Just recently, I’ve been worshiping to this song by Jason Upton, over and over. It has become the cry of my heart. As the daughter of the Most High God, the more I learn of Him through experience and through His Word, I find myself more and more wanting to be like my Abba, my Daddy…
7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him.10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
God is Love. Real love is that God loved us and sent His Son, Jesus to be a sacrifice for our sins. I’m not there yet. God has given me a greater love for mankind than I could ever have imagined, yet, I cannot truthfully say that I would be willing to sacrifice either of my children for anyone’s sake… Daddy make me just like You!
8 But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still His enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son.11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
I have such a hard time loving my enemies. It’s hard to love someone who hates me or those I love. Yet my Daddy loved me when I was His enemy. In fact, before He adopted me, when I was still a child of His enemy, the devil, He loved me and you! Daddy make me just like You!
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much,5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)6 For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all He has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
8 God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
God, my Daddy, is rich in love and mercy. And He has made me, and you, if you are His child, an example of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us. Do you wonder how far that grace extends? His mercy, love, grace and kindness to us is so great that when He raised Christ from the dead, He raised us up right along with Jesus, and seated us in the heavenly realms. What kind of love is this? Daddy make me just like You!
How amazing is the love of Father God for His adopted sons and daughters. How could we not long to be like Him? Once He has captured our hearts, there is nothing more we can desire than to truly be like Him, and praise God! He knows that we, in our humanity, could never achieve our hearts desire to be like Him on our own, and so we, the sons and daughters of the Most High God have this assurance…
6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
My prayer for each and every child of God is that He will continue His work within each and every one of us, so that each one of us will be like our Daddy… Daddy make each one of my brothers and sisters in Christ just like You!
My daughter sent me the following video clip of Victoria Osteen, exhorting her congregation, a few days ago, and as I watched it, I couldn’t help but feel sickened and uneasy in the pit of my stomach. In the clip, Mrs. Osteen gave the congregation at Lakewood Church, and the television audience, reasons to worship God, that left me both shocked and disgusted as I watched. Like someone who witnesses a terrible crime or accident, I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen, nor could I stop myself from listening to every word that she spoke, in stunned silence.
I’ve already written about Joel Osteen, and the false gospel he preaches and teaches (see bulleted links below).
Yet, although I’ve researched Joel Osteen’s false gospel, I never gave much thought about his wife, Victoria, and her beliefs and teachings, until I watched this video clip (see below).
I concur with Bill Cosby’s statement tacked on at the end of Victoria Osteen’s exhortation. For that truly is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard coming out of a minister’s mouth. Indeed, after listening to Mrs. Osteen’s heretic urging and teaching in this video, I feel compelled to address the things she said from a biblical standpoint.
“So I just want to encourage every one of us to realize, when we obey God, we’re not doin’ it for God. I mean that’s one way to look at it. We’re doin’ it for ourself, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy this morning.
“So I want you to know this morning, just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy. When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doin’ it for God, really. You’re doin’ it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?”
When Mrs. Osteen stated that when we obey God, we’re not doing it for Him, but for ourselves, I was shocked and disgusted by how narcissistic her exhortation was. Let’s be clear about this, the Lord, our God is a jealous God, and though He loves us with an everlasting love, He is God and we worship Him because He alone is worthy of worship…
4 “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject Me.6 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love Me and obey My commands. ~ Exodus 20:4-6 NLT ~
By suggesting that we worship for ourselves, Victoria Osteen is inviting her followers to be as prideful and self-serving as Satan was when he tried to exalt himself over God. Those who do as Mrs. Osteen suggested, are setting themselves up as gods or idols, and God makes Himself very clear about the dangers of idol worship. Whenever anyone chooses to exalt himself above God, he/she will earn His wrath, just as Lucifer did. Further, just as Lucifer was brought low for his pride, so will all, who exalt themselves above God, be brought low.
