Tag Archives: decision

Worship and Sacrifice

Simple Discipleship

This is the third week is the Simple Discipleship series.  Here are the first two messages in this series.

  1. Being a Leader/Disicple
  2. Intimacy/Love of God

Here is the topic of study for next week:

Worship and Sacrifice

  • My notes can be found here: Simple Discipleship Week 3
  • Here is the Audio Teaching from Feb 17, 2016: http://lwcburleson.sermon.net/main/main/20609931

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As we begin learning about Worship and Sacrifice, we must first ask ourselves,

What is Worship?  

What is Sacrifice?

If we do not have a proper understanding of these things, then as we discuss them, we will never come to a true understanding.  My prayer is that as we investigate the scriptures, that we will understand even more the meaning of these and how we can apply them to our lives.

Worship – Honoring and lifting high another as higher than yourself out of a heart of love in response to God’s word, act, or nature.

Sacrifice – Giving up completely something that is greatly important to you for the benefit of another because you love them.

Here, I am talking specifically of the worshiping God, but we worship and lift high so many things that are undeserving.  Food, sleep, money, fashion, entertainment, sports, people, can all be worshiped in spite of not being worth it.  In this one statement, you may be feeling judged and your toes may feel stepped on, but this is the reality of the matter in my life as well as the lives of so many others.

We have a struggle in the morning when our alarms go off whether we will rise and spend time with the Lord worshiping Him or worship the god of sleep that is so seductive especially when it comes time to make the decision.  I could go on and on about each one of these, but every time we choose these things over obedience to God and love for Him, we are worshiping them and lifting them high as the important things in our lives.

Worship

In 2 Chronicles 21, we come to learn that we worship God when we accept His word and are obedient without doubting or questioning what He says.  Jehosophat had no direct command of God to put His worshipers on the front lines.  They did it out of an act of obedience and thus worshiped God by being obedient and trusting in the word of God.

In Genesis 22, Abraham is called to sacrifice his son that God had just revealed was the son of promise.  Abraham trusted God in such a way that as they went to the mountain in Vs. 5 Abraham says we go to worship.  Abraham’s heart of sacrifice is a true act of worship to God.  He was willing to give whatever God asked in obedience out of his great love for Him.

In John 4,

What Jesus mean to worship God in Spirit and truth?

  • God wants a constant communion with you in the day to day.  He does not want you to worship Him in a church or at your house only, but in the Spirit everywhere you go in every situation that you are in.
  • God wants you to be honest with Him.  You cannot fool God.  He sees the thoughts and intentions of your heart.  If you are giving Him something small and seemingly mediocre out of a good heart, it is greater worship than giving the very most you have out of a wrong heart. (1 Cor 13:3)

In Malachi 1, God desires our very best.  If we bring God half-hearted worship out of duty, these things are not pure and holy and actually dishonor and disrespect God.  He would rather no one worship than to have duty-filled worship out of grudging hearts.  He wants pure and holy worship that is a true witness to who He is.  This only comes when we are giving God our best out of a willing and loving heart.

In 2 Samuel 24, David reveals that God is blessed by our sacrifice more than he is blessed by our excess.  We see this concept over and over throughout the Bible that when we give God something valuable to us, that is true worship.  Those giving because they have extra does not impress God.  Jesus states this in a different way when talking of the widow in Mark 12:41-44. God desires our pure and holy sacrifice so He can bless us with better than our very best!!!

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Finally, in Luke 7, a “sinner” probably a prostitute comes in to the middle of the pastors and elders of their day.  She humbles herself completely to the judgmental and critical thoughts and stares and worships Jesus.  This “sinner”  sacrificed more and gave more in worship than anyone else around.  Because of her sacrifice and true heart of worship, her sins are forgiven, and she is saved.  She was forgiven much and so loved much.  The fact that she loved much caused her to sacrifice her most valuable possession and her pride as an act of worship to Jesus.

Does you love cause you to sacrifice your pride and valuables in worship to the Lord? 

Nothing I have spoken is out of judgment or condemnation, but Holy Spirit has even convicted me in studying these things.  Our love for God will always lead us to a true worship which is displayed in what we are willing to sacrifice for our True Love.

Ask Holy Spirit these questions and be obedient in what He is speaking:

Are you giving your very best to God?  This is true worship.

What is God calling you to sacrifice to love Him and worship Him in a deeper way?

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May you be blessed with knowing more of the Love of God than ever before, and may you receive the fullness of the blessing that comes through true worship and sacrifice.

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

 

 

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Determining Destiny

It has been over a month since my last post and sometimes that is how life is.  However, a major life change has happened, and I could not be more excited about how God is moving.  After 15 months of being back from our missionary journeys, plugging in wherever we can, God has sent us to a church.  God has confirmed in us that we are to be assistant pastors at Living Water Church in Burleson.  I have started working here part-time this week, and the more I get to know the pastor, the church and the people; the more convinced I am that God has us right where He wants us.

