He wants His daughter to be cherished and is delighted when I ask Him to help me do precisely that. He answers my prayers. He gives me His strength. He offers His perspective.
The Law of God
He gives me hope, conviction, encouragement and counsel. The more I invite God into my life and marriage, the more real He becomes to me. He was there all along, of course, but now my eyes are open to Him wider than ever before. I see Him more clearly. When things are easy, you may not feel the need for God so strongly.
And with a God like ours, leaning on Him as your only hope is a very safe and certain thing to do. He has also written numerous articles for several prominent national magazines. Gary and his wife, Lisa, reside in Texas and have three children. You can learn more about Gary by visiting his website, www. Call Store. By Gary Thomas. October 18, Share on facebook. Share on twitter. Share on pinterest. Share on print. Share on email. Originally published on FocusOnTheFamily.
What does it mean to cherish your spouse? Couples who cherish each other understand that God created everyone different, and as a result they treasure the unique characteristics in their spouse. We want to help you do just that. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men. He was saying that our service to God, whether in life generally or in corporate worship, must not be determined by tradition but must follow the teaching of God in the Bible. The Bible reminds us that neither our instincts nor our traditions nor our experiments are reliable guides to worship.
The Bible itself is our only reliable guide. One of the ironies of our time is that many Christians who affirm the inerrancy of the Bible do not really study it to find out what it says about worship. The Bible uses the word worship in at least three important ways. First, worship can refer to the whole life of the Christian.
We are to live our lives for God and under God. We should seek to have all we do become loving service to him. In these verses all life is looked upon as worship. Second, worship can refer to those personal times of prayer, praise, reflection, or Bible reading when we focus on God. David worshiped as he prayed and sang alone at night:. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.see
Turning Back to God (4 June ) - Daily reflection - Bible Society
Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. Third, worship can refer to times when Christians gather officially as a congregation to praise God. This form of worship is commended and commanded in the Scriptures. The Psalms celebrate this privilege of corporate worship:. Praise the LORD. I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. Clearly God wants his people to gather as congregations, expressing that they are the body of Christ as they worship him with one another.
An Expression of God’s Will
This third use of worship, corporate worship, deserves special attention for two reasons. First, the arena of corporate worship is where most of the worship wars are being fought. Changes in corporate worship need careful examination in our time. Second, many Christians seem to have a measure of prejudice against corporate worship as a priority in the lives of believers.
They seem to believe that the official worship of the church is not very important. They find it too formal and impersonal. They feel that individual times of prayer and Bible reading or small group experiences are much more important in cultivating nearness to God than is corporate worship. Some of the recent changes in corporate worship reflect an effort to make it more like a small group activity. The book of Hebrews is particularly important here because it shows the connection between the worship of the Old Testament and the worship of the New Testament, and also because it draws attention to the uniqueness of our worship as the New Testament people of God.
Hebrews states:. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. This passage directs us to two key elements for our thinking about worship: first, the character of God as the object of our worship, and second, our response to God in worship.
Why Please God in a Self-Pleasing Age?
The Character of God. As our God is triune, so our worship must be trinitarian. God in his unity is a proper object of worship, but so too are each of the persons of the Godhead. In worshiping any of the divine persons we worship the whole Godhead, for God is one. Our worship may focus on any one of the divine persons at particular points because the Bible itself shows us that each person of the Trinity is associated with certain divine acts particularly.
For example, in the Bible the Father is particularly linked to the planning of salvation in order to reconcile sinners to himself. The Son is linked to accomplishing salvation as the God-man living, dying, and rising in the place of sinners. The Spirit is linked to applying salvation, drawing sinners to Christ, and giving them faith and new life. The Father is particularly the object of our worship. Jesus opened the way to the Father for us by his saving work, and we always come to the Father in his name. The Spirit empowers and blesses our worship.
He warms our hearts and draws us, not to himself, but to Jesus and his Word.
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He has prepared an unshakable kingdom of eternal life for those who belong to him. This kingdom belongs to Jesus Christ Heb. Jesus and his Gospel must always stand at the heart of our worship. We must remember that he is the eternal second person of the Trinity, made man to be our Savior. We must rejoice in his perfect life of obedience for us, in his death on the cross where he bore all our sins, and in his glorious resurrection to be our ever-living Savior and High Priest.
Worship fails utterly if Jesus Christ is not at the center. His person and work must light up the worship of his people. He makes God fully known and fully accessible to us. He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble Ps. He saves us from our sins, and our worship must celebrate him. He is a God who stands in judgment of sin and calls for holy living among his people.
This passage in Deuteronomy clearly rests on the second of the Ten Commandments, which forbids false worship, as we have seen. The holy character of God must echo as clearly through our worship as does the saving character of God. These passages show that the Lord takes his worship very seriously. Only such worship will be acceptable to him. When Hebrews speaks of acceptable worship, it means worship that is first and foremost acceptable to God. This priority needs to be reaffirmed especially today. Too often today when people speak of acceptable worship they mean worship that is acceptable to themselves or perhaps acceptable especially to the unchurched.
While worship must communicate clearly to the gathered congregation, the Bible insists that worship must above all be acceptable to God.
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And we must always remember that we can only know what is acceptable to God by a careful study of his Word.