12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. 13 For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. 14 I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’ 15 Instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths. ~ Isaiah 14:12-15 NLT ~
17 Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor. So I threw you to the ground and exposedyou to the curious gaze of kings. ~ Ezekiel 28:17 NLT ~
Don’t be deceived! Those who dare to exalt themselves above the Lord will be brought low, if not in this lifetime, then certainly when they come to the judgement seat of Christ. A good example of this can be found in Daniel 4, when King Nebuchadnezzar exalted himself above God by not acknowledging that all of his accomplishments were a result of God’s goodness to him. Instead, Nebuchadnezzar bragged that his accomplishments were a result of his own doing, crediting himself, rather than God. As a result, King Nebuchadnezzar was brought very low. (Click the link to Daniel 4, above, to read the whole story.)
Mrs. Osteen also claimed that God wants us to be happy, and that He takes pleasure in our happiness. Now, while that sounds really nice, it isn’t true. The fact is that mankind is often very happy when he is sinning, and this most certainly does NOT please God.
24 It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin.26 He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. ~ Hebrews 11:24-25 NLT ~
The fact is that by encouraging people to worship to please themselves instead of God, Mrs. Osteen is aiding Satan, who comes to steal, kill and destroy, by robbing and cheating people out of the blessings that could be theirs. Not only that, but those who refuse to worship the Lord in spirit and truth will be punished. Let’s examine the consequences of choosing not to worship God for His name’s sake…
47 If you do not serve the Lord your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received,48 you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you. You will be left hungry, thirsty, naked, and lacking in everything. The Lord will put an iron yoke on your neck, oppressing you harshly until He has destroyed you. ~Deuteronomy 28:47-48 NLT ~
The consequences for not worshiping and obeying the Lord in spirit and in truth are serious. That is why it is vital for every believer to study and know God’s word, for it is easy to be led astray. Let’s see what the scriptures say about how we should worship and obey the Lord…
12 Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.
14 Do everything without complaining and arguing,15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.17 But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy.18 Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy. ~ Philippians 2:12-18 NLT ~
Beloved readers, as we examine the scriptures, do you see where it tells us to worship to please ourselves? In each of the scriptures above, we are commanded to delight ourselves in the Lord, or to rejoice in the Lord, NOT in ourselves. In fact, Paul tells us to obey God with deep reverence and fear. There’s certainly no room to be self-centered in that command. Then, as we worship and obey Him with deep reverence and fear, God will reward us by giving us the desire to do what pleases Him. Again, it says NOTHING about worshiping to please ourselves. Ourgoal is to do what pleases God.
Beloved readers, please do not get tangled in the false teachings and false doctrines of mankind. Instead, seek your answers from God’s word. The following scripture is my heartfelt prayer for each person who reads this post…
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. ~ Romans 12:1-2 NLT ~
Beloved readers, God is worthy of our worship. All too often, we sometimes confuse ourselves or others by trying to make worship more appealing to the masses. We confuse people into believing that worship is singing hymns, or “Praise and Worship” music, but that is not what worship is.
Worship is declaring God’s “worth.” We can declare God’s worth in many ways. One way to worship God is through obedience. The first time that “worship” is mentioned in the bible is when God commanded Abraham to take his son, Isaac, up the mountain, to offer him as a sacrifice to Him, in Genesis 22:
5 “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.”
The Lord had asked Abraham to sacrifice his precious son, whom he had long waited for, and offer him as a burnt sacrifice. Now, here’s one thing I’m certain of, this act of worship did not make Abraham happy. In fact, I feel certain that this was the hardest thing Abraham had ever had to do. Now, if Abraham had been listening to Victoria Osteen, he might have sung a “worship” song that made him happy, rationalizing that since he was happy with his choice of worship, then God must be happy too.
