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    Talker's Chatter

    Thu, Dec 29th - 4:11PM

    Forty Days of Purpose - day nineteen

    "You can build a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor."           James 3:18

    "They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers".         Acts 2:42

    Only the Holy Spirit can create real fellowship between believers.  He cultivates it with the choices and commitments we make.  We're joined together with peace through the Spirit, but it's up to us to make every effort to continue in this way.  It takes both God's power and our effort to produce a loving Christian community.  In the New Testament, Paul wrote, "I am writing these things to you . . . [so] you will know how to live in the family of God".  That family is the church.  In fellowship we care enough to lovingly speak the truth, even when we would rather gloss over the issue.  Fellowship will be sabotaged by fear; we cannot let a brother self-distruct because we don't have the courage to speak up.  The bible tells us to speak the truth in love because we can't have fellowship without candor.  Solomon said, "An honest answer is the sign of true friendship"; and Paul says, "Brothers and Sisters, if someone in your group does something wrong, you who are spiritial should go to that person and gently help make him right again".  Talk about it openly so that unresolved issues don't lead one to a life with underlying frustration.  The solution is straightforward: "No more lies, no more pretense.  Tell your brother the truth.  In Christ's body we're all connected to each other, after all.  When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself". 

    Real fellowship, whether in a marriage, a friendship or your church, depends on frankness.  Until we care enough to confront and resolve the underlying barriers, we will never grow close to each other.  In the end, people appreciate frankness over flattery.  Frankness is not rudeness.  The bible tells us there is a right time and right way to do everything.  We are to speak to each other like loving family members.  Thoughtless words leave everlasting wounds.

    Humility is the oil that soothes and smoothes relationships.  The proper dress for fellowship is a humble attitude.   Self-importance, smugness and stubborn pride destroy fellowship faster than anything else.  Pride puts walls between people; humility builds bridges.  "Clothe yourself with humility toward one another because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble".  Pride blocks grace from our lives.  We need grace in order to grow, change, heal, and help others.  We receive God's grace by humbly admitting that we need it.  Live in harmony with each other.  Don't try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people.  And don't think you know it all!  Give more honor to others than to yourselves..  Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.  Humble people are so focused on serving others, they don't think of themselves.

    Paul told Titus, "God's people should be bighearted and courteous."  Courtesy is respecting our differences, and being patient with people who irritate us.  There will be people that require "extra" grace.  They are put in our lives for both their benefit and ours.  They are an opportunity for growth and a test of fellowship: will we love them as brothers and treat them with dignity?  The bible tells us: "Be devoted to each other like a loving family.  Excel in showing respect for each other."  The truth is, we all have quirks and annoying traits. But community has nothing to do with compatibility.  The basis for our fellowship is our relationship with God: We're family. 

    Real community happens when people know it is safe enough to share their doubts and fears without being judged.  God hates gossip, especially when it is thinly disguised as a 'prayer request' for someone else.  The bible says, "Gossip is spread by wicked people; they stir up trouble and break up friendships."  God is very clear that we are to confront those who cause division among christians.  They may get mad and leave the group, but the fellowship has more importance than an individual.

    "Let's not give up the habit of regular fellowship, Instead let us encourage each other . . . "  Developing real fellowship means meeting together even when you don't feel like it.  The first Christians met together every day! "They worshiped together regularly at the Temple each day, met in small groups in homes for Communion and shared their meals with great joy and thankfulness".  Fellowship requires a commitment of time.

    "We understand what love is when we realize that Christ gave his life for us.  That means we must give our lives for other believers." 1 John 3:16

    Comment (4)

    Thu, Dec 29th - 3:06PM


    Oh the hustle and bustle of the season!  No one seems to stop and remember that we're celebrating the birth of our savior.  It's all about Santa and elves and gifts.

    I spent the morning of Christmas in church - I even read a poem in the Christmas show.  I had a blessed day until I got home . . .  then Satan reared his ugly head!  As he's done every year, my husband picked a fight.  Dinner was ruined.  The evening was ruined; and he was still angry the next day.  Merry Christmas to me.


    Comment (1)

    Wed, Dec 21st - 9:03PM

    Forty Days of Purpose - day 18

    I'm just about half-way through this incredible journey and have learned so much about myself and about how to be a christian.  I used to think that a christian went to church on Sunday.  Maybe they read their bible.  Maybe they discussed Jesus.  Thank God, being a christian is so much more than that!  It's so much of a personal sacrifice, yet so much joy.  The Lord expects a lot from me as a christian!  It's hard work - work I do with love and respect.  Work I do without complaining.  I just pray that His light shines through me. . . . .

