The Salvation Army for a new generation

Open Your Eyes Through Worship

Throughout 2015 our ALOVE Cell Material will focus on the wider Salvation Army UK theme of Open Your Eyes – A Vision for Transformed Living. Each month we will be looking at the things that we can open our eyes to so that we can truly live a transformed life. That might be through the way we live, the things we do and the experiences that we open ourselves up to. In our February Cell and Cell Extra we are specifically looking at worship.

In Romans 12 Paul connects the spiritual act of worship with transformation. He says that as we sincerely offer ourselves to the Lord in worship he can transform us. It’s the worship that comes first.

Therefore, worship is so much more than an emotional ‘feel good’ experience. It is more than a programme at church or a concert by a favourite worship leader. Worship is also participatory. It is not something done to me by a worship band. In fact, worship is not about me at all; worship is all about God. And if we allow it, worship can transform us.[1]

In our January Cell Material we began to think about transformational worship and people may have come across the Bible passage of the woman who poured perfume on Jesus’ feet as an act of worship (Luke 7). Rick Warren discusses the powerful lessons about worship and about the transformation that happens in the life of a worshipper through this Bible story.[2] The sinful woman exhibited four traits we need to take note of…

  1. She worshipped boldly. This woman took a risk coming to the Pharisee’s house. She could have been thrown out or stoned, but she came boldly. She marched right into the house, into the dining room, into Jesus’ presence. Why would she do that? She was looking for forgiveness. She was looking for hope and acceptance. She was looking for some kind of change in her life. She was not there just to pay homage to some holy guy.
  2. She worshipped humbly. She wept in Jesus’ presence, wetting his feet with her tears. Then, in her deep sorrow, she got down on her knees, showing her submission to God, and dried his feet with her hair.
  3. She worshipped honestly. Many biblical scholars believe the sinful woman must have been a prostitute because she brought an expensive jar of perfume with her. This jar of perfume had significance – it represented her life; it represented her background; it was one of the tools of the trade. When she came to Jesus with that jar and poured it on his feet, it was her confession. She was honestly telling Jesus who she was.
  4. She worshipped extravagantly. She showed Jesus extravagant worship by using a jar of perfume that may have cost her an entire year’s wages. And she didn’t just dab on a couple of drops. Luke 7:38 says she poured the perfume on his feet. Why? This was her opportunity to come clean, to meet God, worship him and be transformed. It was her chance to start over.  

 

Wow, what an amazing example of worship… and what an amazing example of a life transformed by meeting with Jesus! This woman’s eyes were well and truly opened!

If you choose to use our February Cell Material with your group we hope that it will be an amazing opportunity for you to dive into a discussion about worship, and as you do so, be prepared to open your eyes, expect to meet with Jesus and look forward to being changed by your experience!

Visit all of our cell resources here.



[1] Ruth Haley Barton, Transformational Worship: Encountering God in Ways that Change Us http://www.transformingcenter.org/2006/07/transformational-worship-encountering-god-in-ways-that-change-us/

 

[2] Rick Warren, Worship Comes Before Transformation. http://rickwarren.org/devotional/english/worship-comes-before-transformation

 

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