Now, just think about this for a minute. If Abraham had done as Mrs. Osteen suggested, he would not have heard the angel of the Lord… he would not have seen the ram in the bushes and sacrificed it to God… he would not have proved that he truly did fear and revere the Lord… he may not have become the father of many nations… God’s Son, Jesus, may not have come from his bloodline…
Beloved readers, in closing, I leave you with these scriptures about worship. I urge you to worship the Lord according to His word, NOT Victoria Osteen’s word…
24 “For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” ~ John 4:24 NLT ~
6 Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker… ~ Psalm 95:6 NLT ~
8 Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.'” ~ Luke 4:8 NLT ~
28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe.29 For our God is a devouring fire. ~ Hebrews 12:28-29 NLT ~
Previously, I shared with you how excited my five grandchildren were when they saw the picture of their long-awaited baby brother, and how the Lord had spoken to my heart, showing me that this is how He longs for us to worship Him. I can’t even begin to describe to you how blessed and excited I was as the Lord revealed that to me! For those of you who didn’t see the post onTrue Worshipers, please check it out.
As excited as I was about that post, I’m even more excited to share with you today. Previously, I shared with you how excited my five grandchildren were when they saw the picture of their newborn baby brother, but that was NOTHING in comparison to their response when their Mommy and Daddy brought their baby brother home. I have never witnessed such screaming and shouting and jubilation as when their parents entered the house with their baby brother. There were ooh’s and ah’s and “He’s so cute!” and “I love him!” I am so thankful that the Lord allowed me to witness my youngest grandchild’s homecoming, because it was the most beautiful experience I’ve ever had! Continue reading Unconditional Love→
Today, while I was thinking about the joy that I experienced this weekend, as my husband and I cared for five of our grandchildren, while their Mommy and Daddy were in the hospital giving birth to their baby brother, Holy Spirit began to show me examples of what He desires when we approach Him and worship Him, and I want to share those examples with you…
23 “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
Saturday, as soon as I received a picture of my newly born grandson, Ian, I called his five siblings to come and look at his image on my cell phone. You should have seen them as they came running to me, squealing in delight, loud, raucous, unfettered and unrestrained joy emanating from each child, as they laid eyes on their baby brother for the first time. “Aw, he’s so cute!” one shouted, “I wub him,” another shouted, wanting her voice to be heard. “I can’t wait to touch him,” my oldest grandson said so sweetly, “’cause him’s skin is so soft.” Continue reading True Worshipers→
My beloved friends, ever since I first saw the following video on YouTube, it has ministered to me, and I’ve posted it several times on Facebook, whenever the Lord leads. Tonight, I was visiting a friend’s blog, and his message again put this video on my heart – so much so that when I responded to his blog, I was led to include the video in my comments… Then, after watching and listening to the video once again, I was compelled to post it on my own site…
The Inheritance Graham Cooke
Music by: Jonathan David Hesler
See what love the Father has lavished on us in letting us be called God’s children! For that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it has not known Him.
~ 1 John 3:1 CJB ~
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time, the Messiah died on behalf of ungodly people. 7 Now it is a rare event when someone gives up his life even for the sake of somebody righteous, although possibly for a truly good person one might have the courage to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love for us in that the Messiah died on our behalf while we were still sinners.
~ Romans 5:6-8 CJB ~
31 What, then, are we to say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare even His own Son, but gave Him up on behalf of us all – is it possible that, having given us His Son, He would not give us everything else too? 33 So who will bring a charge against God’s chosen people? Certainly not God – He is the one who causes them to be considered righteous! 34 Who punishes them? Certainly not the Messiah Yeshua, who died and – more than that – has been raised, is at the right hand of God and is actually pleading on our behalf! 35 Who will separate us from the love of the Messiah? Trouble? Hardship? Persecution? Hunger? Poverty? Danger? War? 36 As the Tanakh puts it, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long, we are considered sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are superconquerors, through the One who has loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers, neither what exists nor what is coming, 39 neither powers above nor powers below, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which comes to us through the Messiah Yeshua, our Lord.
