Fee on Spirit-Inspired Singing

Today's Worship Quote is about the Holy Spirit's involvement in the worship life of the Church. Gordon Fee, a professor at Regent College in Vancouver, B. C., explains the passages from Paul's letters about "psalms and hymns and Spiritual songs" (Colossians 3 and Ephesians 5).

Where the Spirit of God is, there is also singing. The early church was characterized by its singing; so also in every generation where there is renewal by the Spirit a new hymnody breaks forth. If most such songs do not have staying power, some of them do, and these become the treasure-trove of our ongoing teaching and admonishing of one another, as well as of our constantly turning to God the Father and God the Son and offering praise by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

- Gordon D. Fee, Paul, The Spirit, and the People of God, Hendrickson Publishers, 1996.

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Lawrence on Worship in Spirit and Truth

Today's Worship Quote is another from Brother Lawrence, the 17th century Carmelite monk who "practiced the presence of God." Here, he is commenting on Jesus' words in John 4:24: "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth" (NIV).

There are three things in this question to which it is necessary to reply.

First: To worship God in spirit and truth means to worship God as we ought to worship Him. God is Spirit, so we must worship Him in spirit and truth, that is, by a humble and true adoration of spirit in the depth and center of our souls. God alone can see this worship; we can repeat it so often that in the end it becomes as if it were natural to us, and as if God were one with our souls, and our souls one with Him.

Second: To worship God in truth is to recognize Him for being who He is, and to recognize ourselves for what we are. To worship God in truth is to recognize as a very present reality in our spirit that God is infinitely perfect, infinitely worthy of worship, and infinitely distant from evil, even beyond His divine attributes. Who will be the man who, lacking in wisdom though he may be, will refuse to employ all his strength to render his respect and worship to this great and infinitely worthy God.

Third: To worship God in truth is further to admit that we are entirely contrary to Him, and that He is willing to make us like Himself if we desire it. Who will be so imprudent as to turn himself away, even for a moment, from the reverence, love, service and continual adoration which we most justly owe Him?

-Brother Lawrence (c. 1611-1691), The Practice of the Presence of God, translated by Robert J. Edmonson, Paraclete Living Library, 1984.

To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Foster on when Spirit Touches Spirit

This Worship Quote of the Week is another from Richard Foster's The Celebration of Discipline.

"Worship is our response to the overtures of love from the heart of the Father. Its central reality is found 'in spirit and truth.' It is kindled within us only when the Spirit of God touches our human spirit. Forms and rituals do not produce worship, nor does the disuse of forms and rituals. We can use all the right techniques and methods, we can have the best possible liturgy, but we have not worshipped the Lord until Spirit touches spirit."

- Richard Foster, The Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, Chapter 11, "The Discipline of Worship," (San Francisco, CA: Harper, 1988), p. 158.


Holy God, touch us with your Spirit as we respond to the amazing overtures of your love! Amen!

Have a great week!

To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Augustine "Late Have I Loved You"

Today's Worship Quote Of The Week comes from the quill of St. Augustine.

"Late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and so new; late have I loved you! You were within me, and I was outside; and I sought you outside and in my loneliness fell upon those lovely things that you have made. You were with me, but I was not with you ... You called me and cried to me and broke open my deafness; you sent forth your beams and shone upon me and chased away my blindness; you breathed your fragrance upon me, and I drew in my breath and now I pant for you; I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst for you; you touched me, and I burn for your peace."

- Augustine of Hippo (354-430) from Confessions, as found in Eerdman’s Book of Christian Classics: A Treasury of Christian Writings Through the Centuries, compiled by Veronica Zundel, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1985, p. 23.


There is something there that reminds me of the Psalm 42. Take a look! "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God..."

Pant on!
Have a great day!

To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Lewis on God as Pure Spirit


For today's WORSHIP QUOTE OF THE WEEK we have a few lines from C. S. Lewis's PERELANDRA, the second book in his celebrated space trilogy.

"Didn't we agree that God is a spirit? Don't you worship Him because He is pure spirit?'"

"Good heavens, no! We worship Him because He is wise and good. There's nothing specially fine about being a spirit. The Devil is a spirit."

- C. S. Lewis, PERELANDRA, Macmillan Company, 1944


Highly recommended for late-summer reading! Start with the first book in the trilogy, OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET.

Have a great week.

(Originally posted 8/12/1997.)

To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.