Archive | July 2012

Avenues into Worship

Welcome Friend!

My thanks to you for visiting and as always I pray you find the words here to be encouraging and inspiring as you move along the path of your journey seeking Jesus – your Friend and mine.

Our scripture focus today is from the book of Psalm

Chapter 138 verse 2 —

“I will worship toward Your holy temple,
And praise Your name
For Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.”

My friend, I’m led to speak to you today about worship.  It is something that we do and there are several “avenues/roads” that lead us into this wonderful experience.  

I’ll start with saying worship is seen by many as the human response to the divine initiative.  God is actively seeking worshipers and scripture is full of examples of God’s efforts to initiate, restore and maintain fellowship with his children.

Halleluiah!

Then did you know that there is a priority of worship?

Well there is and if the Lord is to be Lord, worship must have priority in our lives.  The divine priority is worship first, service second.  

Our lives are to be full of praise, thanksgiving and adoration of God.    Service is not a substitute for worship.   God says in Ezekiel 44:15—

“come near to Me to minister to Me”

I believe we often forget these words and instead run around answering calls to service without ministering to the Lord himself.

Today many agree that God is calling his Church back to worship!  

There is a renewed interest in intimacy with God – a real and true RELATIONSHIP with Him.  

God wants the heart of his people back and if we long to go where he is going and do what he is doing, we will move into deeper, more authentic worship.

Worship is considered by some to be a spiritual discipline because they believe it is an ordered way of acting and living along  “divinely appointed avenues” that if followed will set us before God so he can transform us.  

Praise God!

The first avenue/road is to “still” all humanly initiated activity.  We are to live in a perpetual, inward, listening silence so that God is the source of our words and actions.  

Does that sound impossible?

It may if you do not see Jesus as your ever present Teacher who through the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth.  In this way we may come to understand  what Paul means when he instructs us to “walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Rom.8:4)

My friend – to still the activity of the flesh so that the activity of the Holy Spirit dominates the way we live will affect our private and public worship.  

It may sometimes take the form of absolute silence and allow you to hear the still small voice of God speaking to your heart.  

One scripture reference about silence is Habakkuk 2:20 —

“The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him”

Praise is another avenue into worship.  

The Psalms are said to be the literature of worship and their most notable feature is praise.  Singing, shouting, dancing, rejoicing, adoring — all are the language of praise.

Scripture urges us to “offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name” (Heb. 13:15)

Here are a few simple steps that I hope will help in the experience of worship:

First, learn to practice the presence of God daily.  

Really try to follow Paul’s words, “Pray without ceasing”

(1 Thess. 5:17)

Have personal times of inner worship, confession, Bible study and attentiveness to Christ.  

Second, worship God when you are alone and when gathered in small groups.

Third, find ways to really prepare for the gathered experience of worship.  Prepare on Saturday night by going to bed early, by going over the hymns and Scripture passages that will possibly be used on Sunday, by gathering early before actual worship service and filling the room with the presence of God.

Fourth, have a willingness to be gathered in the power of the Lord.  That is, learn to let go of your agenda, of you being blessed, of you hearing the word of God.  The language of the gathered fellowship is “we” not “I.”  There is a desire for God’s life to rise up in the group not just within the individual.  Become of one mind, of one accord.

Fifth, cultivate holy dependency.  Holy dependency means that you are utterly and completely dependent upon God for anything significant to happen.  You look forward to God acting and moving and teaching and winning.

Sixth, absorb distractions with gratitude.  If there is noise or distraction, rather than fussing and fuming about it, learn to take it in and conquer it.  If little children are running about, bless them.  Thank God that they are alive and that they have energy.  Become willing to relax with distractions – they may be a message from the Lord.  

Seventh, learn to offer a sacrifice of worship.  Many times you many not “feel” like worship.  There is such a low sense of the power of God.  But you need to go anyway.  You need to be with the people of God and say, “These are my people.  As stiff-necked and hard-hearted and sinful as we may be, together we come to God.  Remember the counsel of Proverbs 27:17—

“Iron sharpens iron,”

and even rather dull lives can help each other if they are willing to try.  

So go, even if you don’t feel like it.  Go, praying.  Go, expecting.  Go looking for God to do a new and living work among you.

I’ll close with this – to worship is to change.  Worship enables us to hear the call to service clearly so that we respond, “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).

It is not for the timid or comfortable.  

