Genuine expression of worship

Romans 12:1 (TPT)
Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.

How are we to express genuine worship to God? By becoming a living sacrifice.

A living sacrifice involves dedicating our whole being to Him. It is including Him in every area of our lives; our work, our family, our relationships, our passions etc.

By living a holy, devoted life we will please God and genuinely worship our Creater.

He is jealous for YOU

1 John 5:21 (NLT)
Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

It’s that simple. ANYTHING that might take His place is not for us.

This could be alcohol, shopping, video games, sex, food, TV, social media, possessions, money, relationships, kids, your image, your reputation, your title or even your work.

If anything is placed higher than God in our lives then He has commanded us to stay away from it.

How do you know if something is being elevated above Him?
Well, does it consume you? Are you thinking about it more than Him? Does it pull you away from prayer, worship and intimacy with your Father?

If you identify with any of these or God has revealed to you an area that He is displeased with, it’s easy to fix.

Repent, then honour Him by laying it down so He is number one again.

The Lord your God is a devouring fire; he is a jealous God.
Deuteronomy 4:24 (NLT)

Time to sit at Jesus feet

Luke 10:39-42 (AMPC)

‘And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching. But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me [to lend a hand and do her part along with me]! But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; There is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion [that which is to her advantage], which shall not be taken away from her.’

Martha is so consumed with doing and serving she gets distracted from what God really wants from her.

Perhaps these acts of service are her love language? Even if this is the case, it is quite clear that she is not operating from a willing heart which is revealed by her bitterness toward Mary.

Can you relate to this? Have you been so caught up in your acts of service that you don’t put aside the time to listen to the Lord’s revitalising teaching for your life?

Instead of choosing the good portion, you find yourself going round and round the same mountain of religious obligation resulting in exhaustion and burnout.

Or maybe you are like Mary, who enjoys getting filled up and empowered by simply spending time at the feet of her Messiah?

Others may be jealous of you because you have discovered how to bask in His presence and be filled with power. You drink of Him continually, and then, when it is time to serve, you do it WITH Him.

Whether we are like Mary or Martha, Jesus points out that which is of the most importance and to our advantage.

If only we could learn the secret of sitting at Jesus’ feet and drinking from His life giving water. The result of this practice is supernatural effectiveness and efficiency which brings joy and fulfilment that Jesus says will never be taken from us!

Turn and face Him

2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (MSG)

‘Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.’

Whatever you may be going through right now, try to centre your thoughts on Him. Whenever you turn your eyes to God and face Him, by directing your affection and attention on Him, He will remove the veil that separates you from Him.

The veil of religion and rules will be removed as the formulated attempts to get your way with God are replaced with genuine intimacy.

He will become even more real to you as you press into His presence that everything else around you will become like an illusion.

As you get wrapped up in Him, the troubles and hardships of this world will be swallowed up, becoming insignificant compared to the glory you behold.

The more you experience His presence, the more you will become like Him, radiating His glory and beauty to a world that is waiting for a glimpse of their Saviour.

Relationship not sacrifice

Hosea 6:6 (NLT)

“I want you to show love,
not offer sacrifices.
I want you to know me
more than I want burnt offerings.”

Here God is revealing His feelings toward us. He wants relationship with us more than anything we can do for Him or give to Him. He wants our heart above all else.

Loving God must be our highest goal. But how do we get to know Him? The same way we get to know people. By spending time consistently with God (reading His Word, praying, worshipping) we come to realize he is always with us.
Involving Him in everything we do and being aware of His constant presence within us will show Him our love.

Our works alone do not show God we love Him because we can perform them outside of a relationship with Him.

If we are not careful, we can live in idolatry by performing superficial acts when our hearts are far from Him. Whilst in this lukewarm state of compromise, we can be deceived into thinking these outward sacrifices are ticking the boxes to get God’s approval.

There is no benefit in all our giving, praying, serving and attending church if we aren’t giving Him our heart and living in obedience to Him.

God wants you even more than you want Him. He loved us first before we were even born. So make it a priority to get to know Him deeply and intimately.

Your time to arise

Matthew 3:13-17 (NLT)

Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?”
But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him.
After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”

This was Jesus’ moment of change; a defining line in His life. He had spent thirty years in preparation for this day and the days that followed.
This was God’s time to begin to show His glory to the world through the ministry of Jesus. As soon as the dove descended and the Holy Spirit anointed Him, He was ready to enter into His ministry.

Likewise, your time has arrived in which God is propelling you into your field of influence. He has been disciplining and preparing you through this past wilderness season where you have come up against giants and powers far too strong for you.

But all this was required in training you for this moment where the work He has shown you is now upon you.

Just like Jesus, you have now been given the go-ahead to carry out the projects and ministry commission He has prepared you for.

Your dove has landed and your time is here to ‘carry out all that God requires’ (v15)

2019: God’s year to act!

Luke 4:16-19 (MSG)

“He came to Nazareth where he had been reared. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place. When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,
God’s Spirit is on me;
he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor,
Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and
recovery of sight to the blind,
To set the burdened and battered free,
to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”

Jesus was prophesying from the scroll what He was going to accomplish. He was going to reveal himself to the humble, heal the afflicted, bind up broken hearts, set captives free and renew vision and purpose for those covered in darkness.

Not only was He declaring promises that He would fulfil in us, but that God would use us to help Him accomplish these things for others also.

There are some promises for this year that we have no control over. The great thing is that we don’t have to feel pressure or be overwhelmed by Jesus’ declaration, because He is the One who will do these things for us and we will witness the victory. It is His year to act and as we believe, we will watch the marvellous plan of God unfold.

As you enter into this year faith filled, remember that Jesus is going to move divinely, bringing glorious miracles, healings and breakthroughs. He is true to His promises for you.

You may have been waiting a long time for your miracle to become a reality, but this is your year. As Jesus confidently declared, “This is God’s year to act!”

Psalm 37:7a
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.

Your gifting will be revealed

Genesis 40:20-23 (MSG)

And sure enough, on the third day it was Pharaoh’s birthday and he threw a feast for all his servants. He set the head cupbearer and the head baker in places of honor in the presence of all the guests. Then he restored the head cupbearer to his cupbearing post; he handed Pharaoh his cup just as before. And then he impaled the head baker on a post, following Joseph’s interpretations exactly.
But the head cupbearer never gave Joseph another thought; he forgot all about him.

Joseph had just given two interpretations of dreams that came to pass exactly as he had prophesied.
You would think the preciseness of his interpretations would have landed him out of prison there and then, but instead he was completely forgotten about for two whole years.

He didn’t kick and scream and bring attention to himself in the prison, thinking he needed to be seen. No, he continued to serve whilst simply waiting to be recognised for the gift of God upon his life.

At the appointed time God will use your gift to get you out of your prison. So wait for your door to open in God’s timing.

Set aside your privileges

Philippians 2:5-8 (MSG)

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

Amazing! Even Jesus who was equal with God did not think highly of Himself despite being the Highest of High!

He was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and if anyone has reason to think highly of Himself it was Jesus.

Scripture says we also should think of ourselves like Jesus thought of Himself. What was that? It says He humbled Himself and through obedience He went to the cross. It was the greatest act of humility ever seen.

It’s time we put aside our positions, blessings and special privileges. We need to humble ourselves enough to associate with the outsiders, give up our seats for the lost and share the blessing we have through Christ.

If we are to be effective fishers of men, we need to come out of the four walls of the church, live a selfless life and be obedient servants for Christ.

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