Thursday, October 31, 2013


In I Chron. 21:18-24, King David speaks about offering acceptable sacrifices. He states, “I will not offer to the Lord that which costs me nothing!” When is it an acceptable sacrifice? When we don’t feel good and yet we still worship. When we don’t like the songs, yet we sing them wholeheartedly. When we give of our tithes and offerings and it hurts to do so…THAT’S WORSHIP! The prophet Habakkuk says in 3:17-19, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vine, and though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food...yet will I rejoice and be joyful in the Lord.” To be able to make that statement and mean it is a true sacrifice! 

This lesson of faith teaches us God’s providence, regardless of circumstances, suffering, or loss. Bring your mood to God...if it’s praise, then offer it up. If you’re tired, tell Him. If you’re stressed out, let Him know. If it’s depression, give it to Him with a vow to praise Him (just as David did in the Psalms.) To make this vow is perhaps one of the strongest affirmations of faith in the Bible, yet everyone has excuses when it comes to worship…“It’s just the way I am,” or “it’s my upbringing, or temperament, or just my personality,” yet God is saying “Change!” The word “worship” in the NT (Greek) means work! Let it show on the outside what God has done on the inside!

So often we come to church just to receive from God, and that will always happen if we first come to Give...our time, talent, money, and worship. Again, the great paradox, “Give and it shall be given to you” applies to the worship service. If we would come to the service knowing that we may not receive anything from God, would we still come? Of course, His word will never return void, and He is always doing a work, irrespective of whether we see something happening. If our mentality would be to make a conscious decision to worship God without any hidden agenda, then we truly release Him to do even a deeper work in our hearts and minds. 

The scripture says to “Bless the Lord and forget not all His benefits.” When we bless Him, we somehow bring Him beauty, and He is looking for it! True worship is the overflow of a heart that has no requests to make! Psalm 14:5, declares that, "God is always present in the company of the righteous!" May we bring Him acceptable sacrifices when we come into His presence!  And if Jesus is truly present, there will always be healing, restoration, and renewal…offering your sacrifices with a humble and repentant heart ALWAYS captures God’s attention…and I want HIS attention more than anything!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Naturally Supernatural! By David Ritter

It is inherent within God’s nature that all creation would praise Him. “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”  Humans. Animals. Sea creatures.  Even inanimate objects. The scripture says that the oceans roar, the trees clap their hands, the rocks cry out, and the stars sing.  Everything that exists does so for the Glory of God.  But what if we didn’t praise Him?  Would that make God any less omnipotent?  Would He be hurt and disappointed?
Read what Charles Spurgeon wrote about it: 
“If all of mankind would suddenly disappear, then look at the heavens! See the starry host; see the mighty throng of cherubs and seraphs? Let men be gone and they shall praise him; there is an orchestra on high, the music of which shall never cease, even if mortals were extinct and all the human race swept from existence. Again, if all the angels were gone, still daily would He be praised; for, are there not worlds on worlds, and suns on suns, and systems on systems, that could forever sing his praise? Yes! And if these ceased to exist, the Father would praise the Son, and the Spirit would praise Him, and mutually blessing one another and rendering each other beatified, still daily would he be praised.”

As long as man exists, however, there will be the innate desire to worship God, although most don’t recognize it.  And, unfortunately, this desire is often misplaced by worship with idols.  People. Power. Positions.  So why does God need OUR praise?  He doesn’t! He has provided praise as the path to encounter Him!  For it is in praise and worship that God reveals Himself.  A divine appointment with God changes us…heals us…renews us…and restores us back to fellowship with Him.  And music of praise is the most powerful vehicle to approach the throne. It is the most natural “supernatural” way to encounter God!  

And we don’t have to wait until the Sunday services to explore what God wants to share with us.  Because David, Daniel, and Paul praised God throughout the day, everyday, He revealed so much of Himself that their names are now synonymous with the greatest spiritual leaders of all time.  And just think…God wants to do that for you, regardless of your position or lot in life.  He wants to make a David, Daniel, or Paul out of you.  Making music to God takes the natural and makes it supernatural!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Talent...use it or lose it. Hey, we’re taught that principle from the time we first started Sunday School, or just from reading the Bible. What we often miss, however, is that God is never impressed with our talent. Unfortunately, there is a lot of “talent” worship, but what really impresses God is when the attitude of our hearts is pure. It’s that simple. You don’t need a degree in theology to understand that this is probably the most critical element of the Music Ministry. On the flip side, when we exalt talent over attitude, we compromise the integrity of that Music Ministry. How many times have we fallen into the perfectionist mode, often forgetting our first worship God in Spirit and in Truth? Because God expects the very best from us, we must sacrifice everything else to provide Him with nothing less than our highest level of musicality.

I have never met a minister of music who has not fallen into this trap at some point in their ministry. In fact, I fell for it a few years back while I was teaching the choir the correct rhythms for the song “Change My Heart O God”. I got so caught up with fixing their mistakes, that I totally missed the writer’s intent, and the scriptural premise behind it; not once did I even mention that this was the kind of prayer that captures God’s attention. Big mistake! In the wee hours of that same night, I literally felt the anguish of the Holy Spirit as He reminded me that my priorities were not in sync with His. He also revealed the Truth behind my inordinate demand for flawless presentation...David Ritter wanted to make sure that the choir was singing perfectly so that he would look good!

That following Sunday morning, I asked for the choir’s forgiveness for “missing the mark,” and how I was convicted for “oops” (“Only Our Pride Syndrome!”) What I didn’t realize was that this was Communion Sunday and that God was going to use this as an opportunity for all of us to “check our hearts, so that we would not partake of the elements unworthily.” That’s the mercy of God...when He takes our arrogance and pride and crushes it into ashes in front of everyone you love. And then, when we least expect it, He takes those very same ashes and establishes a Divine appointment to reveal just a little more of Himself.