Supreme Christian Activity
There is a health update at the end of this message.
Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is from the pen of J. I. Packer, the author of KNOWING GOD. Here, in KNOWING CHRISTIANITY, he shares the basics about Christian worship. If you haven't read KNOWING GOD in the last ten years, perhaps you can make it a summer project.
THE SUPREME CHRISTIAN ACTIVITY
We are constantly told that worship is the supreme Christian activity. True, no doubt. But what is worship? Our culture knows nothing about worship and dismisses it as something Christians do in church in which it is not interested, so it we ourselves, as children of our culture, are clueless about worship at this present moment, it should come as no surprise. Recognizing this possibility, however, I will take nothing for granted and begin at the very beginning. The first step toward forming sound ideals of worship is to get clear as to its essential nature. So let us try first to see what it is.
The history of the word gives us our answer. The noun WORSHIP is a contraction of WORTHSHIP. Used as a verb, it means "to ascribe worth" or "to acknowledge value." To worship God is to recognize his worthiness—to look Godward and acknowledge in all appropriate ways the value of what we see. The Bible calls this activity giving glory to God. It views this as our ultimate end and, from one point of view, our whole duty. "Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name" (Ps 29:2; 96:8). "Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Cor 10:31).
Scripture views the glorifying of God as a sixfold activity: (1) praising God for all that he is and all his achievements, (2) thanking him for his gifts and goodness to us, (3) asking him to meet our own and others' needs, (4) offering him our gifts, our service and ourselves, (5) learning of him from his Word, read and preached, and obeying his voice, and (6) telling others God's "worth" by public confession and testimony to what has been done for us. We might say that these basic elements of worship can be phrased as follows: (1) "Lord, you are wonderful," (2) "Thank you, Lord," (3) Please, Lord," (4) "Take this, Lord," (5) "Yes, Lord," and (6) "Listen, everybody!" The psalms abundantly illustrate all six.
-- J. I. Packer, KNOWING CHRISTIANITY. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1999, pp. 107-08. ISNB 0-8308-2216-X Highly recommended.
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HEALTH UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST
FOR CHIP STAM, CANCER PATIENT
Dear Praying Friends,
There are some new photos and longer journal entries at www.caringbridge.org/visit/carlstam.
What a day! Since last Tuesday I have completed my eight sessions of total-body radiation and two days of heavy chemotherapy. Earlier today (June 9) we had the infusion of my stem cells back into my body. This is a good milestone. Now we wait and pray and see what God will do. To reduce the nausea and painful hiccups, they are giving me lots of medication, some of which makes me pretty dopey.
If all goes well, they will keep me here in the hospital until my blood levels are in the save range (at least two more weeks). Then I will be at home for a long recovery period. I am receiving excellent care and tender love from many.
Thanks for praying for my full recovery.
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
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