VIDEO Worship is giving God the best that he has given you

Worship

Worship

Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be careful what you do with the best you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love-gift. Take time to meditate before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship. If you hoard it for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot, as the manna did when it was hoarded (see Exodus 16:20). God will never allow you to keep a spiritual blessing completely for yourself. It must be given back to Him so that He can make it a blessing to others.

Bethel is the symbol of fellowship with God; Ai is the symbol of the world. Abram “pitched his tent” between the two. The lasting value of our public service for God is measured by the depth of the intimacy of our private times of fellowship and oneness with Him. Rushing in and out of worship is wrong every time— there is always plenty of time to worship God. Days set apart for quiet can be a trap, detracting from the need to have daily quiet time with God. That is why we must “pitch our tents” where we will always have quiet times with Him, however noisy our times with the world may be. There are not three levels of spiritual life— worship, waiting, and work. Yet some of us seem to jump like spiritual frogs from worship to waiting, and from waiting to work. God’s idea is that the three should go together as one. They were always together in the life of our Lord and in perfect harmony. It is a discipline that must be developed; it will not happen overnight.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The main characteristic which is the proof of the indwelling Spirit is an amazing tenderness in personal dealing, and a blazing truthfulness with regard to God’s Word. Disciples Indeed, 386 R


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Promises, Promises

He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature. 2 Peter 1:4

My youngest daughter and I have a game we call “Pinchers.” When she goes up the stairs, I’ll chase her and try to give her a little pinch. The rules are that I can only pinch her (gently, of course!) when she’s on the stairs. Once she’s at the top, she’s safe. Sometimes, though, she’s not in the mood to play. And if I follow her up the stairs, she’ll sternly say, “No pinchers!” I’ll respond, “No pinchers. I promise.”

Now, that promise may seem a little thing. But when I do what I say, my daughter begins to understand something of my character. She experiences my consistency. She knows my word is good, that she can trust me. It’s a little thing, keeping such a promise. But promises—or, keeping them, I should say—are the glue of relationships. They lay a foundation of love and trust.

God’s Word to us reveals His heart toward us.

I think that’s what Peter meant when he wrote that God’s promises enable us to “participate in the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). When we take God at His Word, trusting what He says about Himself and about us, we encounter His heart toward us. It gives Him an opportunity to reveal His faithfulness as we rest in what He says is true. I’m thankful Scripture brims with His promises, these concrete reminders that “his compassions never fail. They are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22–23).

Lord, thank You so much for Your “great and precious promises.” Help us to recognize and to rest in what You say is true, that we might fully experience Your tender goodness.

God’s Word to us reveals His heart toward us.

By Adam Holz 

INSIGHT

By the time we get to Peter’s writings in the New Testament, God’s reputation as a “promise-keeper” is well established. Early we see that the God of the Bible makes promises that match His role as the sovereign, Almighty God. And He delivers what He promises. The roots of this “promise-making,” “promise-keeping” attribute are deep in the soil of Genesis. When the patriarch Abraham was called to relocate to a place he had never seen, he went. Along with words that instructed him to leave what was familiar came promises that the Lord would make of him a great nation, give him a great name, and bless the nations of the world through his offspring (see 12:1–3). That offspring was Christ (see Galatians 3:16; Hebrews 6:11–20) and the promise remains good today for all who embrace Him.

How does knowing God keeps His promises encourage you in your season of life?

Arthur Jackson

Troubled Friendships

Psalm 15:1-3

Second to God, friends are a believer’s most valuable assets. Companions provide a listening ear for our troubles, support for our dreams, and a safety net when we fall. Our friends also give us love, even when we are unlovable.

Inevitably, though, some of these important relationships will go through troubled periods. If the friendship is worth preserving, a solution should be sought through the following steps:

Address the situation. Acknowledge to your friend that something is amiss and needs to be fixed.

Determine the problem. Together, discuss where the relationship veered off course and what wrongs may have been spoken or committed.

Apologize. As believers and friends, we accept responsibility for our actions and seek forgiveness.

Refuse to blame. In addition, we must avoid defending ourselves. There could be a temptation to argue over who did what; however, the goal is not to prove who is right but to save the friendship.

Begin repairs. Ask, “What can I do to rebuild our closeness?” The key here is to do willingly whatever is requested.

Commit to rebuilding. Immediately start investing your time, energy, and love in restoring the friendship.

In order to have the blessing of a good friend who loves us, we must be willing to pay the high price of patching up a relationship. Walking away might seem easier, but in the long run, we would lose a valuable treasure.