It involves opening ourselves to the life of the Spirit.  

It involves a willingness to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs , singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16)

Thank You Jesus!

Let us bow our heads and pray—

Father, you are everything to us.  You are an awesome God.  We praise you and we love you with all our hearts.  Thank you for your grace and mercy.  Thank you for your faithfulness.  Help us in all our ways to be who you want us to be.

In Jesus Name we pray.

Amen.

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Quiet Time.

Welcome – Welcome My Friend!

I thank you for taking a moment to visit today.

It is truly a  blessing and an honor. 

And I’m ever prayerful you will find the words here to be  encouraging and inspiring as you continue on path seeking JESUS.

PRAISE GOD!  

Our Scripture focus today is from the joyous book of Psalm:  Chapter 5:3 —

“My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.

Brothers and Sisters – I’m sure you know having quiet time with the Lord every day is absolutely essential if you expect to grow spiritually.  

But you have to plan it!  

It won’t just happen.  

Some say early morning is best – while others say -the hour of the day matters not – just as long as you stick with it.

It’s personal preference to me and I choose early morning before I start my day because I believe I will hear His still small voice in my heart.

It is said that if you meet the Lord before you meet anybody else, you’ll be “pointed in the right direction” for whatever comes.

Make it short to begin with – fifteen minutes or so.  You’ll be surprised at how soon you’ll be wanting more.

Last, keep a notebook.  Write down some of your special prayers with the date.  Record the answer when it comes.  This will help you remember them.  You’ll be amazed at what a difference a quiet time with the Lord will make in your life AND in the lives of all whom you pray for.

Halleluiah!!!

   Thank you Jesus – my Lord and Savior.

Let us bow our heads together and pray—

Father God, thank you for your LOVE, your grace and mercy and each blessing you’ve bestowed upon us.  We LOVE you!

PRAISE GOD!

AMEN.

 

Pray Like Crazy Anyway…

WELCOME – Brothers and Sisters!

Thank you for visiting today whether it is your first time ever or yet again – I am glad you stopped by. 

It is always my prayer that you will find a word of encouragement and inspiration during these

times as you seek JESUS – your Friend and mine.

Journey on – for when you seek Him – you will find Him.

Friend – it is on my heart this morning  to speak about our prayer life and the importance of it.

Our scripture focus is —

Psalm 103:14

New King James Version (NKJV)

For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.

And I begin with this question for you—–are you comfortable with your prayer life?  

Does the thought of prayer intimidate you?  

Have you reached  a point where you’ve become so preoccupied with your own perceived deficiencies AND concerns with the method and mechanics of prayer instead of the MOTIVE and MEANING that you’ve lost the  JOY of simply going into the PRESENCE of our heavenly Father?

Many people (self included) have been known to work themselves into quite a spiritual frenzy of

HESITATION

and

SECOND-GUESSING

before saying even the first word to God.

We ask ourselves questions such as 

…When should I pray (early, late, …)

…How much prayer is enough?

…Are my motives pure?

…Are my petitions selfish or shallow?

…Will God be offended if my mind wanders?

If you are asking yourself these questions – my friend – know that you are not alone!!!

AND

ARE YOU READY?

the wonderful answer to these questions that I’ve learned in walking with the Lord is—

Just Pray!

Pray constantly.  Pray right through all those doubts and questions.  

Yes, intimidated or not, pray —PRAY LIKE CRAZY ANYWAY!

God loves us my friend!  

He knows how we struggle in prayer and that often we are left feeling confused and silent  instead of secure and conversational in our prayers, as He intended us to be.

I’m pausing right here and now to say—Halleluiah –  Thank You Father –  Praise God –  Amen.

Remember —

He knows our situation.  

He knows we are flawed.  

He knows our weakness.  

He knows EVERYTHING!

And God gave us some powerful help in our lives here on earth – the Holy Spirit. 

Romans 8:26-27

New King James Version (NKJV)

says—

26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

That’s why we can still pray even if we don’t have confidence in our ability to pray.  

It doesn’t matter because we can have confidence in the ability and faithfulness of the HOLY SPIRIT to interpret our prayers.  
So again my friend – PRAY – pray like crazy anyway!

Let us bow our heads together and end with this prayer – 

Lord, thank you for your love.  We love you Father.  Please help us to trust the height and depth of your LOVE.

All Praises, Glory and Honor to You Father.

In Jesus’ Name we Pray.

Amen.