****** This excerpt from my first book, MORE THAN SONGS by Mike Mattice copyright © 2001. It’s unpublished as of now, but I hope it will be in the near future ********************************************************************************
First and foremost, I want to thank and praise my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for giving me a heart of worship. I sure didn’t have it on my own!
Secondly, my eternal love and gratitude goes to my wife, Kathy, who has spent twenty years trying to teach me “simplicity”. Again, I sure don’t have it on my own.
For my inquisitive daughter, Mindy, who keeps me searching for the answers; and my grandchildren, who restore the child in me… words can’t express it! Out of the mouths of babes, His praise is perfected.
Also, I give many thanks to the authors, editors, publishers, and teachers for providing the many resource materials.
Preface “Is This The Right Book?”
This is not a book of worship techniques. Although I may interject some personal observations, make suggestions, and offer opinions, this is not a “how to…” manual. I hope to awaken, encourage, and inspire readers who, like me, seek a deeper and fuller worship experience.
All seekers can come to know God. Although many of His ways are mysterious to our limited minds, God is not a mystery! You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to know God. He wants to be known! He loves each of us so much that God chose to allow His Son’s death for our sakes. Worship is a perfectly natural and normal response when you know our loving Lord.
If you’re not sure these words are true, your curiosity may have led you to this book because you’re searching for something or someone. Your Heavenly Father desires your company, and has used your curiosity to call you. He knows all that you’ve ever done, said, or thought, and yet He wants to forgive you completely, cleanse you entirely, and hold you forever close to His heart. Right now… wherever you are…you can bow your heart and agree with God that you know you’ve sinned, but you want to change. Accept God’s forgiveness and cleansing for you… personally. He extends it through the centuries, from the cross at Calvary where Jesus bled and died for you, directly to you, wherever you are right now. Trust that Jesus of Nazareth is the only, uniquely begotten Son of the Living God, Who did not sin; but in a way that we can’t fully understand, He became all of our sins, and died to pay the penalty for everything we ever did wrong. Acknowledge Him as your personal Savior.
But if Christ is not raised from the dead, then our faith is in vain. You may be thinking: “When you’re dead, you’re dead. How could he rise from the dead?” This is an excellent question! Research for yourself. You will find that the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth in first century Jerusalem is the single most-documented event in the entire history of the world. There are secular accounts as well as those of believers, all eyewitnesses to these events.
So, if you’ve just accepted God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ, put down this book. Pick up a Bible, and start to get to know your loving Savior. I suggest starting in the New Testament with the Gospel of John. Then, you must talk with someone regularly in order to establish a relationship with them, so talk to your Heavenly Father in Jesus’ Name, as He commanded. Then listen as well. You’d be surprised what God has to say to you.
Then (and this is very important!) get involved with a local Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. God’s not afraid of your honest questions and neither will a pastor that’s any good! God bless you, and maybe someday you’ll pick up this book, and it will minister to you; but this is not the right book for you right now.
I believe that the Holy Bible is the infallible, God-breathed Word of the Living God. This book won’t attempt to prove this tenet. In fact, I’m going to assume that you share this conviction. If you don’t accept that all Scripture is given by inspiration (breath) of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, [and] for instruction in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16), then you are reading the wrong book! Put this one down, open the Bible, and let God reveal His truth to you.
This book will offend some. That’s okay. If it does, then hopefully you’ll be challenged to carefully study and examine the offense. If you search the Scriptures, and find that I’ve written something unbiblical, then you should not read this book any further. But, please take the time to write to me! I don’t claim to have all-inclusive knowledge of Scripture, nor infallibility. However, to the best of my ability, I have studied and prayerfully written this book. I believe that God has revealed these truths to me and inspired me to share them. The only worthwhile things I have to say are what God has shown me. Please forgive my occasional lapses into opinion, and just let God’s truth speak to you. Some of you may have better understanding of the Bible, and find mistakes. Please don’t let me continue in error. In the back of this book will be an address where you are welcomed to write to me.
However, if your study shows I’ve been accurate, but the “picture of biblical worship” in this book doesn’t agree with your traditions, beliefs, personal convictions, and/or experiences… THEN YOU ARE READING THE RIGHT BOOK!!! In fact, you are the person for whom this book was primarily written. Take your Bible, this book, any “Statement of Faith (or Beliefs)” to which you adhere, roll up your sleeves, and prepare to receive from the Living Lord!
MAY THE LORD JESUS REVEAL HIMSELF TO YOU!
In His Service,
************** Please read, and more importantly, review this excerpt for me. Your feedback is very important to me. **************************************