Tag Archives: judgment

Increase Expectation 25/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

Here we are at day 25!  It is hard to imagine before The 40 that we could be so far in and a little over two weeks from completing the commitment God has placed in our hearts.  The spiritual benefits that come from the daily overcoming of obstacles to remain faithful in worship to The King of The Universe will one day astound us all.  Never give in to the fleshly desires now in exchange for the eternal reward that is being built up for you and everyone around you.  Let’s press on and press in together.

By this time, the weight of the impossible has probably tried to crush you or in the very least discourage you.  Several people have indicated to me this week that they were worried about me physically.  One even said that I was crazy and out of my mind.  However, as long as we are partnered with Jesus and what He has for us, I would rather be walking in the mind of Christ than my own mind anyway.  

It should not be a surprise to any of us that trusted spiritual and especially worldly influences around us do not understand the depth of what is taking place.  The God of great grace and mercy has called us out, or we have submitted to Him out of worship, in order for the impossible to take place.  When God moves, it is not understood completely by the most spiritual people we could ever think of.  We desire the perfect grace and mercy of God to be made manifest in us, our families, neighborhoods, workplaces, regions, and nations.  As much as we think we may understand Him and His ways, we do not.

We can see clearly that hunger and expectation has the ability to change the situations around us.  The woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8:43-48) only wanted to get close enough to touch Jesus’ garment.  She did what was illegal and could have gotten her stoned to death by pushing,maybe even crawling, through a crowd of people and just to put her “unclean” hands on Jesus.  It was her hunger and expectation that drove her to do what others would not.  This was the faith that healed and restored her.  This is where we are today. We are all believing for the “impossible” things to happen for the glory of God!

But what if these things do not happen during or after The 40? 

What if we go through The 40 and do not see anything change? 

What if our hunger and expectation are seemingly not rewarded?

Take heart, my brothers and sisters, this will align us on the same level as one “after God’s own heart”, David.  David was hand picked by the Lord and anointed to be king long before it actually takes place. David has to live a life of character and actually doing the job of the king, like challenging Goliath, before he ever saw the promotion that God had anointed him for.  Eventually, he became king and did great for a while.

However, it seems David had a weakness for women.  Because David decided to give in to this weakness just one time, it led him to deception, adultery, murder, and pain.  The prophet Nathan reveals that God has seen it all and finally David repents.  What is the judgment for all of this sin? David’s recently born son would die. This is where we pick up in the scripture reading for today:

2 Samuel 12:15-16 And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became ill. David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.

Even though David knew he deserved the judgment and punishment that God had said, he increases his expectation that God’s great mercy and grace is greater than his sin.  David comes in humility, prayer, and fasting and cries out to God for mercy for his baby.  He does this for 7 days until the baby dies.  His servants do not even want to tell him that his baby has died because they are unsure what he will do when he finds out the worst has happened.  David’s hopes, desires, and expectations for the life of his baby because of the mercy of God are about to be crushed.  What will his response be?  

I do not know what the physicians were telling him and Bathsheba, but God had told him the baby would die.  That seems to be a very definite thing to me.  Surely, trusted and godly people came in after a few days of prayer and fasting and felt the need to prepare him for the worst.  There was no reason for him to expect that God would do anything different than He Himself had said.  However, David increased expectation in The God of grace and mercy. Throwing himself at the feet of The Great Shepherd and walking through the valley of the shadow of death, David is rewarded with seemingly nothing.  Here is David’s response when he finds out this baby is dead:

Vs. 20 So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. 

He cleans himself up, puts on his best worship attire, and goes to The house of The Lord and worships.  Great expectations unmet did not crush David and cause him to turn away, but causes him to be able to praise through the pain of unmet expectation.  This does not make sense to anyone and they ask him about it.

Vs. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”

His expectations and prayers were unmet, and he chose to worship and adore God anyway because he knew His God. The Great God of Mercy and Grace was still the same whether David got what he desired or not.  

Vs. 22-23 And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

David knew the value in hunger and increasing expectation to work mighty things in the heavenly realm.  It had not happened the way he wanted.  However, because of a right heart of hunger and expectation to pray the greatest prayer he could think of, he was prepared to praise even through the pain.  Immediately after this, Solomon is born and God names him Jedidiah which means beloved of the Lord. David’s hunger and expectation caused a blessing to take place that was not the way David prayed or wanted, but came about at a different time and different way. 

