God's Words For US
by Cecelia Lester
When we are asked about why we go to church, how do we respond? Do we say we go to be with people, to get caught up on the lives of our friends, or do we realize that we go out of habit?
Our main reason for attending church is to worship God. How does God tell us to do this?
Throughout His Word, God tells us about how he wants us to approach Him.
“Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful song.” Psalm 100:2 (NIV)
The psalmist advises us to have glad hearts when we approach God. When we have a lot of evil in our world, He still gives us a small glimmer of hope to rejoice over. Sometimes it is just the fact that we have a Savior we can worship. As I compose this article, I have a chorus about worship running through my mind.
Sometimes, God will place a song in our hearts, one that helps us get into the mode of worship.
When I experience this it is usually a weekday morning, shortly after I waken, sometimes during my devotions.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving; and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4
Each time we enter into worship, whether individual or corporate, we should have one thing we can be thankful to God for-even if it is about the weather, even if we arose that morning with some aches and pains. We should find something to praise Him for-no matter how small.
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.” John 4:23
Jesus speaks these words to a Samaritan woman, one of race the Jews looked down upon. But might he also speak to us?
“. . . in spirit. . . “ When we enter God’s house, do we carry our worries and burdens with us? If we do, we short-change both God and ourselves. When we don’t truly surrender our hearts to Him as we think we act as if He can’t understand or handle our needs and we don’t always receive what we are supposed to from time spent with God.
“. . . and in truth . . . . “When we go before the Father, we are to honestly confess all to Him. Have we harbored bad thoughts or ill feelings about another person? Have we said or done something to cause ourselves to look better than we are? If we have, we have harmed our witness for God before others and have disappointed Him.
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and with awe.” Hebrews 12:28
“Let us be thankful” The writer of Hebrews gives us sage advice here. - look for things to be thankful for, no matter how small. The sunshine, the puffy clouds in the sky, progress a hospitalized friend has made. A friend from your past returning to church, time spent with a friend.
“. . . worship God acceptably. . . “ Our adoration of the Lord can’t be on our terms. We come into His house, seeking His presence, and wanting guidance from Him. God is in control, we aren’t.
“. . . with reverence and awe.” Have you had a deep respect or love for someone because of how they persevered through an extended stormy time in their life? When you think of them, do you pray for God to be with them, to stand with them as they go through the difficult time? This is how respect reveals itself to me. When we think of what God has done for us and for others, our hearts swell. We are thankful.
Have you ever seen or heard of something done that took your breath away? All we can say is “Praise the Lord.” What we feel when that happens is how I describe the meaning of awe. We are so overwhelmed by what we see or hear that we are speechless
For the year 2013, I resolve to worship God as He intends, with thanksgiving, in praise, in the right spirit, honestly confessing my sin, with reverence and awe. It is my desire to know Him better. I believe this is a beginning to that goal.
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Cecelia Lester has been serious about her writing for over two decades..
She composes Christian essays and posts them to her blog quietspirit-followingmyking.blogspot.com/
She has served in a faith-based organization, Grace In Action by writing two newsletters and searching for possible grants.
In July 2017, she published her first book, 'Times of Trouble Bring Rays of Joy.'
She and her husband of 52 years live in central Indiana. They have one grown son.
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