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Tag: Worship (page 1 of 86)

Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery

Matt Papa’s “Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery” has become one of my most cherished modern hymns of late.  Hope you enjoy!

Come behold the wondrous mystery
In the dawning of the King
He the theme of heaven’s praises
Robed in frail humanity

In our longing, in our darkness
Now the light of life has come
Look to Christ, who condescended
Took on flesh to ransom us

Come behold the wondrous mystery
He the perfect Son of Man
In His living, in His suffering
Never trace nor stain of sin

See the true and better Adam
Come to save the hell-bound man
Christ the great and sure fulfillment
Of the law; in Him we stand

Come behold the wondrous mystery
Christ the Lord upon the tree
In the stead of ruined sinners
Hangs the Lamb in victory

See the price of our redemption
See the Father’s plan unfold
Bringing many sons to glory
Grace unmeasured, love untold

Come behold the wondrous mystery
Slain by death the God of life
But no grave could e’er restrain Him
Praise the Lord; He is alive!

What a foretaste of deliverance
How unwavering our hope
Christ in power resurrected
As we will be when he comes

What a foretaste of deliverance
How unwavering our hope
Christ in power resurrected
As we will be when he comes

– Matt Boswell, Michael Bleecker, Matt Papa 2013


When I was praying through Psalm 29 recently, I was reminded of this great song.  Such a powerful truth.

Song resources and chord chart:…


Featuring Cory Asbury

Ascribe unto the Lord
The glory due His Name
Ascribe unto the Lord
The honor and the praise
For He is holy and He is worthy of
All of the glory and all of our love

Great and marvelous
Are Your works oh Lord
Just and true are all of Your ways
In all the earth
Alpha, Omega
The Beginning and the End
Forever we’ll praise the Name
Of the Lord most high

Cory Asbury
© 2013 Integrity Worship Music/ASCAP (adm at CCLI # Pending

I Want to Be Obed-Edom

As King David prepares to bring the Ark of the Covenant back into Jerusalem, something shocking occurs.  The Israelites were transporting the ark on a cart driven by oxen because that’s how they saw the Philistines do it.  The problem was God commanded them to have the priests carry it on poles.  When the ox stumbled, the Ark gets tipsy, and a guy named Uzzah nearby braces it with his hand and God strikes him dead.  Needless to say, David didn’t want the Ark near him anymore.

So what did he do?  He instructs an unknown priest named Obed-edom, who lives 10 miles outside the city, to take it into his home.  And the ark, which just killed a man for touching it, is moved into his living room for 3 months.  I know how hard it is to make my children not touch the remote or the electrical socket, can you imagine trying to convince them not to put their grimy hands on the big shiny thing in the middle of the room?

David heard that God was blessing Obed-edom, and so he decided to bring the ark back to Jerusalem, but now, he would do it obeying God’s instructions.  David brings the ark into the city with much rejoicing and dancing and the presence of God is symbolically back in the center of God’s people (the part of this story occurs in 2 Samuel 6).

My Favorite Worshiper in the Bible

What happens next changed my life.

When the Bible begins to describe the people in charge in caring for the ark and the temple, Obed-edom’s name comes up time and time again.  Obed-edom is in the list as a worship leader on the lyre (1 Chron. 15:21), gatekeeper to the ark (1 Chron. 16:38), and ministering in the tabernacle (1 Chron. 26:4, 12-15), and much more.

Don’t you wish he was on your volunteer team?  The guy is absolutely everywhere!

Remember, he lived 10 miles away.  He couldn’t just hop in the minivan and make a 10 minute trip there to perform all those duties.

Here’s what we must take from his ability to serve:

Once someone truly experiences the presence of God, he cannot settle for less ever again.

After worshiping the Lord at such a close proximity for 3 months, Obed-edom was addicted to being near God.  He couldn’t do without God’s presence.  He probably uprooted his family and moved cities so he could be close to the One he loved the most.

Obsessive Worshipers

I want to be Obed-edom.  I want to be obsessed with drawing closer to God.

So what about you?  When was the last time you truly experienced the presence of God?  You worshiped him so close that any deviation from his presence was too much of a calamity to endure.

Obed-edom shows us that our proximity to God is directly proportional to our productivity for God.

He shows us that there is substitute will ever do once we have truly experienced communing with God.

For a day in your courts is better
    than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than dwell in the tents of wickedness [Ps. 84:10].

[For more on this thought, check out the sermon “Worship by the Book.”]

Worship Was Never Meant to Be About Me

Worship was never meant to be about me.   

Yet that truth has not stopped me from attempting to make it about me every single day of my life.  From the very beginning, the human heart has made worship about personal desires rather than selfless offerings.  Unfortunately, those who serve in worship ministries have acquired a front row seat to the whole debacle.  While it is easy to denounce casual worship attenders for their critical spirits when the service doesn’t appease their preferential palates, deep down the same sin lingers in me.  I want to make everything – even the worship of Jesus – all about me.

