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Worship God As You Are

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Ephesians 5:27
27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

Have you been to a worship service where you stood with your hands raised, ready to worship God, only to hear the worship leader say, “Before we worship God, let’s all search our hearts”? Then, as you search your heart, before long, you dig up something that you don’t like. The next thing you know, your hands are no longer raised and soon, you find yourself sitting down — you don’t feel good worshiping God any more.

My friend, I have good news for you. Come and worship Him as you are. Come into God’s presence Jesus-conscious, forgiveness-conscious and grace-conscious! Come into God’s presence bringing only Jesus the spotless Lamb of God as your offering.

Your worshiping God is like the times God’s people in the Old Testament brought their offerings to the priest. The priest examined the animal sacrifice to ensure that it was without blemish. The priest did not examine the sinner. If the animal was without blemish, God accepted the animal sacrifice as well as the offerer who brought the animal.

So when you come into God’s presence, don’t do any self-examination and be discouraged when you find faults in your life. God does not examine you. He sees you through the full value, and all the loveliness and acceptance of His Son. (Ephesians 1:6) He sees you holy and without blemish!

Remember the woman who was referred to as a sinner, possibly a prostitute? She went to the house of the Pharisee who was hosting Jesus and wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair. (Luke 7:36–50) That was her act of worship.

She came to Him as she was. Yes, she knew that she had sinned, but she worshiped Jesus first because of who He is. She was Jesus-conscious. Then, she heard Jesus say, “Your sins are forgiven.” (Luke 7:48) She received the forgiveness she needed from Him.

Whatever you need from the Savior, come to Him as you are. Worship Him for who He is and then you will hear Him say, “Go your way. Your restoration has come. Your prosperity is here. You are healed. You have been made whole!”

Joseph Prince

Contributed by Joseph Prince
via the Daily Grace Inspirations email

Thanking God At All Times

July 11, 2011 Leave a comment

I recently have been reading and listening to Joseph Prince, who will be speaking at the upcoming Hillsong conference and have been so blessed and encouraged by his great faith and trust in God’s unfailing goodness!  I wanted to share one of his recent daily newsletters reminding us to always to be thankful despite our circumstances.  Thanksgiving is a key component in our attitude of worship.

Thanking God At All Times

Hebrews 13:15
15Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Lifting up your hands and thanking God is spontaneous and easy when you have just received a wonderful blessing: “God, I can’t thank You enough for this miracle!”

“Thank You Father, for answering my prayer!”

“Father, thank You for the windfall!”

Perhaps you came close to being in a fatal accident, but God plucked you out of danger just in time. Or your grandmother, an unbeliever for many years, finally received Jesus as her Savior and got healed of a long-term disease.

But there are times when you don’t feel like lifting up your hands to thank and praise God, yet you do it. Perhaps you feel very discouraged lately. Perhaps everything is going wrong for you and you feel like your life is in a mess. You can’t hold back the tears. Yet, you make a conscious decision to lift your hands and thank God for being in the situation with you. You open your mouth and begin to praise Him even though you really don’t feel like doing it.

In the midst of the trial that you are going through, you praise Him that He is your righteousness in spite of all the mistakes you have made. You thank Him that He is your Prince of Peace, and that His peace will arise in you and still the storms in your life.

My friend, God sees and appreciates such times when, despite feeling so discouraged, you offer a freewill thanksgiving offering to Him. In fact, your thanksgiving during such times is more highly prized by Him than your thanksgiving during those times when you are feeling joyful because you have just been blessed.

And when you choose to thank Him for His unfailing love, and His faithfulness to deliver, protect and provide for you even when you don’t see the blessings yet, before long, you will find yourself experiencing and enjoying the blessings! So lift your hands and praise the Lord, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever! (Psalm 106:1)

Praise Him hardest when it is hardest to praise

Categories: Devotional, Joseph Prince

Sing a New Song of Praise

March 30, 2011 Leave a comment
I love to read through the chapters written by one of the Bible’s greatest worshipers, David.  In Psalm 33, I am reminded to continue to worship the Lord in song and joy.  I am also reminded to praise Him on many different instruments.  Not only that, but I need to play skillfully and to sing.  So, I want to encourage you to pick up that guitar, pick up that instrument you have thought about learning.  The Lord has put a powerful desire in us to praise Him.  Practice, teach and learn the language of music … so that we can be filled with joy by praising God!

Psalm 33 (NLT)

1 Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord;
it is fitting for the pure to praise him.
2 Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre;
make music for him on the ten-stringed harp.
3 Sing a new song of praise to him;
play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy.
4 For the word of the Lord holds true,
and we can trust everything he does.
5 He loves whatever is just and good;
the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.

Is there an instrument you would love to learn to play?

Categories: Devotional

Modesty in Worship

October 4, 2010 6 comments

Is there any place for performance in the church?   I’m sure most of you would say, there is no place for performance in worship … yet if we are honest and look around, we see people performing all the time.  What is it about performing that  makes it inappropriate for worship?  Many churches have a whole multimedia routine for worship times including lights, video, cameras, etc.  So, how do we translate our performing skills, persona, and performance technology into a thing that is pleasing in God’s sight?

Its what is in our heart.  Is our performance saying look at me or is our performance saying look at what God is doing through me? Are we entertaining the congregation or is God entertained with the fragrance of our hearts?

