Posts Tagged With: prayer

We Are What We Eat!

Have you ever immediately regretted the decision to upgrade your meal to a medium or, dare I say, a large?

Yeah, me too!

93FF5ECD77Courtesy of Stocksnap

My body feels the weight of the grease and the smell lingers on my clothes.  My “I want it hot and now” mentality gives way to genetically modified potatoes and something that resembles chicken…or beef…or maybe pork?

A truly sustaining meal, however, would require time, planning, and preparation.  It would require patience, discipline, and effort.   I would have to learn how to bake, grill, or “skillet” this meal.  I would have to invest time, precious time, into the art of cooking.

Time is precious so the first thing that is sacrificed is my health.  I would rather take the quick fix than the slow mend.

How often do we treat our worship of God the same way?  One hour on a Sunday becomes the spiritual gas station where we pump just enough gas to “get us through”.  Justification becomes the mantra of the week:  Life is just too crazy right now, the kids are asking too much of me, work demands all my time, etc…

How easy it is set scripture, devotions, prayer, and silent moments to the side when it comes to living the Christian life.  We get caught up in the things that we see and experience in our everyday lives that the unseen world of faith becomes more blurry by the second.

Recently a friend of mine was preaching on Jesus’ statement of being the Bread of Life and he put this quote on the screen: We are (spiritually) what we eat (spiritually).  Simple yet profound.

We are (spiritually) what we eat (spiritually).

Do we consume things in our lives that will cause us to feel overwhelmed, dirty, or even a little smelly?  Or are we consuming the Truth that lifts our burdens, cleans, and washes over our sin?

Worship takes time.  It takes intentionality.  One hour on a Sunday will not be enough to sustain you throughout the week.  Start small.  Start prayer with one minute a day.  Start reading one verse a day.  Listen to an audio bible in your car.  Download a devotional app.

Control your time and your schedule.  Give God a place in your life so your daily worship can flourish.  Why not upgrade your relationship with God to the next level?

What does your spiritual diet look like?  What are some things you consume to stay healthy?

Advertisements
Categories: Christ, Church Life, Faith, Lifestyle | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stamp of Approval

…and all God’s people said: Amen!

One of the most common sayings on a Sunday morning.  It can follow a prayer, a song, or a particularly powerful sentence or scripture.  Each week the halls of every building that the church, the living and breathing people of God on a journey, gathers will ring out with this two-syllable word.  It is the reassuring affirmation that spans generations and languages.

Amen

The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon

Strong’s Number: 281

Definition:

  1. firm
  2. at the beginning of a sentence: surely, truly, of a truth
  3. at the end of a sentence:
    1. so be it, may it be fulfilled
    2. a way of making a statement or proclamation one’s own

Jesus has a way of grasping His audiences attention.  He began sentences with a statement of truth, an Amen focus.  A deeply rooted truth that was meant to teach those present about the Kingdom of Heaven.

“Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 18:18, NAS Emphasis Mine)

The Worship, the true biblical approach to giving everything that we do and say to God in reverence of what He has done for us, of God’s people is the resounding Amen to the Word, the truth, of God.  It is our way of affirming everything that God has done, is doing, and will do in and around His people.

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen” (Revelation 22:20-21, NAS Emphasis Mine)

The last word recorded in the New Testament, from the book of Revelation written by John, is Amen.  Think about that for a second.  Let the reality sink in.  The final sentence of God’s divinely inspired collection of eye-witness accounts is the proclamation of truth and affirmation that one day Christ will return and restore creation to it’s original sinless state. (If there was any time for a shout or a cry of Amen and applause to erupt, it was there! –  John nailed it!)

When we say Amen to the work of God in Christ we make His victory our own.  When we say Amen to call of God to live our lives in honor of Him we make His ministry our own.  When we say Amen to the living power of Holy Spirit the world stops and takes notice!  God meets us where we are and gives us the opportunity to respond with a resounding Amen, and when we do we clothe ourselves with righteousness and reflect His love, grace, and truth.

Make your worship an Amen from this day forward!

Categories: Lifestyle, What is Worship?, Word Study | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Worship: Rooted in Relationship

Worship is an active partnership between God and creation as relationships are cultivated.

“Worship is a conversation between God and God’s chosen people.  There is a mutual exchange, a holy dialogue, an invested sharing back and forth in worship” (9)
-Constance Cherry “The Worship Architect”

True biblical worship is a relational conversation, not just between members of a congregation, but between God and His people.  A conversation that consists of both speaking and learning when to be quiet and listen.  God has a lot to speak to His people, if only we would slow down and listen to what He has to say to us through things like scripture, prayers, songs, sermons, and silence.

