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Is Joy the Icing on the Cake of Worship?

December 2nd, 2014 2 comments

 

icing

 

 Many Christians view the  heartfelt enjoyment of God as the icing on the cake of worship. I, for one, am not a big icing fan. I know some of you are. You get that fancy birthday cake from the bakery with all the sugary flowers on top, and you go straight for that giant blob of icing first!

We could make an argument that whether you are an icing enthusiast or not, the cake remains the cake with or without it.

Is worship the same way?

Some people are all emotional and some just are not. Some like their worship passionate and others prefer it more reverent and under control. And while we can all think of extremes on each end of the continuum, the real question is what does God say about joy-filled worship?

1] God is the Source of our enjoyment. To have Him is to have joy.

 Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my exceeding joy; yes, with the lyre will I praise You, O God, my God!

Psalm 43:4, Amp

I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing.

John 15:11, Amp

 

 2] Joy is not optional because God commands it. Joy is the cake!

 Serve the Lord with gladness! Come before His presence with singing!

Psalm 100:3, Amp

 

 Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4, Amp

 

3] If God is present in our worship, joy is present.

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11, Amp

 

4] Joy is a measure of our satisfaction.

Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.

Psalm 90:14, NLT

 

5] Joy is a sign of released faith in God.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

James 1:2, NLT

 

6] Joy is the focus of our ministry to others.

But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm.

2 Corinthians 1:24, NLT

 

7] Present joy is the proof of future hope.

 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

I Peter 4:13, NKJ

 

 

 

 

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Walking in the Truth: No Greater Joy

February 25th, 2013 3 comments

shoes

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

III John 2-4

The Apostle John uses the metaphor of walking to describe our relationship with “truth.” He could have chosen a number of alternate descriptors – standing, sitting, running or even believing – to make his point. Why “walking in the truth?” And further, why does this bring John the greatest amount of joy?

Perhaps he chose the word “walking” because it is so commonplace and natural. In fact, most of us walk without even thinking about it. It requires no special mental effort to simply walk. Perhaps this is a perfect choice of words for that very reason. There is nothing super-spiritual or lofty about it. It brings truth down into the everyday fabric of our normal lives.

Walking is a part of nearly everything we do. Whether it’s walking to the refrigerator or to and from work, we would be hard pressed to find a more a more inclusive word to describe much of the activity of our lives. Walking in truth should become a natural, all-inclusive, practically unconscious reality of our day to day existence as believers in Christ.

Walking in truth is not something that just happens. Infants and toddlers work very hard to progress from crawling to taking the first big step. Along the way come multiple bumps and bruises. The same is true as we develop our walk in the truth. While truth should be expressed naturally through our lives, we must determine to pursue truth. Like walking, we must pursue truth one step at a time. A parent’s joy comes in watching the walking. Imagine a child who has watched others walk, who believes in the reality of walking, and who can explain both how and why walking occurs, yet they never attempt to walk themselves! This would bring grief and concern to any parent. In similar fashion, we can know the truth and yet not walk in it. The truth is really in us only to the degree that we have learned to walk it out.

Reflection:

Are their areas where the profession of your faith and the expression of your faith are miles apart?

Are their things you acknowledge to be true but have difficulty living out?

Focus on bringing feet to your faith this week!