40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 17 – Worship

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22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods.  23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.  24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.  25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.  26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.  27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.  28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”  29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.  30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:22 – 30)

 

Today we begin our reflection on the Discipline of Worship as we consider the theme A World in Need.  Later this week we will consider the Discipline of Fellowship.

A. W. Tozer, a famous American pastor of the early 20th century is quoted as saying:

“The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God.  Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.”

We might not automatically see a link between worship and a world in need but when we consider Biblical examples, the link becomes very evident.  The attitude we have towards worship directly impacts the way the world sees God through us.  The current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic provides an excellent example of a world in need.  In circumstances like this, how can the world see God through us?

Our passage today presents the dramatic story of Paul and Silas in prison.  I am struck by their attitude of worship in difficult circumstances and the impact on those around them.

Please prayerfully read the passage above and consider the question below.

 

Question

In challenging times, how can a life of worship positively impact the world?

 

 

12 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 17 – Worship

  1. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

    John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.

    Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.

    Psalm 118:8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.

    Despite what’s going on around us, if we take precautions, pray, and remind ourselves of God’s Word filled with promises to be with us, we may be a calming presence to the people around us. I’m not saying Christians are impervious to the Corona virus. However, we should have a calm and peace surrounding us that should be obvious.

    Yesterday in Church the praise and worship was just as uplifting and beautiful as usual. However, we had a time of laughter and light-heartedness because our Pastor suggested that we either fist pumped, elbow bumped, or wave with Jazz hands instead of our usual hugging and shaking hands during our time of greeting. We didn’t forget about the virus, we took precautions, and continued on to have a wonderful time of worship.

  2. Worship is a discipline that allows us to show our love, respect, appreciation, reverence and devotion to God. Everything we say and do should be done in worship to the Most High. Therefore, a life of worship will be seen and witnessed by all those we are blessed to interact with. Given these unusual and unprecedented times, we must be salt and light to encourage our brothers and sisters to have hope. Our worship is one clear way to illustrate this.

  3. I walk away from today’s reading being challenged with having to answer the following question: how evident is my dependence on God and as fulfill by varying responsibility as Pastor/Husband/Father/Administrator especially in light of the impact of COVID-19?Does my behavior (decision, responses, etc) reflect my absolute dependence on God?

  4. My first thoughts are like the many slogans beginning Keep Calm, Keep Praying. GOD’S IN CHARGE. It’s easy for us who believe and put our full trust in the Lord. Difficult to move others to our way of believing except by prayer and example. We can’t make our own earthquake as such but by prayer we can. Someone close to me said it was an odd feeling in the air. My response was to look listen and wait for God without fear. I could think of nothing more. Thank you Joseth for the appropriate quotes.

  5. I think that the posture adopted in challenging times will determine, an send a message to persons observing us if our God is bigger. If our posture is consistent with our belief, then onlookers may also want to know our God.

  6. By worshipping in times of tragedy/distress, we are being a witness to others that there is more to life than just Earthly ongoings. Our worship shows others that there is an eternal source from which we can draw hope, even when earthly circumstances seem bleak.

  7. Worship is joy and gratitude in action. That was my first answer to today’s question. Studies have shown that practicing gratitude can decrease anxiety and improve our relationships with others. How much more powerful the effects must be when God is at the center!

    That’s on an individual level, though. At most, these worship effects will touch our loved ones and local community. Is this possible on a global scale? As others have mentioned, worship is an opportunity to be a light to others. If we believe worship effects are contagious (excuse the word choice), then higher numbers of worshippers can spread calm and peace across the world.

    But we still don’t have peace, even with high numbers. It makes me wonder what other factors work alongside worship to make it effective. Tozer’s argument is relevant here when he says that “Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.” So worship, in and of itself, isn’t enough to help our world. Our approach toward worship matters, too. What does worship with a “pure” attitude look like?

    I have more questions than answers, but I’ll be thinking more about these factors and how to make them actionable alongside worship.

  8. Well after reading all the comments I am left to say “lead by example”
    And to say God help this world as seems as though people love to experience fear and have something to talk about instead of pray about.
    I am still in shock after seeing an ad on tv last night in which I heard the man saying that they must keep God out of government etc and he is not afraid to burn in hell.
    This ad is paid for my the Atheists.
    Has anyone seen this before?.

  9. Our life of worship certainly gives positive impact to others. One good example is the way the non Christians see how firm our faith is, especially with the way we deal with all the chaotic reactions to the pandemic – the public health crisis brought by corona virus. Our faith in Jesus as our rock and salvation should be manifested. The more our faith rises up , knowing our Lord is in control. No need to do panic buying, having so much fear insults our God, because He is in control and He has promised us that He will be with us no matter what. We have to be still and trust our Lord. The peace that we have as a result of trusting our creator can give a great impact to others.

  10. The linchpin for worship is recognizing the worth that dictates adoration and obedience. The new command given to us is to love others as Christ loved us. In the recording of this event Paul and Silas loved the jailer as Christ would have. They considered that the jailer would have been killed if they escaped, so they stayed imprisoned although freedom was available. That type of consideration changes the world, one jailer, offensive person, enemy, person created in the image of God, at a time. Today when I enter the grocery store I buy 1 of what I need to leave others for those who may not have already purchased that item. I pray that when I need it God will make it available.

  11. On Wednesday my brothers and sisters got together an prayed the rosary for the healing of the world and the protection of our loved ones both near and far. It was the first time we ever did this and want to do it every Wednesday. There is still some apprehension though with the instruction of social distancing.

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