03 Why We Worship

We worship God because He is worthy to be worshiped. We saw that the first reason He is worthy to be worshiped is because He created all things. The second reason that the angel revealed to John about why He is worthy to be worshiped is found in Revelation 5:8-10. The four living creatures and twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb of God and “sang a new song, saying, Worthy are You…for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” He is worthy to be worshiped because He purchased us. We belong to God. He purchased us with His blood. He did not purchase us with silver or gold, but with His own precious blood (1 Peter 1:18-19).

(Rev 5:8-10)  “When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. {9} And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. {10} You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

When we enter into praise and worship, tell the Lord, “I worship You because I belong to You. You purchased and redeemed me.

Why We Worship (2)

In the first article, I mentioned that we worship because He is worthy. The Scriptures teach us that He is worthy to be worshiped for a number of reasons. The first one that we looked at is He is worthy because He is the Creator. In Revelation 14:7, an angel is flying around in mid-heaven with an eternal gospel to preach to every nation, tribe and tongue. With a loud voice he said, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of water.” Part of the gospel message that was preached is that everyone should worship God, the One who created all things.

In Romans 1:18-25 Paul wrote that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident to them.” He goes to say that God made it evident to them since the creation of the world. His work, His creation, bears witness of God. In verse twenty-five he wrote, “For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” Our Creator is worthy to be worshiped, and the wrath of God will be revealed against those who choose not to worship our Creator. As we worship God privately and corporately, remember that He is worthy of our worship as our Creator.

Why We Worship (01)

I have heard preachers and worship leaders announce that the purpose of our songs of praise and worship is to prepare hearts to hear the message. Is that really why we worship? What are the reasons that we worship. I believe there are a number of reasons that we worship. I also believe that there are a number of benefits that we get from our worship. I believe that we should worship for the right reasons, so I believe it is important to identify why we worship. Over the next few weeks I will be giving some of these reasons that we worship.
 
The first reason that we worship God is because He is worthy to be worshiped. He is worthy of all honor and glory. In Revelation 4:9-11 we find the angels, elders, multitudes, and other creatures worshiping the Lord. It was not to hear a Sunday message in heaven. The angel showed John why they were worshiping. We read that God was worthy of our worship because He created all thing. (See also Revelation 14:7.)
 
(Rev 4:9-11) “And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, {10} the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, {11} “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”
 
The first reason we should worship is because He is worthy as the Creator. The next time that you enter into praise and worship at your church, tell God, “I worship You and give you all praise and honor and glory because You are worthy. I worship You because You created all things, and it is for Your glory that I have been created.”

Happy Heavenly Father’s Day! (from Ephesians 1:3-14)

Happy FATHER’S Day!

  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” (Eph 1:3) Thank you Father, for blessing me with every spiritual blessing. Thank You for sending Jesus Christ to redeem us and to make a covenant with us.
  • “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.” (Eph 1:4) Thank You for choosing me before the foundation of the world. Thank You for making me holy and blameless before You. It was not on my own holiness and blamelessness, but because You made me holy and blameless.
  • “In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.” (Eph 1:5) Thank You for adopting me into Your family and becoming my Father. Thank You for the love that You have given to me. Thank You for Your kindness to me. Thank You for predestining me to be adopted. Thank You for having a will and a plan for my life, and for communicating that will to me.
  • “To the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” (Eph 1:6) Thank You for Your grace, which is full of glory. Thank You for freely bestowing Your grace on me. Thank You for giving me Your grace on me when I did nothing to deserve or to earn it.
  • “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph 1:7) Thank You for redeeming me. I was a slave to sin, and You redeemed me. You purchased me, not with silver or gold or perishable things, but with Your precious blood. Thank You for forgiving me of all my trespasses, past and present. Thank You for the richness of Your grace in my life.
  • “Which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight” (Eph 1:8) Thank You for lavishing Your grace on me. Thank You for not measuring and giving a portion of grace, but for lavishing us with Your grace.
  • “He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him” (Eph 1:9) Thank You for making known to us the mystery of Your will. Thank You for Your general will of holiness and transformation in my life. Thank You for Your individual and specific will and plans for my life. You know the number of hairs on my head and the days in my life. You work all things together for the good in my life. Thank You for accomplishing what concerns me in my life. Thank You for promising to finish what You began in me. Thank You for the gifts and abilities that You have given to me to accomplish the ministry and work that You have prepared for me to do. Thank You for all of Your kind intentions in my life.
  • “With a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.” (Eph 1:10) Thank You for being a God of order, and for setting up an administration in the heavens and the earth. No matter what the need, Your administration to handle the matter has been established, and will competently handle it. Thank You for sovereignly ruling over the visible and invisible, the heavenly and the earthly, over all of creation. Thank You for transferring me from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light so that I can be under Your administration.
  • “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,” Thank You for giving me an inheritance, an unbelievable inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, will not fade away, and has been specifically reserved in heaven for me. Thank You for telling me about my inheritance. I have a lot to look forward to. Thank You for having a purpose for my life and always working things out after the counsel of Your will. There is no counsel against Your counsel; it is always perfect.
  • “To the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.” (Eph 1:12) Thank You for giving me hope. I was without hope, and You have given me hope. You are the God of hope. Thank You for allowing me to be a part of Your glory.
  • “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,” (Eph 1:13) Thank You for my salvation, which you gave to me freely. Thank You for sealing me in Jesus with the Holy Spirit of promise. Thank You for the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. Thank You for the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my life. Thank You for the gifts of the Holy Spirit in my life. Thank You for revealing Your mind and heart to me through the Holy Spirit. Thank You for the power in my life through Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for the prayers and intercessions that the Holy Spirit offers up on my behalf, which are always according to Your will for my life. Thank You for the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for not leaving me an orphan, but for sending me the Holy Spirit to always be with me. Thank You for sending me a helper to help me accomplish Your will here on earth.
  • “Who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Eph 1:14) Thank You for giving me a pledge of my inheritance. My inheritance is guaranteed by You and the pledge that You gave me.