~ Romans 8:31-39 CJB ~
Beloved, do you question your worth? Do you doubt God’s love for you? Have you ever, like me, thought, “I know God loves the world, but how can He love me?” If so, hear me today… God loves you. Jesus loves you. Holy Spirit loves you. He loves you just as you are, and He is calling out to you this day…
28 “Come to Me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
~ Matthew 11:28-30 CJB ~
The Lord urges you to throw all your cares on Him, because He cares for you! He knows all that you have done. He knows all that has been done to you. And He still loves you. This is what the Lord says to you, my beloved, and when He speaks to Israel, understand that He is speaking to you as well. Where you see Israel in this scripture, place your name…
1 But now, O Israel, the LORD who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine. 2 When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
~ Isaiah 43:1-2 NLT ~
Beloved, please know, as you finish reading and listening to this post, that the Lord God loves you… Hear Him as He tells you, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, and with unfailing love, I have drawn you to Myself…”
Oh yes, please visit this blog, which inspired this post… Chief of the Least –This Drug Won’t Give You Amnesia (Or Any Other Bad Side Effect)
9 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV)
As I sit here, battling nausea, I am thankful – for His unending love and faithfulness… for His mercies that are new every morning… for His grace… that this too shall pass… Meanwhile, I will trust in the Lord and lean on His strength…
His Strength is Made Perfect in Weakness
Thank You, Father, for Your perfect strength, which holds me and carries me in my weakness… Thank You for Your great love, Lord, for Your perfect strength and Your perfect love…
Your love, OLORD, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness (reaches up) to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, Your justice (flows) like the great deep. O LORD, You preservebothman and beast. How priceless (amazing!) is Your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find Refuge in the shadow of Your wings. (Psalm 36:5-7 NIV)
Who is this King of Glory that pursues me with His love And haunts me with each hearing of His softly spoken words My conscience, a reminder of forgiveness that I need Who is this King of Glory who offers it to me
Who is this King of angels, O blessed Prince of Peace Revealing things of Heaven and all its mysteries My spirit’s ever longing for His grace in which to stand Who’s this King of glory, Son of God and Son of Man
His name is Jesus, precious Jesus The Lord Almighty, the King of my heart The King of glory
Who is this King of Glory with strength and majesty And wisdom beyond measure, the gracious King of kings the Lord of Earth and Heaven, the Creator of all things Who is this King of Glory, He’s everything to me The Lord of Earth and Heaven, the Creator of all things He is the King of glory, He’s everything to me
Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her? Daily Prompt: Teacher’s Pet
My first response when I read this prompt, “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding,” as my mind flew back to unpleasant memories of grade school. But then I thought, “Wait a minute! This didn’t say anything about a childhood teacher. This just said to talk about a teacher who had a real impact on my life.” Suddenly, this prompt didn’t seem like such a chore.
I remember the first time I saw him, in September 2001. I had enrolled in Christian World College of Theology, established by Dr. Ray Chamberlain, and I was very excited for my first class. The Lord had led me here, and I was anxious to see what would come of this.
My friend Jean and I had arrived a few minutes early, because I am one who likes a front row seat because, firstly, I don’t want to miss anything, and secondly, I’m very distractible. If I sit behind anyone, I’m likely to pay more attention to the people in front of me rather than to the instructor. Also, generally, people who sit in the back rows tend to chat more, and that completely wrecks my concentration. Therefore, we arrived early, and got front row seats.
As I said, I was really excited about this new endeavor that the Lord had led me to, until I saw the elderly white-haired gentleman step up to the podium. My heart sank. “Oh Lord,” I prayed, “please don’t let him be our teacher.” Now, instead of excitement, I had a sense of dread. I was expecting a younger instructor, one with some fire and passion for the Lord in his blood. This pale older man with the red rosy cheeks didn’t look like he could have much fire in him. I was afraid that I was destined to spend the next three hours in boredom.
