God always looks at the heart. Many people look at outward appearance and actions. While we show love to God by obeying Him, many put rules and commandments first. In Jesus’ day, the religious leaders did this so much that they created their own rules and laws and added them to God’s Laws, putting more of a burden on the people and used it for their own gain. It became more about rules and regulations instead of the goodness of one’s heart. Many religions, churches, and even families today seem to make things more about traditions and following rules than about character, relationships, and love.Continue reading “From the Heart”
What is worship to you? So often worship has become synonymous with music. Many church’s worship leaders and worship teams are those that lead the music during the church service. I was thinking about this the other week while in church service and I felt like God was leading me to take a little detour from our study of Jesus’ parables and talk about worship (we will go back to that after a couple posts).Continue reading “How Do You Worship?”
Nebuchadnezzar? Praising God? The great king of the Babylonian empire who had a large golden statue of himself be built to worship? Yes, that one. Babylon was one of the greatest empires in history that conquered most of the known world at the time, beginning around 626 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar ruled from 605-562 B.C., being one of the greatest emperors known. He was also ruthless. He destroyed Jerusalem and tore down it’s walls, looted the temple and brought the Israelite people into exile, killing many and enslaving many. When he has his dream, he asked his counselors not only to interpret his dreams but to tell him what it was! When they could not, he threatened to cut them all to pieces and burn down their houses. He executed any who would not bow down and worship his image of gold. But, God revealed the dream to Daniel and its interpretation giving him favor with the king. The king let his pride get the best of him, and God brought him down and showed him His majesty and power. When the king was at his lowest he realized how great God was and turned to Him. God used Daniel and used the king’s circumstances to reveal His greatness and to bring him to righteousness. I believe that Nebuchadnezzar was saved at this time. Only God knows for sure. God will use many ways to draw people to Him. He is a God of mercy. No matter what you have done in the past, where you are at in life, He seeks your love and wants you to be saved. He sent His Son to die on the cross, that our sins may be forgiven. He uses other people to be a witness so others would see the truth and turn to him. Sometimes He will allow us to stumble from our own selfishness and pride to a low point to bring us to surrender to Him, so that we can have eternal life. He uses all things for good, so that we can become His children. This is the prayer of Nebuchanezzar (or, more like a proclamation of how great God is) after he was brought down by God and restored. Continue reading “Nebuchadnezzar’s Prayer of Praise”
In our last discussion we talked about how Paul encouraged others in his prayer for them. He also never ceased to give God praise for all that He has done. This is something we all should remember in our prayers. As we talk to God, we should acknowledge how great a God He is, how good He is to us and all the things He has done for us. There are so many scriptures to choose from that have prayers of praise, particularly from the Psalms, but also many in both the Old and New Testaments. Many scriptures acknowledge God’s greatness and may not actually be part of a prayer, but I think by reading these and perhaps using some of them in our prayer will honor God. As the authors do, let us not only acknowledge Him in our prayers but share it with all those around us. Continue reading “Praise Prayers”
After Mary found out that God had chosen her to give birth to His Son, Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, she gave this humble proclamation:
My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever. Continue reading “The Song of Mary”