Worship of God, our Creator, begins with an attitude and continues with action - first, acknowledging the worth, glory, beauty, and majesty of God above all things, based on the revelation of Himself in His Word, and in response to that, surrendering our will to His. Every act of obedience is an act of worship...
"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship."
What do you do when a loved one boldly announces that they no longer have any convictions or beliefs about God? They question if He even exists. You have stood in church with this cherished loved one, countless times, singing praises together to your precious Savior, with their small hand in yours, and now they no longer want to be there.
It is ok to grieve. Sin should bring sorrow to our hearts. Sin and rebellion grieves the heart of God. We are reflecting Him when we grieve over sin.
You continue to be Jesus to them, showing them self-sacrificial love and kindness. You speak the truth in love to them. You tell them the answers are there, if they will look.
You humbly thank the Lord for His gift of faith to you, which you didn't deserve. There but for His grace to you, you could be in the same place. He would be just and there would be no blight on His character if He'd not granted you repentance. You ask the Lord to reveal Himself to your loved one in a mighty, glorious way, as He removed the enemy's blinders for you, so you could see Him as the One who absorbed God's wrath for your sin. Days, months, or years down the road, your loved one could come to the end of themselves, and like the prodigal son, their eyes could be opened to their sinfulness, the Lord working in concert with your faithful prayers. As long as there is life, there is hope, so don't stop praying.
You rest in God's sovereign plan. You know as Creator and the One who holds all things together, as the eternal God, He has the story written from the beginning to the end of each person's life. God has determined from eternity past who are His and each and every one will come to Him. You know there is an even bigger story. Way, way bigger. You know the story is really about Him. He is the main character and in His amazing love, He has written you into His story. Your part in His story is to grow in knowledge of Him by spending time with Him. Your part is to live each day, walking by faith with Him. Your part is surrendering your will to His. Your part is reflecting His grace in your life back to the world around you, making much of Him.
Our intent should be that, in what we are and in what we do, others may see God in order that they may glorify our Father. Our good works are to magnify God's grace and power. This is the supreme calling of life: glorifying God. Everything we do is to cause others to give praise to God who is the source of all good. The way we live should lead those around us to glorify (doxazo, from which we get doxology), to give praise to our Heavenly Father.
"But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin,
you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching
to which you were committed,
and having been freed from sin,
you became slaves of righteousness."
Tim and I love Sundays...it's our favorite day of the week. It's the day to gather with church family and worship our precious Savior. We actually have two churches we are a part of. One we attend online, before we go to our church here near home - we love the teaching and the worship, at both churches. Both lift high and magnify the name of Jesus. Each week, in corporate worship, out of love and adoration for our Savior, we praise Him in song for who He is and for His mighty deeds - for taking sinners like us and making us a part of His family, because of His great love and mercy for us. And it is a mighty deed for Jesus, the innocent, to take us, the guilty, and exchange identities with us, giving us His righteousness, when we are more like Adolf Hitler than Him. So we sing praises to Him. He also loves and desires our doxology of obedience. We can and should praise and worship Him, every day, with our willing obedience. Every day is meant to be a day filled with giving worth to Him. Every act of obedience exalts Jesus as our loving Savior and our Sovereign Lord and King. It is the reason we were created and it is the ultimate goal of all things, to make Him look wonderful, because He is...wonderful...
"...the pathway of irrevocable commitment to your mate and your marriage-regardless of how troubled your relationship may seem-you will find that choice leading you into a place of agape love and peace and personal growth. These are just some of the rewards, for the chances are very good that you will also be able to enjoy the blessings that God has wanted to bestow on your marriage from the beginning.
I am not suggesting that the healing of a marriage is an easy process when one person resists it. But are any easy choices open to you, after all? Torn relationships involve pain, whatever you do about them. As Peter points out in his first letter, it is far better to suffer (if suffer you must) for doing right, than for doing wrong. He makes it clear that God's favor and blessing shine on the one who patiently suffers, if necessary, in order to do His will. Meeting your marriage problems in a biblical manner is productive rather than pointless, and whatever hurts you encounter will be less damaging than the long term effects of divorce would be.
