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Reasons to Worship

(taken from the teaching given by Warren Van Kampen at the Tehillum School of Worship in Karachi, Pakistan; November 2017)

In our worship thoughts so far, we have talked about responding to God in worship and ways to worship. Today we will talk about specific reasons to worship.

1. To give glory to God

God deserves worship just because He is God. Giving glory includes the concept of “giving weight to”, in other words, making His name great, and magnifying Him with our words and our lives so weight is given to Him in our eyes and in the eyes of others. The psalmist says it this way:

“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.” (Psalm 29:2)

2. To reinforce truth

Worship in song and in recitation of and mediation on Scripture helps to integrate God’s truths into our very souls. Think of worship songs you grew up with and how they affect you even today in drawing your heart and mind toward God. The repetition of songs and Scriptures helps to make them part of who we are and help to shape who we become. Martin Luther recognized this when he said, “Singing truth is a way to write it on our hearts.”

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)

3. To celebrate His work and our salvation

We worship God for who He is and also for what He has done. When we get a peek into heaven’s worship in Revelation 5, we see Jesus being glorified by angels and other beings with these words, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”

They are worshiping Jesus as the Lamb who was offered in sacrifice for our sins. They give us a good model to emulate. We have great cause to worship the one who redeemed us!

4. To remember and claim His promises

The Bible is full of promises for those who are completely committed to Him. Worship is a way to express that devotion. In 2 Chronicles 20:21, we read, “After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise Him for the splendor of His holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever.’”

The text goes on to say that God gave them great victory in that battle. Worship in a time of hardship and need opens the door to heaven so we can receive the goodness of God into our situation. Worship is always for God’s glory, but often for our benefit.

5. To express thanksgiving

When we don’t feel like worshiping (it’s OK to admit it), there is an antidote. Stop to think of things for which you can thank God. Once you let the gratefulness grow, worship will follow naturally. Try it!

“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:19-20)

6. To receive His direction

There’s an interesting story about the prophet Elisha told in 2 Kings 3:15. The writer says Elisha called for a minstrel (musician) and when the minstrel played, “the hand of the Lord came upon him.” He was then able to give God’s message to the king.

Music, worship, and praise, all work to calm our anxieties, to focus on God, to allow His direction to be made clear, and to empower us for service. Worship is an amazing (and often untapped) force in the life of a follower of God!

“I need to worship because without it I lose a sense of wonder and gratitude and plod through life with blinders on.” – John Ortberg


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