Are you ready?… Here we go on the adventures of Week 5! This week has been full of classes (taught by Clint Shondelmyer, the music/worship Pastor at Immanuel Bible Church), Bible reading (we ended in Psalm 92 on Friday), and tons of good discussions and laughter.
Today was a free day for us. The church is closed on Columbus Day, so Jordan (with some convincing from Alex Hairgrove) gave us the day off beside our usual assigned reading in the Bible, which went through Job 4. The “fab six” had a great day sleeping in at our houses, then went to Sarah and Heather’s host home and did some Bible reading, made a trip to the store for some snacks for the day, and played games. In the afternoon we went ice skating at a local skating rink – we had a great time! It was Melinda’s very first time ice skating and I was thoroughly impressed at how well she did! We had lots of laughs and lots of “ouches.” We then went to a burger joint for dinner where we got some yummy food and won a couple free burgers from the owner of the place! All in all it was a good day with the group.
This morning, Ryan led us in our morning devotional. I enjoy the way Ryan leads his mornings with us. He requires a lot of participation on our part, asks questions, and really breaks the Scriptures down, wanting us to truly see the majesty of God shown through each passage we read.
As I said above, classes were taught by Pastor Clint, so I bet you could guess what our topic is this week… You got it! Worship!!! So the question is, what is worship? That’s the question we were asked. Well our group discussed for a few minutes on various things that we think worship is. Today we looked at what the Bible has to say about worship. We saw that worship falls under two categories, both for the same purpose, to glorify God. Worship is translated into two words from the original Hebrew and Greek text. The Hebrew word Shachah and the Greek work Proskuneo both mean to bow down, to give homage to. The Hebrew word Abad and the Greek word Lateuo translate into an offering being made or an offering being done, a service. SO, with those two translations that the original texts use, we see there are two types of worship, a bowing down worship and a service worship.
With that view on worship, Clint then had us turn to Genesis 2. After we read the entire chapter aloud and saw the perfect unity, the perfect relationship before sin that God had with Adam and Eve, Clint followed up with this question: what did worship look like before sin? Hmm … interesting question, right? Several of us students hadn’t even thought of worship in that perspective before. From the beginning God wanted all the glory, but what did that mean for Adam and Eve if they were perfect and had perfect unity with God already? In Genesis 2, it shows us that God gave Adam a job, God created work for Adam. This work was Adam’s worship to God. In Genesis 2:8-9, God created a special place in Eden for man to dwell – a sanctuary for Adam and Eve, a place to worship, God dwelling with them.
Then in a brief summary, we looked at Genesis 3 and saw what worship looked like after the “Fall”. The Fall caused flawed worship. Adam and Eve were ashamed the moment they disobeyed God and they ran from God in the garden. God provided an animal’s skin to cover their nakedness, and that was the first time innocent blood was shed. The lamb’s innocent blood being shed was a foreshadow to Christ’s innocent blood being shed for our shame and guilt to to cover what we deserve, separation from God. So to wrap that up, worship was not able to happen again without a covering for Adam and Eve’s guilt and shame. Genesis 3:15 is the first time we see in Scripture that tells us there will be Someone to defeat Satan. That is Jesus Christ, the innocent one who willingly died to cover our shame and guilt.
Praise God that He loves us so much that He’d put somebody in our place so we can live in harmony with God and glorify Him.
This morning Stephen Procopio faithfully led us in our devotionals. We looked at John 4, the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. We looked at how Jesus went to this well to evangelize and saw, in the previous chapter, that Jesus evangelized to Nicodemus, but was really just answering questions. So in this story, Jesus purposefully walked the very long walk to the well for the purpose of telling this Samaritan woman about salvation. We talked about how Jesus so divinely placed Himself there at the well for the exact purpose of sharing the Good News – We need to do the same wherever we are at!
Later today we looked at worship in the Old Testament, started in Genesis 4 looking at Cain and Abel. We looked at why God accepted Abel’s sacrifice and not Cain’s. Abel brought his best with a good attitude, Cain didn’t bring his best and had a grumpy attitude when bringing it. SO… What is worship in this story? What does it look like for our lives today? Pastor Clint pointed out that God wants our best, and to come to God with the right attitude. So we are left with the question… what is it that we bring to God? Is it our best? Is it with the right attitude?
