Tag : worship-2

Why is the Tambourine Important? By Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Whenever I travel, I love to bring back meaningful mementos to remind myself of the place I visited. Israel was no different. When I visited the Jewish Quarter, I found a unique shop called The Rina Store. They had jewelry and paintings, but what made this store different were their beautiful hand-painted tambourines. I now have a small one on my mantle, with a multi-colored tree of life on its face.

Image by Luciano Raul Mazeo from Pixabay

I began to wonder about the significance of the tambourine in the Bible. Why would an artist choose to use them as a canvas? Here’s what I found:

After God parted the Red Sea and Moses led the Israelites to safety, Miriam joyously played the tambourine. “Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine and led all the women as they played their tambourines and danced. And Miriam sang this song: ‘Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; he has hurled both horse and rider into the sea.’”

Another word for tambourine in the Bible is timbrel and you find it interchanged with tambourine in the Old Testament.

“Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe” (Psalm 150:4).

There are other tambourine sightings:

After Saul is anointed king by the prophet Samuel: “Afterward you will come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is; and it shall be as soon as you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and a lyre before them, and they will be prophesying” (1 Samuel 10:5).

When King David worshipped: “Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord with all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, and with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals” (1 Chronicles 13:8).

It’s also used in a negative light by the prophet Isaiah: “Their banquets are accompanied by lyre and harp, by tambourine and flute, and by wine; But they do not pay attention to the deeds of the Lord, Nor do they consider the work of His hands” (Isaiah 5:12).

I realized I had taken the tambourine for granted even though it has been around for thousands of years! Composers used it in operas in the 18th century and it continued to be used in musical works in the 19th century. (https://timbrelpraise.org/background/history-of-the-tambourine/)

The tambourine was an important instrument played in worship, one that anyone can pick up and shake in praise. We non-musicians have no excuse. While I don’t think I will put my painted tambourine to use, I am thinking about buying a regular tambourine from the music store for personal worship. It apparently makes a joyous noise that God appreciates—when played with the right heart.

Categories: Blog

A Call to Extravagant Worship (Mark 14:1-11) by Morgan Underwood

Morgan Underwood is a Masters Student at Dallas Theological Seminary and is currently interning with Pearls of Promise Ministries. Morgan is a writer with a heart for worship as you will see in today’s blog.

I walked down my street, exhausted from classes and overwhelmed by unknowns. I wondered, “Is this worth it? Is Jesus worth it?” I knew the answer. Yes. But I wondered. As I walked and wrestled, a scent caught me. Wisteria. As a kid, I’d sit on my grandpa’s shoulders and press my nose into those blossoms. And, again, Jesus reminded me He’s worthy. In Mark 14 when Jesus sits at His friend’s table, the unexpected happens. A woman walks into the room, and she isn’t serving food. An alabaster flask preserving pure nard rests in her hands. Voices fade as she draws closer to Jesus. The silence breaks. Her hands shatter the flask— an irrevocable surrender of extravagant worship. In a scene reminiscent of the anointing of Old Testament prophets, priests, and kings, perfume trickles down the head of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The word describing the nard reveals that the perfume is faithful or genuine—an appropriate sacrifice for a faithful and genuine disciple. Rather than allowing this extravagant sacrifice to seep through their senses and into their hearts, the onlookers censure this woman’s worship. They label her sacrifice a waste—too much for Jesus, too much for Beauty Incarnate. But Jesus intercedes. “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her?” Jesus doesn’t allow any response time because there’s no good answer. “She’s done a beautiful thing to me.” Can you imagine Jesus affirming your sacrificial worship as a good and beautiful thing? He does. He sees and declares it beautiful. The onlookers said, “She’s done a wasteful thing.” Jesus said, “No. No, she’s done a good and beautiful thing.”

Jesus affirms this woman’s worship in three ways. Firstly, Jesus recognizes the scope of her insight into His sacrifice. She has a limited window of opportunity to worship the Incarnate Son who took on a poverty we’ll never grasp. He became poor for us and our salvation. Secondly, Jesus reveals the extent of her sacrifice. Somehow, this woman recognizes that Jesus will pour Himself out to the very end, and she’s compelled to pour her everything out onto Jesus. She knows He’s worthy of extravagant worship. Thirdly, Jesus promises the perpetual remembrance of this woman’s sacrifice. This unnamed woman shattered the seal of her perfume bottle, and Jesus forever seals her extravagant worship in His Word. The extravagance of Jesus compels disciples to lives of extravagant worship.

When you gaze on the extravagance of Jesus, do you pull away? Or does the extravagance of Jesus compel you towards a life of sacrificial worship? Do you ever question, “Is Jesus worthy?” In Mark 14, the unnamed woman answers, “He is.” What’s your answer? One day, my grandpa took me to the Dallas Arboretum. He led me beneath their arbor weighed down with thousands of pale, flowering cords. Beauty washed over me. Let the beauty of Jesus and the depths of His sacrifice wash over you. Allow the extravagance of Jesus and His sacrifice to compel you to extravagant worship.

