Are You Missing Out?

by Kiplin Batchelor

“But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, ‘Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?’ This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it” (John 12:4-6).

Judas said a good thing! Feeding the poor is kind, noble and praiseworthy. Who would not be impressed by such thoughtfulness for the less fortunate in society? To an undiscerning person, Judas is—at this time—a champion of social justice and a lover of the poor. However Jesus, Who always sees much deeper than what worshippers advertise, saw the hidden deceit behind Judas’ beautiful facade. Judas spoke with apparent compassion, but the truth is, while Mary bowed before Jesus in vulnerable and selfless worship, Jesus’ treasurer stood tall in self!

We often don’t think of a worship setting for something like this, but how many times do people say beautiful words that are intended to impress others, so they are perceived to be more than they really are? Judas could have kept silent as a mere observer in the room, but he opened his mouth and revealed his hidden deceit in the midst of worship. He not only wanted money, he wanted to appear good to Jesus and the influential crowd of Pharisees at dinner.

Judas is a humbling reminder that the stench of a wrong motive can be present while the fragrance of worship fills a room; Judas is a timely reminder that a worshipper’s heart can shift from Jesus the Divine treasure and be preoccupied with earthly Roman coins while doing ministry. He is a reminder that one’s proximity to Jesus doesn’t guarantee or equate to intimacy—we can be in the same room with Jesus, but our heart can be a thousand miles away. The difference between Mary and Judas is the difference between impressing people or loving Jesus, and all true worshippers must crossover to loving, if worship is truly worship.

Judas cheapens an opportunity to worship! Although his words may have impressed those who were close enough, it must have been disheartening for Jesus to hear his own inner-circle-follower market a great idea and a lovely self image—yet, all the while concealing theft, misappropriation of funds and betrayal. Unfortunately, Judas missed an incredible moment to join Mary in selfless worship at Jesus’ feet! Instead of being a participant who captures and seizes a moment in extravagant worship, he became a subtle, undermining critic! Like Michal who labeled David’s worshipful dance as undignified, Judas labeled Mary’s worshipful gift as a waste. What led him to think Jesus wasn’t worth a year’s salary? I have come to realize that those who struggle with God’s worth always struggle with worship. These are always the first to criticize and attack those who pour out all at the feet of His Majesty.

What is equally powerful in this story and many others in the Bible is that Jesus is not afraid, offended or incensed at His children displaying varying expressions in worship. The God of simple and quiet reflective moments in silence before Him is also the God of the exuberant and passionate worship. When He told the religious group to leave Mary alone, He allowed her to be unconventional, undignified, unrehearsed and unperturbed by her elitist environment, her terrible past and by the propriety that filled the room. Real worship kills self image, and it must do so, or we will see ourselves more than we see Him when He shows up.

Simon the Pharisee entertained Jesus over a meal, and Judas was distracted, but Mary bypassed all the pretentiousness and superficiality at the dinner and made worship her priority. One man invited Jesus to a meal, but one woman worshipped Him at that meal — there is a big difference! We must go beyond entertaining Jesus in our lovely auditoriums and actually worship without thinking our passionate expressions are too much. Mary saw her opportunity to worship Jesus, and she took it. Will you do the same? Don’t miss out on your opportunity to worship Him!

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Worship At A Higher Level

by LaMar Boschman

Recently, a well-known worship leader and CFNI graduate came to me with tears in her eyes. She said, “God has blessed me with favor and notoriety in my country. Young people see that and tell me they want to be famous like me. But I tell them I began as a worship leader in my local church; I just wanted to lead people into God’s presence.” Many young, aspiring musicians have the wrong impression of what worship is. Perhaps they have not been taught worship’s true essence. There is more to experience in worship than what we have today.

HIGHER GROUND

In my spirit I hear the Lord’s Bride cry out for a higher level of worship, where time passes quickly in His Eternal presence. It is worship beyond mortal music making and an encounter with celestial music makers in Heaven. It is a realm beyond the worship rhetoric of men and closer to worship lyrics of seraphs. It is a place where your spirit takes wings, and you hear the lyrics that cherubs sing.

There is a higher place of worship where singers lay prostrate and musicians fall upon their guitars crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy!” At this level, the worship of the people overpowers the performance on the platform. It is where worshipers sing outside the arrangement and musicians color outside the lines, because they see the Lord high and lifted up! It is about Jesus singing to His Father in the midst of His people, and we join His song.