Things rarely happen how we think that they will.  I would have loved to be doing more sooner, but God accomplishes His plans in His timing.  It is how we handle the things that the world throws at us and the times of waiting that allows us to determine our destiny.  This is the fourth devotion in the Destiny Series [1: Designed for Destiny, 2: Best Possible Signal, 3: Destiny Destroyer (Unforgiveness)].

In a superhero’s life, there are moments when one choice determines their destiny. For Bruce Wayne, the death of his parents could have caused him to become insane or a criminal. However, he chose to use this as an incentive to dispense justice. This choice made him the greatest hero of all time!!!

Bruce Wayne/Batman

Sadly, Batman is just a fictional superhero.  However, you have the ability to affect your destiny, as well as the destiny of those around you, today. Right Now!!!  You do not have to be a billionaire or be special in the eyes of the world. You just have to be willing to listen and be obedient to whatever God speaks.

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Read Acts 9:10-20

Here, we meet a certain disciple. Ananias was listening and heard a disturbing word. “Go and pray for Saul of Tarsus”. Saul was known as a destroyer of the church, and he had authority to imprison and kill believers. Ananias had the choice to be obedient against his desire and comfortability or disobey. Because of his obedience, Saul was healed and saved. In effect, all of Paul’s missionary journeys, salvations, churches he established, and books of the Bible that you still read today resulted from Ananias’ obedience. What a destiny for someone who is never mentioned again before or after!

If you are walking with God, you are a certain disciple just like Ananias. You may feel unimportant and meaningless at times; however, as you position yourself to receive from God and are obedient to what He speaks, you become infused with His power and presence. As He leads you to speak and pray for others, God’s presence can be infused into other’s lives. Your choice to walk into your destiny with God has the power to transform you and everyone around you!!!

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One tiny word can change, save, or set a life free when spoken out of Obedience and Truth!!! 

One simple act can affect a person, a nation, or all of eternity if you are walking with the Spirit into your destiny!!!

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Challenge: Take time to listen carefully to Holy Spirit. Write down what He reveals. As He gives a word or action, be obedient to take action, do it or speak it. Talk to a leader if you have questions or need someone to help you be obedient.

Suggested Reading; James 5:17-18, Hebrews 11, Jonah

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

The Importance of the One

As our time in Norway draws closer and closer to an end, God has been speaking to me more and more about the importance of the One.  When we set out on this faith journey a month and a half ago, I thought it would look remarkably different than it has.  The majority of our time so far has been encouraging and strengthening individuals in an intimate setting.  We have been so privileged to encourage and build up Kjetil, his roommate Simon, his parents, and another couple that is a part of a small house church here.  Besides this, just sharing with the people we meet at different gatherings and settings seems to be how God is using us.

I have been feeling a little discouraged on and off that we have not had opportunities to speak to any churches or ministries so far.  In discussing this with my wife, she unleashed some powerful revelation and wisdom upon me, that I knew, but needed to be reminded of at that moment.  When we are ministering, encouraging, and strengthening individuals, this is building the church.  Each person is a vital and integral part of the church and every effort we make to strengthen and encourage them is making a difference in the church and the Kingdom of God is being built up.

My wife’s wise words reminded me of some ponderings of the past.  One of the first things I think of is a quote that was said to the famous D.L. Moody by a very little known friend of his.  Henry Varley, during conversation in a park, said to D.L. Moody, “The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully consecrated to Him.”  After dwelling on this word for a short time, Moody’s response was, “I will try my utmost to be that man.”  Moody went on to be one of the most influential preachers in the U.S. and U.K. of his time.  This one man was changed by one comment, and millions of people were saved because of it.

What would happen in our time, if our attitude was the same? What if two or ten or 1,000 people stood up and said that we will be fully consecrated and obedient to the Lord to the best of our abilities?  Looking on all the revivals, movements, and godly happenings of the past, they can all be traced back to one man’s decision to follow the Lord completely.  Any organization, company, or business has one man that they say founded this company.  This man of vision, perseverance, and hard work gathered people around him to make the dream come true.  Loren Cunnigham and YWAM, Reinhard Bonnke and African Crusades, Billy Graham and U.S. Crusades, Bill Johnson and Bethel, Mike Bickle and IHOP, Lou Engle and The Call, Heidi Baker and Iris Ministries, Sean Feucht and The Burn 24-7, Stephen Evans and the Central American Crusades, Jack Hayford and The Church on the Way… these are just some of the well known people of our time who decided to be completely consecrated and  obedient to the Lord.  Each of these people in their own way have made a difference.  This does not even say anything about the people of the past who stood up no matter what the price to them in order that Jesus’ name would be glorified in and through them.

My challenge to you is that you would think about this statement, “The world has yet to see what God will do with YOU, for YOU, through YOU, in YOU, and by YOU if YOU are fully consecrated to Him!”  The world needs what you, completely consecrated and obedient to God, have to offer.  Really think about this and what your decision will be.  If you do not choose to be this kind of man like Moody did, you are choosing to fade into the oblivion of cultural Christians and not become what God has created you to become, one who turns the world upside down (Acts 17:6).  You are created for greatness!!!  Whether you become great or not depends upon your decision whether to be completely consecrated and obedient!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!  “With everything that I am and have, I will be that man!!!”