This is the kind of hunger, expectation, and faith that I want!

No matter the difficulties, trials, and impossibilities that we bring to the Lord during this time, may we all increase our hunger and expectation to see the impossible made manifest into reality. Even if these things do not take place how we want or think they should, we must pray for the best and cry out to God. Today, increase your hunger and expectation and may this increase your worship through both met and unmet expectations.

Jesus, increase my hunger and expectation today. I want to have faith for the impossible miracles to take place no matter what I see or hear.  Help me to trust You to bring about the greatest good as my expectations are increased, and I cry out to You for the greatest good. Help me to never be discouraged or back down from believing the best no matter what I may see with my eyes or hear with my ears.  

Practical –

  • Take a good look at what you are praying for.
  • Ask Holy Spirit to help you increase expectation and hunger to believe in the greatest possible good
  • Ask for strength, grace, and mercy for the faith to continually believe for the impossible
  • Ask for worship and fresh faith to replace discouragement or unbelief that tries to come in

Be blessed with an exponential increase of expectation and hunger to continuously believe for what seems impossible to man. May all discouragement and unbelief be replaced with worship and even more increased expectation because of new revelations of The Great God of Mercy and Grace in your life..

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

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Direction & Protection 24/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

May the strength of The Lord be upon you today! I know I need it. It seems that in the midst of my fasting, every little thing becomes a major deal. Sleeping less is usually not a big deal, but in the middle of fasting, it becomes even harder to continue the commitments we have made to The Lord with a right heart.  Do not let the weakness of the flesh or the enticements of the enemy draw you to the lesser thing, but it is time to go up and go higher to the place where we can touch and be touched by heaven. Supernatural strength be upon us all today!

We have discussed some major life changing fruit that prayer and fasting can produce in our lives.  This power-packed duo has the ability to do so many things that are super big and majorly important, saving a city, healing a land, shifting the heavens…  However, let us not overlook the day to day ways that fasting and prayer aids us in everyday life.  

As we look at a passage from the book of Ezra, let me set up the background for you.  Israel, God’s chosen people, had rebelled and walked away from God. Because of this judgment came upon them through the Babylonians, and they are taken into captivity.  During captivity, we find Daniel faithfully serving the Lord through fasting and prayer out of a heart of repentance and humility.  The grace and mercy come at the set time partnering with the prayers of Daniel and others, and God uses Cyrus to set the people free and allow them to return and build Jerusalem.  

Ezra was of the priestly class and takes it upon himself to lead one of the groups of people back to their homeland.  Nehemiah the cup-bearer to the king also brings people back to the land during the same time period.  Ezra is preparing to lead this large group of Jews on a long journey to their home.  This is where we pick up the story:

Ezra 8:15 Now I gathered them by the river that flows to Ahava, and we camped there three days. And I looked among the people and the priests, and found none of the sons of Levi there. 

As they were preparing to leave, Ezra found that none of the designated spiritual leaders of the people were with them. Ezra alone was the only one who had volunteered to go with the people.  How disheartening this must have been to be the only spiritual leader around that was being voluntarily obedient to press into the freedom and return to the promised land that God had given them. All the other “men of God” had decided to remain in bondage and captivity rather than press through to breakthrough and walk in the freedom and blessing that God had given them.  

After compelling some of his brethren, other priests to come with him, he must realize that the task of traveling with all these people and an abundance of silver and gold to be used as an offering to God and to pay for the work of rebuilding their cities will be more difficult than he thought. Therefore, this is what Ezra does:

Ezra 8:21-23 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.

Ezra is being faithful and obedient in his daily life to do what God has sent him to do. He is walking in wisdom to gather other leaders to care for the people going with him, others that will follow, and those that are already in the land.  It seems that Ezra is walking as a wise leader, full of faith and wisdom, but he realizes that without God’s help, they will be easy prey for their enemies to take advantage of.  So, he humbles himself and asks for help from the Almighty God.  Obviously God is with him.  God set it up for all these things to take place. Clearly, Ezra is declaring the goodness of God and His hand of protection upon them even to the king.  However, Ezra calls the people to humility, fasting and prayer that he might lead them and protect them in a special way.

