Friday, May 10, 2013

Obedience and Worship

“Meanwhile the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee,
 headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion.
The moment they saw him, they worshiped him; some,
 though, held back, not sure about worship,
about risking themselves totally.”
 Matthew 28:16-17 (MSG)

The remaining disciples traveled to a predetermined site-a mountain. Jesus had told them to meet him.  They had reunited because the experiences in the Upper Room. They were eager to go see Jesus. They must have been thankful to meet with Him again.
Do we approach opportunities to worship as we should? Or do we make excuses and drag our feet about going to church?
A friend of mine and her husband decided early one Sunday morning to stay home from church. He’d had a bad week and she was extra tired. Their pastor texted them and asked them if they were going to be there that day; he needed some help in the service.
They debated what to text back to the pastor. He didn’t want to lie to the pastor—how would that look?  She told him that they could say they weren’t in town. Actually that was splitting hairs. Their church is in the next town south of where they live.
They finally decided to hurry and get ready and go. They arrived at their church with five minutes to spare. The pastor asked my friend to sing and her husband to read scripture. The sermon somehow seemed to be aimed right at my friend. She started out telling me the Lord taught them both a lesson.
Several years ago, a dear lady told a group of us that we need to prepare for worship. We prepare to go to the grocery store. Before we take a trip, we see that our vehicle is in great shape. We plan which clothes we will take; make arrangements for lodging. We make plans for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and Christmas.    
How should we plan for worship? Shouldn't we prepare our hearts to receive what God has for us? Are we always ready to worship Him?

graphic from

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Genuine Worship

“And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world,
he says. ‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’” Hebrews 1:6 (NIV)

As I researched this month’s topic, I discovered this verse. It tells me two important messages.
“. . . when God brings his firstborn into the world . . .” The author says, ‘when’  God brings Jesus back to this world. He states with certainty that God will send His Son back to earth.

“’Let all God’s angels worship him.’” The angels will worship the Lord. William Barclay in The Letter to the Hebrews tells us the writer is explaining that Jesus is superior to the angels.

In our world today, believers in God know that all those around us are on the same plane when we think about our goodness or sinfulness –we are all sinners saved by grace.

How should we react to Jesus when He comes again? Paul writes that we should humble ourselves and worship the Lord. (Philippians 2:10) What had made this verse come alive for me is this: Paul tells us that ALL people-those in heaven, those who have already entered and the angels, those on earth (both those who have lived for Him as well as those who have not,) and those who have, by their own behavior, been sent to Hades.
Several years ago, the believers of God seemed to be in love with the idea of guardian angels. People used them to decorate their homes. I had a business relationship with some people who had 100 angelic dolls and ceramic pieces in their home. They took advantage of my situation. I had to ask God to intervene in my thinking about them.

Graphic from::

Monday, May 6, 2013


  “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod 
Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one
who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star
 in the east and have come to worship him.’ On coming to the house,
they saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.
 Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold incense and myrrh”
 Matthew 2:1-2, 11 (NIV)

We usually read this passage when we think about Jesus’ birth. Today, let’s think about the three Magi.
The three wise men came to Bethlehem in search of the babe that had been born King of the Jews. They had studied the scrolls that told of this child who was like none other. They journeyed a great distance to visit this child.
They came so they could worship Him. They had no other agenda but to honor and adore this child about whom they had read in prophecy. They also searched the heavens as they looked for a sign of the baby’s birth.
You know the story; the travelers got lost and found their way to the court of Herod, the king of Israel. Herod and all Jerusalem became alarmed. He asked the Magi to return to his court after they found this child and tell him where they found him. Herod’s words told them that he wanted to worship the baby as well.
I see the worship the Magi did was true worship. The bowed down before the Christ Child. They bestowed gifts to Him. These gifts were precious in that time.
On the other hand, Herod told a big lie. He said that he wanted to worship the child. We read that his intent was to slay the babe. His soldiers wreaked havoc among the families in Bethlehem. The soldiers struck terror in the hearts of all who had had children under the age of two.
In our 21st Century, we need to examine how we worship God. Do we approach God with humility? Do we ask for His forgiveness? Then do we try to repent (turn away from our sinful habits?)
I remember a well-known person who, when he ‘apologized’ to our nation, turned the statement into a finger pointing speech to those who held different political beliefs. As I saw it, he really didn't say that he was sorry for that particular transgression. When we confess our sins before God, we have to come clean before Him. We can’t get out of it by saying it’s someone else’s fault or they made us do it. God knows and see all that we do. 

Graphic from

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...