Oct 27, 2014
Worship Central – Worth It All
Taken from Worship Central’s ‘Set Apart’ album.
Oct 27, 2014
Worship Central – Worth It All
Taken from Worship Central’s ‘Set Apart’ album.
We are among seven billion people who coexist on a tiny planet that resides in a small section of a rather insignificant solar system. Our earth, in reality, is just one miniscule blue dot among millions of celestial bodies that God created. On the gigantic canvas that is our universe, our beautiful, majestic Earth appears as a tiny speck of dust.
That could make us feel extremely unimportant and inconsequential. However, God’s Word suggests that just the opposite is true. Our great God, who “measured the waters in the hollow of His hand” (Isa. 40:12), has singled out each person on this planet as supremely important, for we are made in His image.
For instance, He has created everything for us to enjoy (1 Tim. 6:17). Also, for all who have trusted Jesus as Savior, God has given purpose (Eph. 2:10). And then there’s this: Despite the vastness of this world, God cares specifically about each of us. Psalm 139 says He knows what we are going to say and what we are thinking. We can’t escape His presence, and He planned our earthly existence before we were born.
We don’t need to feel unimportant when the God of the universe is that interested in us!
Lord, I look out into the vastness of the heavens and I see the grandeur of Your infinite power, yet You look at me from heaven and see someone You know, love, and care about. Thank You that You find value in me.
The God who created the universe is the God who loves you.
By Dave Branon
Are You Obsessed by Something?
Who is the man that fears the Lord? —Psalm 25:12
Are you obsessed by something? You will probably say, “No, by nothing,” but all of us are obsessed by something— usually by ourselves, or, if we are Christians, by our own experience of the Christian life. But the psalmist says that we are to be obsessed by God. The abiding awareness of the Christian life is to be God Himself, not just thoughts about Him. The total being of our life inside and out is to be absolutely obsessed by the presence of God. A child’s awareness is so absorbed in his mother that although he is not consciously thinking of her, when a problem arises, the abiding relationship is that with the mother. In that same way, we are to “live and move and have our being” in God (Acts 17:28), looking at everything in relation to Him, because our abiding awareness of Him continually pushes itself to the forefront of our lives.
If we are obsessed by God, nothing else can get into our lives— not concerns, nor tribulation, nor worries. And now we understand why our Lord so emphasized the sin of worrying. How can we dare to be so absolutely unbelieving when God totally surrounds us? To be obsessed by God is to have an effective barricade against all the assaults of the enemy.
“He himself shall dwell in prosperity…” (Psalm 25:13). God will cause us to “dwell in prosperity,” keeping us at ease, even in the midst of tribulation, misunderstanding, and slander, if our “life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). We rob ourselves of the miraculous, revealed truth of this abiding companionship with God. “God is our refuge…” (Psalm 46:1). Nothing can break through His shelter of protection.
by Oswald Chambers
Waiting for God’s timing is neither passive nor idle—it takes discipline and commitment. I can think of four basic requirements for successful waiting.
Faith. The Lord’s ways and timing are nothing like ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). From a human standpoint, the way He does things is usually totally different than expected. But as we trust Him more, we’ll discover that His approach isn’t so strange after all. And when we live in harmony with God’s will, His timing starts to make sense.
Humility. To wait for the Lord, you must be convinced of your need for Him. Submission to His divine will requires humility—you cannot charge ahead with your own plans and at the same time be fully surrendered to God.
Patience. Are you willing to remain in your current position until you receive clear divine direction? Pausing for clarity from God does not mean that you disengage and allow circumstances to fall apart around you. Waiting upon the Lord is a deliberate decision that requires patience.
Courage. Waiting for God often takes courage, especially when there is pressure to act. If you’re not careful, you might stop listening to the Lord and follow other advice. So keep your ear attuned to the voice of Almighty God, and you won’t go wrong.
Waiting upon the Lord is one of the wisest, most important decisions we make in life. And contrary to popular assumptions, it is an active endeavor that requires faith, humility, patience, and courage. When you rely upon God and wait for His timing, the various facets of life fall into place.
Fruits of Faith
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
The phrase “catch-22” refers to a problem that has a solution that is prohibited by the problem itself. For example, if you need glasses to see, and you lose your glasses, you can’t find them because you need them to carry out the search. A typical “catch-22” is when a job seeker is denied a job because of a lack of experience which he will never get unless he can get a job.