I know how bad that sounds, but I’m just being honest about my feelings. The older man walked to the podium and told the class to gather together into groups of 5-10 people and begin praying. Wow. I had never been a part of a prayer group like that before! Everyone asked if there were any needs to be prayed for, and then, holding hands, everyone began crying out to God all at once. This was no quiet circle, where each person takes a turn praying, and then the next one and the next one, so that everyone has a chance to think up a nice sounding prayer to offer up. Ascending up to the heavens were the heartfelt cries of men and women seeking the Lord.
Coming from a very conservative Methodist church, this was quite an assault to my senses, and yet, I felt strangely warm inside — and hungry for more. After that time of prayer, my hopes were dashed as the elderly gentleman called the class to order. Silently groaning inside, I got my pen in hand, preparing myself to try to stay awake and take notes. I was now secretly sorry for choosing a front row seat because I have this problem. When I get bored, I tend to fall asleep. I try to fight it, but for some reason, when I am bored, my eyelids get extremely heavy, and to make matters worse, I’ve been known to snore in public…
The elderly gentleman, who reminded me of Santa Claus with his white hair and rosy red cheeks, introduced himself as Dr. Ray Chamberlain, founder of C.W.C.T., and then opened his mouth and began to teach with more fire and passion than I had ever witnessed in any younger preacher or teacher. I was enthralled as he taught us, hanging on every word that he spoke. I had to remind myself to write notes, because I was so mesmerized by his passion and his instruction. I also had to repent for judging a book by its cover.
The three hours of class slipped by so quickly that I was both surprised and disappointed that it was over. I couldn’t wait for the next class, and the next and the next and the next… During the two years that I sat under his tutelage, I learned and grew strong in the Lord. I soaked up the biblical history like a dry sponge soaks up water, and I absorbed the ways of the Lord and His word better than Bounty® Paper Towels absorb spills.
There is one subject area that Brother Ray (this is what he liked to be called, rather than the more formal Dr. Chamberlain) taught that changed my life forever. It was the section on Praise and Worship. Now, maybe that doesn’t sound like a big deal to you, but it was to me, because it forever changed my relationship with God. You see, I loved God, but this class would change that love, as I began to fall in love with Him. He opened the class with a song, and his love for our Savior was clearly evident, as tears rolled down his cheeks and he sang, “Without Him.” I am truly not a Southern Gospel fan, but something about the lyrics, something about his love and passion for the Lord spoke to my heart.
Without Him I could do nothing Without Him I?d surely fail Without Him I would be drifting Like a ship without a sail
Without Him I would be dying Without Him I?d be enslaved Without Him life would be worthless But with Jesus thank God I’m saved
Oh Jesus, oh Jesus Do you know Him today Please don’t turn Him away Oh Jesus, my Jesus Without Him how lost I would be Without Him how lost I would be
Then Brother Ray began to teach about the difference between praise and worship, and where they could be found in scripture. And as he talked, something inside of me awakened. I had to have what he had. I needed it desperately and I couldn’t rest until I got a taste of it, and so, the following Sunday, I attended Brother Ray’s church for the first time.
I’ll never forget it. I was fine as I walked inside, but the instant I stepped into the sanctuary, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit so strongly that I began to weep. No one had said or done anything to me, it was just that the presence of the Lord was so thick in there, that I couldn’t contain myself. I wept through the whole service, but they weren’t tears of sorrow. I’m sitting here weeping even now, as I type this, because they are tears of joy. Oh what joy there is in the presence of the Lord!
When I left the church that day, I determined in my heart that I would visit again the following Sunday. I wasn’t planning to leave the church that I had been a part of for seventeen years — I just needed to taste of this joy again. The following Sunday, I came to church with my son, daughter and her friend in tow. Again, though I had made up my mind not to react as I had the previous Sunday, as soon as I set foot into the sanctuary, the tears began to flow, as I was enveloped by the Holy Spirit.
