Sunday, November 15, 2009

Help Me, Lord.... To Share in Worship

All of mankind is engaged in worship...of one kind or another. The question is not whether we worship, but what we worship. Some of us choose to worship God. The result is a plentiful harvest of joy, peace, and abundance. Others distance themselves from God by foolishly worshiping things of this earth such as fame, fortune, or personal gratification. To do so is a terrible mistake with eternal consequences.

Whenever we place our love for material possessions above our love for God - or when we yield to the countless temptations of the world - we find ourselves engaged in a struggle between good and evil, a clash between God and Satan. Our responses to these struggles have implications that echo throughout our families and throughout our communities.

How can we ensure that we cast our lot with God? We do so, in part, by the practice of regular worship in the company of fellow believers. When we worship God faithfully and fervently, we are blessed. When we fail to worship God, for whatever
reason, we forfeit the spiritual gifts that He intends for us. Every day provides opportunities to put God where He belongs: at the center of our lives. When we do so, we worship not just with our words, but with deeds, and that's as it should be. For believers, God come first. ALWAYS FIRST!

If you will not worship God seven days a week, you do not worship Him on one day a week.

In the sanctuary, we discover beauty: the beauty of His presence.

Don't ever come to church without coming as though it were the first time, as though it could be the best time, and as though it might be the last time.

I have often prayed this prayer before:

Heavenly Father, this world can be a place of distractions and temptations. But when I worship You, Lord, You direct my path and You cleanse my heart. Let today and every day be a time of worship and praise. Let me worship You in everything that I think and do. Thank You, Lord for the priceless gift of Your Son Jesus. Let me be worthy of that gift, and let me give You the praise and the glory forever. AMEN

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Help Me, Lord...To live Honestly

From the time we are children, we are taught that honesty is the best policy, but sometimes it is so hard to be honest and so easy to be less than honest. So, we convince ourselves that it's okay to tell "little white lies". But there's a problem: Little white lies tend to grow up, and when they do, they cause havoc and pain in our lives.

For Christian believers, the issue of honesty is not a topic for debate. Honesty is not just the best policy, it is God's policy, pure and simple. If we are to be servants worthy of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we avoid all lies, white or otherwise.

Sometime soon, perhaps even today, you will be tempted to sow the seeds of deception, perhaps in the form of a "harmless" white lie. Resist that temptation. Truth is God's way, and a lie -of whatever color- is not.

...and ye shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

Lord, truth is Your commandment. You instruct me to seek truth and to live righteously. Help me, Lord, always to live according to Your commandments. Sometimes, Lord, speaking the truth can be difficult indeed, but let me speak forthrightly. And let me walk righteously and courageously so that others might see Your Grace reflected in my words and my deeds. AMEN

"The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out." Proverbs 10:9