Monday, September 12, 2016

Giving Ourselves in Worship

Chuckle:  "As the X-ray tech walked down the aisle to say the marriage vows with her former patient, a coworker nurse whispered to a doctor seated next to her, "Wonder what she saw in him?"
Quote: "The more we listen for God's voice, the wiser is our every choice." --William Arthur Ward

"Draw close to God and he will draw close to you" (James 4:8a NLT). "In view of God's mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship" (Romans 12:1 NIV).
I've heard people say, "I just didn't get anything our of the worship service this morning." My dear friends, worship is not about our getting something out of it, but rather it's about what God gets out of us -- what we give to God. If we evaluate a worship service by what we get out of it, we have made worship all about us instead of all about God. Worship is about our giving God our attention, honor, praise, submission, thanksgiving, and offerings -- giving ourselves. God delights in these gifts. When you last attended a worship service, what did you give God?
When you enter a worship service, what are your expectations? Worship should not necessarily make us feel good but instead it should please and glorify God. As we commit ourselves to give to God in worship, we will be convicted of our sin and the need for repentance, which can be very unpleasant and heartbreaking. What are you willing to give God when you worship?
If you are having trouble seeing worship as a time of giving to God, the following steps in drawing close to God should help you be prepared for the kind of worship that pleases God. Notice that God's coming close to us is dependent upon our coming close to Him. James gives us five ways to draw close to God in worship:
1. Humble yourselves before God (4:7). This means submitting our wills to His and committing our lives to Him and His control. 2. Resist the Devil (4:7). Avoid placing yourself in positions to be tempted and enticed. 3. Wash your hands . . . and purify your heart (4:8). Be cleansed from sin and replace it with a desire to experience God's purity (1 John 1:9). 4. Let there be deep sorrow and grief for your sins (4:9). Be genuinely sorry for what you have done. 5. Bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up (4:10, 1 Peter 5:6).
I'm sure you have heard the saying, "The more you put into something the more you will get out of it." Worshiping God is no different. When we are focused on giving to God in worship, we always receive more from God than we have given to Him. As you worship, visualize your presenting your gifts at the throne of God. The true joy of worship comes from drawing close to God and giving ourselves totally to Him as living sacrifices.
Love, Jerry & Dotse

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