 

Happy Father’s Day. I love and appreciate You. May You be honored and blessed today and forever. You are worthy to be honored and hallowed. Amen.

 

Motivation to Pray (Ps 116:1-2)

(Psalm 116:1-2) “I love the LORD, because He hears My voice and my supplications. {2}  Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.”

  1. God hears our voice. He knows us and our voice. We have relationship with God and we regularly talk to Him, so He knows and hears our voice. He is interested in us personally.
  2. God hears our supplications. He knows the content of what we are praying about. He knows what we are going to ask before we ask it, but He still listens to our prayers, supplications, and requests.
  3. God inclines His ear to us. God is interested in us and the things that concern us. His leaning towards us, and His intentional action of inclining His ears to carefully listen to what we are saying demonstrates His love, concern and interest. God honors us by inclining His ears to listen to us. God prioritizes us by focusing solely on us and inclining His ear towards us.

Humility Before Honor

In Genesis 37:5-11, Joseph had two different dreams. In the first one, which was about sheaves, his brothers were going to bow down before him. In the second one, his mother and father were going to bow down before him. When he told them to his brothers, they said to him, “Are you actually going to reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.” God had a plan for Joseph’s life and He was going to honor him, but Joseph needed to have some humility before God honored him. In Proverbs 15:33, Solomon said, “before honor comes humility. Then, in Proverbs 18:12, Solomon wrote, “humility goes before honor.” It is a spiritual principle: humility comes before honor.

The next few years were trying times for Joseph. He was cast into a pit by his brothers, and then sold as a slave. He was resold to Potiphar as a slave. Then, he was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison. He faithfully served there for several years before being brought before Pharaoh to interpret his dream. After God revealed to Joseph the interpretation of the dream and the course of action that Pharaoh should take, Pharaoh set him over all the land of Egypt. He “took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen, and put the gold necklace around his neck. He had him ride in his second chariot; and they proclaimed before him, ‘bow the knee!’” (Genesis 41:41-43) Pharaoh honored Joseph before all the people in the land. When the famine came, Joseph’s brothers did come and bow down before him, just as God had revealed in the dream. The dreams came true, but humility came before the honor.

In Philippians 2:8-10, God highly exalted Jesus, “and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow.” What came before honor? Paul wrote that Jesus “humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him…” Humility came before honor. We are exhorted in 1 Peter 5:6 to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God so that He may exalt us at the proper time. Rather than seeking honor, we should seek to humble ourselves before God and allow Him to exalt us at the proper time.

Honoring The Wishes of Others

Karen and I are both in Houston this week. She came to help out with our newest grandchild, and I was here to teach a class. My class was cancelled yesterday because the ice storm that hit the Houston area, and many of the roads were closed. We went out for lunch yesterday, and she had a desire for Mexican food from a particular  Mexican restaurant. When we arrived at the restaurant, we found out that they were also closed. There were many other restaurants around there that we could have gone to, but I knew of another good Mexican restaurant a few miles from there. So we drove over to that restaurant and enjoyed some good Mexican food. I knew that she had a desire to eat Mexican food, and I tried to honor her. Husbands are told to honor their wives (1 Peter 5:7), and honoring her desire for Mexican food was just one way of honoring her.

The Scriptures teach us to honor God and to also honor all men. (1 Peter 2:17) Sometimes honoring the Lord or others is with our finances. (See Proverbs 3:9-10, 1 Timothy 5:3, 17.) However, there are many other ways that we are to honor others. Honoring someone’s wishes is an important way of honoring them. When Israel went down to Egypt, he charged his sons to bury him in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite in the land of Canaan. (See Genesis 49:29-31.) After he died, Joseph and his brothers honored their father’s wishes and took his body to Canaan and buried him in the cave. (See Genesis 50:12.) They honored their father by carrying out his wishes. Similarly, when Joseph was about to die, he asked the sons of Israel not to leave his bones in Egypt, but to take his bones back to the promised land. (See Genesis 50:24-26.) Many years later, Moses and the sons of Israel remembered Joseph’s requests and honored him by taking his bones with them to the promised land. (See Exodus 13:19.)

