Monday, April 30, 2012
Jesus says in Luke 9:23, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. These words are so pointed, so direct, and so real, but hard to put into context for me. What does it mean to deny yourself? As a culture, we are so focused on ourselves. The idea of taking “me” out of the equation sounds crazy. Denying yourself is something that must be done if we are to truly worship God. This denial of self should take place daily. Surrendering our heart, soul, mind, and attitudes must be done if we are to be a true worshipper and follower of God. God wants our everything. Worship with the wrong mindset, wrong focus, and wrong attitudes isn’t worship at all. With this in mind, how can you deny yourself today? What must you change in your life for this self-denial to take place?
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
In my previous post, Worship: From the Inside Out, I focused on King David and his outpouring of worship to the Lord. David poured out his heart before the Lord and didn't care what others thought about his expression of worship. How did David prepare his heart for this moment of worship to his King? He spent time in prayer. He meditated on the word of God He repented for his sins. He had a humble spirit. David listened and was obedient. Above all, David was thankful and gave glory to God for his successes and accomplishments. Throughout the Old Testament, we are able to peer into David’s life. David is open to God about his struggles, shortcomings, and frustrations. We can also worship as David worshiped. Through repentance, obedience, meditation, and prayer we can bring honor and worship to God. Is this how we are to prepare our hearts so we can worship like David worshiped?
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
One of the most beautiful and public displays of worship was recorded for us in 2 Samuel 6:14-17. David’s enthusiasm and public display of worship for God definitely caught the attention of those around him. This outward expression of worship was driven by internal feelings of what God had done for David. In Psalms 30, David wrote in verse 11, “You turned my wailing into dancing”. David held nothing back from God. He danced and leaped before the Lord, sacrificed a burnt offering, and offered praises with many different instruments. Often times, as worshippers, we hold back our outward expression, despite our internal feelings. How can we prepare our hearts during the week, so that we can pour out our hearts out to God when we gather with others? What holds us back from expressing our worship from the inside out?
Sunday, April 8, 2012
The last few weeks, I have been studying the topic of worship. In fact, I’m in the stages of research for a new book on worship. As I write and sort through my thoughts, I will attempt to blog about what I am learning as I write. Scripture is filled with examples of people who worshiped God. Worship looks different and varies from person to person. Ultimately, Jesus tells us in John 4:24,that we are supposed to “worship God in spirit and in truth”. Worship God with our heart, soul, and mind. I’m listening to Matt Redman and Tim Hughes sing the song “Heart of Worship” and really questioning if the worship I do with my life and through corporate worship is truly about Jesus. I can sing the lyrics and go through the motions, but does my daily worship bring glory and honor to God? At the end of the day, is He pleased with the offering I give Him?
Monday, November 14, 2011
I'm reading the book Facedown by Matt Redman for the third time. It is a small devotional that is small enough to hold on the exercise bike or treadmill. I began starting reading Chapter 2 this morning and stopped about two pages in to reflect upon one of the statements Redman makes. "Otherness gives us a sense that God is so pure, matchless, and unique that no one else and nothing else even comes close". Isaiah 46:9 says "Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is non like me". Strong and powerful words..."there is NONE like me". As you go about today, remember that whatever mountain you face or valley you are walking through, God is much bigger. This song by Chris Tomlin also reminds me that God is in control and because of that I have nothing to fear.
Friday, November 4, 2011
Last week, I read a great blog post by Dan Pink titled The Power of an Hourly Beep. In the crazy times of my day, considering these questions would probably change the way I handle particular situations. The two questions comes from the book, 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done written by Peter Bregman. Question 1: Am I doing what I most need to be doing right now? Question 2: Am I being who I most want to be right now? Making time to reflect every hour seems like a lot, but I feel like it could put me back on track if I'm straying. What if I took a few minutes an hour to reflect on God's Word? How would my life be transformed? It would be great to speak the words of the psalmist who wrote, "I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word."--Psalms 119:15-16
Friday, October 21, 2011
Do you ever get distracted? It is so easy in today's world to become distracted by the things of this world. When we lose focus and get distracted work doesn't get accomplished. This distraction can be from people, the television, or even the cellphone. I often find myself distracted by the things of the world, so I fail to complete the work and mission God has given me. In Matthew 14, the wind distracted Peter and he lost his focus as he was walked on the water toward Jesus. This loss of focus led to Peter panicking and he began to sink. This lesson of Peter's distraction should encourage us. If we lose focus, refocus back on Jesus and he will direct us to finish the task.