spirituality

Stott on Spiritual Worship

What do you think of when someone is referred to as an "idolater"? Today's Worship Quote is from Christian Basics by John Stott.

SPIRITUAL WORSHIP
Instead of worshiping God "in spirit" (recognizing that he is spirit himself and asks for spiritual worship), idolaters become preoccupied with external, visible and tangible objects.  Even the worship of the people of Israel had a constant tendency to degenerate into formalism and even blatant hypocrisy. The seventh and eighth century prophets were scathing in their denunciation of Israel's empty religion, and Jesus applied their criticism to the Pharisees of his own day: "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: 'These people honor me with their lips, but their  hearts are far from me'" (Isaiah 29:13; Mark 7:6). So whatever outward forms we may use in Christian worship (liturgies, processions, drama, ritual, kneeling or raising our arms), we need to ensure that they escape the charge of idolatry by passing the double test of being "in spirit and in truth."

- John Stott, Christian Basics (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1969), 94-95.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

Note that Isaiah, Jesus, and John Stott are not condemning all outward forms of worship; rather they are warning Israel, the Pharisees, and us that without hearts for God, our worship is empty, and definitely not "in spirit." See also Isaiah 1:10-20.

Have a great week!


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

Chambers on Worshiping God with the Best

Today's Worship Quote of the Week is another from Oswald Chambers' devotional classic, My Utmost for His Highest.

WORSHIP GOD WITH THE BEST
Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be careful what you do with the best you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift. Take time to meditate before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship. If you hoard a thing of blessing for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot, as the manna did when it was hoarded [Exodus 16]. God will never let you hold a spiritual thing for yourself, it has to be given back to Him that he may make it a blessing to others.

- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Barbour & Company (http://www.barbourbooks.com). Selected mostly from talks given during the years 1911-1915, these devotionals were first published in 1935 by Dodd, Mead & Co., renewed in 1963 by Oswald Chambers Publication Association, Ltd.


CHIP’S THOUGHTS

Lord, help us to respond to your goodness with deliberated acts of worship - worship that pleases you and is a blessing to others. Amen!

Have a great week!


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.

SPIRIT TOUCHES SPIRIT
"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.


CHIP’S THOUGHTS

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.

Mother Teresa on Spirituality

For today's WORSHIP QUOTE OF THE WEEK, we have several short sentences from a woman of immense faith and incredible Christian love and service, Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997). 

SPIRITUALITY
"Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart." [Sounds like an echo of Elijah and the "still small voice" in 1 Kings 19. See also Psalm 46:10; "Be still and know . . ."]

"If we pray, we will believe; if we believe, we will love; if we love, we will serve." [Do you think she had memorized Matthew 25:40? "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."]

"Let every action of mine be something beautiful for God."

"I follow Christ: Jesus is my God/ Jesus is my Spouse/ Jesus is my Life/ Jesus is my only Love/ Jesus is my All in All/ Jesus is my Everything. Because of this I am never afraid."


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

Lord, grant us faith that leads to your kind of love; grant us love that leads us to serve you and others for Christ's sake, Amen!

Have a great week.


To find out more about Chip Stam's worship quote of the week click below.