What are some keys to honoring others? (See Philippians 2:3-5.) First, learn to be selfless. Paul told the Philippians do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit. Second, with humility of mind regard others as more important than yourself. Third, learn to look out for the interests of others. Find out what their interests are, and what you can do to honor their interests. As you do these three things, you will be living with the same attitude that Christ had.

 

 

Honoring our Heavenly Father (Ps 50:23)

Many years ago my father was on a business trip to the Middle East. He was regarded as one of the world’s experts in drilling operations, and his training classes were in high demand. While on that trip, my father was invited to attend a dinner party, where he was the guest of honor. One of the ways in that particular culture to honor someone was to serve a lamb’s eye on their serving of rice. I am glad it was my father they honored and not me, as I would not have wanted that treat.

Paul told Timothy his reason for writing the letter in 1 Timothy 3:14. He wanted the church to know how to conduct themselves in the household of God. As you go through Paul’s letter to Timothy, we find that the way that we conduct ourselves in God’s house is with honor. We are to honor the older men as we would a father, and older women as we would our mother. (1 Tim 5:1-2) We are to honor young men and young women. We are to honor the widows. (1 Tim 5:3) We are to honor pastors. Those that rule well and work hard at preaching and teaching are worthy of double honor. (1 Tim 5:17) And most importantly, we are to honor our Heavenly Father. (1 Tim 1:17, 6:15-16).

Tomorrow , at the Connection Church of Albuquerque, we will be looking at honor. We will be taking time to honor our Heavenly Father. We won’t be serving a lamb’s eye on a bed of rice. Fortunately for us, God tells us in Psalm 50 two specific things that honor Him. God tells us, “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; and to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23) You don’t have to wait until Sunday services to honor God with your thanksgivings. In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you. Throughout each day live with an attitude of thanksgiving. The second way that God mentioned is someone who orders his way aright. This is also not a Sunday event. We should live uprightly seven days a week so that our lives continually honor our Heavenly Father.

Filled with Joy and the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:52)

In Acts 13:52, we read that “the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” In that passage Paul, Barnabas, and the church were being persecuted, but in spite of this, they were continually filled with joy and the Holy Spirit. Why were they so full of joy and the Holy Spirit? There are two things that stand out. First, the phrase “word of the Lord” is used three times. (See Acts 13:44, 48, 49.) The word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region, and people were rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord. God’s word rejoices the heart. (Ps 19:8) When we feed on God’s word, it produces a joy and delight in our heart. (Jer 15:16) As we have just begun a new year, have you started feasting on God’s word? Are you rejoicing in His word? Let me encourage you to feed on the word of the Lord every day.

The second thing that we see in this passage is that salvation was coming to the Gentiles. Luke records that “as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” When the gospel is being preached, and people are coming to Christ, there is great joy. We get filled with the Holy Spirit in many ways. Prayer and worship are two of the primary ways. But, personally, I have experienced powerful fillings of the Holy Spirit and manifestations of the Holy Spirit when I share the gospel with others. Have you shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel? Are you praying and looking for opportunities to share the word of the Lord with others? May it be said of you and I this year that we are continually being filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Customer Value Propositions

Recently I finished up a class sponsored by Goldman Sachs and Babson College. Babson College is ranked # 1 in America for Entrepreneurship. The class is called 10ksb (10,000 small businesses), and it is designed to help small businesses grow. Most of the work was done on-line, but I had to make two trips to Boston to go through sections of the program that were held on campus. It was an outstanding class, and I had many takeaways from the program. At Murchison Drilling Schools (MDS), we have already begun implementing many of the things that I learned in the class.

One of the topics covered in the program was the customer value proposition or CVP. A CVP is a business or marketing statement that describes why a customer should buy a product or use a service. There were several steps involved in developing a CVP. First, we had to identify our customers or segments of customers. Second, we had to identify our customer pain points or needs. At MDS, we have two primary customer segments and their pain points are very different.  Third, we had to develop a message to each of our customer segments that addressed their specific pain points and how our products and services would meet that need. I realized that I needed to change the messaging to our clients. We had focused on what we provide and what distinguishes us from our competitors, but had not addressed our customer needs. We made immediate changes in our CVPs and are now addressing our customer pain points.

When I was learning about CVPs I could not help but think about Jesus. He was the Master of CVPs. He knew who His customers were. In Matthew 9:12-13, Mark 2:17, and Luke 5:31, Jesus identified His customers as those who needed a physician. He identified His customers as those who knew they were sinners. He said, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” In Matthew 11:28, Jesus called out another customer group. He said, “Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest…” He not only knew who His clients were; He knew their pain points. They were weary and burdened with sin. Jesus offered a solution. He offered a new covenant, not based on a law that burdened people, but one based on grace. Jesus was a Master at identifying His customers, their pain points, and addressing these in His message to us. In Matthew 11:29, Jesus said, “Learn from Me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls.” I am still learning from Jesus, the Master of CVPs, on how to effectively reach and touch the lives of people around us.