This is the third week is the Simple Discipleship series. Here are the first two messages in this series.
Here is the topic of study for next week:
- Prayer and Fasting
- The Scriptures for study are: Daniel 10:1-14, Isaiah 58, Matthew 6:5-21, Habakkuk 2:1-4, Mark 9:14-29, and 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
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
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.
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!!!
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?
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!!!
One week from today, my wife and I will have been traveling for five months. Now when we spoke about what God had called us to do, many people talked about us having an extended honeymoon. Whether they were joking or serious, I do not know. However, The Lord knows the reason He called us out immediately. So many people have commented as we travel that they wished they could do the same thing, but were so tied down it would be impossible. It seems that when people are young enough to travel and do the work of The Lord that they are discouraged by their lack of money. However when they do have money to travel, they are normally tied down until they are older, and their children are grown. After that, they do not have the life and energy they once did.
God called us out at exactly the right time. Many people think that mission work is all roses and honey, but it is not. For me, one of the constant things I have had to battle is not worrying about money. God has called us out to do this work, and I know that He has promised to provide. He has done this in many ways, but in the day to day it is hard to see where the provision is coming from. He has promised to provide for us in both our physical as well as spiritual needs. It seems like it is easier to trust The Lord for the spiritual things, because there is not much I can do differently to acquire these things. Yes, discouragement comes and attacks the vision, purpose, and the actions we are taking, but for me, this is easier to overcome. In the realm of the physical, I can see where money is coming from and where it is not. Should we write more blogs, make more videos, sell more things, (I actually own almost nothing now, my wife is richer in the world’s eyes because she has a car), ask more, pray more…? I do not know. But one thing I do know is that God is in control.
Recently, God opened a door for us to travel to Kosovo. As you may remember, only 15 years ago, there was a major war and genocide that took place here. The door that opened was obvious and had nothing to do anything we did. Because Kosovo is in a unique situation, the cost of travel from Spain to get there is about the same as if we went straight to India, which is the next place we know that we are going. Because of the money, we talked and prayed about if we got the right amount of money during one week’s time, we would see that as God sending us there. Six days passed and we received only $50 from some people in England. I was talking with The Lord in the bathroom how it did not seem possible that we could travel to Kosovo because of the added cost. Right now, we have no regular supporters and live one day at a time, and I did not see how we could bear this added expense. My spirit was overwhelmed by a word that I believe is from The Lord. As we have traveled, even before we left, we have prayed for three specific things: protection, provision, and open doors. I could see very clearly that this was an open door, but was disheartened because of the expense. The word I felt was from The Lord was this. “Why would we not walk through an obvious open door just because we did not see the provision?” I know in the eyes of the world, this does not make sense. However, this is the faith that we are all called to live by. We are to walk in obedience and not look at the circumstances of the world when our Heavenly Father is the One that gives us everything we need. It only takes a little pavement from the Heavenly Kingdom to provide for an all expense paid ministry trip around the world for two.
Now, I do not want anyone to think that this is a plea for financial support. It is not. If God speaks to you about giving to us, give. If He speaks to you about building up His Kingdom in a different way, than be obedient to that.
I want to encourage everyone that has a clear word from The Lord to follow that calling. Do not worry about the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that stand in the way of what He is saying. If The Lord has called you to follow Him in His work, He will easily melt the mountains like wax and make rivers come forth in the desert. It is not difficult for Him to move the obstacles out of our way. We cannot do it, but if we could, we would deserve the glory. All glory, honor, and power be to The Lord. As the Men and Women of God, we lift high His name and walk in obedience. He gets the glory when we are able to walk through impossible situations no matter what they may be.
I encourage you to keep on asking and keep on seeking the direction that God wants you to move and where He wants you to partner with Him in His Kingdom. When He speaks, be fully and completely obedient to everything He is calling you to do. The best thing about being in partnership with God is that He is the one that does all the hard work, all we do is walk with Him in obedience!!!
Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of those who draw back in fear or sin, but we are of those who press in and believe to the salvation, healing, and deliverance of the souls in all the world!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
Are you a True Minister of God? Read on to find out everything this entails…
This morning, while reading in 2 Corinthians, I stumbled across some very interesting verses that are important for us to dwell on that our lives may be lived as God desires. For those of you who have decided to become a True Follower of Christ, you are called a minister of Christ (2 Cor. 3:6). Although you may never be called to be a full-time minister or pastor as I was eleven years ago, you are a minister right now!!! In His letter to the Corinthians, Paul gives each one of us an idea of how we should be living, and what we should expect as we follow Him!!!
2 Corinthians 6:3-4a “We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God.”
This is something we must always be wary of. Our lives as representations of Who God is must not give Him a bad light in anything that we do or do not do. We must be always living as His children. No pressure! I am thankful that the grace of God covers my failures, but I must be open and say that I am not perfect…and neither are you. So I am in good company 🙂 Our openness and transparency about our faults allows others to grab ahold of the truth of grace working in us.
4b “We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food.
Most of us have experienced at least some of these, but we have much more to expect if we are truly following in the footsteps of Christ!!!
6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.
How are you proving yourself this week? Ask Holy Spirit to help you be the proof of Christ in the midst of every negative situation.
7 We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense.
The Truth of God radiating from us, the power of God working through us, and His righteousness working in us are the weapons and defense against the enemy and his forces!!!
8 We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. 9 We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”
It does not matter where we are, what we are doing, what people’s response to us, or accusations against us are. Our situation does not dictate how we are to act or conduct ourselves. As we rely fully upon The Lord, He will give us the ability to triumph in any circumstance and shine forth His glory in every trial.
Remember, that no matter where you are or what you are doing, you are being a minister of Christ!!! Are you proclaiming the Truth of who He is and what He is doing for you no matter what is going on around you? Are you being a light of hope in a dark world? Are you giving and accurate representation of who He is? Or are you causing others to view Christ falsely or making Him seem powerless and puny?
You are a minister of Christ and I bless you with the ability to radiate His truth, walk in His righteousness, and bring glory to God through the working of His power and sharing of His love!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!