Thanks to Leonard Jones for these thoughts on using skills in worship from his blog:

Modesty

Striking a balance between modesty and displaying one’s gift in worship is difficult sometimes. There are some people who can blaze through their scales and totally worship. Someone else may do the same thing and it becomes inappropriate. I think it’s a heart thing; one person may think within himself, “Look what I can do”, another may say, “Look at what God gave me.” Yet, there are those few that direct it back to God and use it to express their love. It is really an attitude thing. Obviously, it is not wrong to be good, just be modest in the way you present your gift in public. You don’t have to play everything you know all the time.

LEO

Leonard Jones, 9/17/2007

There is a difference between showing off and sharing what God has given you … and most people can tell which one it is immediately.

Categories: Devotional

I am a tree, planted by a stream, that will never die.

September 8, 2010 2 comments

Thanks to Dave Walker for sharing his blog post:

A couple of weeks ago a friend came up to me and said “Dave, I just can’t worship today, or recently for that matter. I haven’t been getting into the word, praying as much as i should, or even worshipping much. I don’t know why, but Im just having a hard time worshipping God today”. Im sure many of us can sympathize with such a statement, I know I can. More often then not I’ve found myself waking up Sunday morning thinking “crap, I’ve been an absolute slob this week. How the heck can I go and worship this King when I have denied Him monday through saturday?” The funny thing is though, its clear that we aren’t stuck in this “slob” state. I mean, if we took grace seriously we’d understand that the mere acknowledgement of it [slob-ness] is the result of grace! The reality is that we know only because He imparted the knowledge there of. Jesus Christ represents the answer of our prayers, the prayers of yesterday, today and tomorrow. There was an extension, from God, to man the day that Jesus came, died, and rose again.

Think of this, worship and praise of God is but a stream that flows from the father, passes through our lips, and returns to Him again.

Therefore, our worship is never rooted in ourself, which is INSANE!! Think of this, worship and praise of God is but a stream that flows from the father, passes through our lips, and returns to Him again. Our songs are the truths that God has placed within us.

When we arrive in a place when we can’t worship, we’ve fallen victim to the lies of the enemy. Think of it this way, there’s nothing a stream wants more then to flow. It was created to flow, its all it knows to do, and when it gets dammed up, well its just plain ugly. The same goes for us as worshippers. We were destined to worship in word, thought, and deed and evil wants nothing more then to deny us that opportunity. It has nothing to do with God, Satan knows he cannot overcome Him. He does, however, know that he can slow us down (dam us up), and thats what he wants.

The worship we harvest is but the worship that He planted within us.

Sunday morning does not exist because God needs it. Sunday morning exists because God knew we needed it. We gather to, as Lewis and Augustine taught us, re-order our loves. The goal of sunday is to get together as a community and sit under the authority of the gospel. Therefore, when we arrive on that faithful morning full of doubt and uncertainty, let us cling to truth of the gospel- to the fact that Christ lived, died, and rose again for the cries of yesterday, today and tomorrow. The worship we harvest is but the worship that He planted within us. Let us cling to Christ in our brightest moments and darkest hours. We were created to be dependent upon Him. And let us not forget that when we our dependent upon God, His glory abounds, for in our dependence is celebration.

So to my friend who said he couldn’t…of course you can’t, YOU never could,  but HE has. You don’t create worship, instead, you harbor it. Release your worship as an act of war, a declaration to the enemy that he cannot hold you down because he could not hold Him down. Finally, release your worship because He planted it in you, to make you beautiful. Release it, and you will see His beauty.

“I am a tree, planted by a stream, that will never die”

-Tuningthelyre.

Song Suggestions for Dependence:  ”We Need You” (Brenton Brown), “Jesus You are Worthy” (Brenton Brown) “I will Boast” (Paul Baloche) “Shaken” (Paul Baloche) “We will Hold On” (Paul Baloche)

Categories: Devotional

Play Skillyfully and Shout For Joy

August 27, 2010 1 comment

I don’t know about you, but I love to peruse catalogs, websites and ebay for musical instruments.  I bet David would have loved the diversity and styles of instruments available to us today.  I believe David was always on a search for new ways to praise the Lord and new songs to sing to him.

Psalm 33

1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
    it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
2 Praise the LORD with the harp;
    make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3 Sing to him a new song;
   play skillfully, and shout for joy.
4 For the word of the LORD is right and true;
   He is faithful in all he does.
5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
   the earth is full of his unfailing love.

If David could have any instrument available today, what would he choose?

Categories: Devotional, Guitar

Time To Tune-Up … Your Heart

July 19, 2010 3 comments

So, its that time again. You pick up your guitar and sit down to play or practice. What’s the first thing you do? Tune your guitar of course. If your guitar is out of tune, then every sound coming from your guitar will be off.

I have a great friend who uses the guitar as an analogy for our lives. Jonathan Dubuse Jr, shared with me, that if we want to stay in tune with God, then we need to continually tune up our hearts and minds. Staying in tune doesn’t happen by itself. Just like our guitar, the more it gets , played, moved, abused, effected by the temperature and weather, it continually needs to be re-tuned. Our lives are the same way. We all have the best tuner money can buy to do this … it’s the Bible. The Word of God is our life tuner. It lets us know if we’re flat and tells us if we’re sharp.

Galations 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Enjoy this video of Jonathan Dubose Jr on guitar …

If your life is playing a bit out of tune, then pull out your tuner!

Categories: Devotional