    Day 18 Experiencing Life Together

    "Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace." Colossians 3:15

    "How wonderful it is, how pleasant for God's people to live together in harmony."  Psalm 133:1

    Life is meant to be shared.  God intends for us to experience life together.  He calls this experience fellowship.  Fellowship is so much more than showing up for service, it is experiencing life together.  It includes unselfish loving, honest sharing, practical serving, sacrificial giving, sympathetic comforting and all the other "one another" commands given in the New Testament. 

    When it comes to fellowship, size matters.  Smaller is better.  You can worship with a crowd, but you can't fellowship with one.  Jesus ministered to a small group of disciples.  He could have chosen more but he knew twelve is about the maximum size you can have in a small group if everyone is to participate.  Every christian needs to be involved in a small group within their church; whether it is bible study, Sunday school, or an at-home fellowship group.  This is where real community takes place, not in the big gatherings.  God has made an incredible promise about small groups of believers: "For where two or three have gathered together in my name, I am there in their midst"

    Real fellowship happens when people get honest about who they are and what is happening in their lives.  They share their hurts, reveal their feelings, confess their failures, disclose their doubts, admit their fears, acknowledge their weaknesses, and ask for help and prayer. It is an atmosphere of honesty and humility.  If we live in the light, as God is in the light, we can share fellowship with each other . . . If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves.  The world thinks intimacy happens in the dark, but God says it happens in the light.  Darkness is used to hide our hurts, faults, fears, failures, and flaws.  But in the light we bring them all out into the open and admit who we really are.  Living in the light requires courage and humility.  It means facing our fear of exposure, rejection, and being hurt.  It is the only way to grow spiritually and be emotionally healthy.  It must be a common practice.  It is the only way to live together whole and healed.

    The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part.  We must help each other with the faith we have.  Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you.  All of us are more consistent in our faith when others walk with us and encourage us.  We must make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.  While I am not responsible for everyone in the Body of Christ, I am responsible to them.  God expects you to do whatever you can to help them.

    In real fellowship people experience sympathy.  Sympathy is not giving advice or offering quick cosmetic help; sympathy is entering in and sharing the pain of others.  The bible tells us: "As holy people be sympathetic, kind, humble, gentle and patient"  We all have a need to be understood and our feelings validated.  I can't be preoccupied with my own hurts.  Self-pity dries up sympathy for others.

    The simplest levels of fellowship are the fellowship of sharing and the fellowship of studying God's word together.  A deeper level is the fellowship of serving, as when we minister together on mission trips or mercy projects.  But the deepest most intense level is the fellowship of suffering, where we enter into each other's pain and grief and carry each other's burdens.  The bible tells us: "Share each other's troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ".  It is in the times of deep crisis, grief, and doubt that we need each other most.  If circumstances crush us to the point that our faith falters, it is then we need believing friends the most. We need a small group of friends to have faith in God for us and pull us through.  A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.

    Fellowship is a place of grace, where mistakes aren't rubbed in, but rubbed out.  Fellowship happens when Mercy wins over JusticeWe all need mercy because we all stumble and fall and require help getting back on track.  We need to offer mercy to each other and be willing to accept from each other.  When people sin, you should forgive and comfort them, so they don't give up in dispair.  You can't have fellowship without forgiveness.  God warns, "Never hold a grudge" because bitterness and resentment always destroy fellowship. 

    You must make allowances for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you.  Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  God's mercy to me is motivation for me to show mercy to others.  I pray for the discernment between trust and forgiveness.  Forgiveness is letting go of the past, trust has to do with future behavior.  Forgiveness must be immediate while trust takes time to rebuild.  Trust requires a track recordGod says to forgive immediately, but He doesn't say to trust instantly and we are not required to let someone us hurt over and over again - they must prove they have changed over time.  The best place to restore trust is within the supportive context of a small group that offers both encouragement and accountability.

    This chapter has made me hungry to experience real fellowship.  We were created for community. I need others in my life.