It is a realm where Heaven and Earth kiss and signs and wonders break out, revealing that God is among us in power. It is a realm of worship where we don’t want it to stop, we feel so satisfied and content.

GOING HIGHER

Have you experienced that higher worship? Do you long for it? Do you know how to get there? I ask because some leaders or believers don’t. They might have tasted it. Enjoyed it. Wanted more of it. Prayed for it. But do they know what spiritual principles took them to that dimension?

I have discovered three things that will take you to a higher level of worship.

  1. Look up! The worship in Heaven is perfect, just like God likes it. Explore Heaven’s worship music — its characteristics, dynamics and content.

2. Study the principles of worship and music in the Bible. Take a course on the theology of worship or music and learn from the over one thousand mentions of music in the Bible.

 

3. Seek God in worship and prayer. Ask Him to show you the higher realm of worship. Without exception most revivals occurred as people hungered for God and waited on Him in song. In other words, when renewal comes, so do higher levels of worship and music making.

LaMar Boschman is a prolific author, keynote speaker and an adjunct teacher at CFNI for The Theology of Music and the Theology of Worship. He is a mentor to young leaders around the world. LaMarBoschman.com

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Music Monday – January 13th, 2014

Top Five Christ For The Nations Albums of All Time

by CFN Music

1.) Glorious

2.) No Ordinary Love

3.) 37

4.) Make Me Shout

5.) Responding

 

 
Christ For The Nation’s newest live worship album “No Ordinary Love” is now available for download through the following distributors:  iTunes http://tiny.cc/nol-itunes  /  Amazon http://tiny.cc/nol-amazon  /  Google Play http://tiny.cc/nol-googleplay 
 
 
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The Making of No Ordinary Love

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Christ For The Nation’s newest live worship album “No Ordinary Love” releases on Tuesday, November 5th, 2013. CFN Music Manager, Alex MacDougall gives The Voice Online a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the album, which is available for download through the following distributors:  
iTunes http://tiny.cc/nol-itunes  /  Amazon http://tiny.cc/nol-amazon  /  Google Play http://tiny.cc/nol-googleplay  /  Spotify http://tiny.cc/nol-spotify

 

During discussions for the next Christ For The Nations’ worship recording, it was envisioned that the Spring 2013 project should be different from both “37” and “Uncreated One.”  The desire was to bring new sounds, new lyrics, new expressions, and some new people into the equation. As we prayed, we asked God to show us what He wanted and to direct our steps.

Immediately, we received a song submission from a worship leader and homemaker in Virginia.  We had never spoken with Calie Garrett before, but her song “Holy” captivated our hearts, imaginations and spirits.  We knew that God was moving as more songs arrived. Patrick Curry, a first year student at CFNI, submitted a song entitled, “Lose Myself in Your Love.”  Not only is the song exceptional and lyrically filled with sound truths, Curry wrote the song when he was just 18 years old! We also identified a brand new song connecting within the UK Vineyard churches. “Come In” is an invitation for our God to invade our hearts and lives.  It’s a sweet song that quickly resonated with all of us at CFN as well.

Gabriel Allred expressed a desire to add Jeremy Burk to the recording team. Jeremy’s ministry is based in San Antonio, and he has been a guest over the years at Christ For The Nations.  Jeremy is an eclectic addition to the mix. He is primarily a blues/rock guitarist and singer, and so adding him to the team “shakes things up” a bit.  Jeremy co-wrote the new song, “Cover Me With Oil,” with our own Gabriel Allred.

But unknown to us, the addition of Jeremy would provide the title to the project, “No Ordinary Love,” (Jealous Jealousy), a cornerstone song to the recording.  God truly had been at work since the planning of this project began in November 2012.

Jeff Sparkman, a previous contributor to CFN, along with Gabriel, wrote a magnificent addition to the traditional hymn, “Oh The Blood Of Jesus”, entitled “”White As Snow.”  This new version will echo in churches for many years to come.

Jessica Freeman-Collins penned a melody and brought it to Gabriel.  Together, they wrote the lyrics to this new melody and created a happy song of thanks called, “Good To Me.” It is unlike any praise song I have ever heard. (It is currently available for download on Soundcloud.)

CFN Music truly hopes that “No Ordinary Love,” will bless and edify you, and that its songs will bless the Father as you learn them for yourselves. The album releases on November 5, and is available on iTunes as well.

-by Alex MacDougall, CFN Music Manager
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