Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of our lips that openly profess (and give thanks to) his name.– Hebrews 13:15You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.-Psalm 51:16-17Now that we have started our fast I thought it would be good to talk about how our Praise can be offered to God as a sacrifice. In the old testamant a sacrifice through burnt offering was required. Because of the sacrifice Christ made for us by giving His life, burnt offerings are no longer a requirement. The word sacrifice means we still have to give up or invest something of meaning and value. Why not invest your heart? We are able to offer God a “Sacrifice of praise”, through Jesus Christ. In moments when everything is going great and you are up on your energy it’s easy to give God Praise….because you feel like it. But what about times when things aren’t going so great, your energy level is low and you just don’t feel like giving God praise. These are the moments where we should be challenged to give Praise even more because it now becomes a sacrifice. In these moments you will find that your praise will actually be more sincere, not masked by all of the hype that we sometimes go through to “show” others our “form of Godliness”. This praise will come from your heart. We have to understand that man looks on the outside but God see’s the heart, it’s not about how we lift our hands or how loud we shout. Our praise has to come from a sincere place thanksgiving and gratefulness. This week I challenge you to offer God more that what you did before, let your thoughts, your actions, words and your life give Him praise and not just a shout on Sunday morning
Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth! Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy.- Psalm 100: 1-2 This is a basic & simple concept that I think we should all be mindful of. As praise & worship leaders we have been given the responsibility to usher God’s people into the presence of God. It is indeed a Priestly Ministry as we are actually bringing the people to God. Some of us have a desire to lead worship and others have found ourselves a part of the worship team at the request of your Pastor or maybe you heard the Lord say this is where I want you to serve. No matter the circumstance of your service we each have a responsibility to carry out the mandate that we’ve been given. The truth is whether we are musically inclined or not God has called everyone (all the earth) to worship Him and to do it with Gladness. So it now becomes not just the responsibility of the worship leader/team to worship but for everyone to worship. As worship leaders we want to make sure we are not just singing songs that sound good but we want to encourage God’s people to come before his presence singing with joy. Allow space for the congregation to join into your song, lifting up one voice before the Lord. And smile after all, we have been redeemed, that’s definitely something to be glad about!
As a singer or musician we find ourselves in a position to receive glory from others based on our gifting and musical abilities. This can often times lead to "Big Ego's". As a worship leader this can put us in a compromising position. We are to be reflectors of God's Glory not keepers of the Glory. In Ezekial 28:13-15 the bible describes Lucifer as the anointed cherub "angel" that was adorned with precious jewels and says that he was present on the holy mount of the Lord. This means that as the anointed angel Lucifer was in a position between God's Glory and the hosts of heaven. As the Glory of God goes out he had the ability to reflect the Glory but the bible says that even though he was ordained and created for it, wickedness was found in him. This is because instead doing what he was anointed for "reflecting the Glory" he found himself "keeping the Glory". So much so that he thought he was deserving of it because of his gifting and abilities. Just like a sponge that absorbs water, it's no good if it's full of the thing it was meant to give up. Don't Steal the Glory!!!