Tag Archives: worship

Praise Break

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

I don’t know about you, but there are times I just want to spend hours praising God while listening to praise and worship music. I set my Pandora to Jesus Culture, and then let it play. I love how so many songs put words to how I feel and what I want to say to God. Right now, one of my favorites is “Great Are You Lord” by All Sons and Daughters. The part that resonates with me says, “It’s your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to you only.” I find myself repeating just that phrase over and over.

I learned a long time ago how important it is to be in God’s presence, especially when I’m under attack. I can find peace and clarity in times of chaos by praising God. Psalm 22 tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people. I’ve found that God shows up when I praise Him. I find that if I sing to Him, He gives me strength when I’m mentally and physically exhausted. I know i don’t sing in tune, but thankfully, He hears my heart over my pitch. He just enjoys it when we take the time to invite Him into our busy day and to praise Him.

Sometimes I feel like the psalmist in Psalm 106:2. He wrote, “Who can tell all the great things he has done? Who can praise him enough?” (GNT) Several years ago, Sonicflood sang a song called, “I Could Sing of your Love Forever”. I believe we could do that and still not be able to praise Him for all He’s done. I don’t know that we can praise Him enough. I do know that He is worthy of whatever praise we give Him because if He never did another thing for any one of us, He’s already done more for us than we deserve.

Today, I challenge you to think of things God has done for you and to praise Him for them. Make a list and watch it grow. We get so good at asking Him for things, but we rarely stop to thank Him when He does. Take time to praise God from your heart. If you don’t know what to say, search for your favorite worship song, play it, and sing along. Don’t worry if you don’t sound good to human ears. You aren’t signing for their approval. You are worshiping the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. When you do this, watch how your day changes. It’s amazing how praising God shifts our perspective and how His presence gives us peace.

Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash

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Heartfelt Worship

I was twenty years old before I attended my first liturgical style church service. I was raised in a church at the opposite end of the spectrum. The songs seemed to be all from before the 1700’s, and we had to do responsive readings throughout the service. I remember thinking, “This is crazy! How can anyone get into this?” It was then that God directed my gaze to a woman across the church. I could tell she was enjoying it and was worshipping God through the service. God was saying, “There’s more than one way to worship me because worship comes from the heart.”

In Matthew 26, Jesus was close to the end of His ministry. He was having dinner with a man he had healed when a woman came in with a perfume worth a year’s salary. She broke it open and poured it on Jesus. The disciples flipped out and called it a waste because they could have sold the perfume and given the money away. But Jesus responded in verse 13, “I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed” (NLT).

I’ve been like the disciples and have complained about other styles of worship. Because God gave us different personality styles, we express our worship differently. God is looking for us to worship Him in spirit and in truth with our lives, not just at a church service. The woman in this story worshipped with all she had and we are still talking about it two thousand years later. Imagine what the Church could do if we quit worrying about how each other worship God and focused on our own worship. Remember God is looking at our heart, not our outward expression.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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Unlocking God’s Goodness


I don’t carry a key to my own home. There is almost always someone home so it isn’t necessary. The problem is that recently I was hanging with a friend, and when they dropped me off, it was one of those rare times that the house was empty. I checked all the doors and windows, but they were locked. I walked around the house a few times, but couldn’t get in. It was about thirty minutes before anyone got home who had a key and let me in. It was hot outside and all I wanted was to get inside, sit in the air conditioning and have an ice cold glass of water.

Many times I have that same feeling of being locked out of God’s presence and goodness. I want to be in it, but I can’t seem to find the door or a window to get in it. I know God’s desire is for me to spend time in His presence, but some times it just seems to elude me. It’s like I’m locked out and all I want is to just be in it and to enjoy all the goodness that He has to offer. Do you ever feel that way? Ever wonder what the key is?

In Psalm 34:9, the Psalmist wrote, “Worship GOD if you want the best; worship opens doors to all his goodness” (MSG). Worship is the key. The problem is that many of us only associate worship with music, but the truth is that worship is more than a slow song. In the original meaning of the word, it means to submit yourself. In plain English, it means that you and I have to live a life of putting God first.

