Proximity to Jesus

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For those of us who have grown up in a church, we know what it looks like to worship. Personally, I grew up with worship being with a hymnal and singing songs such as “Amazing Grace” and “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” with a piano and organ playing the music. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, as these still remind me of the beautiful memories from my childhood. 

Worship looks a lot different for me now in that, instead of books and printed music, I read the words off screens projected on walls inside the worship center. Now, I sing songs such as “How He Loves,” “Lion and the Lamb,” and “Reckless Love.” These songs are accompanied by a full band, including a guitarist, both electric and acoustic,  bassist, drums, piano, and a few vocalists leading the congregation in praising God, in the loudest voices they can create.  

Recently, I had the privilege to listen to a sermon on what it means to worship. Matt VanZant, worship pastor at Piedmont Church shared what it means for him to lead worship weekly. He spoke about what he used to think worship was, as well as the moment he realized the true meaning of worship. He explained that worship isn’t about being on stage or even blindly singing songs within the church service, but rather worship is about a proximity to a person, and that person is Jesus. 

In 1 Chronicles 16:23-24, we are told to “sing to the Lord, all the Earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” (English Standard Version)

We, as Christians, are charged by this verse to celebrate Him and His will. We are charged to tell the entire earth of His works and our salvation.

Our lives are a testament to His name and His glory. We were told that if we do not praise Him, then the rocks and the mountains will. We have always been told that He created us in our mother’s womb. We have always been meant for more than this world, and the limitations it holds. The ways in which we worship are described in the verse above: sing to the Lord, tell everyone of his salvation daily, tell all who will listen of His glory and his works of good. 

In Psalms 66:1-2, we see again what worship looks like: “Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his name glorious.” (New International Version)

There are plenty of other illustrations in the Bible of what worship looks like for us, but worship is so much more than just a physical representation or gathering that we, and others, can see and participate in. 

Worship is so much more than reciting words from a book or screen. It’s about the proximity to Jesus. I will add worship is also about the relationship we have with Him and how we magnify and celebrate His works daily. 

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®) Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. ESV Text Edition: 2016

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (R), NIV (R) Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc (R)  Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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