    Comment (3)

    Sat, Dec 17th - 7:13PM

    Forty Days of Purpose - day seventeen

    I've been spending a lot of time lately with the Lord . . . meditating, praying, singing and listening to praise music.  This journey has transformed my way of thinking about what a christian really is.  I've found myself being very bold in my witnessing!  I talk about Jesus everywhere I go and praise the Lord audibly in public.  I'm a new person!  I don't want to play it safe, I want to dance on the edge!

    I have been called to belong, not just believe! While my relationship with God is personal, it is not private.  That is why membership in the family of God is neither inconsequential nor something to be casually ignored.  The church is God's agenda for the world.  Jesus said: "I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it."  The church is indestructible and will exist for eternity.  It will outlive the universe, and so will my role in it.  The church is so significant that Jesus died on the cross for it.  The Bible calls the church "the bride of Christ" and "the body of Christ".  I can't imagine saying to Jesus, "I love you, but I dislike your wife." Or "I accept you, but I reject your body" But we do this when we dismiss or disrespect the church.  God commands us to love the church as much as Jesus does.  The bible says a christian without a church home is like an organ without a body, a sheep without a flock, or a child without a family.  It is an unnatural state.  The bible says "You belong in God's house with every other christian."  So even though I often don't feel like getting up and ready to go to church on Sunday mornings, I make the sacrifice.  Sure enough, by the time I get there and see my christian brothers and sisters I am happy and feeling much better!  I find comfort in the Word and it can be a great pain reliever too!  His love always helps me make it a little farther down the road.

    Biblical fellowship is being committed to each other as we are to Jesus.  God expects us to give our lives for each other.  Many christians who know John 3:16 are unaware of 1 John 3:16: "Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.  We ought to lay down our lives for our brothers"  This is the kind of sacrificial love God expects us to show other believers -  a willingness to love them in the same way Jesus loves you.  We are commanded to love each other; pray for each other;  encourage each other; greet each other; serve each other; teach each other; accept each other; honor each other; bear each other's burdens; forgive each other; submit to each other; be devoted to each other; and many other mutual tasks.  This is biblical membership!  These are our "family responsibilities" that God expects us to fulfill through a local fellowship.  It is very important that we attend church!  And stay with one church, don't "church hop".  Find a local home church and stay with it!  The difference between being a church attendee and a church member is commitment.  Attendees are consumers, members are contributors.  Attendees want the benefit of a church without sharing the responsibility.  Why is it important to join a local church family?  Because it proves you are committed to your spiritual brothers and sisters in reality, not just in theory.  God wants you to love real people, not ideal people.  You can spend a lifetime looking for the perfect church, but you will never find it.  You are called to love imperfect sinners, just like God does. I have grown very close to my church family.  We have been there for each other in times of joy and in times of trials.  Whenever I've been hospitalized (which is a couple of times a year), my church family visits and cooks for me . . . they help keep my house clean and walk my dog!  This is truly a FAMILY!  I can't imagine my life without my christian brothers and sisters. I am devoted to fellowship.

    The body of Christ needs you.  God has a special role for me to play in His family.  A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church and I'm discovering, developing and using my gifts as I grow spiritual "muscle".  We are not just to model God's love by loving each other; we are to carry it together to the rest of the world.  This is an incredible privilege.  "He has created each of us by Christ Jesus to join Him in the work He does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing"

    My church family has also kept me from backsliding.  God knows we are all capable of sin, so He has assigned us as individuals the responsibility of keeping each other on track.  The bible says, "Encourage one another daily . . .  so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness".  We are called and commanded to be part of each other's lives, If you know people who have wandered off from God's truth, don't write them off.  Go after them.  Get them back..  I also have the extra benefit of spiritual protection of a godly leader.  My beloved pastor guards, protects, defends and cares for the spiritual welfare of his flock.  His work is to watch over our souls, and he knows he is accountable to God.

    It's all in the church!  Satan loves detached believers, unplugged from the life of the church, isolated from God's family, and unaccountable to spiritual leaders, because he knows they are defenseless and powerless against his tactics.  God's purposes for His church are identical to His purposes for you.  Worship helps you focus on God; fellowship helps you face life's problems; discipleship helps fortify your faith; ministry helps find your talents; evangelism helps fulfill your mission.  There is nothing else on earth like the church!  The christian life is more than just commitment to Christ, it includes a commitment to other christians.  Joining the membership of a local church is the natural next step once you've become a child of God. 

    You become a christian by committing yourself to Christ, but you become a church member by commiting yourself to a special group of believers.  The first decision brings you salvation, the second brings fellowship.

