The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Room. He brings their blood as a sin offering. But the bodies are burned outside the camp. Jesus also suffered outside the city gate. He suffered to make the people holy by spilling his own blood. So let us go to him outside the camp. Let us be willing to suffer the shame he suffered. Here we do not have a city that lasts. But we are looking for the city that is going to come.
So let us never stop offering to God our praise through Jesus. Let us talk openly about our faith in him. Then our words will be like an offering to God. Don’t forget to do good. Don’t forget to share with others. God is pleased with those kinds of offerings.
Brad and Rebekah are a husband/wife worship team, who by faith have shared their ministry of leading worship which includes writing worship songs in helping people in the church worship God. I’ve heard them twice in our chapel at Our Daily Bread Ministries. Truly a gift from God in both their skills and talent in leading and in song writing. What I like best about their ministry -and the rest is good- is the setting of it: it is in real life.
We were once part of a Vineyard church, and my love of what is called the Vineyard, continues. In fact, Deb and I need to get away when it doesn’t conflict with our own schedule to take in and be a part of some Vineyard worship again. Some criticize that way of singing to the Lord and to each other in a church setting. All I know is that for years we would do so, and God would be front and center in and through Jesus and we would be singing, often with tears streaming down our faces, people kneeling and sometimes dancing. I think of David who in the eyes of at least one played the fool when he danced before the Lord with an uninhibited exuberance and freedom (2 Samuel 6). I think we would do better if we did something of the same at times, even regularly.
Brad and Rebekah helped jog in me my need to connect more with God in this way, to lift up my voice to the Lord in praise regardless of circumstances or how I feel. Their focus is on God and the gospel, and that is the focus of true worship and praise. In an interview, they point to Lamentations 3 as central in how they view worship. I need that right now, to learn to worship God in the midst of trouble. To be among the worshipers the Father seeks (John 4).
As I noted yesterday, this doesn’t mean we don’t come to God as we are in all our brokenness and even fear. But we do so, knowing that God receives us in love, in and through his Son. That by the Spirit, we can worship and in so doing become more and more God’s children through and through, not referring to status, but practice and yes, experience. A worship that carries through to all of life. In and through Jesus.