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.

Tozer on the Most Winsome of All Beings

Today's Worship Quote of the Week is another from the pen of A. W. Tozer.

WINSOME
"The blessed and inviting truth is that God is the most winsome of all beings and in our worship of Him we should find unspeakable pleasure."

-A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, Christian Publications, 1948.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

Tozer was the pastor of Chicago's Southside Alliance Church from 1928 to 1959.  He never went to be a Bible school, seminary or university, but his many writings consistently and powerfully direct the reader's attention to the amazing God who desires our love, devotion, and worship.

win-some: adj. 1. Causing joy or pleasure; pleasant; winning.
Synonyms: captivating, charming, attractive.

Have a great week!


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

Foster on Worship and Discipline

This Worship Quote of the Week is from Richard Foster's The Celebration of Discipline.

TO WORSHIP IS TO CHANGE
Just as worship begins in holy expectancy, it ends in holy obedience. If worship does not propel us into greater obedience, it has not been worship. To stand before the Holy One of eternity is to change. Resentments cannot be held with the same tenacity when we enter his gracious light. As Jesus says, we need to leave our gift at the altar and go set the matter straight (Matthew 5:23, 24). In worship, an increased power steals its way into the heart sanctuary, an increased compassion grows in the soul. To worship is to change.

- Foster, Richard J. The Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth. San Francisco, CA: Harper One, 1988, 173.


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

Stott on the Heart and Mind

Pastors and worship leaders often wrestle with the delicate balance between fact and feeling in worship, between the objective and the subjective aspects of our response to God. Today's Worship Quote of the Week comes from John Stott and deals with the heart and the mind in worship.

Authentic Christianity
By John R. W. Stott

HEART AND MIND
The first characteristic of heart-worship is that it is rational; the mind is fully involved in it. For the 'heart' in Scripture is not simply equivalent to the emotions, as it usually is in common parlance today. In biblical thought the 'heart' is the center of the human personality and is often so used that the intellect is more emphasized than the emotions. Thus, the exhortation in Proverbs 23:26, 'My son, give me your heart,' has often been interpreted as an entreaty for our love and devotion. It has served as a convenient text for many sermons on whole-hearted discipleship. But in reality it is a command to listen, to pay attention, to sit up and take notice, an appeal more for concentration than for consecration."

-John Stott, Christ the Controversialist, InterVarsity Press, 1970, p. 162, as collected in Authentic Christianity: From the Writings of John Stott, compiled by Timothy Dudley-Smith, InterVarsity Press, 1995.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

Lord, teach us that heart-worship is mindful worship. Amen!

Have a great week!


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

Augustine on Emotion

Today we have a Worship Quote within a Worship Quote, a fifth century comment about the power, emotion and truth of church music as presented in Don Hustad's recent Jubilate II. Read on!

EMOTION
The use of music as an expression of emotion linked to theological truth is common in all churches. In the evangelical traditions where personal religious experience is emphasized, emotional expression is one of music's most important meanings; it is probably that function which folks refer to when they identify "music that speaks to the heart."  But this is not a new experience for churchgoers. St. Augustine mentioned it in the fifth century.

"How greatly did I weep in thy hymns and canticles, deeply moved by the voice of thy sweet-speaking Church! The voices flowed into mine ears, and the truth was poured forth into my heart, whence the agitation of my piety overflowed, and my tears ran over, and blessed was I therein."

The emotional power of music is perhaps best realized in the life of the church when proper music is well coupled to appropriate text. (Note that Augustine joins emotion with truth!) In this union, the music dramatizes, underlines, "breathes life" into the words, resulting in more meaning than the words themselves could express.

St. Augustine (354-430) as quoted in Donald Hustad's Jubilate II: Church Music in Worship and Renewal, Chapter 2, "Church Music: A Functional Art," Hope Publishing Co., 1993.


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

Dudley-Smith on Christ's Enfolding Love

Today's Worship Quote is a poem on the theme of Christian experience and discipleship. I think it would make a good benediction.

MAY THE LOVE OF CHRIST ENFOLD US
May the love of Christ enfold us
    as we walk his way,
his eternal arms uphold us
    even as we pray;
strong in faith beneath his blessing,
every tongue his Name confessing,
every heart his peace possessing,
    this and every day.

May the word of Christ direct us
    as we walk his way,
and his providence protect us
    even as we pray.
May his Spirit's power defend us,
love and joy and peace attend us,
his companionship befriend us,
    this and every day.

May the living Christ renew us
    as we walk his way,
and with gifts of grace endue us
    even as we pray;
send us forth, his banner bearing,
all the truth of God declaring,
Heaven's love for sinners sharing,
    this and every day.

-Timothy Dudley-Smith, from Great is the Glory: 36 New Hymns written between 1993 & 1996, Hope Publishing Company, 1997.