Yes, Hear, O My People

“Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me. . . . open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” (Psalm 81:8, 10)

This psalm was evidently used as an introduction to one of Israel’s feasts and begins on a note of joy (vv. 1-4) and a reflection on God’s sovereign provision for the people (vv. 5-7). But then it merges into a warning not to leave the God of their fathers, sternly reminding them of the commandment “There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god” (v. 9).

Such rebellion grieves God. “So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels” (v. 12). When we will not go His way, He does not abandon us but does allow us to go our way. He permits us to learn hard lessons by our own folly, lessons that He would rather have taught us gently while in fellowship with Him.

“Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries” (vv. 13-14).

He reminds us that He is capable of meeting all our needs, of every sort. “I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it” (v. 10). The imagery used here is that of a mother bird feeding her otherwise helpless young. They are dependent on her for all their needs, even life itself.

Jehovah invites us to wholeheartedly trust Him for all our needs. His reservoir is boundless; how much He gives to any one individual depends only on how much we allow Him to give. He adjures us to open our mouths wide so that He can abundantly fill them.

May God develop in us not only “wide mouths” but also the faith to trust Him for abundant provision. JDM

Fear ye not the reproach of men

Isaiah 51:1-13

Isaiah 51:1, 2

Lest they should grow dejected at the low estate of the nation, they are bidden to remember whence it came. One man was chosen, and one woman, they were both old before a child was born to them, they were a lone family in the earth; yet out of them sprang a great nation; nothing could be more apparently hopeless, yet the covenant was fulfilled, and therefore the like could and would be done again, and poor, downtrodden Israel would yet arise.

Isaiah 51:6

God is faithful, and will be true to his covenant; it is no agreement for days and years, its tenure is everlasting. The salvation which this covenant promises shall not be hidden in a corner, afar off it shall be published, even as it is at this day in our own fair island of the sea. Nothing can be more delightful than to have this salvation in possession, and to see its stable foundation in the covenant of grace.

Isaiah 51:8

Fear not dying man, trust in the ever-living God.

Isaiah 51:9

Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab or Egypt

Isaiah 51:9

and wounded the dragon? or the crocodile, the emblem of Egypt.

Isaiah 51:10

This is a bold prayer. It lays hold upon that glorious arm which wrought such marvels in Egypt on behalf of the Lord’s elect, and its plea is that he can do like deeds again, and that the time has come for him to do them.

Isaiah 51:11

Assured faith here quotes the promise which had been given in a previous prophecy, and confidently asserts that it will be ever so. It is always well to have a promise at our fingers’ ends.

Isaiah 51:12, 13

It is in God’s hands. No oppressor can rage against us unless the Lord permits; why then do we fear? He who gives our foe permission to annoy us in measure, holds the other end of his chain and will keep him within bounds. In holy confidence let us stand still and see the salvation of God.

 

Awake, all-conquering Arm, awake,

And Satan’s mighty empire shake;

Assert the honours of thy throne,

And make this ruin’d world thine own.

 

True Son of Man

One like unto the Son of man… out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword. (Revelation 1:13, 16)

The Christian message has ceased to be a pronouncement and has become instead a proposition. Scarcely anyone catches the imperious note in the words spoken by Jesus Christ.

The invitational element of the Christian message has been pressed far out of proportion in the total scriptural scene. Christ with His lantern, His apologetic stance and His weak pleading face has taken the place of the true Son of Man whom John saw—His eyes as a flame of fire, His feet like burnished brass and His voice as the sound of many waters.

Only the Holy Spirit can reveal our Lord as He really is, and He does not paint in oils. He manifests Christ to the human spirit, not to our physical eyes.

These are strenuous times and men and women are being recruited to devote themselves to one or another master. But anything short of complete devotion to Christ is inadequate and must end in futility and loss.

 

God’s Enemies Shall Bow

“The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” Exod. 7:5

The ungodly world is hard to teach. Egypt does not know Jehovah, and therefore dares to set up its idols, and even ventures to ask — “Who is the Lord?” Yet the Lord means to break proud hearts, whether they will or not. When His judgments thunder over their heads, darken their skies, destroy their harvests, and slay their sons, they begin to discern somewhat of Jehovah’s power. There will yet be such things done in the earth as shall bring skeptics to their knees. Let us not be dismayed because of their blasphemies, for the Lord can take care of His own name, and He will do so in a very effectual manner.

The salvation of His own people was another potent means of making Egypt know that the God of Israel was Jehovah, the living and true God. No Israelite died by any one of the ten plagues. None of the chosen seed were drowned in the Red Sea. Even so, the salvation of the elect, and the sure glorification of all true believers, will make the most obstinate of God’s enemies acknowledge that Jehovah He is the God.

Oh, that His convincing power would go forth by His Holy Spirit in the preaching of the gospel, till all nations shall bow at the name of Jesus, and call Him Lord!

 

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