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Monday, August 29, 2016

Worshiping and Glorifying God - Part 5: The Blessedness of Worship

The Blessedness of Worship

As I have learnt from God of Him and His Word, I have come to realize how marvelously and intricately the whole Word of God is inter-related and inter-connected, every part supplementing and supporting the rest. As we delve deeper into God’s Word, the beauty of this marvelous intricacy adds further credence that it indeed is the Word of God, and fills our hearts even more with worship and adoration for Him.

The immediately previous section, “The Imperativeness of Worship” closed anticipating why God desires worship. Some might assume that God is an egoist who likes to see people ‘blow His trumpet’ for Him; but that is not the case at all. A cause-and-effect relationship is applicable in the life of every Born Again Believer i.e. every child of God through repentance of sins and Faith in Christ Jesus (John 1:12-13); it is through this cause-and-effect relationship that God leads the worshiper, worshiping God in spirit and truth, onto an ever-rising spiral of blessedness, not only for eternity in heaven but even for our present life here on earth.

During His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus said: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35); i.e. the Lord’s Words are infallible, incontrovertible, irrevocable and absolute; they will always stand true, no matter what and at any cost. With this in mind, look at another statement of our Lord Jesus: “…And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

In Lord Jesus’ own words, there is blessedness in both receiving as well as giving; nevertheless, the Lord says that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

We pray to receive from God; prayer is to ask and receive from God; but in worship, we give to the Lord – we give thanks, we give glory, we give adoration, we give honor, we give respect and awe, we give diligence and obedience to His Word. Prayer is all about receiving and worship is all about giving; hence, although there is blessedness in both praying and worshiping, but to worship is more blessed than to pray.

We will look into some examples from God’s Word to illustrate and understand the cause-and-effect relationship and the blessedness of giving to God, ahead.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Worshiping and Glorifying God - Part 4: The Imperativeness of Worship

The Imperativeness of Worship

In His conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, the Lord Jesus said something of paramount importance – something that is often quoted and referred to, but also not taken and understood the way it ought to be: “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John 4:23).

While this verse is often interpreted and taught as teaching to pray and God seeking those who pray; but what the Lord actually said is that God is seeking is worshipers, not ‘pray-ers’.

The Greek Word translated as worship here is ‘proskuneo (pros-kï-ne'-ō) which means, to crouch or fawn toward (face down), while expressing homage (i.e. with a servile kiss or display of humble adoration), or to fall prostrate (face down) in adoration or homage’. Similarly, the Greek word translated as worshiper is ‘proskunetes (pros-kï-nee-tees') which means an adorer.’ Whereas the Greek word translated as pray, or to pray, or praying is ‘proseuchomai (pros-ev'-cho-mai) meaning to pray to God, i.e. supplicate’.

There is no dearth of people who pray to God; even non-Christians and non-Believers or those only interested in getting something form God or having themselves extricated from a situation do so, and God listens to all of them. But He is not looking for people who pray i.e. ask for from Him; He is looking for worshipers i.e. those who will prostate themselves before Him in humble submission with an attitude of utmost adoration or respect for Him and glorify Him.

From this verse we also see that true worship is “in spirit and in truth” i.e. neither external nor contrived or a pretense, but is heartfelt therefore flows out from within, and is directed to God the Father – a practical enactment of the first and great commandment of the Lord: “Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).

Our loving and caring Heavenly Father has an abundance of ‘pray-ers’ calling out to Him, but His heart yearns for worshipers and their worship in spirit and truth – and for a very good reason, as we will see subsequently. As a child of God it is imperative that we rise up to our Heavenly Father’s expectations of us and grow up to be a worshiper instead of just remaining a ‘pray-er’?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Worshiping and Glorifying God - Part 3: Ways to Worship

Ways to Worship

We have seen that being thankful in all things and all circumstances is a way of worshiping and glorifying God; and is much more beneficial for our growth as a child of God than prayer alone. We saw from an excerpt from Christy Bower’s Book and experience, how taking deliberate steps to cultivating a habit of becoming thankful to God not only healed him of his chronic depression, but also changed his attitude towards God and experiencing the fullness of God’s love like never before. Continuing to look into worshiping and glorifying God – besides being thankful to Him in and for everything, how else can we do so?

One of the initial teachings of the Lord Jesus to His disciples, as recorded in the Sermon on the Mount, is: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). This provides us another way to worship and glorify God – through our works. When we let our lives be a living witness for God, when through our deeds, attitude and behavior the people of the world are moved to glorify God; we worship God. Through the Apostle Peter, the Holy Spirit records another aspect to this worship: “having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:12); i.e. irrespective of the attitude and response from the people of the world, we have to maintain an honorable conduct, our good works and because of this our continual living witness despite adverse circumstances, those who are critical and deprecating of us now will eventually glorify God.

