God Speaks. We Listen.
BY JARED BERRY
As a child, there were two things that always grabbed my attention and solicited a response. One was my dad’s whistle, which meant it was either time to leave the house or dinner was ready. The second was when my dad would simply say the word “booooyyyy” with a slight tilt of the head, usually followed by the grabbing of whichever ear was closer to him. In that moment, my response was to quietly do what he was asking while waiting for the next word. As he spoke, I attempted to respond obediently and humbly to what he asked of me.
What, if anything, does this have to do with the corporate gathering?
As we prayerfully approach the planning of the corporate gathering each week, we ask ourselves this vital question, “What has God said and how should we respond?” This has been a crucial question in worship from the beginning of time. Consider that Adam and Eve (Genesis 1-3) enjoyed fellowship with God in the garden and received word directly from God. It was expected that they would live in obedience, trusting God’s Word to them. In other words, God spoke, Adam and Eve listened, and they should have responded in obedience to what God had spoken. The Scriptures are laced with examples of true worship as God spoke and His people responded; and so today, God speaks, we listen, and we respond. God’s Word is what defines and directs our worship, therefore it’s impossible to worship God apart from His Word. True worship is always a response to God’s Word (Colossians 3:16-17, Ephesians 5). As Matt Merker said, “The simple act of listening to God’s Word, with a shared commitment to believe and obey it, binds a church together.”
God’s Word is what defines and directs our worship, therefore it’s impossible to worship God apart from His Word.
With this understanding, we give thought as to how the truth of God’s Word (the Gospel) is communicated within the context of our gathering each week. Since it’s impossible to worship without God, that is where we begin: adoring and thanking God for His perfections. In light of who God is, we respond to truth revealed like Isaiah (Isaiah 6), and move to confession of our sinfulness before a perfect and righteous God, while also thanking Him for forgiveness offered in Christ. We then move to supplication, asking God to use His Word and the preaching of it to shape us by His Spirit as we are instructed through faithful exposition and application of the Scriptures. We then close the service considering our response to the weight of His glory and the depth of our sin. Each of the underlined components are included in every service and take place in the form of reading, praying, singing, and teaching.
Our prayer for the gathering each week is that the result in our lives would be true worship evidenced by daily obedience to the truth received. We don’t create worship or a worship experience for attendees; we respond to what we have received in Christ—eternal life. That gift continues to be the basis on which we come to worship God, and this means our worship is an all-of-life response to the forgiveness we have received through the Gospel. May God be magnified in our weekly gatherings and in our daily response of obedience to His Word.
Our worship is an all-of-life response to the forgiveness we have received through the Gospel.
Want to know more? We want to hear from you! Contact Us