“A life of self-sacrificing unselfishness is the most divinely beautiful life that man can lead…It means not that we should live one life, but a thousand lives—binding ourselves to a thousand souls by the filaments of so loving a sympathy that their lives become ours.” B.B. Warfield 

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Faith vs. Religion by Mayada Naami

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

(James 1:26-27, ESV)

Have you ever invited someone to a church service and was told, “No thanks, I am not religious.” Whenever I received this response, I used to try to convince them I’m not “religious” either. It made me start wondering what the difference is between faith and religion. The scriptural definition of faith, according to Hebrews 11:1, is the assurance that the things revealed and promised in the Word are true, even though unseen, and gives the believer a conviction that what he expects in faith, will come to pass. People of faith serve the Lord and walk faithfully with Him, glorifying Him in every way we can.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”

(Matthew 23:13-14, NIV)

It saddens me every time someone refuses to come and worship the Lord, the Creator of life, because of a lie the enemy has planted in their mind regarding the church, Unfortunately, there are many people that have turned away from God because of “religious” people that may not be walking in faith. Jesus called them hypocrites. Some of them may use the Scriptures to control or even manipulate others, which is often the reason people turn away from the Word. In Romans 8, we are told there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. If we trust Him and live our lives in Him and He is in us, then we, those who walk in faith, are the church—the body of Christ.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

(Ephesians 2: 8-10, NIV)

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Two-Way Street by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.”

(Psalm 105:1, NIV)

I love worshipping God. Every morning, after I brew a cup of coffee, I sing along with my favorite worship tunes on YouTube and start my quiet time by entering the presence of God through praise.

But for many years I thought worship was a one-way street. I was a dot on the map in God’s world—worshipping Him for giving me life, salvation and for helping me overcome childhood dysfunction. I am truly grateful. However, in my study of respected Pentecostal Leader, Jack Hayford, who is also the founder of my school, The King’s University, I have discovered that worship is a two-way street.

When we enter a place of worship, Hayford says that God gives us kingdom authority and gifts in his presence. In his book Majesty, He says, God has given worship as a means for man’s:






I have a spiritual daughter and her two boys are my godchildren. When they come over to the house, I always have a little gift for them and they expect it. They come into the house and the first thing they ask is: “Lele, do you have a present for us?” And my answer is always yes. In the same way, when we enter God’s presence through worship, he has beautiful gifts waiting for us in his presence as well because He loves us so much. We should expect it!

David understood the power of worship and this concept of receiving kingdom authority. We see evidence of this in Psalm 103 where he says, “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed” (Psalm 103: 1–6, NIV).

David confirms that worship is a two-way street. God blesses us when we bless him.

So today, if you are not already doing this, will you consider daily worship? God has some presents waiting for you at His house.

[1] Jack Hayford, Majesty: God Enthroned in our Worship, (Southlake: Gateway Press, 2016), 41.

Categories: Blog

How God Works Through Worship by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

What kind of worshiper are you?

Ten years ago I was embarrassed to raise even one hand in church during a powerful hymn or worship song, but today I lift my hands as high as they can go in all-out praise. Psalm 63:4 says “So I will bless You as long as I live. I will lift up my hands in Your name.”

So why are some of us timid about praising God?

I think the Holy Spirit refines us and shows us where we can improve. We are all in a different place on the journey. He is the One who can draw us out of half-hearted praise into a more vibrant worship life.

Just recently, my eyes were opened to the fact that worship may not be one-directional. I used to think it was only about humbly showing Jesus or God praise for His greatness and goodness. However, longtime pastor Jack Hayford, in his book Majesty: God Enthroned in Our Worship, believes worshipping God results in benefits for us as well. He thinks in the midst of worship, we can receive recovery, restoration, reviving, redemption and refreshing.[1]

So when we worship God it opens up a flow of gifts from God back to us—it’s biblical.

When Jehoshaphat and his army faced their enemies. They came into battle praising, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his loving devotion endures forever.” In the midst of their adoration, God set ambushes against the men of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir who had come against Judah and they were defeated.

When Paul and Silas were imprisoned, they prayed and sang hymns to God. While they were worshipping, “Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose” (Acts 16:26, NIV).

Why can’t our emotional chains also fall off when we worship?

The Israelites learned that praise was the key to success. “Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span” (Exodus 23:25, NIV).

So if you’re a little shy about an all–out display of worship, maybe you’ll reconsider.  

Psalm 22:23 says God inhabits the praises of His people. The more we open up a heart of praise, the more room there is for Him to work in our lives.

After this I looked and saw a multitude too large to count, from every nation and tribe and people and tongue, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. And they fell facedown before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 7:9-11)

[1] Jack Hayford, Majesty: God Enthroned in our Worship (Southlake: Gateway Press, 2016), 41.

Categories: Blog