Month: April 2021

The Purpose of Worshipping God

The Purpose of Worshipping God

As christians, it is important for us to understand that God has all the authority over us. Our relationship with Him is based on our ability to understand His word, believe in and implement it. This activates the miracles that we seldom wait for. It is easy to quote scriptures, but fail to undergo any transformation through its power. Ultimately obedience to scripture allows us to become true children of God.The parable of the sower in Matthew 13:1-13 exemplifies the fact that what you do with the word determines the outcome and how it impacts your life.

In the parable, the seed that the farmer scattered was the consistent, but the type of soil it fell on was different. It yielded different results based on where it fell. As such, if we do not take the time to understand the word and allow it to transform our lives, we ourselves inhibit its transformational power. The bible teaches that not doing the will of God is basically doing the will of the devil. A true christian will listen to God the Father and subsequently earn the right to be called a child of God. You see, our faith is tied to our ability to continue to believe in God. If Psalms 23:6 teaches us that His goodness and love will be with us for as long as we shall live, even if we go through times of peril, then a lack of faith will allow the circumstances of our situations to hinder our walk with God.

Living by what we can see with the naked eye can prevent us from living by faith. How? Well, if we perceive the challenge in front of us to be bigger than what we can handle we become overwhelmed and intimidated by what we see rather than walking with God by faith. During the time of Passover, when Jesus spoke of bread and wine being a representation of His body and His blood, In order for the disciples to truly comprehend this, they needed to have a deeper level of understanding that went beyond what they could see by sight alone. By faith we are driven to deeper levels of christian understanding. Sight limits the full capability of God. God is much greater that what our eyes can see. Isaac is a great example that having faith in God’s words produces an abundance (Genesis 26:1-6, 12-14).

Through human understanding, his decision to stay in Egypt during a drought would have seemed foolish and impossible. But God is able to do much greater things than we can fathom. A fruitful harvest was hidden behind God’s instruction to Isaac to sow in the dry ground that required Isaac’s obedience and faith to receive it. There are many blessings hidden in God’s words that we are sometimes unable to attain because what God requires us to do first does not always make logical sense in our eyes so we end up not doing it. God has promised so much in your life, yet you allow what you perceive by sight to hinder your obedience to the condition given because on face value, it seems illogical. Is God not the owner of everything? Does He not speak things into existence? Therefore faith in His spoken word is vital. Abraham is known as a man who lived his life by faith.

By obeying the command to leave his fathers house for the unknown he unlocked his first blessings. Again in Genesis 22:1-18, Abraham prepared himself wholeheartedly to sacrifice his much loved son who had so long been promised to him. It was the ultimate test to reveal the level of obedience that he had to God. Out of that sacrifice came even more blessings for him. So often a time, blessings await beyond the immediate challenge. The instruction may not initially make sense, but be assured that it will activate God’s intended blessing for you. Acts 13:22 – Our heart is a game changer in the things of God. It goes beyond our human logic and rational. David is described as a mighty man that sought after God’s own heart because he was in tune with God’s instruction despite his many shortcomings and acts of disobedience. David had a true understanding of God. So much so, that at a time when he had the opportunity to kill his persecutor Saul, he refrained where others would have acted. Why? Because David understood, despite circumstance, not to touch an anointed man.

As a christian you need to take stock of what draws you to God. Some things will “pull: us to God, while others will “push” us to God. But these are two very different things. David was pulled to God and sought to follow God’s instruction. In your own worship you need to think about the factors that are pulling you to God against those that push you to worship? The pull factor is what attracts you to come to God like a magnet. These are an indication of your understanding of your duty as a man in terms of your worship. It is what pulls you to seek to understand God as the maker of heaven and earth. Whereas the push factor is what you are running away from. It is the need or lack that drives you to Him as a means to a solution to resolve the challenge you are facing. Your reason to come to God ends up being centred around your needs and not about God. When you get what you want, you then focus more on your fulfilment rather than the one that provided it. Therefore our interaction with the things of God differs between what pulls us and what pushes us to Him.