    "In Christ we are many forming one body, and each member belongs to all the others"                                Romans 12:5

    Comment (4)

    Wed, Dec 14th - 5:09PM

    Forty Days of Purpose - day sixteen

    Life is all about love. . . Because God is love, the most important lesson I have learned is how to love. 

    Learning to love unselfishly is not an easy task, that's why we're given a lifetime to learn it.  God wants us to love everyone, but He especially wants us to love others in His family.  When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it.  But we should give special attention to those who are in the family of believers.  God wants His family to be known for its love for each other, it is our greatest witness to the world . . . Jesus said: "Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples"

    We have some tough work to do here on earth to prepare ourselves for an eternity of loving.  God has given us "family responsibilities" and the foremost of these is to practice loving each other.  We need regular, close fellowship with other believers to develop the skill of loving.  Love cannot be learned in isolation.  We must be around people - irritating, imperfect, frustrating people!  Through fellowship we learn truth. 

    Love is not a good part of life, it's the most important part.  The Bible says "let love be your greatest aim".  Life without love is really worthless.  God says relationships are what life is all about.  Four of the ten commandments deal with our relationships to God while the other six deal with our relationships with people; but all ten are about relationships!  Jesus summarized what matters most to God in two statements: love God and love people.  He said: "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart . . . " This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: "Love your neighbor as yourself" All the other commandments and demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.

    After learning to love God (worship), learning to love others is the second purpose of my life.  Busyness is a great enemy of relationships.  We become preoccupied with making a living, doing our work, paying bills and accomplishing goals as if these tasks are the point of life.  They are not.  The point of life is loving God and loving people.  Life minus love equals zero. 

    "These three things continue forever: faith, hope, and love.  And the greater of these is love".  Love leaves a legacy.  How you treat other people, not your wealth, is the enduring impact you can leave on earth.  It's not what you do, but how much love you put into it that matters.  Love is the secret of a lasting heritage.  When one is standing on the edge of eternity I doubt that they say, "bring me my diplomas! I want to see them one last time.  Show me my awards, my medals, that gold watch I was given"  No, when life on earth is ending, people don't surround themselves with objects.  What we want around us is people - people we love.  In our final moments we realize that love is what life is all about.  Wisdom is learning that truth sooner rather than later.  Don't wait until you're on your death bed to figure out that nothing else matters. 

    Love is what we will be evaluated on in eternity.  In heaven God won't ask us about our career, instead he will ask us how we treated other people, particularly those in need.  Jesus said the way to love Him is to love His family and care for their practical needs.  "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me".  When we transfer into eternity we will leave everything else behind.  All we take with us is character.  That's why the bible says, "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love". 

    Knowing this I wake up every morning and sit on the edge of my bed and pray this: "Father God, whether I get anything else done today, I want to make sure that I spend more time loving you and loving other people-because that's what life is all about.  I don't want to waste this day".  Why should God give me another day if I'm going to waste it?

    Time is a most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it.  You can make more money, but you can't make more time.  When we give someone our time, we are giving them a portion of our life that we can't get back.  My time is my life.  The greatest gift I can give someone is my time.  The essence of love is not what we think or do or provide for others, but how much we give of ourselves.  The most desired gift of love is not diamonds or chocolate or roses.  It is focused attention.  Love concentrated so intently on someone else that you forget yourself for the moment.  Whenever you give your time, you're making a sacrifice, and sacrifice is the essence of love.  Be full of love for others, following the example of Jesus who loved you and gave Himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins.  You can give without loving, but you can't love without giving.  "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son ....."  Love means giving up-yielding my preferences, comfort, goals, security, money, energy or time for the benefit of someone else.

    Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone.  Use every chance you have for doing good.  Whenever you possibly can , do good to those that need it.  Never tell your neighbor to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now.  Why is now the best time to express love? Because you don't know how long you will have the opportunity.  Circumstances change.  People die.  Children grow up.  We have no guarantee of tomorrow.  If you want to express love, you had better do it now

    The best of life is love.  The best expression of love is time.  The best time to love is now.

