Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Worship – A Moving Experience

Psalm 100:1-4

1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

IMG_0301This past Sunday – yesterday as a matter of fact – at First UMC – at the 8:15 am service – I felt the Holy Spirit in the room. After worship there were several affirming comments shared with me about the worship service. I love it when we sing familiar hymns.  I love traditional worship. People pour themselves into the praise and worship of our God when they know the songs we sing.  It set the tone for our worship of God together today.  I could see the smiles on people’s faces and I watched as many lost themselves in worship – feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit.

At our 11:00 am service – the Spirit was equally heavy upon us.  There were affirming comments after worship at this service as well.  I love contemporary worship with its freedom to move about – to have our hands free to express ourselves (because the words of the songs are on a screen up front rather than a hymnal in our hands). I usually walk around during the contemporary worship and I saw people losing themselves in worship – lifting holy hands and allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to them and through them.  The moment we spent after the opening set simply soaking in the Spirit was powerful – those brief moments.

worshipIn both services the people of God got caught up in the songs – in the worship of God. Personally – I came into the day with some worries on my heart – but the worship rid my heart of these worries and I was able to allow the Spirit to take over in preaching the message of the morning.  I love when God shows up and takes over! Even at the end of the 11 am service I felt convicted of my sins and sat through the last two songs – praying and feeling the presence of God falling upon me. I was able to spend some time in confession and felt a repentive heart come over me. The message convicted me. I’m so glad the message of the morning didn’t leave us in the pit of our sin but reminded us – several times – of the grace of God working in us – through us – and in spite of us at times.

Our praise and worship this morning – and I pray it is a signal of even better things moving forward – helped to bring me into the presence of God.  I hope it had the same impact on you.

I pray that each time we come to worship – we come to enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. I pray that – if not this morning – on another given Sunday – you feel like me – uplifted by the Spirit – in spite of our sin(s). Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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March 9, 2015 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , ,

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