We worship God and make even others glorify Him by letting the light of our Christian Faith shine before the world instead of hiding or suppressing it; by demonstrating our Faith through works that bring glory to God.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Worshiping and Glorifying God - Part 2: Transformation through Worship

Transformation through Worship

Today I came across an excerpt, a perfect follow-up to illustrate the power of worship, written about and circulated yesterday. There is a challenge to be taken; read on and see if you are up to taking that challenge. The excerpt is:

As I walked with God, I began to grow in my relationship with Him, but I continued to battle chronic depression. A wise Christian woman urged me to begin keeping a Gratitude Journal. She encouraged me to keep a notebook by my bed and to record three things for which I was thankful before turning out the lights. She said that by dwelling on positive things before bedtime, I would sleep better. She challenged me to do this for 90 days, suggesting that it would give me a more positive outlook on life.

I took the challenge. At first I recorded obvious and generic things such as being thankful for friends and family. Then I began to pay closer attention to things throughout the day, and I discovered many things for which I could be thankful: a compliment from someone that lifted my spirits or a thunderstorm that reminded me of God’s awesome power. The exercise forced me to become observant. It increased my awareness of the small ways in which God expresses His love towards us every day.

I maintained the journal for only 3 months, but it changed my outlook for ever. I began to look for and find God’s overtures of love toward me in a multitude of ways. Taking notice of small things opened my eyes to bigger things God was doing in my life. I began to feel grateful that He had healed me from chronic depression, and I marveled at how He had changed my attitude toward Him from one of desperate defiance, like a hurt animal, to one of quiet acceptance and eager anticipation. Or, to put it a different way, I went from being desperate for a drop of God’s love to swimming in the ocean of God’s love. Finally, I was floating with total confidence in God’s love rather than fighting it like a drowning person.”

- An excerpt from Christy Bower’s book “Best Friends With God” taken from Our Daily Bread 2016 Annual Edition.

The challenge: Will you start and maintain your Gratitude Journal for 3 months and then share how it has helped you?

Worshiping and Glorifying God - Part 1: The Need for Worship

The Need for Worship

Psalm 107:8 - "Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!"

We pray to God; we ask for various things in prayer for ourselves and for others, we may even pray that God make us useful/ more useful for Him - though how many actually and/or sincerely ask God for this in their prayers is a matter for serious personal introspection for us all.

But much more beneficial than praying to God is worshiping Him; and one way to worship Him is by thanking Him - for all things, as Paul says in Philippians 4:6-7 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

To be thankful to God, in and for, even adverse or inexplicable or difficult circumstances and experiences is a sign of firm faith in God; faith that He will only allow in our i.e. His children's lives, that which is for our benefit and is good for us. Hence if we have faith in Him and His ways for us, we will thank Him for everything, always, no matter what.

Those who do not thank and glorify i.e. worship God are in grave danger of falling prey to Satan: Romans 1:21 "because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened." The rest of Romans 1 details the consequences of this futility and of the darkening of hearts.

Dear ones, make worshiping God and being thankful to Him in and for everything in your life a regular habit; an integral part of your daily routine, doing it as often as you can - working, walking, sitting, travelling. Develop an attitude of continually thanking and glorifying God. It will bring God's peace, God's blessings and God's security; and will help you grow as a child of God much better and much more than prayer alone.

A New Begining

For about quarter-to-two years could not put up any matter on this Blog - my apologies.

For a long time I had been praying that the Lord may give the strength and capability to take away this short-coming and to be able to put up some matter regularly for God's glory on this blog.

Did make some efforts also for the same, wrote some as well but could not complete them; tried to take the help of some friends to have their audio and written messages presented here, but every effort came to nothing.

Today, by God's grace it has become possible to put up some small write-ups here.

It is my prayer that God may maintain this blessing, increase it, and that Satan would not be able to obstruct it again.

Starting a new series from today.

The first topic that the Lord has given in this series is "Worshiping and Glorifying God".

Will be presenting some write-ups on this topic, and then on the next topic that the Lord will lead to write upon.

It is my desire that these articles will be a blessing to you for your spiritual life, as they have been to me. Please do send in your reactions and feed-back, and do share them with your friends as well. Since each write-up is small in size, you can easily share them through your mobile phone using Whatsapp and other such apps.

May the Lord's blessings be with you.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Days of Noah and the Days of Lot

In context of the prophesies of the Bible, what is the significance of the phrases 'Days of Noah' and the 'Days of Lot'? To learn read this booklet in Hindi:

नूह के दिन और लूत के दिन
For any further information or query, the author of this booklet can be contacted through his email id given at the end of the last page of this booklet.
किसी भी अन्य जानकारी अथवा उत्तर के लिए, इस पुस्तिका के लेखक से ईमेल द्वारा सीधे संपर्क किया जा सकता है; लेखक का ईमेल पता पुस्तिका के अन्तिम पृष्ठ के अन्त में दिया गया है।