    Comment (2)

    Sat, Dec 10th - 2:11PM

    Forty Days of Purpose - day fifteen

    I am extremely (perhaps unusually) close to my mother and siblings.  My biological father abandoned us when I was four years old - leaving my mother with three babies.  She was 19.  No one would have blamed her, or even thought anything of it, if she'd have given us up for adoption.  But she chose to raise all of us on her own.  Even though she flew by the seat of her pants, she was a loving, doting mother.  We never wanted for anything - everyone but us knew we were poor.  During the 60's and 70's society was knee deep in "free love" . . . . drugs, sex and rock & roll was the mantra of flower children.  Mom was young, in her 20's and did her share of 'partying' however, she never lost sight of her first priority; her children.  Never did she neglect us in any way - she was there to tuck us in at night and there when we awoke in the morning.  Christmas and birthdays were always extravegant affairs.  It wasn't until I was older that I realized what she went through to make sure we had everything.  Anything from collecting soda bottles, to saving change, to getting a small loan that she would pay off bit by bit until the next year, when she would do it all over again.  Like I said, we never knew we were poor.  As the years went by we all had Mom to rely on - she's always been a soft place to fall.  We're all now in our 40's and Mom is still our greatest gift.  We're all christians and honor our Mother.  Our Father died in December of 2003 without any of us really knowing him.  Mom has always been Dad too.

    So now I come to the place in my spiritual growth where I learn that I was formed for God's family.  I was born into God's family by a second birth.  When I placed my faith in Christ, God became my Father, other believers became my brothers and sisters, and the church became my spiritual family.  The family of God includes all believers in the past, the present and the future.

    Every human being was created by God but not everyone is a child of God.  I became part of my human family by my first birth; but now I am a member of God's family by my second birth.  God has given us the privilege of being born again, so that we are now members of God's own family.  My spiritual family is even more important than my physical family because it will last forever.  Our families on earth are wonderful gifts from God, but they are temporary and fragile, often broken by divorce, distance, growing old, and inevitably, death.  On the other hand, our spiritual family - our relationship to other believers - will continue throughout eternity.  It is a much stronger union, a more permanent bond, than blood relationships.  When I think of the wisdom and scope of His plan I fall down on my knees and pray to the Father of all the great family of God - some of them already in heaven and some down here on earth.

    As children of God we get to share in the family fortune.  Here on earth we are given the riches of His grace ... kindness ... patience ... glory ... wisdom ... power ... and mercy.  But in eternity we will inherit even more.  What a rich and glorious inheritance He has given to His people!  First, we'll get to be with God forever.  Second, we will be completely changed to be like Christ.  Third, we will be freed from all pain, death and suffering.  Fourth, we will be rewarded and reassigned positions of service.  Fifth, we will get to share in Christ's glory.  What an inheritance!  I am far richer than I ever thought I was!!  God has reserved a priceless inheritance for me.  It is kept in heaven, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach and change of decay.  No one can take it from me.

    Jesus and the people He makes holy all belong to the same family.  That is why He isn't ashamed to call them His brothers and sisters . . . let that amazing truth sink in.  I am a part of God's family, and because Jesus made me holy, GOD IS PROUD OF ME!  Being included in God's family has no higher honor or privilege.  Nothing else comes close.  If ever you feel unimportant, unloved or insecure, remember to whom you belong.

    " ... God is the One who made all things, and all things are for His glory.  He wanted to have many children to share His glory ..."  Heb 2:10

    " ...See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for He allows us to be called his children ..." 1 John 3:1

    Comment (4)

    Tue, Dec 6th - 10:41PM

    Forty Days of Purpose - day fourteen

    When God Seems Distant . . . . this has been a difficult chapter.  I've been praying and thinking and re-reading it for days.  This day, fourteen, was to prepare me for God's "distance"... that I won't always feel close to God; there will be days that God seperates Himself from me and it's taken a few days to fully understand the meaning.

    It's easy to worship God when things are going great in life.  But life isn't always pleasant.  How do you worship God then?  What do you do when God seems a million miles away?  The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during trial, trusting Him when tempted, surrendering while suffering and loving Him when He seems distant.  Oftentimes,  the feeling of seperation from God has nothing to do with sin ... it's a test of faith.  Will you continue to love, trust, obey and worship God even when you have no sense of His presence or visible evidence of His work in your life?  Rather than seeking an experience with God, we need to seek God.  We can't depend on our feelings as proof of closeness to Jesus - as we grow in faith, we are weaned of our dependencies.  God is always present even when I am unaware of Him, and his presence is too profound to be measured by mere emotion.  Yes, He wants us to sense His presence, but He's more concerned that you trust Him than that you feel Him.  Faith, not feelings, pleases God. The situations that stretch your faith the most will be those times when life falls apart and God is nowhere to be found.  How do you praise God when you don't understand what's happening in your life and God is silent?  How do you keep your eyes on Jesus when they are full of tears?  You still find things to praise God for: That He's good and loving; That He is all powerful; That He notices every detail of my life; That He is in control; That He has a plan for my life and that He will save me.  During times of spiritual dryness, we must wait patiently on the promises of God, not our emotions, and realize that He is taking you to a deeper level of maturity. 

