crank it up!

by WALKER BEACH

The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, “This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!”

Matthew 14:33 (MSG)

Love Expressed

It was a normal Sunday church service. As we worshipped, I couldn’t help but notice a couple standing near the front who were unusually exuberant in their worship. I had seen them before and couldn’t recall them ever being very expressive in worship, much less what I was witnessing this day. As we transitioned into the slower, more intimate songs, they continued to jump up and down as they passionately worshipped. I was both curious and inspired, wondering what could have happened in their lives to cause such a significant change in the way they worshipped God.

I found out, and the answer permanently changed my perspective of worship.

Matthew 14 tells the story of Jesus’ disciples who got caught in a boat in the middle of a mighty storm. Here’s the short version: The disciples got stuck in the storm and were terrified. Shortly before dawn, Jesus came along, walking on the water through the storm (very cool). Peter tried to do the same and started to sink. Jesus caught Peter, stepped in the boat and the storm stopped. “Then the disciples worshipped him” (Matthew 14:33, NLT). That last part may not seem like a big deal, except … this had never happened before!

The disciples had watched Jesus perform incredible miracles many times before, but this is the first time the Bible says they actually worshipped Him. What could have happened in their lives to cause such a significant change in the way they worshipped God?

The disciples had been with Jesus for quite some time. They had seen Jesus provide bread for thousands of other people, heal other people and perform miracles for other people; but this time, the miracle had happened to them. It was personal. And now that it was personal, their worship of God became personal as well. They didn’t just watch others worship Jesus; they worshipped Jesus.

The reason why the disciples worshipped is the same reason why the couple worshipped so passionately in church that day—their worship had become personal.

Some time before that Sunday in church when I had observed their worship, the couple had received a diagnosis that the wife had terminal cancer. But earlier that week, she was miraculously pronounced cured … without any medically explainable reason! This couple had been in church for years and had heard other people talk about amazing things the Lord had done. But this time, the Lord had done something amazing in their lives. It became personal. And now that it was personal for them, their worship of God became personal as well. They weren’t just attending a worship service, they had become worship—their very lives expressing their love and gratitude to the Lord.

You don’t have to be healed of terminal cancer or see Jesus walk on water and calm a storm to have your worship become personal. All you have to do is remember one thing God has done just for you, not what He’s done for everyone else; just what He’s done for you.

God saw you. He saw you when you were far away from Him with no way back without His help. Jesus came to get you, died to save you and now lives to be with you. Now, if you really believe that, your worship will become personal.

I don’t know if a few days after the storm the disciples stopped worshipping Jesus as passionately as they did that day on the boat. I don’t know if the couple who had experienced a miraculous healing from cancer eventually turned down the volume knob on their soul’s worship stereo. But I do know all it takes to crank it back up is to remember what Jesus did for you. Let it become personal again. After all, you do have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. So remember what Jesus has done and make your worship personal!

It is delightful and profitable to observe how the hand of God was upon the lives of ancient saints, to see His goodness deliver them, see His mercy pardon them, and see His faithfulness keep His covenant with them. But isn’t it even more delightful and profitable for us to remember the hand of God working in our own lives? We should look back at our own history as being at least as full of God, as full of His goodness and of His truth, as the lives of any of the saints who have gone before … Let’s review our own lives. Surely we will discover some happy incidents which are both refreshing to ourselves and glorifying to God … Let us then weave His mercies into a song. Let us take the pure gold of thankfulness, and the jewels of praise and make them into another crown for the head of Jesus. Let our souls make sweet music, music that is as exhilarating as that which came from David’s harp, while we praise the Lord whose mercy endures forever!

CHARLES SPURGEON

Prayer

Lord, I praise and worship You because I know You love me personally. Not only have You saved me, but You’ve done so many things just for me. I choose now to remember all the ways You’ve blessed me and shown me Your love. With a grateful heart, I turn up the volume on my praise! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Activation

  • Remember one thing God has done for you and praise Him for it!
  • When God blesses you and shows you His love, write it down so that when worship doesn’t feel personal to you, you can go back and remember His goodness.

For Further Study

  • Matthew 14:13–36
  • Psalm 23
  • Psalm 77:10–14
  • Psalm 105:1–5
  • Lamentations 3:21–24
Matthew 14:13–36Psalm 23Psalm 77:10–14Psalm 105:1–5Lamentations 3:21–24
WALKER BEACH
Matthew 14:33 (MSG)