My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right. (Psalm 119:172)
One reason why LifePoint gathers each week is to worship God through song. As the church sings God’s praises together, we want each person participating to know that they are greatly loved in Christ Jesus. However, our singing can only retain its intended value for congregational life when it is practiced in direct response to God’s Word.
All true worship is the fitting response to what God has revealed.
John Piper says, “We should always read [God’s] word in order to see His worth and beauty.” Piper concludes that without this, “there is no song in worship.” This is why each time we gather to worship we take seriously the Apostle Paul’s instruction: “devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture” (1 Tim. 4:13).
The practice of reading God’s Word among the gathered church insists that God’s revelation is the primary impetus for our singing.
God gets the “first word” in our gatherings, so to speak. In this way, His Word (which is primary) stimulates our song (which is secondary). And nowhere is this more apparent than in the Call to Worship.
The Call to Worship is a historically proven practice that allows the church to engage with God’s Word in gathered worship.
Occurring toward the beginning of the gathering (typically after the opening song), it serves to establish the “first word” nature of God’s revelation for our worship. It is God who initiates our encounter with His presence by speaking to us about who He is, what He has done, and how He wants us to relate to Him. God also gives us the capacity to relate to Him as He desires, which is our fitting response.
So as we gather this Sunday, it is important for us to realize that, by nature, worship is not a human idea, nor is it carried out by human means—it is entirely the result God’s love bringing us into His presence and giving us a new heart to love Him in return (Ez. 36:26). Both the revelation and the response are sourced in God Himself. And practicing a Call to Worship each week expresses this reality among the church as we gather “to know and to believe the love that God has for us” (1 Jn. 4:16).
PRAYER & REFLECTION
- When Scripture is read in the gathering, how does it affect you? Does your mind wander? Or do you realize that God is revealing Himself in order that you might respond in worship?
- Take a moment to pray that God’s Word would be powerful among us this Sunday as it is read and preached. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the words of Scripture in the hearts of His people.
Set List for Sunday, June 30, 2019:
- The Passion (B. Ligertwood, S. Ligertwood, S. Davenport)
- Before the Throne (C. Bancroft, V. Cook)
- I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous) (C. H. Gabriel, C. Tomlin)
- Bigger Than I Thought (S. Curran, N. Sims, A. Swoope)
- Heart Abandoned (S. Curran, K. Stanfill)