We continued to look at many passages throughout the Old Testament, Sacrifice of Noah in Genesis 5:20, Sacrifice of Abraham in Genesis 12:7, Moses and the Elders of Israel Worshiping God in Exodus 24, the Tabernacle in Exodus 25:8, the Temple 1 Kings 8:27-30. After looking at all these true accounts, in all of the procedures, rules, and regulations to make them set apart from the people around them, we are left with the question: what did God really want from His people??… (1 Sam. 15:22, Isa. 1:10-20; 29:13) God wants obedience and humility. God wants us to listen. The final answer: Our hearts. God truly wants our hearts. He wants us to be set apart from this world and to glorify Him. God will get the most glory when He has our hearts fully.
Today we had a bit of a crazy morning finishing packing up for an out-of-town trip that we’re taking this weekend, but thankfully we all made it to devotionals ON TIME! Alex Hairgrove lead us in devotionals this morning and looked at a couple different Scriptures to lead up to the main point of this morning’s time in God’s Word. We first looked at Psalm 24:1-2, and we saw that God created and own everything, we then looked at Colossians 1:15-16, from there we see that God created everything through Him and for Him. Our main three verses we looked at were 1 Corinthians 10:31-33. We see that because God created and owns everything for Himself, we are to do all things for God’s glory – it is all for Him! Alex had each of us students draw a heart in our notebooks and create 7 different rooms, each room with its own category. He then had us examine our own hearts to see which of these areas we are allowing God to fully be glorified in. It was definitely convicting and humbling to do that for me personally. We then split into groups of two with our roommates and talked through these things for accountability.
Later, for our class, we looked at worship in the New Testament. I’m going to give you just a bit of the outline we had for class.
Jesus and Worship: Avoid hypocrisy
- a few things we can do to worship: giving, praying and fasting.
Life through Christ
- Verse 28 really should be a good reminder for the believer and should truly cause us to worship.
Jesus is God
(John 10:30, John 8:58)
- Jesus is stating that He is “I am”
- We worship because God offers eternal life through Jesus.
- We also looked at the Temple in the New Testament – The bodies of believers (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 1 Cor 6:18-20)
The Church and Worship
- Christ did the work. We can have hope that we will receive what God has promised, therefore hold fast. (Eph. 2:11-22)
- Jew and Gentile can now come together because the wall has been broken down by the blood of Christ on the cross. His blood doesn’t only break down the horizontal barriers, but also made a way vertically to be reconciled to God. (Eph. 4:11-16)
- We are to edify one another, continually build one another up. We are being made into a temple as a church, a body of Christ. A question that Clint asked us (and that you can ask yourself)… “Am I helping those around me mature? Am I building them up in Christ?”
- Because of Jesus death and resurrection, believers will be in perfect communion with God again one day in Heaven. Worship will be fully restored and bring God GREAT glory!
To sum up all of that, ultimately God truly wants our hearts. Clint made it very clear that worship isn’t just about the instruments we play at church or what we wear or where we are when we worship. Yes, all of those things are good to be aware of when we worship, but ultimately God only cares to have our hearts. He wants MY heart.
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
I have to share how we ended our night yesterday! We finished out our full day with evangelism at NOVA, college group at Immanuel, then a 1 1/2 hour drive to the Pinkston’s Lake House for the weekend. We (all six students, Jordan’s family, and the Pinkston family) made it safe and sound. Micah, Sarah, Eli, and I were all in awe when we got out of the van. We looked up at the sky and there were stars filling it – just like back home for us four! Where we are staying in Springfield is more of a city, so there aren’t many stars we can see.
Friday, we spent the day out on the lake with the boat, tubing, wake-boarding and swimming. Saturday we had a great chill day full of sleeping in and naps, along with tubing out on the lake again, followed by a feast with everyone that Mr. and Mrs. Pinkston made for everyone. Sunday started with breakfast, and church in the living room with all of us. Micah led us in worship, then all six of us were asked to share one of the most impactful/meaningful Scriptures that we’ve read so far in our Bible reading time, and man, that was tough to just think of one! Mr. Pinkston then led us in a devotional and shared how God has grown Him and impacted him over the years – it was so encouraging! We were left with a challenge from Mr. Pinkston to examine our own hearts and examine our motives in all that we do: is it truly to glorify God?!…
What a amazingly full week! God is so good and so merciful and so gracious!
Thank you, Pinkston family and Stanridge family for the wonderful weekend! We feel like such a big family 🙂