

  1. What stood out to you most from this message and the supporting texts?
  2. Reflect on your own experience with worship through out your life. How might the style or temperament of that experience limit the way you express yourself to God? What are some other ways you might try?
  3. Greg pointed us to Isaiah 29:13 where God is disappointed with the worship that is being offered. What seems to be the problem? How can we avoid falling into the same mistakes?
  4. What is one way you can strengthen your worship experience?

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