And then, while sitting in the pew, waiting for the service to begin, I heard the audible voice of the Lord saying, “This is your home now.”
“But Lord,” I silently replied to Him, “I can’t come here. What about my Sunday School class?” I was a Sunday School teacher at the church that I had been a member of for seventeen years. “This is a big church, Lord,” I continued to argue. “I need to have a ministry.”
“Your ministry will be here,” He replied to me.
“But Lord,” I silently spoke to Him again, “my children won’t want to come here. My daughter would never agree to leave our church, you know hard it is for her to be around people she doesn’t know.”
At that point, the praise and worship music started, and my daughter turned to me, beaming and said, “Mom, I don’t care if you ever want to come here again, but I do!” She didn’t know anything of the conversation I had been having with the Lord, but He had moved on her heart as well as mine. My son also confirmed that this was where he wanted to worship as well.
My arguments with God seem so silly now. You see, God has called me to be a worshiper, and He led me to this church so that I could learn how to worship Him freely, and my life has never been the same.
I live and I love to worship the Lord, in spirit and in truth, and it all began because of a very special teacher and pastor, Dr. Ray Chamberlain, who has since gone home to be with the Lord. Words cannot even begin to express my gratitude. Thank you, Brother Ray. I look forward to seeing you and my Jesus again very soon!
You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here I am again, Lord, crying out to You. O God, I need Your mercy and Your peace now more than ever. Father, give me the wisdom I need to face each day, and help me to be a blessing to others, and not a curse. Give me words of life to speak to others, words that will edify and encourage, rather than tearing them down and destroying them.
Lord, when I got up at 1:00 again, this morning, it was not my intention to write a post, nor was it my intention to spend this time pouring my heart out to You. I suppose this was Your plan all along, and I have to say, that I am so thankful for that.
I praise You Lord, for every person You lead to read this prayer, and I ask You to speak to their hearts, Father, in Jesus’ name. For those who are sick and in pain, Lord, touch their bodies as they read this prayer, not for my glory, but for Yours. For those with a spirit of heaviness, Lord, in Jesus’ mighty name, I ask You to loose those chains of heaviness, so that they may know that You are the God of deliverance.
Father, in Jesus’ name, I ask You to lavish Your love on each and every person who reads this prayer. Let them know that You truly are the God of love, and that You care so much for each person, that You’ve even numbered the hairs on our heads. For the ones who are mourning, grieving for the loss of loved ones, whether that loss was by death or abandonment, please, wrap Your loving arms around each one. Send Your peace, and calm the storms that are raging in so many lives, just as You calmed the wind and the waves so many years ago, when You said, “Peace! Be still.”
Lord, I love You with all of my heart, and it is my desire to lift You up, because You are worthy of all praise glory and honor. Amen.
Hallelujah! I’ve been thinking about the impact that Jesus has had on my life, and one of the things that I’m most grateful for is that He touched me and made me whole… He took my broken pieces, those painful shards, and lovingly put me back together again. He isn’t afraid of getting dirty… He just reaches down into our mess, and touches us… whether we’re diseased… or filthy… or rejected… or unlovable… He touches those that no one else would dream of touching… And just as the last verse of the song says, “I will never cease to praise Him, I’ll shout it while eternity rolls!”
He Touched Me by: Bill Gaither
Shackled by a heavy burden, ‘Neath a load of guilt and shame, Then the hand of Jesus touched me, And now I am no longer the same.
He touched, oh, He touched me, And oh the joy that floods my soul! Something happened, and now I know, He touched me, and made me whole.
Since I’ve met this blessed Savior, Since He’s cleansed and made me whole, I will never cease to praise Him, I’ll shout it while eternity rolls.
Oh! he touched me! Oh! He touched me! He touched me! And Oh the joy that floods my soul! Something happened, and now I know, He touched me, and made me whole.