    I pray that I won't be troubled by trouble.  Circumstances cannot change the character of God.  God's grace is still in full force; He is still there for me, even when I don't feel it.  I will hold on to God's word.  I pray that my faith stays strong even in the midst of pain.  I will trust Him.  When you feel abandoned by God yet continue to trust Him in spite of your feelings, you worship Him in the deepest way.

    Remember what God has already done.  If God never did anything else for me, he would still deserve my continual praise for the rest of my life because of what Jesus did for me on the cross.  He died for me.  This is the greatest reason for worship.  God made an agonizing sacrifice on my behalf.  Even before His crucifixion, the Son of God was stripped naked, mocked, crowned with thorns and spit on.  He was abused and ridiculed by heartless men, He was treated worse than an animal.  Then, nearly unconscious from blood loss, He was forced to drag a cumbersome cross up a hill, was nailed to it, and was left to die the slow, excruciating torture of death by crucifixion.  While His life's blood drained out, hecklers stood by and shouted insults, making fun of His pain and challenging His claim to be God.  Next, as Jesus took all of mankind's sins and guilt on Himself, God looked away from that ugly sight, and Jesus cried out in total desperation, "My God, my God, why have you foresaken me?"  Jesus could have saved Himself, but then he could not have saved you.  Words cannot describe the darkness of that moment.  Why did God allow and endure such ghastly, evil mistreatment?  Why? So I could be spared an eternity in hell, and so I could share in His glory forever!

    Jesus gave up everything so I could have everything.  He died so I could live forever.  That alone is worthy of my continued thanks and praise.  Never again will I wonder what I have to be thankful for.  God is real - no matter how I feel.

    For God has said, "I will never leave you; I will never abandon you" Heb 13:5




    Comment (5)

    Thu, Dec 1st - 8:10PM

    Forty Days of Purpose - day thirteen

    " Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength"  Mark 12:30

    God has asked for all of my heart, all of my soul, all of my mind and all of my strength.  He is not interested in halfhearted commitment, partial obedience or left over time and money.  He desires my full devotion.

    There is a right and wrong way to worship.  Let us be grateful and worship God in a way that will please him.  God wants me to worship Him based on the truth of scripture, not my opinion about Him.  True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.  To "worship in truth" means to worship God as He is truly revealed in the bible.  God is pleased when we worship in spirit - not referring to the Holy Spirit - but in my spirit.  I am a spirit that resides in a body, and God designed my spirit to respond to His own.

    Love God with all your heart and soulWorship must be genuine and heartfelt.  It is not just a matter of saying the right words; you must mean what you say.  Heartless praise is not praise at all!  When I worship, God looks past the words and into the attitude of my heart.  He wants my honest, real love.  We can worship God imperfectly, but we cannot worship Him insincerely. The best style of worship is the one that best represents your love for God. There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach to worship and friendship with God.  One thing is certain, I won't bring glory to God by trying to be someone he never intended me to be.  God wants me to be myself. 

    Jesus' command to "love God with all your mind" is repeated four times in the New Testament.  If worship is mindless, it is meaningless.  And when Jesus said "love God with all your strength" he was pointing out that worship takes effort and energy.  It is not always easy, convenient or comfortable and sometimes worship is a sheer act of will - a willing sacrifice.  "Passive worship" is an oxymoron.  When you praise God even if you don't feel like it, when you get out of bed to worship when you're tired, or when you help others when you're worn out you are offering a sacrifice of worship to God

    I'll bring Him more than a song, He requires more.  He wants all of me.


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    About Me

    Name: Terri Medina
    ChristiansUnite ID: talkercat
    Member Since: 2005-11-17
    Location: , California, United States
    Denomination: Nondenominational
    About Me: JESUS! JESUS! JESUS! . . . there's just something about that name!

    Dec. 2005
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