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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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Come Adore Him This Thanksgiving

November 25th, 2014 No comments

Adore Him

As a church family, we are spending this holiday season focusing on mastering the fine art of ENJOYING GOD. I call it an “art” because adoring Christ, like loving your spouse, is more of an art than a science. We are forced to move beyond instructions and rituals to a personal encounter our risen Lord. Relationships are highly resistant to rituals and formulas. Our relationship with Jesus demands we move beyond religious forms to the actual enjoyment of His Person.

This is what adoration is all about. To adore is to love in the highest degree; to regard with the utmost esteem, affection and respect.

The word adore comes from a Latin word meaning “to carry to one’s mouth in order to kiss one’s hand.” It conjures the medieval image of a servant kneeling before royalty while holding the hand of his king or queen as he reverently bow’s to kiss it.

We bow because we are approaching a sovereign. The one we honor possesses ultimate authority. The splendor and majesty of our surroundings evokes a breathtaking sense of awe and wonder. Your stomach is filled with butterflies as a strange mixture of fear and excitement swirl within.

As you bow to kiss His hand, a smile explodes across your grateful face! You love your King! You are grateful for His loving care. You are stunned and humbled by the unspeakable privilege of calling him your friend.

In adoration we see a glimpse of what true worship is all about; majesty combined with intimacy, awe mixed with humility, thankfulness joining hands with esteem, and reverential fear comingled with affectionate love.

As we gather with family and friends for another Thanksgiving holiday celebration, pause to offer God the only gift that we have to offer – our adoration! Let Him know how much joy He brings to your life!

Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
3 For the LORD is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
Psalm 95:2-3, NLT