For us, we can be walking with God completely and totally full of faith and obedience.  We can trust the Lord and be walking fully in his calling, but this does not mean that we do not need Him to be continually with us to strengthen us and keep us from going astray.  Right now, more than ever, you need him right where you are. You need Jesus to invade your home, neighborhood, your workplace, your school, your church, your city and nation. Not matter how spiritually mature you may be or how good things may be going, pride is the only thing that will cause us to walk our daily lives without asking God for supernatural protection and direction.

What is the result of Ezra’s call to humility, prayer, and fasting for direction and protection?

Ezra 8:31 Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. And the hand of our God was upon us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambush along the road.

God directed him and the people the way they should go and protected them along the way.  There may not have been any amazing sign or wonder displayed, but this small group of poor, former slaves and their families, traveling with all their herds, possessions, and an abundance of gold and silver, were protected daily as they traveled more than 900 miles over four months.  

My encouragement for you is to intentionally invite The Lord into your daily life today and every day. As we fast and ask God for the “big”, “spiritual” requests, do not forget your need for Him to strengthen, guide, and protect your daily, routine, coming and going.  Holy Spirit must be infused into every moment of our lives that the glory of God may be constantly and continually flowing out of us for all those who need Him to come and drink!

Jesus, I thank you that you are The One who does mighty signs, wonders, and miracles.  I thank you that you are The Good Shepherd that walks with me in my everyday life. I need your protection and direction in every moment of my life. I invite you to lead me and guide me every single day to walk in Your way. May I never forget to recognize and honor you in every part and every seeming small part of my life!

Practical –

  • Invite Holy Spirit to be with you right now
  • Acknowledge your need for Him to guide and protect you today
  • Ask Him to reveal Himself in a special way within your daily routine activities
  • Recognize and Glorify God in the “small” as well as the “big” blessings today

Be blessed with the ability to know and recognize with increasing perception the amazing blessings God is working on your behalf in your daily life! As this happens, may you glorify Him and be propelled to new levels with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Humble Yourself 23/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

I want to release a song that God gave me for my sons 2 and 4 years old.  “It’s a good, good, good, good, good, good, dayyy. It’s a good, good, good, good dayyyy!” Its kind of a catchy little tune that gets in your head, and I often sing it when they, or I, am not in the greatest mood.  So, if you are struggling today on day 23 or if you are doing great, may you be blessed with knowing, “It’s a good, good, good, good, good, good, dayyyy.  It’s a good, good, good, good dayyyy!”

As we press on in The 40, we must remember to focus on Jesus for our strength and sustenance. We need him today more than we ever have whether we are fasting or not.  When we admit our need for Jesus and that we cannot do anything on our own, in agreement with John 15:5, we are stepping into humility.  As we continue to fast and pray The 40, humility is one of the greatest virtues we could gain.  Humility partnered with prayer and fasting has an indescribable power that begins to release itself in us and flow out from us.  

Let’s examine a few places in scripture where humility is partnered with repentance, prayer and fasting.  In 1 Kings 21, you actually find the only place of fasting without prayer, humility or repentance.  The wicked queen Jezebel actually calls a demonic fast as she schemes to murder Naboth and take his vineyard from him (1 Kings 21:9, 12). This is done through pride and for personal gain and results in false accusation.  No humility here.  

As King Ahab goes to survey his newly acquired vineyard, Elijah is sent to him with a message. Ahab, Jezebel, and all their children will be completely destroyed and wiped out.  This is a judgment because of their wickedness, rebellion, and constant disobedience to turn from God and his ways.  The following verses contain Ahab’s response:

1 Kings 21:27-29 So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house.”

Even though the judgment of The Lord had been pronounced repentance, fasting, and prayer were evidence of a humbled heart before God and his judgment was delayed until a later time.  The fasting and repentance were proof that Ahab had truly humbled himself and submitted himself to God. It was too late to avoid judgment, but God recognized and had mercy for a time before judgment took place.  

As we continue looking at humbling ourselves, repentance, fasting, and prayer, we move to a passage we discussed in Touching The Kingdom.  Here, we see the prophet Daniel has moved from repentance prayer in chapter 9 into fasting and prayer for 21 days.  He is pressing in for revelation and desires to gain understanding. As this happens, he sees, hears, and is touched by the heavenly realm:

Daniel 10:2-3, 12 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three full weeks were fulfilled…  Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.

The angel recognizes that Daniel is seeking understanding and humbling himself in prayer. This humbling of self was evidenced by the fact that he was repenting, fasting, and praying.  These are only two of the verses that can be found that provide proof that fasting is a fruit that comes from a repentant and humble heart. 