"The very word divorce should be cut out of the vocabulary of a couple when they marry," a woman with a restored marriage said, "because God's way is so much better for anyone who is willing to give it a try."
Another woman, considering the turbulent events of the past year that had driven her to grow emotionally and spiritually while she "loved her husband back" to their marriage, said, "You know, it's all been gain for me. I'm a different person now. The process was humbling, but it was worth it!"
A man said, "During the time when I was trying to win my wife's love and hold our family together, sometimes I got so tired of rejection that I didn't feel anything except a determination to do what the Bible said and leave the results with God. The only thing I was sure of was that somehow God would work it out for my good because He promised that in His Word. I never imagined the love affair He has actually given us. He really does do more than we can ask or think!" Ed Wheat, M.D. in "How to Save Your Marriage Alone"
Ascribe to the LORD, O sons of the mighty,
Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name;
Worship the LORD in holy array.
The voice of the LORD is upon the waters;
The God of glory thunders,
The LORD is over many waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful,
The voice of the LORD is majestic. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
And Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the LORD hews out flames of fire.
The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
The LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD makes the deer to calve
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple everything says, “Glory!”
The LORD sat as King at the flood;
Yes, the LORD sits as King forever. The LORD will give strength to His people;
The LORD will bless His people with peace. Psalm 29
I love this psalm of David. No doubt, witnessing a violent storm produced this song of praise. David heard the majestic voice of the LORD in each lightening bolt and thunderclap and calls the angels, or great men of the earth, (commentators differ on who the sons of the mighty are) - to bestow honor and glory to God because of His awesomeness. Can't you see the landscape lighting up for a moment as the brilliance of the lightening snaps across the sky, trees bending and breaking in the swirling, whipping wind? The power of this storm even drew David's thoughts to the account of the flood. How intense and noisy was the Lord's voice at that time? Deafening...like a thousand times ten thousand Niagra Falls as the fountains of the deep opened up...
You are King over everything, ruling intentionally, righteously, justly, Lord.
You are Powerful. You are Mighty. You are Awesome.
Ok, gals, this is for you. My friend, Kristen Wisen, is teaching a great Bible Study series this year on Tuesday mornings at her church. It is called The Emmaus Road Gospel. She is taking us through the Bible in twenty-three lessons - showing how Jesus is woven all throughout scripture.
The Bible is His story. It is all about Him! Have you heard about the eternal covenant? You will learn about it in lesson one. Lesson two covers creation. Lesson three is on marriage and the fall. Lesson four is on the flood. Did you know that the Hebrew word for "pitch", that which was used to make the ark water tight, is also the same word for atonement? Christ's blood was the pitch/atonement for our sins - it keeps the judgment fire away. You'll learn lots of great nuggets like this. The Bible truly is His story and ultimately everything in it points to Him.
The lessons are livestreamed at around 10AM eastern time, 7AM west coast time. If you need to catch the lessons later, you can watch a recording of the livestream, or listen to a podcast. Just click on the link below. If you want to watch the livestream, use the link below and then click on the welcome page. From there you will see a link to the livestream. Kristen has been blogging about things from the study as well. Be sure and check out her blog, Nike Musings. There is a link to it on the right, in my blog list.
You will be stretched, challenged, and greatly blessed - it's not too late to join in.
that the Father and the Son have with each other...
The Father and the Son thought of us, before time,
so we could make much of God, throughout eternity...
Jesus, You are:
Robed in righteousness...
Mighty to save...
Holy, holy, holy...
High and lifted up...
Faithful, Forgiver, Healer...
You never change...
You are King of Kings!
You are Lord of Lords!
We proclaim His excellence with our voices and with our deeds, with our obedience, with our love for others, because we've been changed by His goodness, righteousness, and mercy! Keep this going, friend, throughout your day...it's what we were made to do!