Today’s Worship Walk – Tuesday

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“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 NKJV

 

It’s been said that we should watch our thoughts, because they become words. That is definitely true for me. Part of my journey of transformation has been letting go of wordly thoughts and beliefs. The more I have let my mind be changed, the better my words reflect my Lord Jesus. And those words can have power to encourage others in their own walk.

 

God desires our worship. But what does that mean?

41kAt+enL0L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_My book, “Bow Down: The Heart of a True Worshipper, A 30-Day Devotional” and ebook, “Worshipping Like Jesus” offer practical teaching and activities to help you grow in this area!

 

Jesus And The Woman At The Well

 

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Hi everyone. This is a talk I’m giving at my church this week. I hope it blesses you!
The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

John 4:25-26

Do you like to be surprised? Some people I know think being surprised is fun – it livens up their day. But others react differently. They get flustered or even upset at unexpected moments, even if they are meant to be positive.

Now when we think of surprises, we usually picture a birthday party, right? Or an anniversary party. Or maybe a visit from someone we didn’t expect. We open the door and…there they are! Well, how about surprise worship moments?

You know, it’s important to set aside time each day to connect with God. Quiet time spent reading His Word, praying or even creating art brings Him glory and blesses our spirits. But occasionally God shows up at a time or in a way we didn’t plan for.  

It can happen in the middle of the most normal day. Like the afternoon I started a load of laundry and ended up kneeling by my washer on the basement floor. I was listening to the song “Breathe”, and the truth of how much I needed Jesus hit me hard. I cried out my thanks to Him. That was a worship moment I did not know was coming, and I’m glad I didn’t miss it.

So how do you handle unexpected “God” moments? Do you recognize them when they happen? And if so, do you respond with worship?

I think of the Samaritan woman Jesus met at the well in John Chapter 4. She probably started out her morning like so many others before it. She knew her place, and had a routine. She went to the well at mid-day to fetch water just like always. But this day, she had a uncommon brush with the Lord that changed her and her village forever.

When she arrived at the well, she saw a man sitting there – that was unusual. Then He asked her for a drink – that was unheard of, and she reminded Him of that fact. “I am a Samaritan and you are a Jew.” But, amazingly enough, He stayed. The discussion they had was full of twists. This man knew things about her life, like how she’d been living with a man, and the 5 husbands she’d had before that. And maybe strangest of all: this man revealed Himself as the Messiah, the Christ!

How did she react to this unexpected encounter with the Divine? Did she get flustered or annoyed with the interruption to her day? Well, verses 28 and 29 tell us, “…leaving her water jar, the woman went back to town and said to the people ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did.”  And she added, maybe with a touch of awe in her voice, “Could this be the Messiah?’

I see this woman as an example of how to be open to worship moments, however and whenever they come. I’d like to think her desire to proclaim and even evangelize about what she’d seen was a reflection of her unique personality and gifts. Her response of worship impacted not only her own faith, but that of a whole community.

I have to be honest, I’m not always gracious when my schedule is disrupted. I need to be reminded that God’s ways aren’t mine – they are better. When He reveals Himself to me, it’s a precious gift. I want to respond quickly with a heart of worship.
So I’ll ask once more – do you like surprises? I hope so. Because God may be planning to show up in the middle of your day sometime soon.

Luke 19 & Worship Groups

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As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.  When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:  “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”  Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.

Luke 19:36-40

I was doing a study on this passage last night when I noticed something interesting.

Within this account, there were 3 people groups mentioned. Did you see that? And each group did something different in response to Jesus riding the donkey down the road to Jerusalem.

  • People – they spread their cloaks on the ground  for Jesus
  • Disciples – they joyfully praised God
  • Pharisees – they scolded Jesus and the disciples

What a variety! As I thought more about it, I realized that the behaviors of each pointed to a bigger mindset that they held then. In fact, we can still see echoes of them today:

People

They acknowledge that Jesus is important, maybe even accept Him as their Lord. But their worship is polite and from a distance. Why? Fear, perhaps, or an unwillingness to get out of their comfort zone. Either way, the result is a formal, not very close relationship to God that doesn’t have a lot of  impact in daily life.

Disciples

They have taken the plunge, so to speak. Not only do they acknowledge Jesus as Lord, but they spend time learning more about Him and growing closer to Him. Their worship is bold, vocal, and based on knowing who Jesus is and what He has done. And they want to share the good news with the world.

Pharisees

They see Jesus as at the least, bothersome, and at the most, threatening. Believers in God, they also believe in keeping the status quo. Their worship life is static, following long-treasured routines and patterns. This leaves them a bit judgemental of newer ideas, and over time dries up their enthusiasm.

From this, two questions formed in my mind. First, “Which group would I have fallen into back in Jesus’ time? And then, of course, “Which group do I belong to here and now?

Honestly, I fall between People and Disciple. At times I get really excited about sharing Jesus and worshipping out loud. But in other situations I hold back, for any number of reasons. For me, the key to staying in the Disciple category is to keep up my daily disciplines – reading the Word, lifting up prayers and praises, and seeking fellowship with my brothers and sisters.

How about you? Which category do you spend most of your time in?