How much more should we seek to have a heart of repentance and to humble ourselves through fasting knowing our God of great grace and mercy that works mightily on our behalf?!

The final passage I want to pinpoint is one that we all probably know and may even have memorized. We have used this scripture for years because of the promise contained within, but I did not understand the full meaning until just recently God opened my eyes to a revelation that was hidden right in front of my eyes. 

2 Chronicles 7:14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

During the National Day of Prayer and other regular prayer meetings, this passage will come up frequently because everyone knows we need our land to be healed.  Now, more than ever, we can see the division and disunity the enemy is trying to bring into the whole earth. 

What is the solution? The people of God must come together in true repentance, humility, prayer, and seeking God. In various other places humbling yourself is equated with the action of fasting that evidences your need for God.  

Is it possible that this passage that is referenced over and over actually is a call to the people of God to repentance, prayer, and fasting in a spirit of humility that the sin of our land be forgiven and for our prayer to be answered?

There is true power in corporate humbling ourselves through fasting, prayer, and repentance. We must tap into this power if we want to gain the benefits that result.  

Vs. 15-16 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.

My encouragement for you today is to come seeking God with a heart of humility and repentance. Just because we are fasting does not mean we are humbling ourselves. However, when we realize our need for Holy Spirit to help us, and recognize that He is the only one that can do supernatural work in our lives and in the healing of our land, the eyes and ears of heaven will be open and attentive to us. God’s holy name will be on us to sanctify us, draw us closer than ever before, and heal our land. As this happens, we will daily be propelled into the next level with Him!

Jesus, I desire to humble myself before you today. I recognize my utter dependency on you.  Without you I can do nothing. Thank you that I can come boldly before your throne of grace and ask for all I need. Do a mighty healing in me and in the land as I come to you in humility and repentance today.  Make me a sanctified place of residence for Holy Spirit and use me to do your work.

Practical – 

  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you your need for Him
  • Humble yourself by coming to Him in repentance and humility 
  • Ask for the strength and sustaining power to walk in obedience today
  • Obey all He calls you to do

Be blessed with new revelation of humility and your need for God, and the ability to walk into deeper levels of humbling yourself. May your land be healed and your people restored as you humble yourself and are propelled into new levels with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

        –

Deeply Devoted 18/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

As we continue to press in toward the halfway point, we must choose to remember that Jesus is worth all that we have to give and so much more.  Whatever you have chosen to fast, it is a pleasing offering to Him.  We do it because we love Him and want to give Him even more worship in our very bodies.  May you be reminded of Jesus’ worth. He is worth giving up our very lives that He may be exalted and glorified above every idol in the land.

Today, I want to challenge you and “spur you on toward love and even greater works.”  Whatever level of devotion to The Lord you find yourself at this moment, Jesus deserves so much more.  Too many times, we may look at the people around us and gauge our level spiritually.  We are doing pretty well compared to Joe Shmoe over there.  We have been praying, fasting and seeking The Lord in a special way for almost 3 weeks now.  We must be doing pretty well.

Personally, this is one of the areas that I have to constantly war against, spiritual pride and judgment.  In order that we do not think too highly of ourselves, remember Jesus’ story of the tax collector and the Pharisee.  The Pharisee came boasting at all of his accomplishments and what he was doing for God, while the tax collector cried out for God’s mercy. Jesus says this about the tax collector:

Luke 18:13 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” 

Let us never forget our place in The Kingdom.  All of us must come to the feet of The cross; then we are “raised up together to be seated in heavenly places with Him.”  He is worthy of more than I could ever give to Him.  Our bodies, efforts, hearts and lives are poor in comparison to what He is worth, however, I gladly give all that I have.  

We must never compare ourselves to other people and gain some sort of feeling of spiritual superiority.  We are humble creatures in need of Jesus.  We should always have more that we desire to give.  For God’s pleasure, I was designed to worship.  May He forever receive even more worship from our lives.  

In Luke 2, we find the story of a lady names Anna:

Luke 2:36-38 A prophetess named Anna was also in the temple court that day. She was from the Jewish tribe of Asher and the daughter of Phanuel.  Anna was an aged widow who had been married only seven years before her husband passed away. After he died she chose to worship God in the temple continually. For the past eighty-four years she had been serving God with night-and-day prayer and fasting.

