July 3, Monday

The AMI QT Devotionals from July 3-8 are written by Andy Kim.  Andy, a graduate of Northwestern University, has recently completed his M.Div. at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is currently serving as a staff at Radiance Christian Church in San Francisco (and also soon to be married 😊).

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

Revelation 14:1-3

Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.  2 And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, 3 and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.

I recently met a new believer who stayed for the praise portion of both of our services back to back. Her reasoning was quite simple: she said there was something tangible about God during the praise, and that seeing others worshipping together drew her into the room. For some this is still true, but for others the praise portion of the service can be sometimes a buffer time to find parking, as long as you’re in time for the message. But it’s true that worship can sometimes become mundane and even a little repetitive.

In fact, this was the situation that worship artist Matt Redman and his church found themselves in. So the pastor of the church did the unthinkable: he literally stripped all the sound equipment and instruments until only the voices remained. Can you imagine that? If you’re a little self-conscious about your voice, this sounds like a nightmare. But out of this bold move, Matt Redman wrote the famous song “Heart of Worship” that would recapture the purpose of worship for their church.

The reality is that our feelings may come and go, the style of worship may change, but worship will not. In fact, when we worship we are partaking in an eternal act, and what we do here on earth is merely a glimpse of what is to come.  It is one of the few things we know we will continue to do for eternity. Our passage describes of a worship so unfamiliar to our earthly ways –and yet so glorious! We will all join in and sing a new song—a song of our redemption and final return to Jesus; a song that is no longer about how much we need Him or about our sufferings, but a complete redirection of our attitudes and hearts solely focused on the Lamb.

Metaphorical or not, I personally do hope that the praise in heaven will be like the “roar of many waters” and the “sound of thunders” where we all praise His magnificent name. Oh, how glorious that will be! May we never lose the wonder and awe in our worship. May we never simply become consumers of worship, but always find ourselves as active participants responding to His majesty and glory. Consider it a good practice for what’s to come!

Prayer: Lord may we never lose our wonder and awe in worship. May we begin this day with an understanding of Your glory and respond in worship. May our worship services be immersed in Your splendor and majesty. Bring us back to the heart of worship. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Timothy 6


Lunch Break Study

Read Romans 12:1-2: I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Questions to Consider

  1. How would you define worship?
  2. What is Paul saying about worship in this passage?
  3. What would this mean for your life?

Notes

  1. Personal response
  2. Worship is not simply a one-time event we do on a given Sunday. In this passage, Paul uses a different word for worship—latreuo (used over 90 times in the Bible, usually meaning “to serve”) compared to its more common counterpart proskuneo—meaning “to bow down” in the sense of reverence and respect. Paul is reminding the Romans that worship is not just an outward one-time experience or limited to a localized event, but as John Piper says, “an inward, spiritual experience that has no bounds and pervades all of life” in which we become a living sacrifice.
  3. Our entire lives and all that we do must be worship unto Him both outwardly and inwardly. As Paul says, it requires a complete renewal of our intellect in response to the grace that God shows us. Because of this, worship does not stop when the team stops playing on Sundays, but it is both our Sunday worship and the rest of our days.

Evening Reflection

Spend some time thinking about the concept of worship. What comes to mind? Instead of praying your to- do list and your requests, spend some time simply adoring and giving Him praise. Then, reflect on areas in your life that can be offered as worship unto Him. May your worship always be a response out of His infinite glory and love.

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