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23 NLT)
How are your eyes? Is your vision sharp, clear and focused? Or is your vision darkened, blurry and unfocused? So many times, we think we’re seeing things clearly, but are we? What kind of lenses are we looking through? Do we have the eyes of doves? Or do we have the eyes of mules?
“Behold, thou art fair, My love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes.” (Song of Solomon 1:15 KJV)In this verse, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Solomon speaks to his bride, just as Jesus speaks to His bride, the church. He says that we are fair, beautiful. Imagine that! When the Lord looks at us, He doesn’t see ugly. He sees beauty, loveliness… He says that we have doves’ eyes…
Now, if the Lord says we have doves’ eyes, then there must be something wonderful, something special about doves’ eyes… Doves’ eyes are monocular, not binocular, which means that rather than seeing the same thing with both eyes, the eye on the left side will see something other than what the right eye is seeing. If the dove sees something very interesting, it will focus on that object, noticing nothing else… It’s also interesting to note that doves mate for life. Unlike many other animal and bird species, doves remain with one mate until that mate dies…
Therefore, when the Lord is saying that we have doves’ eyes, He is saying that our eyes are focused on Him… like the old song says, “I Only Have Eyes For You.”
And get this, His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. (Song of Solomon 5:12 KJV)Do you see it? He has His eyes fixed on us – His bride. Listen to what He says when we turn our eyes to Him, “You have ravished My heart, My treasure, My bride. I am overcome by one glance of your eyes, by a single bead of your necklace.” (Song of Solomon 4:9 NLT)
Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you. (Psalm 32:9 NKJV)Let’s look at the characteristics of a mule…
Mules have a reputation of being stubborn. Many breeders claim they are stubborn because they are intelligent animals, and anything that thinks tends to be stubborn. I think I can agree with this. Look at people, those who seem to do the most thinking, sometimes begin to think they know everything, and the more we think we know, the less we are willing to listen to others. And if we think we are above everyone else, the more stubborn and set in our ways we become. In fact, it doesn’t really even matter if we are really intelligent or not, if we think we are more intelligent than most, we become a god unto ourselves.
Mules and horses must be led with bit and bridle, or they are likely not to go the way their master wants them to go. Likewise, they wear blinders, because they tend to have wandering eyes… Where their eyes wander, there they will likely go, whether they should or not. I’ll ask you again, do you have the eyes of a mule?
Jesus said the lamp of the body is the eye. If my eyes are focused on good and holy things, then my body will have to line up with that. This is why Paul said, ” Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 NKJV)
Brothers and sisters, what are you focusing on? Are you overcome and overwhelmed by your circumstances? Then look away from them and look to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. If we would just look to Him, not looking either right or left, but fixing our sight on Him, just as the dove fixes her sight on her beloved, we would find that even though circumstances may not change, we are changed…
As I look to Him, I find that I can deal with pain, rejection, and brokenness as long as He is with me. I am not alone as long as He is with me. Indeed, in His presence, there is fullness of joy. I am made whole in His presence…
I love Your presence, Lord and I will seek You with all of my heart! Thank You for awakening love in me… When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” (Psalm 27:8 NKJV)
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23 NLT)Lord, give me doves’ eyes. Let me not be distracted by my circumstances, or by the world and its circumstances. Lord, let me always keep focused on You, and let me not talk about You, but rather, let me talk to You, face to face… Let my eyes be good, so that my whole body is full of Your light.
