“As the deer pants for steams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’ These things I remember as I pour out my soul; how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.” (Psalm 42:1-4)
These verses describe part of Israel’s pattern of worship. The multitudes cam together at the sacred place to praise, to worship the Lord. This sense of the corporate nature of worship is seen in the institution of the Passover. Each individual household was responsible, but all the people were involved. They wee all to act at the same time. The same pattern is seen when King David commanded all the people to worship. The New Testament begins with this same corporate responsibility to worship. The early church developed a strong sense of need to worship with other believers. The strong emphasis in both the Old and New Testament is on the corporate worship in the congregation. Corporate worship gives encouragement, strengthens faith, provides a sense of fellowship and identify, and gives instruction for the worshiper.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, today we honor the gift of incorporate worship in our congregations and also in our communities. Worship is the best way for us to keep our focus on serving You and not ourselves. Today also pray those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, for those we don’t know, especially the people in Ukraine, as they are fighting for their very lives and way of life. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Happiness without reason is the ultimate freedom.”
“Then David said to the whole assembly, ‘Praise the Lord your God.’ So they all praised the Lord, the God of their fathers; they bowed low and fell prostrate before the Lord and the king.” (1st Chronicles 29:20)
Thanksgiving and worship are inevitably bound together. Thanksgiving should be expressed from a position of humility and reverence. The worshipers here bowed their faces to the pavement leading to the Temple. Worship (Hebrew – hishachawah) means to bow down to pay homage or honor to a person with superior rank of position. The basic definition of worship includes giving homage to God be He is superior to us by nature.
“What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—-or at the most three—-should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If thee is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God. Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the firs speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. The spirits of prophets are subject tot he control of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” (1st Corinthians 14:26-33)
Corporate worship in the early church included several elements. Worship sought to interpret God’s will clearly to His people and to strengthen the church, the whole church.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“When he came to the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’” (Luke 19:37-38)
Miracles reveal Jesus is King and His kingdom will surely come. The word translated miracles Greek – dunamis) means literally “powers or powerful works. They showed Jesus’ royal power. His healings resulted in the praise of God. God continues to reveal His kingdom’s power among His people. One day ever person will see Jesus is King. Also note that corporate worship can occur spontaneously away from a normal place of worship and is can be so powerfully felt and witnessed by the whole church.