The key to opening the door to all God’s goodness is not in singing a song to Him, but in living a life of submission to God. It’s not just what we do on Sunday morning at church, but rather how we live the rest of the week. If we want access, we’ve got to give Him more than one day a week. Worshipping God is an incredible thing that keeps God on the throne of our lives.when He is at the center of who we are and why we live, the doors to His goodness and presence will remain unlocked. 

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True Worship

  
Worship is one of those words that we, as Christians, lose the meaning of. For many Christians, when they read or hear the word “worship”, they immediately think of their favorite church song that they sing during praise and worship, which is lead by their worship pastor. In our modern Church, we’ve singularized what the word worship means. We’ve narrowed it down to singing and lifting our hands, but it’s more than that.

Worship is any action that flows from the posture and attitude of our heart towards God. Serving the least of these, giving your tithe and offerings, helping the widows in your town, praying with someone in need, cleaning up after a church event, and so much more are acts of worship. When our hearts are bowed before God, it pours out in our actions as acts of worship. You don’t have to be able to carry a tune in a bucket to worship, you simply need an opportunity to serve God.

Here are some of my favorite verses on worship.

1. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.
John 4:24 NLT

2. Worship GOD if you want the best; worship opens doors to all his goodness.
Psalm 34:9 MSG

3. I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.
Romans 12:1 AMP

4. When you said, “Come worship me,” I answered, “I will come, Lord.”
Psalm 27:8 GNT

5. You must worship only the LORD your God. He is the one who will rescue you from all your enemies.
2 Kings 17:39 NLT

6. Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear, revere, and worship You, goodness which You have wrought for those who trust and take refuge in You before the sons of men!
Psalm 31:19 AMP

7. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.
Psalms 29:2 ESV

8. But the time is coming and is already here, when by the power of God’s Spirit people will worship the Father as he really is, offering him the true worship that he wants.
John 4:23 GNT

9. God-friendship is for God-worshipers; They are the ones he confides in.
Psalm 25:14 MSG

10. Behold, the Lord’s eye is upon those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe], who wait for Him and hope in His mercy and loving-kindness.
Psalm 33:18 AMP

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Walk With The Wise Men

Matthew 2 tells the story of the wise men coming to visit Jesus after He was born. Over the centuries, we’ve put crowns on these men and called them kings. We’ve also narrowed down the number of them to three. The Bible doesn’t tell us how many there were. It just says, “Men.” The Greek word used for them is magos. It’s interpreted as wise men, teachers, priests, physicians and astrologers. Debates can go on about who they were, how many there were and where they came from, but that’s not what I think we should focus on.

One of the main things I think we should focus on is that they were seeking Him. They traveled a great distance to find the King. They weren’t even afraid to ask for help. They stopped in Jerusalem and asked King Herod where the newborn king was. They kept searching until they found Him. You and I tend to quit seeking Him after we’ve found Him, but I think that our lives should be lived in pursuit of the King. We should search to know Him more each day. We should spend time seeking out who He is and what He says. Our lives will be fuller for it.

The next thing I noticed is that they said in verse 2, “We saw His star as it rose, and we have come to worship Him.” They were face to face with the king of the country and told him that they had come to worship another. Their priorities in whom and what they worshipped were in order. Too many times, we let Jesus take a back seat to who or what we are worshipping. We allow sports to dictate whether we go to church or not. We allow other things to occupy our minds when we have designated time to spend with the King of Kings. We treat our worship as a spiritual box than can be checked off as part of a requirement. We would be wise to follow the precedence set by these wise men.

Finally, they brought Him gifts. They opened up their bags and presented Him with what they had. They prepared ahead of time to give Him things that were most precious to them. They didn’t offer Him something that had no value or that only cost them a little. They were all in so they went all out with their gifts. You and could learn a lot from their sacrifice. God isn’t interested in our leftovers. He has always wanted our best and our first fruits. The gifts we bring to Him should have value and be meaningful to us. These gifts don’t just have to be monetary. They can be our talents and abilities.

I’ve always been intrigued by the wise men who visited Jesus. God chose not only the poor of this world to celebrate the arrival of His son, but He also chose men of stature to share in it. These wise men had their priorities right so God chose them to share in this history changing moment. I wonder what moments in life that God wants to include you and I in if only we would get our priorities right and be willing to offer Him our best. The great news is that is a decision you and I can make today. If you want to be wise, walk in the steps of the wise.

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