was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory."
What Does God Think Of
He was in the center of the procession, and the crowds all around him were shouting, NLT
37 And when he was come nigh, even now
at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice
for all the mighty works that they had seen; KJV
I have had a long and varied history in the church world.
I have learned how to honour God in settings that were very rigid and I have learned how to worship
God in situations that were pretty wild.
I understand the thinking and the mentality of those who enjoy liturgy and I understand the thinking
of those who like free style worship.
I believe that there are good people and great Christians in each camp and everywhere in between.
The last thing that I think should ever happen is that we would despise someone who is worshiping God
from their heart in whatever way they are doing it.
When I personally worship God I love it when his presence touches me in such a way that it brings an
emotional response from me.
But I do not like it when emotion is trumped up by hysteria instead of and emotional response to the
presence of God or to the truth of god’s word.
I do not look for God to do the same thing in every service because I know the needs are different
every time. But having said that I do have a favorite service that I like to see weather that is right or wrong. I think we
all have those biases.
I am sure if you were to ask Peter James and John they would each tell you about their favorite moments
I loved it when he stood up in the boat and stilled the storm. I loved it when Moses and Elijah appeared
and we heard the voice from heaven. I loved it when the loaves and fishes started multiplying.
I love how John starts his book:
1 John 1:1-2
which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands
have touched-this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we
proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. NIV
These verses talk about the experience of God not just the knowledge about God.
There’s a feeling in these verses that you experience of touch and sound and sight.
There’s something here that stirs the emotions a little.
Our emotions which were created by God respond to different things. They respond to facts that we see
and hear. And they respond to experiences that we feel.
And so it is with our experience with God.
and clap your hands for joy! Shout to God with joyful praise!
2 For the
LORD Most High is awesome. NLT
That is to me just getting excited about some facts about God. Some things that in the middle of this
road to heaven that seems to have some bumps on it that we stop and share with one another who God is and what he can do and
get excited about it.
The praise I am talking about is the result of a condition of the heart.
7 Thou hast
put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. KJV
This kind of experience brings this kind of reaction
LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. KJV
There is always something within us that wants to express itself to God through our mouths.
There is something within us that causes our whole bodies to respond to the emotions of life.
We want to dance or to clap our hands when excitement hits us. Even at a sports event you see this
kind of emotional response. I believe it is wrong to try to not have this in our worship.
I think that worship that involves reflecting of gods love or grace or power or kindness should generate
an emotional response.
There are no warnings in the word of God about being emotional in the presence of God. The only guideline
to me is it should be done decently and in order.
Hysteria where attention is drawn to the worshiper instead of the object of worship is wrong. Especially
when the response is an extreme over reaction with unacceptably violent or strange emotion.
This is what has turned people away from appropriate emotion and worship where expression is promoted
Because there is a whole part of us beyond the physical that need to learn to be involved in worship.
All that is within me is a big line.
If our lives are only mental and physical they are boring.
We love it when joy causes laughter or facts go beyond the mind to the emotions.
We were made for that.
But there is a side of us that doesn’t want to be seen that way in public either.
I think Michael expressed it for us in the book of
2 Sam 6:14-16
14 And David danced before
the LORD with all his might, wearing a priestly tunic.15 So David and
all Israel brought up the Ark of the LORD with much
shouting and blowing of trumpets.
16 But as
the Ark of the LORD entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her
window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she was
filled with contempt for him.
20 When David returned home to bless his family, Michal came out to meet him and said in disgust, "How
glorious the king of Israel
looked today! He exposed himself to the servant girls like
any indecent person might do!"NLT
This is the result of pride. The hiding of our real inner expression and feeling
I don’t want to be too hard on those who feel this way because a major portion of our Christian
culture has been taught to think and act like this. Often beautiful Christians who have been told that emotional response
to worship is wrong.
I believe that the true Christian attitude toward this
discussion is the same as it should be toward any other controversy that is not essential to the Christian faith.
20 For meat
destroy not the work of God
But I want to say that heaven is filled with emotional worship and the Old Testament is filled with
it and it seems to be very much a part of what we as people experience in every other area of life that we enjoy.
This message that we are preaching on this morning to me is the result of God wanting to celebrate
the victory even before the fight.
Palm Sunday if our chance to enjoy the finished work of Calvary even before we look at the cross.
The cross was in no way a battle for God nor something he wondered what the outcome would be. And as
we face Easter week I think it is time the we did so with joy and singing and victory rather than thinking that this was a
battle that was almost lost.
Jesus entered Jerusalem as
a conquering king with shouts of praise and he sang this is the day on the way to the cross.
We need to spend more time thinking about the victory of the cross rather than seeing it as a semi
And in doing so we need to know that as the result of that whole experience we are more than conquers.