When I rate worship services based upon the degree of my personal satisfaction regarding aesthetic tastes, musical preferences, and sermon predispositions, I have reduced worship to idolatry and made the idol none other than myself.  Sitting haughtily upon the judges’ panel, I believe that those leading are only able to pass on to the next level of competition if they pass my esteemed appraisal.  Instead of using biblical qualifications, I base everything upon personalized expectations.  The worship service is labeled good only if I acquired a sufficient amount of warm and fuzzies.

When did worship ever become about what we got out of it?

Instead of keeping worship Godward, we have turned it inward.  It’s frightening to think of how many worship services people have attended and yet never stirred their affections towards Jesus in those moments.  It’s even more terrifying to think about how long people can serve on a worship team without ever actually intentionally directing people’s affections toward Jesus.

Worshipers must realize that worship is not about them.  Worship leaders must realize that worship is not about them.  Those who lead others towards Jesus have to keep that focus as their goal and never get sidelined by lesser pursuits.

I can’t lead you somewhere if I don’t know the way.

While that admission seems like an obvious statement, the reality of such a concept can be tragically forgotten in our churches.  In worship, the goal is to respond to God’s revelation by ascribing to the LORD the glory that is due his name (1 Chr 16:29) by sacrificial offerings of praise and thanksgiving (Heb 13:15).  The gathering of God’s people (Ps 50:5; 1 Cor 14:26) is a needed pause from the routine in order to proclaim the goodness of our God corporately (Ps 34:3; 40:9; 100:4-5; 149:1).  As a worship leader, if I’m not aligned with that direction, how could I ever expect the congregation to arrive there?

It’s unfeasible that I could lead worship if I’m not a worshiper myself, and it’s just as difficult to lead worship with those who aren’t worshipers themselves.  From the one in charge to every support position on the worship team, we cannot lead people to a place we are not going ourselves.  The role of pointing others to worship the living God should be a terrifying position in which to serve.  If done poorly, we could stand in the way of others seeing Jesus clearly.  Do we understand the critical nature of our worship teams?

Too often, our church platforms elevate people whose desire is set on receiving praise more than it is about giving praise.

Through selfish motives, hidden agendas, and misplaced priorities, a poorly discipled worship team can dramatically alter a church’s worship trajectory.  I am confident of this possibility because I know my own heart.  I understand this hazard because I have endured through many difficult conversations regarding the complexities of worship.  I believe this because I have heard more church worship horror stories than I care to count.  In my times as a worshiper and a worship leader, I have seen havoc break out when a congregation, team, or individual sets their sights on themselves rather than God.

Whether you are a worshiper or worship leader, the danger is consequential.  Regardless of your ministry’s worship style, no one receives immunity from this disease.  It does not matter what your role is on the worship team, your soul needs constant and comprehensive evaluations.  I believe your ministry is in danger because mine has been and continues to be.  In reality, many of the most damaging sins have not always been sins of commission but sins of omission.

Excerpt from 5 Worship Team Killers

Worship Song on the 5 Solas

Sunday will be my last day leading worship at North Side.  As the church as a whole has been aware of this change for two weeks, I have been trying to do what I could do to help during the transition for a while now.  Part of the plan was writing a new worship song and recording a 6-song EP.

The song is called “For the Glory” and it is a song celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

Story Behind Song

The Protestant Reformation was a major 16th century European movement aimed initially at reforming the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Its religious aspects were supplemented by ambitious political rulers who wanted to extend their power and control at the expense of the Church.

In response to practices that the reformers deemed as unbiblical, they structured much of their teaching around the 5 Solas:

  1. Sola Fide, by faith alone.
  2. Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
  3. Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
  4. Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
  5. Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.

Each of these main points seek to counteract unbiblical practices and teach biblical doctrine.

As a result of the Protestant Reformation, Protestant denominations were born (Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc.).  Much of the doctrine that is accepted by evangelical Christians were reinstated during that time period.

As a way to teach and in order to celebrate the anniversary, I desired to write a worship song that walked through the 5 Solas.  The song structure walks through each of the doctrines.

We recorded this and 5 other gospel songs that will be pretty pivotal for North Side in the coming days.

The EP is available on iTunesSpotifyAmazon MusicGoogle Play, and Amazon on Demand (if you want a physical copy).

For the Glory – Music

For The Glory – G

For The Glory – lyrics

For the Glory – Lyrics

Scripture alone we hold as true
The words of man will never do
The truth of God inspired
Through faith alone we have received
The gospel truth we have believed
Nothing else required

For the glory, for the glory
For the glory of God and God alone

By grace alone salvation comes
Not by works which we have done
The gift we never earned
In Christ alone the only way
No man will need to mediate
For none can match His worth

For the glory, for the glory
For the glory of God and God alone
Every nation, join creation
To give glory to God and God alone

Scripture alone will never fade
Its truth has sanctified
Through faith alone we are saved
The cross has justified
By grace alone the price is paid
God’s wrath is satisfied
In Christ alone our hope is stayed
Jesus, be glorified