Monday, May 21, 2012

May 21, 2012 …. Worshiping God Is Our Life

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 95 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 97-99 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Reference Passage: Hebrews 4: 1-11 … To study this passage, go to this Link -

Highlight Passage : Psalm 95: 8-11 8 "Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did. 10 For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, 'They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.' 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.'"  
Highlight Passage #2: Psalm 99: 3-5 3 Let them praise Your great and awesome Name — He is holy. 4 The King is mighty, he loves justice — you have established equity; in Jacob you have done what is just and right. 5 Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His footstool; He is holy.

My Journal for Today: Today my reading plan takes me into and through four Psalms, penned by anonymous human authors (other than God’s Spirit, of course). All of them deal with our worship; and I could get off on this topic with a very long message here, which I’ve preached on before about how the concept of “worship” has become diluted and dumbed-down in our times … and has been inappropriately associated with church service styles and types of music, rather than taking on the meaning the word “worship” should … as being the way we live our lives, … i.e., our 24/7 recognition of our God by our life-styles and choices. But I’ll spare you, my reader here, with all of that, … except to make reference to the psalms I read today and one other passage (see Hebrews 4: 1-11 linked for you above).  

Psalm 95 got me back into my strong feelings about the concept of “worship,” as the writer pointed out that our worship can be diluted and diverted, even damaged, when we do what the Israelites did when they were wandering in the wilderness. See the highlight reference, quoted above, from Psalm 95: 8-11 where the song writer warned the people in his lyric to avoid becoming hard-hearted as their ancestors had become in the wilderness, grumbling and complaining as Moses led them to the promised land. Even the New Testament author of the book of Hebrews made reference to this psalm in his fourth chapter; and I have linked you to the first eleven verses of that chapter to allow you to read how this author was making the same point that we cannot appropriately and effectively worship God with our lives when we’ve become hard-heated complainers who’ve become untrusting and unfaithful with the way we live our lives.

And isn’t this so, so true these days? We come to “church” on Sunday’s for what we call our time of “worship,” and really all we want out of this Sunday morning time is to be entertained or to be soothed or to be given a sermon which makes us feel good. So many of us are not really looking for life-giving and life-changing truth, are we? And the real meaning of “worship,” i.e., how we live our lives in response to God’s love and His Gospel, becomes distorted by our hardened hearts, just as the Psalmist warned the Israelites in Psalm 95.

The other three Psalms are also important in that thy call on God’s people to see and worship God as GOD, not as some humanized concept of “god.” And this too is so often the case in today’s Christian world. We don’t really have a “BIG-GOD” concept of God in His holiness and righteousness. We desire to and need to reshape God into a smaller, humanized, hero figure. And even further, we find many, many people, especially young people today, trying to find human hero substitutes for the God Whom we should be worshiping with the way we live.

Oh, how I have to fight this process of making God smaller than He really is and trying to see that the choices I make and my witness of living being my WORSHIP of my God; and if I see God as smaller than He really is, my living will not be for a BIG GOD, but rather for some smaller version which I’ve created in my own mind.

My friends, we must live our lives as a worship of the One, True, and Living God … the BIG, One-And-Only God. And He is the God Who gave all for me on the cross; and the God Who desires that every thought I have, every choice I make, and every word I speak be a reflection of my worship of the wondrous God Who has saved me from myself. My Prayer Today: … Oh, my LORD GOD, … You are too big for me to envision; but please help me to worship You … as You are so worthy of my worship. Amen

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