A gifted response

by | Mar 1, 2024 | February 2024 | 0 comments

…be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord…
(Ephesians 5:18-19 NIVUK)

What are Christians doing when they offer their worship to God? Are they massaging the ego of a narcissistic deity who just wants to be adored? Are they trying to get on God’s good side so that he will bless them with lots of good things? Are they trying to impress God with how spiritual they are? Are they trying to earn God’s love? 

Christian worship is none of these things. God doesn’t love and save us because we worship him, rather Christian worship is our grateful and joyful response to God for the salvation he has already shown us in Jesus Christ his Son. 

Although our worship is something we do in response to God’s movement towards us, even this worship is something God freely gives us through his Spirit. We can only respond to God in heartfelt worship because our love for God is ‘poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit’ (Romans 5:5). We only cry out ‘Abba, Father’ because God sent his Spirit to us (Galatians 4:6), and we can only sincerely exalt Jesus as Lord by the Spirit’s enabling (1 Corinthians 12:3). 

No wonder Paul tells us that a result of being filled with the Spirit is to speak to one another ‘…with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit’ and that he will lead us to ‘Sing and make music from our hearts to the Lord…’ (Ephesians 5:19).

This is what the Christian songwriter Matt Redmond calls ‘a gifted response’.1 God loves us so much that he sent his Son to save us, and he sent his Spirit to enable us to worship him in response to that great love. Spirit-led worship then delights in God’s salvation and basks in his love. This is the heart of Christian worship. 

Let’s join the Psalmist who said many years ago, ‘Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.’ (Psalms 95:1-2).

Loving Father, may your Spirit constantly fill us with your love and the desire to be a gifted worshipper, proclaiming your great salvation with thanksgiving, music, and song. To your honour and glory and in Jesus’s name, Amen.


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