© 1997 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
For permission to copy or use this hymn, please contact:
Hope Publishing Company, 380 S. Main Place, Carol Stream, IL 60188
Phone: 1-800-323-1049 Fax: (630) 665-3200
Email: permission@hopepublishing.com www.hopepublishing.com


CHIP’S THOUGHTS

Here's what the hymn writer says about this poem:
"Though the text is a prayer for ourselves and our own daily walk, it began from thoughts of thankfulness and the desire to write a 'litany of thankfulness' - a task which still lies ahead of me. Note that along with the request that we may know Christ's enfolding, upholding, directing, protecting, defending, befriending, goes the call to mission - 'his Name confessing,' (verse 1), while verse 4 calls us to witness, proclamation and service 'this and every day.'"

May the love of Christ enfold you this and every day.


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

Stam on Doxology

Today's Worship Quote of the Week is a word study and a short scripture passage.

DOXOLOGY: a hymn or form of words containing an ascription of praise to God [from the Greek doxo (praise) and logos (word)].

In Christian worship, we hear the word used in different ways:

Greater Doxology, or song of the angels:
"Gloria in excelsis Deo" (Glory to God in the highest)

Lesser Doxology:
"Gloria Patri" (Glory to the Father and to the Son…)

Metric Doxology:
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow."

The New Testament contains a number of hymns of praise to God including the Romans Doxology. We'll read these words of the Apostle Paul from two different English versions.

Romans Doxology: Romans 11:33-36 (from the NIV84)
Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
"Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?" [quote from Isaiah 40:13]
"Who has ever given to God that God should repay him?" [quote from Job 41:11]
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be glory forever!
Amen!

[and...]

Romans Doxology: Romans 11:33-36 (from The Message)
Have you ever come on anything like this extravagant generosity of God, this
deep, deep wisdom? It's way over our heads. We'll never figure it out.

Is there anyone around who can explain God?
Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do?
Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice?

Everything comes from him;
Everything happens through him;
Everything ends up in him.
Always glory! Always praise!
Yes. Yes. Yes.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

Maybe you ought to write your own doxology.

Have a great week!


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

Martin on Defining Worship

Back to definitions of "worship." Today's WORSHIP QUOTE comes from Ralph Martin's book Worship in the Early Church.

Worship in the Early Church
By Ralph P. Martin

DEFINING the TERM "WORSHIP"
Worship is a noble word. The term comes into our modern speech from the Anglo-Saxon weorthscipe. This later developed into worthship, and then worship. It means "to attribute worth" to an object. We use the word loosely when we say of a man, "He worships his money," or his car, or his golf clubs. A deeper meaning is found in the honorific title, "His Worship the Mayor," by which we dignify the first citizen of our town or city as a person who deserves special esteem and respect. In the Marriage Service of the Book of Common Prayer, the prospective husband's promise is "With my body I thee worship" - a pledge of utter loyalty and devotion to his bride, who is worthy of this, in his eyes. If we may elevate this thought to the realm of divine-human relationships, we have a working definition of the term worship ready-made for us. To worship God is to ascribe to him supreme worth, for He alone is worthy.

- Ralph P. Martin, Worship in the Early Church, chapter 1 "The Church – A Worshipping Community," Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1974 revised edition.


Take a few moments and think what it means "to ascribe to Him supreme
worth."

Have a great week!


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

Lewis on the Efficacy of Prayer

Here we have another Worship Quote of the Week on the topic of "prayer" from C. S. Lewis.

EFFICACY OF PRAYER
"Prayer is either a sheer illusion or a personal contact between embryonic, incomplete persons (ourselves) and the utterly concrete Person. Prayer in the sense of petition, asking for things, is a small part of it; confession and penitence are its threshold, adoration its sanctuary, the presence and vision and enjoyment of God its bread and wine. In it God shows Himself to us. That He answers prayer is a corollary - not necessarily the most important one - from that revelation. What He does is learned from what He is."

- C. S. Lewis, "The Efficacy of Prayer," in The World's Last Night and Other Essays, 1959.


(Open Book) Quiz on the above Lewis quote:
1. Threshold of prayer = __________
2. Sanctuary of prayer = __________
3. Bread and wine of prayer = __________
4. Where can I spend some valuable time? __________

Have a great week!


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

Chesterton on Desiring Less

Today's Worship Quote of the Week is a single verse and a short quote. Remember that one of the meanings of our word "worship" centers on the value or "worth" that we show for people or things or God.

DESIRING LESS
From Jesus' teaching (the Sermon on the Mount): "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Matthew 6:24 (NIV)

And from the pen of G. K. Chesterton: "There are two ways to get enough; one is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less."


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

How does this translate into our worship life as Christians? If thoughts of material things command the greater part of our attention and energy, can we really be serving and worshiping the Master as we should? I find that as I ascribe worth and honor to our loving and sovereign God, he allows me to desire less of the distractions, less of the other gods. But the struggle for the throne continues.

Have a great week!


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