Worship On Earth As It Is In Heaven: Exploring Worship As A Spiritual Discipline

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Tentative Table of Contents

Introduction: Worshiping Now…And Forever

Part One---Growing As A Private Worshiper:
Worship In The Psalms Of David
David is the prime example of an effective private worshiper. Drawing on incidents from David’s life as well as the psalms he composed yields insights into what it means to worship God privately.

Chapter 1---Do What Matters Most
Make Worship A Priority
David made worship top priority (Ps. 27:4). When we make worship a priority, we enjoy an increased awareness of God’s presence, his presence is defined by his attributes, and worship becomes transformational.

Chapter 2---Make It A Habit
Establish A Regular Routine
David observed a regular routine for private worship (Ps. 145:2). This chapter offers practical ideas on how to practice private worship, including how to meditate on the names and attributes of God, learn how to write your own psalm, and the importance of Sabbath keeping.

Chapter 3---I Surrender All
Smash Your Idols
David regarded obedience as the highest form of worship (Psalm 40:6-8). At any given moment, we all worship something or someone. The opposite of worship is idolatry. The Bible implores us to smash our idols---to repent often, live like a dead person, flee idolatry, and choose to honor God.

Chapter 4---Turn To God In The Hard Times
Worship Amidst Adversity
David worshiped amidst adversity. Many of his psalms are linked to difficult periods in David’s life. When we worship during tough times, God meets us in our pain and suffering, our problems get put within God’s larger context, faith increases, and peace abounds.

Part Two---Growing As A Corporate Worshiper:
Worship In The Book Of Revelation
Every worship service here on earth is a rehearsal for the glorious worship we’ll enjoy in heaven. Drawing from the book of Revelation (mainly chapters 4, 5, and 19), we will glean insights pertinent to corporate worship ga-therings.

Chapter 5---You Are Worthy, O Lord!
Focus On God’s Attributes
Heavenly worship is pure ascription (Revelation 4:8, 11). There are no personal pronouns recorded in heaven’s worship---no “me,” “my,” or “I.” So focus on the attributes of God during corporate worship.

Chapter 6---Go All Out
Bring God Your Best Worship
Heavenly worship is unapologetically passionate and physically demonstrative (Revelation 5:14 19:4). Passionate worship is the norm throughout Scripture, so bring God your best worship every Sunday.

Chapter 7---Welcome All Ages
Set Aside Personal Preferences
Heavenly worship is intergenerational; we will worship with all the believers who have gone before us as well as those yet to come (Matthew 8:11). However, the trend in today’s church is toward strictly defined age-segregated services. If the generations are to worship peaceably alongside each other (like we will in heaven), we all need to set aside our personal preferences, especially in regard to musical styles and practice “heroic deference.”

Chapter 8---Welcome Every Tribe And Nation
Embrace The Spirit At Work
Heavenly worship is multiethnic (Revelation 7:9-10). Scripture makes it very clear that God intends his church to be a place where people of diverse backgrounds, social standing, and ethnicities come together to worship. No one race, nationality, or cultural group has cornered the market on worship, so we can learn a great deal from the worship practices of Christians from other cultures.

Epilogue: Let’s Worship Like We’re Already There