After being married for only 7 years, her husband died. She did not live in regret, grief, or anger at God.  She gave deep devotion to The Lord and served night and day in the temple.  She was seeking The Lord out of a pure humble heart for more than 84 years. 

What was her reward for all this? She got to see Jesus!!!

Lord, let that be my reward.  You are worth it to me!!!

You may be doing more than some, but there is always a deeper level of devotion to go to.  You can never make God do anything, but you must desire to see the deep secret places of God.  Imagine the depths of the Lord that few have been able to reach because they cannot go the distance or give up the junk that is in the way.  May this be the cry of your heart, “I will give up the junk in deep devotion to Jesus so that I may gain access to the deepest places with Him!”  

Jesus, I want to see Your face.  I desire to hear Your voice.  I long for new revelations of Your love.  You are the source from which all things flow.  If I have to give up everything to see You, You are worth it! May this ever be the longing of my heart. 

Practical – 

  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal and remove any spiritual pride
  • Ask for revelation of Jesus’ worth
  • Commit to a deeper level of devotion
  • Obey whatever Holy Spirit speaks

Be blessed with new revelations of Jesus’ worth and the desire and ability to advance to deeper levels of devotion with Him.  May you access the deepest place with Him that few ever find!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

 

 

Shifting The Heavens 8/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

Today starts week 2, we thank God for His grace and mercy to get us this far, and we ask for divine strength to continue The 40 as we have purposed in our hearts.

Right now, you may not notice anything happening in the earth, but there is a shifting taking place in the heavens. The heavenly realm is moved when a son or daughter of God humbles themselves and lays down their life for The King.  

2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.

God’s eyes are upon you to strengthen you and sustain you.  Invite Him to come and strengthen you even now.

God responds to faith, as we see in Hebrews 11, and fasting is true faith in God as your sustainer.  Humility causes God to move in a mighty way, and fasting and prayer actually turns God’s heart to mercy, grace, and compassion for those crying out to Him.

Consider my two-year old’s favorite story, the story of Jonah.  An unwilling prophet is compelled to obedience to speak a word of judgment to a horribly wicked city.  He speaks a simple word “yet forty days and the city of Nineveh will be overthrown”, and the people believe God.  These are not righteous God-fearing Jews, but pagan idol-worshiping, murdering, adulterous people.  In spite of all this, they believed God.  These people who did not even know our God turned to Him and cried out in repentance, fasting, and prayer for every man and beast.  The king offers this statement, “Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?”  the heavens were shifted over the region of Nineveh (more than 120,000 people), and God relented from what He said he would do.

How is this possible?  How is this even fair?

Humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer shifted the heavens from judgment to mercy and grace.  God has both justice and mercy, grace and truth in His nature.  However, you have the power to shift the Heavens in your life and even the city or region you live in.  God has placed you where you are for a reason, and He has called you to The 40 for a reason.

As you continue into week 2, let this be an encouragement to you.  You are contending for you, your family, your neighbors, your city, your nation, and the nations around the world.  You have been given the ability to shift the Heavens!  Don’t give up! Don’t back down!  Press in to fulfill your purpose in The Kingdom even if you cannot see the change taking place in front of your eyes.  

Jesus, help us to be the ones that come to you in humility, repentance, fasting, and prayer. We desire to transform our homes, neighborhoods, regions, and nations.  We desire Your Kingdom to come in a mighty way, help us to be the ones that bring about this change, even as you change our hearts to come more into line with Your heart.

Practical – 

  • Read Jonah 3
  • Ask Holy Spirit to give you a heart for where he has placed you
  • Ask to be the change
  • Be obedient to all that God speaks

Be blessed to be the change that transforms every area of society as Holy Spirit propels you into the next level with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Roll Away The Stones!!!

Daily Encouragement – 
 
Roll away the stones!!! Inside you are stones of unbelief, doubt, pride, selfishness… These stones cover the death in your life, but as you hide it away, you are hiding it from the life I want to bring. I have abundant life to bring to these dark, unseen places. 
 
If you can, believe that I want to heal and bring life instead of judgment and punishment. If you can believe, you will see My glory!!! 
 
My glory is to take the dead, dark places in you and bring them life and healing. My glory is to take broken places in you and cause restoration. It is My glory revealed to make weakness strong, bring the dead to life again, and freedom to captive. 
 
Come and believe and see My glory revealed!!! I love you My child!!!
 
John 11:38-40 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

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

men-raise-hands-to-worship-God

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!!!