Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Shepastor: "Revisiting the Essence of True Praise and Worship During this Thanksgiving Season"

"God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” John 4: 24

“God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food… Good bread, good meat, good God lets eat!” These are the prayers of childhood and hurried schedules! As we prepare to dive into Thanksgiving meals, some may not even take time to say, “Thank you Lord!” This holiday, however, provides for us an opportunity to revisit the “thankfulness gage” of our hearts.

When we with grateful hearts truly worship and praise God we develop intimacy with Him. We see Him not just for what He can do, but for who He is – the awesome powerful God who in spite of His greatness and majesty looked upon us with love and mercy, sent His only begotten son into the world to die for us, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, to forgive us of our sins and to make us joint heirs with Jesus– we have become God’s children.

Writer Jerry Bridges in an article entitled, “Beyond Sunday: Making Worship a Way of Life” in Discipleship Journal (March/April 2001) suggests that we ask ourselves the following questions concerning our worship:

1. Have I presented myself and all I have to God as a living sacrifice, so that my way of life is a life of worship?
2. Do I take time daily to worship God privately and to thank Him for all His blessings to me?
3. Is there some cherished sin, some practice I’m unwilling to give up, that hinders my worship?
4. Do I seek to enter wholeheartedly, “in spirit and in truth” into worship or do I simply go through the motions without really worshiping?
Bridges further states,

“None of us will score perfectly on these questions. That is not their intent. Rather they’re designed to help us honestly assess ourselves and pinpoint areas of our lives that need improvement. Only then, and as we take steps to improve, will they benefit us.”
When we worship God, we give glory and honor to His name. When we worship God, we broaden our perspective of life and our life’s purpose. When we worship God, we open our hearts to sing His praises. We join with the song writer who declared,

Oh Lord, our God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the works thy hand hath made… I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, thy power throughout the universe displayed. Then sings my soul, my savior God to thee. How great thou art, how great thou art. Then sings my soul, my savior God to thee. How great thou art, how great thou art!
May we truly worship and praise God with hearts of gratitude, not only during the Thanksgiving Season, but every day.
May you and yours have a grateful, peaceful and joy-filled Thanksgiving Holiday!

Until next Wednesday,
In faith, hope and perseverance,
Pastor Chris

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