In conclusion, remember pull factors include seeking God because you know who He is, you understand His authority over your life, you know your position as His child and work hard to follow His word. Whereas push factors include seeking God for what we can acquire and achieve, as well as challenges we need rectified. Your focus is pursuing God in order to fulfil your needs. It comes from a place of selfishness instead of worshiping simply because God is God. Today, be encouraged to reflect on what pushes you and what pulls you to worship God. List both factors noting down what falls into each category.The purpose of a human is to seek God whether we have everything or nothing at all. Lack should not hinder our worship. We are meant to give everything to Him when we come to Him. If we remain within the limits of our human ways, we will be unable to fully grasp God spiritually. Let your understanding be elevated to a deeper spiritual level as you continually dwell in God’s presence.

Value

In Deuteronomy 8:3, we are reminded of the time God provided manna from heaven as sustenance for the Israelite people in the dessert. Manna was readily available for the people to eat, just as bread is a ready made commodity for us today. In contrast, consider the example of Jesus at the start of his ministry. For 40 days and nights, He endured fasting in the wilderness and during this time of physical weakness the devil had an opportune moment to tempt Him.

The power of the spoken word is demonstrated, when Jesus responses by quoting the scripture “men shall not live on bread alone, but all the words that come from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).”Jesus understood that even though He was hungry, bread alone could not sustain Him and He knew that He needed the power, love and guidance that came from God alone, and not from physical food. God is able to fill you with His word instead. You see, when people encounter difficult situations, they tend to seek quick ready made answers. Such can also be seen with Isaac when he was in Egypt (Genesis 26). His intent was to move his family from the dry barren land they inhabited to a place where the ground was more fertile in order to fulfil their hunger needs. However God instructed him to stay in Egypt and sow crops in that very dry ground. Again we see the the power of the spoken word. When Isaac obeyed God’s instruction, he was able to harvest hundred fold where others had been unsuccessful. What comes from the mouth of God is not merely sufficient, but abundant. Most of the things that God asks or tells us to do hold hidden value that is not always evident to the naked eye. This is why we should take note of what God says because it will always yield results be it now or at some point in the future. Remember, just as Peter was reminded in Matthew 19:27-29, whatever we forgo or sacrifice for the sake of the gospel will never go unrewarded. In previous summaries, we have explored the concept of value and concluded that the amount of time one spends on something denotes its value. For example, students that value their education spend more time studying than those that feel otherwise. Likewise the manner we interact with God, demonstrates not only our understanding, but the value in which we regard Him. If we don’t invest value, we cannot receive value. In essence, we reap what we sow. As such, when we value God, He in turn values us. So if things are not going our way, instead of blaming or questioning God, stop and reflect on whether you apportioned value to your actions in the first place. Matthew 22:37 instructs us to “love the Lord with all our heart.” Looking at the “heart” as an organ, its vitality is the ability to pump blood to all parts of your body. Now if we place God at the centre or “heart” of our lives, it means that whatever we feel or do will be God filled. If we however allow our mind to be the central focus, it means that our actions are factual and whatever decisions we then take are born of practicality and human sense. Let’s put both these concepts into context. Practically speaking, if the mind is the main decision maker coming to a conclusion based on facts, one seldom finds people that are willing to marry into poverty because it makes no sense to chose to live a life of hardship. However, if the heart is involved in the process, then marrying into poverty becomes a sacrifice one is willing to make for love. Based on the Matthew 7:12, 22:37-40, if you understand the value of God in your life, you then automatically understand the importance of other human beings. So much so, that you will treat others as you would like to be treated. The command to love, simply cannot be ignored. If you want love, you have to love. If you want to be valued, you need to value others. If you want to receive, you must first give. A human being was made in the image of God, so how is it that we can love God that we have not seen, yet we cannot love our neighbour that we can see? Ultimately the more you disregard another person, the more you discredit the word of God. If you witness another persons sorrow or hardship and it brings you joy, then that is a red flag. Take a moment to assess whether you truly see the value of that persons life? Loving your neighbour creates community. Even the word of God includes instruction that upholds respect and brotherly living. Showing love is not only limited to our interactions with other people, but our conduct before God. Does Matthew 6:12 not teach us to forgive as we ourselves desire to be forgiven by God? So if you are unjust or unforgiving to others, in some way, the same measure will be used against you. If you invest your time into an activity, you will get a return on your investment. Gone are the days where you can expect to receive without input. You need to invest in God and He will invest back into you. I believe that God has spoken something of value in your life that you need to go back and reflect upon. Often times we wait for a miracle from God when in fact, the answer lies in a word already spoken upon your life. In Genesis 22:15-18, it was only when Abraham came to sacrifice his son Isaac, that God acknowledged the full extent of Abrahams love and loyalty to Him. Remember, Abraham was already blessed from living a life of complete obedience to God’s instruction. However, it took this single act of faith to activate a deeper connection with God. This stands as testament that you are never too experienced, late or old to activate greater value from God.Therefore, in conclusion, never put a limit to what you can achieve before God in certain parts of your life. If God has spoken something over you, who can oppose it? Refrain from negative thinking because that automatically limits your brain from achieving. Rather declare that through the power of Jesus, you are able to accomplish anything. Remember that God is more valuable than anything that you can think of. Show love to Him by showing love to your community.