Scripture is our direct link to the heart, story, and attributes of God.  It tells of creation, fall, and redemption.  It speaks of faith on monumental levels.  It is the inspired word of God penned on paper.  The Bible is our guide book, our comfort, our direction, our encouragement, and our ultimate love story.  Scripture directs the church, it directs how we relate to one another, it dictates our actions, it shows us how to truly love one another.  Our relationship with God is rooted in the scriptures and we should digest what they teach us and give all glory to God through shouts of praise, joy, weeping, meditation, and prayer.  God speaks to us through His written word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit and we should respond by living our lives in reverence of Him and what He has done for us.

Corporate worship, or the times that we come together as one body to give glory and honor to God, are filled with relationship characteristics.  We must acknowledge that we are all active participants in a corporate setting.  Our prayers, our songs, our offerings, our sermons, and our fellowship are all a conversation to God and a chance for God to speak directly to us as one body gathering in His name.  Corporate worship should not be just a time to talk about God and teach what he has done, but should also include a chance to talk directly to God because He is present in our churches.

Relationships are two-sided, with each party contributing to the conversation.  In our churches, our worship should reflect a healthy relationship with God, a mutual sharing back and forth.  In order for this to happen we must both speak and be willing to listen.  “Be still, and know I am God” (Psalm 46:10 NIV)  We must be willing to corporately and personally be willing to quiet ourselves, our minds, and our tongues to listen to what God has to tell us.  Silence is necessary, silence helps us to listen, silence allows us to be attentive to the will of God and grow in our relationship with Him and one another.

We have been called into a holy relationship: Will we build relationships that take the cross of Christ to the world?  Will we have a strong corporate and personal relationship with the Gospel and proclaim it to the nations?  Will we cultivate our relationship with the one who promises new life and anticipate heaven?

May we grow in our relationship with the Author of the Word of Life through our everyday worship and preach it through our actions and attitudes.

Categories: Christ, Church Life, Lifestyle, What is Worship? | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are we only hitting the “tip of the iceberg”?

Have you ever stopped to wonder what people mean when they use the term “worship”?  Are they simply referring to the music?  Or perhaps they are referencing the entire service?  In either case, only the surface of such a diverse word is being utilized.

Worship is more than what we do on a Sunday morning;

it is more than the music,

the preaching,

or the prayers.

Worship is a lifestyle; it is everything we do in adoration of the Lord and it is rooted in our reception, response, and relationship to God and all those who surround us on a daily basis.

Worship is rooted in our reception; it is expectant and always preaching.

“Every weekend we should anticipate the coming of Christ.  After every worship service, we should celebrate the fact that he is alive forevermore, and consequently, so are we!  After every worship service, people should leave our services withe an anticipation of heaven.” (43-44)
-Kevin Navarro “The Complete Worship Service”

Worship is the choice to approach God and respond after we have been called.

“Worship is an active response to God, whereby we declare His worth.  Worship is not passive, but is participative.  Worship is not simply a mood; it is a response.  Worship is not just a feeling; it is a declaration.” (16)
-Allen and Borror “Worship: Rediscovering the Missing Jewel”

Worship is an active partnership between God and creation as relationships are cultivated.

“Worship is a conversation between God and God’s chosen people.  There is a mutual exchange, a holy dialogue, an invested sharing back and forth in worship” (9)
-Constance Cherry “The Worship Architect”

Worship is a conversation between creation and the creator, between man and God.  Worship is a two way street whereby we communicate with God and He answers through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Our worship must be lived out is such a way that it demands an explanation.  We must be living testimonies as we encounter the world and worship the Lord.

In the next three weeks we will unpack and expand on each characteristic  of Worship: Reception, Response, and Relationship.  I invite you to join me at The Table as we discover more of what it means to Worship God.

Categories: Christ, Church Life, Lifestyle, What is Worship? | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Generosity

When we live a life of generosity in reverence of God we reflect the love given to us by Him.  God is the perfect example of love, He has grace for the sinner, hope for the broken, and strength for the weary. God empowers His people, His global Church, to shine His light and freely give His love.  We are to be mirrors reflecting the very image of God in all that we do.

2 Corinthians 8:8-15

New International Version (NIV)

I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.

13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need,so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”

When we embrace the love and hope that we hold onto in Jesus the Christ, we begin to understand that generosity is more than giving money, time, or attention to a good cause.  Generosity is a lifestyle.  It takes us from stopping and thinking “What Would Jesus Do” to immediately acting like Jesus would without thinking about it.  It becomes a part of who we are as Christians, or “little-Christ’s”.

I want to challenge you to pray for your local congregation and its leaders.  Pray that they would all embrace a lifestyle of generosity that seeks to reflect the heart of God.  Pray that they would act out their faith and allow it to become who they are and how they act.  May they go from thinking about Christ to embracing their

 

Categories: Christ, Church Life, Devotional Thought | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Ethan & Emilie

Embracing an Inspirational Life

rethink

Jesus. Church. Culture.

Tales from the Great Adventure

a journal of living-like-we-mean-it, by Derek Maul