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:7-11 NLT)
I know I just posted this, but it’s where I am right now…
Nothing compares to the greatness of knowing You, Lord
Money means nothing compared to the greatness of knowing You
Position means nothing compared to the greatness of knowing You
Family, friends, home – nothing compares to the greatness of knowing You, Lord
My fears for today are nothing compared to the greatness of knowing You, Lord
My plans for tomorrow mean nothing compared to the greatness of knowing You
My dreams are nothing compared to the greatness of knowing You
Life nor death compares to the greatness of knowing You, Lord
Income, wealth, health, pain – nothing compares to the greatness of knowing You, Lord
Education, knowledge – all are loss compared to the greatness of knowing You
Nothing compares to the greatness of knowing You, Lord
Nothing compares to knowing You, Lord
Nothing compares to knowing You
Nothing compares to YOU
Who is like you, ADONAI, among the mighty? Who is like you, sublime in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders? (Exodus 15:11 CJB)
Who is like unto thee, O LORD,among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? (Exodus 15:11 KJV)
“Who is like You among the gods, O LORD ? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises,working wonders ? (Exodus 15:11 NASB)
“Who else among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is glorious in holiness like you — so awesome in splendor, performing such wonders? (Exodus 15:11 NLT)
Who compares with you among gods, O God? Who compares with you in power, in holy majesty, In awesome praises, wonder-working God? (Exodus 15:11 MSG)
When the Lord opened the Red Sea, enabling the Israelites to cross to safety, and then closed them, putting to death their enemies who sought to devour them, Moses, the servant of God sang a song of praise and worship to the Lord…
Then I saw another sign in heaven, a great and wonderful one – seven angels with the seven plagues that are the final ones; because with them, God’s fury is finished. I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire. Those defeating the beast, its image and the number of its name were standing by the sea of glass, holding harps which God had given them. They were singing the song of Moshe, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: “Great and wonderful are the things You have done, ADONAI, God of heaven’s armies! Just and true are Your ways, King of the nations! ADONAI, who will not fear and glorify Your name? because You alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous deeds have been revealed.” (Revelation 15:1-4 CJB)
Hallelujah! One day we will all join in singing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb!
For Thou alone art holy, Lord and we glorify Thy name! Jesus!
… “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'”
In His fourth statement in Matthew, Jesus stands up in all His authority and commands the enemy to go! “Away with you,Satan!”In asserting His authority, Jesus also establishes the order of His ministry. This is the great command that Jesus’ ministry was built on, that His life was built on… that our lives must be built on. “You must worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.”
What is worship? Worship is not music. In old English, the word we now know as worship was originally “worthship”, and as that name implies, it was used to recognize someone’s worthiness in receiving honor. Therefore, when we worship the Lord our God, we are acknowledging that He alone is worthy of honor.
The Hebrew word used most often for worship is shachah, pronounced shaw-khaw’, which means to bow down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do obeisance, do reverence… Do you know the first time the word is used in the bible? The first time worship is mentioned in the bible is in Genesis 22:5, when Abraham was preparing to go and offer his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to the Lord. And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you” (Genesis 22:5 NKJV).This first reference to worship shows us that true worship is not just in singing. It involves great faith in the God who causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28NKJV), and a willingness to offer as a sacrifice to Him that which is most important to us.
The Greek word for worship is proskuneo, pronounced pros-koo-neh’-o, which means to fawn or crouch to, to prostrate oneself in homage, to kiss the hand (like a dog licking his master’s hand). The first time this word is used in the New Testament is in Matthew 2, when the wisemen worshiped Jesus. Do you see? These obviously wealthy wisemen prostrated themselves before the King of kings, though he was only a child, and then, around 30 years later, Satan visited the very same King Jesus, and commanded Him to prostrate Himself and kiss his hand!
Do you see the irreverence of it? The created being was telling his CREATOR to bow down and pay homage to him! Enough was enough! And the Son of God, the Alpha and the Omega rose up in all of His authority and commanded, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'”
Brothers and sisters, who or what do you worship? That which is created – the sun, the moon, the stars, our families and friends, or our toys? Or do you worship Jesus, the One who created it all? Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation. Christ is the One through whom God created everything in heaven and earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see — kings, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities. Everything has been created through Him and for Him. He existed before everything else began, and He holds all creation together (Colossians 1:15-17 NLT).
… “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve” (Matthew 4:10 NKJV).