Not exactly a “catch-22” puzzle, but a conundrum nonetheless, is this theological problem: We cannot be saved with good works, but neither can we be saved without good works. How is that possible? The Bible clearly says we are saved by grace through faith, not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9). But it also says that faith without works is dead (James 2:17). Actually, we can be saved without good works—like the thief on the cross who died immediately after placing his faith in Christ (Luke 23:43). But as a rule, good works are evidence of our faith, a sign that our faith is alive and well (Ephesians 2:10).
We should look regularly—examine ourselves—for the fruits of our faith: the good works we were saved to carry out.
Faith and works are like the light and heat of a candle; they cannot be separated. Author Unknown
Recommended Reading: James 2:14-17
“Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.” (Genesis 5:2)
In these days of sensitivity concerning sexism, it is important to focus on God’s own evaluation of the two sexes and their respective roles in the divine plan. As Creator of both, He alone can speak authoritatively about this matter.
Both man and woman were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), and thus, in the categories of salvation, rewards, and eternal fellowship with their Creator, both are surely equal. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. . . . There is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26-28).
At the same time, when God created them, He named them both “Adam,” as our text notes. This is actually the same word as “man,” as in Genesis 2:7 (“the LORD God formed man”), etc. Thus, it is biblical to use the word “man” generically, when referring to the human race in general. When the woman was formed out of Adam’s side, Adam said, “She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23). Here a different Hebrew word is used for “man” (ish), and “woman” is isha.
Adam also gave his new bride a personal name. “Adam called his wife’s name Eve [‘life-giver’]; because she was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20).
There is, therefore, nothing demeaning in using “man” as a generic term for both men and women, for this usage is sanctioned by God Himself. Nevertheless, each individual has his or her own distinctive personal name, and God deals with each of us individually on that basis. Our obedience and faithfulness to the divinely ordained role each of us is called by Him to fill is God’s criterion by which He measures us for eternity. HMM
The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. —Revelation 4:10-11
All of the examples that we have in the Bible illustrate that glad and devoted and reverent worship is the normal employment of moral beings. Every glimpse that is given us of heaven and of God’s created beings is always a glimpse of worship and rejoicing and praise because God is who He is.
The apostle John in Revelation 4:10-11 gives us a plain portrayal of created beings around the throne of God….
I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.
Lord, please don’t let me ever become bored with worship! I pray that You might enhance my vision of Your glory and draw me into heartfelt worship. Amen.
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ…. 2 Corinthians 5:18
Paul encouraged the Athenians by reminding them that God was not far from any one of them, that it was He in whom they lived and moved and had their being. Yet men think of Him as farther away than the farthest star. The truth is that He is nearer to us than we are to ourselves!
But how can the conscious sinner bridge the mighty gulf that separates him from God in living experience?
The answer is that he cannot, but the glory of the Christian message is that Christ did! Through the blood of His cross He made peace that He might reconcile all things unto Himself: “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight” (Col. 1:21, 22).
The new birth makes us partakers of the divine nature. There the work of undoing the dissimilarity between us and God begins. From there it progresses by the sanctifying operation of the Holy Spirit till God is satisfied.
That is the theology of it, but even the regenerated soul may sometimes suffer from the feeling that God is far from him. Put away the evil from you, believe, and the sense of nearness will be restored. God was never away in the first place!
The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. MATTHEW 10:24
To take Jesus Christ into your life without reservation is to accept His friends as your friends and to know that His enemies will be your enemies! It means that we accept His rejection as our rejection. We knowingly accept His cross as our cross.
If you then find yourself in an area where Christ has no friends, you will be friendless—except for the one Friend who will stick closer than a brother. I made up my mind a long time ago. Those who declare themselves enemies of Jesus Christ must look upon me as their enemy, and I ask no quarter from them! And if they are friends of Christ, they are my friends—and I do not care what color they are or what denomination they belong to.
If the preachers would faithfully tell the people what it actually means to receive Christ and obey Him and live for Him, we would have fewer converts backsliding and foundering.
Preachers who are not faithful one day will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and answer to a faithful Savior why they betrayed His people in this way!
Lord, I pray that You will send encouragement to Your children today who live and/or serve in an area where Christ is not formally welcome.