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Archive for the ‘worship’ Category

Morning Devotion: Sing!

God has given us every reason in the world to sing.

And every day should be an occasion to sing of His glory and gracious provision.

“Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love.”

Psalm 59:16 sums it up, doesn’t it? A love that never abandons us is more than enough reason for singing to the Lord today.

So sing to Him, even if the only Christian song you can remember is “Jesus Loves Me.”

God will love it.

And so will you.

As always, I love you
Martin

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There’s something different — something richer — about a relationship where the only reason somebody spends time with you is because they want to, not because they’re required to.

That’s why aging parents love it when their adult children break away from their busy lives to spend a few days with Mom and Dad.

Not in order to pick up a check but in order to make cherished memories.

We love such times.

God is a Daddy and He loves such times, too.

It’s very meaningful to Him when we break away from our busy lives and — by our own desire to show Him our love — we set aside time to fellowship with Him, to pray to Him, to worship Him and to be guided or even transformed by Him.

We aren’t to attend worship or place our tithes and other offerings in the plate because we think God needs it to survive.

He doesn’t. He already has countless angels and souls loving and exalting Him in heaven.

Instead, we worship and serve and give in order that WE might survive spiritually and thrive emotionally.

Here’s a verse from today’s reading in the One-Year Bible that reminded me of how God is SO much greater than we and how blessed we are to have a God that cares BY CHOICE.

“… human hands can’t serve His needs — for He has no needs.” (Acts 17:25)

Wow.

No needs.

Only wants.

And one of those “wants” is the love and loyalty of your heart.

This being the case, please link your need for salvation and fellowship with God and His want for fellowship with you.

It’s the desire of His heart.

As always, I love you
Martin

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So you hear a knock on the door and it turns out to be a winged angel with a message.

“Jesus is coming to your house for dinner in a couple of hours,” he says and then he flies away.

A check of your refrigerator and pantry show that a quick trip to the grocery is in order since you don’t want to serve leftovers to your Savior.

It’s a rush but two hours later, you’re sitting down to a delicious meal with the best, freshest ingredients and you have the peace of knowing you’ve given your best for the One who gave His all for you.

None of us would serve leftovers to Jesus in this scenario.

But do we have the same determination when it comes to everyday life?

When we refuse to forgive somebody who offended us or stole from us in some way, do we hold onto our grudge while at the same time defending our faithfulness because we’ve already forgiven that person a couple of times for earlier offenses?

“I forgave them when they didn’t deserve it. Doesn’t that count for something?” is our tempting defense.

That plate of spiritual leftovers is not going to satisfy Jesus’ hunger of our humility and grace toward others.

And what about our giving to ministry? Are our tithes and offerings the first item on our weekly budget?

Or is it the last?

Do we put God first as the Bible commands? Or do we satisfy our cost-of-living tummies first and then consider what might be put in the offering plate?

Think about how many additional blessings we’re probably missing out on from the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills.

If we gave more, God would give more.

That’s the promise of scripture.

That’s the pattern of blessing observable in the lives of abundant givers.

So here’s the reason for this devotion today:

“Be sure to give to the Lord the best portions of the gifts given to you.” (Numbers 18:29)

God first.

The first day of the week should show Him clearly that He’s first in your life.

The first moments in the day should show Him that His Word and His will are your desires during the day.

He is to be the first One to consider when making decisions about life, love and learning.

The first One to praise when things go well.

The first One to consult when things aren’t going well.

The first One on the financial priority list.

Whatever you’re given, please make sure that God sees how willing you are to give back to Him.

As always, I love you
Martin

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The patience of God is amazing.

With Adam and Eve.

With Noah and his family.

With Abram who was renamed to Abraham.

With Isaac, with Jacob, with his sons, with Joshua and the Exodus Hebrews…

The list goes on and on.

That list includes you and me, of course.

If God were not patient with us, we would have no hope for eternal life.

For we certainly don’t have enough spiritual merit to qualify for heaven.

But God IS patient. And that’s because God is purposeful.

You see, God has a plan for you and for me and has had such since before Creation.

Ephesians 1:4 tells us so.

His patience is rooted in His desire for us to spend forever with Him, according 2 Peter 3:9.

His patience is able to endure His disappointment with our decisions along the way toward the repentance and submission to the Gospel that He desires for every soul.

Why is He so patient? Check out this passage from Isaiah 43 and you’ll get a clearer picture of why:

I have made Israel for myself,
 and they will someday honor me before the whole world.” (Isaiah 43:21)

God knew that Israel was a work in progress, that all of the Hebrews should have been wearing T-shirts that said “He’s still working on me.”

God had the supernatural ability to see people for what they could be, not simply for what they were.

His hope was for their surrendering to His will for His glory and their eternal good.

Someday.

Wow.

We are given physical life so that we might give God our spiritual lives that are committed to honoring God in the eyes of the world.

Let’s do all we can to make “someday” start happening today.

It’s the least we can do for the Father who did the most He could do for us.

As always, I love you
Martin

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How will you praise the Lord today?

Here’s some cues from Psalm 150:

Praise the Lord!

Praise God in his sanctuary;
 praise him in his mighty heaven!

Praise him for his mighty works;
 praise his unequaled greatness!

Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn;
 praise him with the lyre and harp!

Praise him with the tambourine and dancing;
 praise him with strings and flutes!

Praise him with a clash of cymbals;
 praise him with loud clanging cymbals.

Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!

Praise the Lord!

Listen to some Christian music today and sing along if you can.

God will absolutely love it!

As always, I love you

Martin

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“In the groove” was a common phrase a generation or two ago.

It’s roots traced to the 1930s adoption of the phrase by jazz musicians who described their moments of mistake-free playing in terms of a phonograph needle sliding without error through a record groove.

Of course, with no scratches or bumps or warped surfaces to encounter, the needle produced signals that were smooth and true to the original intent of the record producers.

It’s all about flawlessly, calmly experiencing the best in a particular situation.

We like it when we’re in the groove on a date, or at our jobs or when playing a sport or when enjoying a hobby or when volunteering at church.

We like it when we’re in the groove while talking with our family members.

And, of course, God loves it when we’re in the groove while worshiping Him.

The fact is that when we join heaven’s choir, we’ll be in the groove forever.

Until then, let’s enjoy the “groove” for His sake in this life.

“Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
 celebrate His lovely name with music.”

Practice Psalm 135:3 sometime today.

Play a Christian CD. Turn on a Christian radio station.

Buy tickets to a Christian concert.

Sing a Christian chorus to yourself.

Or at lease hum it.

And sing your heart out next Sunday at church.

It’s the groovy thing to do.

As always, I love you
Martin

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God told the Israelites to make sure that their offerings were from the firstfruits of their harvests and that animals sacrificed to Him were to be those first in quality.

It’s clear that God wants to be first in the lives of believers.

So it is not surprising that King David wrote a psalm that speaks of how God is pleased when believers think of Him first in the morning.

“Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song.” (Psalm 56:8)

Do you awake the dawn with songs of praise for God?

As in listening to Christian music while getting ready for work or cooking breakfast?

Do you find yourself singing or humming Christian praise songs as you ready to head out of the door?

You can imagine how pleased God is when He sees you praising Him first thing in the morning.

If you were God, wouldn’t you be pleased by such displays of worship?

Let’s be more active in worshiping God in the morning when we get out of bed. Talk to family members about God’s wondrous grace if they’re living with you.

Testify to co-workers first thing in the day about some blessing God provided for you that morning or the day before.

Wake up your heart and I will do the same.

God deserves that the first moments of the day to honor Him.

As always, I love you
Martin

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