True Worship

on Monday, July 6, 2009

John 4:23-24

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.

Many do not see how worship and truth are blended together. Some view them as polar opposites. Yet, in truth, both are blended together to please the Father. Worship is our response to the truth of God. Truth of God is found in one place alone: the Word of God. If we do not have a mind for truth, we will not experience the fullness of our relationship with God. Worship is not based on how I feel but on who God is. He never changes, thus, is always worthy of praise. The more I know truth, which is from and is the Word of God, the more I will experience in my relationship with God. He sent His Son to die on our behalf so we may experience a relationship with God. For our relationship to grow we must worship in spirit and truth. In all that God has done for us, our response is a lifestyle of worship. Worship is not just singing. Worship is not just Sunday mornings. Worship is responding to the truth of God’s Word. To grow in the truth of the Word, is to grow in worship.

Worship is our response to experiencing God daily through the truth of His Word applied to the reality of our lives. Corporate worship is the celebration of what God has done in our lives and the equipping of truth for what He will do through our lives. Worship and truth blend together beautifully. We cannot fully have one without the other.

Job Description

on Thursday, May 28, 2009

Job descriptions explain how a person functions in a company. When you hear "this person is the CEO", you picture the decision maker behind a large desk, running the organization. If you hear "this person works in the mail room", a different image would come to mind. In Isaiah 9:6, we are given job descriptions of Christ so we can picture Him in the different ways He is functioning in this world and the way He can function in our lives if we allow Him.

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Let's look at each job description for Christ:
1. "The government will rest on His shoulders"--The government rests on His shoulders. It does not burden or weigh Him down; it just rests there. If governing the entire world is not a burden for Christ, why would I think my life's issues are a burden to Him?
2. Wonderful Counselor--Sometimes we have no idea what to do, what decision to make. Others may try to give advice but often their counsel falls short of what is in the best interest for us. Yet, we have a counselor who is for us. He made us. He knows what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. We can trust His counsel. And it was wonderful help, not mediocre, not so-so, but wonderful! Are you willing to receive His Word into your life?
3. Mighty God--He is not wimpy. He cannot let us down. This is in contrast to all the things or people whom we pour our faith in but they let us down in their weaknesses. There is only one who is mighty; He does not grow old, does not neglect His duties, does not put us in last place. He is a warrior. He is for you. Why are you worried?
4. Eternal Father--Our parents may have let us down. But He is the perfect parent. We may lose our parents to distance, problems, or even death. But He is the eternal Father, everlasting, we will never lose His parental love for us. Do you know how much you are loved?
5. Prince of Peace--the prince of this world is evil, creating turmoil and confusion. But the Christ is the Prince of Peace. He is the steady in the storm, the calm in the calamity, the triumph in the tragedy. Will you accept His offer of peace?

The job descriptions of Christ meet us at every need. His resume proves He is able and willing to care for us in all situations of life.

One Shoulder

on Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Zephaniah 3:9
For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, That all of them may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him shoulder to shoulder.

As I researched the wording on this verse, I was struck by the imagery. The term "shoulder to shoulder" is translated in the ESV/RSV renditions as “One accord”. However, in the Young’s Literal Translation and also in the footnote in the NASB it is translated as “One shoulder”.

If we are to serve as "one shoulder", we are to be like Siamese twins. We are eternally connected through Christ. To cut off one another is to cut off our own arm; it is to do harm to ourselves. Unity is not only important, it is vital for health, vibrancy, and strength.

If believers are called to be “One Shoulder”, what does that mean to our community? First of all we are to be a comfort to the community. We have all heard the phrase "a should to cry on". By serving together, we provide a place where the hurting are comforted. Second, we are to be a place of security or safety. Picture a mother holding a frightened child. She holds the child close so he knows he is not alone. We are to be a safe place for the world. In this world people are used and abused. The church is to be a secure place in an unsure world. Lastly, unified believers ("one shoulder") are a celebratory group. We are on the winning team. When a team wins the game, the star player or the coach is hoisted upon the shoulders of the winners. We are to lift up Christ and celebrate His victory on the cross and invite others into the eternal celebration.

Ponder your life. Is your church "one shoulder"? Or is there gossip, dissensions, fighting, slander, disunity, etc.? What about you? Are you uniting and building up the "shoulder" or are you causing a painful split causing harm not only to others but also yourself? If we want to see our communities transformed, we must be "one shoulder" serving together!