Value
The Value of God

The Value of God

So often a time we celebrate easter as a habitual tradition and get caught up in the glamour of it. But have you ever stopped to think and reflect on the profound significance of Jesus’ death in our lives? Do you understand the message of the cross? Can you comprehend what it truly means for the son of God to be born of a man, live a challenging life and still suffer the punishment worthy of criminals? As christians, we need to be thankful and appreciate the ultimate sacrifice Jesus paid for us. Coming to church can quickly become a routine Sunday pass-time, if we forget the reason we attend church. Jesus died for us at the cross so that we can have the opportunity enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Be sure not to waste such an opportunity always remembering that on judgement day, Jesus will stand as witness that we have lived a life worthy to be His own. In the current series of teaching we have been embarking on, we have already established that in order to live a life worthy of Christ, we must make God our priority. We have explored the story of Joshua and the Israelites and how pledging your loyalty to God, forsaking all else including our idols, is vital in our worship. However one cannot achieve this without understanding the principle of value. There is a statement a world renowned athlete once said which is can be applicable to us. He said that there are two very important days in ones life. Firstly, the day of your birth and secondly the day you realise your purpose. In order to become who God has created you to be, you need to realise and understand the specific purpose God has bestowed upon your life. According to Exodus 19:5, we know that through obedience we not only have a chance to live a life as His chosen here on earth, but also inherit the Kingdom Of God as true heirs. Simply knowing how to do something is different from having the ability to actively apply that knowledge. This ultimately affects how we behave. As such, understanding the value of God in our lives is very important because it will determine our later actions. By definition, value means the importance or the worth that something has. The perception that we have of something determines how we value it in our lives, and ultimately affects how we act towards it. If you value something, you will naturally pay more attention it than something that you do not value. Therefore, nothing you do in the presence of God will go in vain. In today’s scripture, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, God states his supremacy and disapproval of anything that rivals Him. The value of God is priceless, so you cannot put a price on it. The verse specifies that you need to love God with everything that you have, any strength you can master within yourself is the full amount you need to put towards loving Him, giving your whole self. God is, and should be, number one in your life. The word of God is the counsel of God. It is so easy to fall prey to not loving God with all our heart and apportion subpar attention in comparison to what we should be giving. This is why, in the scripture, we see how God specifically outlined how His instruction was to be received and taught from generation to generation as an everlasting ordinance. People are inevitably born into sin. This goes all the way back to the time of Adam and Eve. Their children Cain and Abel, (and all generations that followed), were born into a condemned world because of their sin. However, God has provided a way to redeem us from sin through the baptism of water and spirit. Jesus teaches of this rebirth in John 3:3. You see to be able to understand God more and subsequently be able to value Him, you must not only turn from your sin physically, but begin to operate in the spiritual realm as well. God is spirit, so whatever He says, we need to be in the realm of the spirit to be able to fully understand. In John 1:12-13, we learn that we were born as humans. Baptism by water is the process of dying together with Christ and rising again with Him, enabling us to be born of God. As a result, we end up moving from the natural realm, to the people who are now born of God. However being born of the spirit, does not mean that we will mature overnight. Rather, we need to learn to be able to grow in Him in the same way a child is nurtured and taught. Just like a child learns from their environment, we too must find a model to inspire and shape us. There is no greater model other than Jesus Christ Himself. When we remove the barrier that is our human thinking, we will be able to understand what God requires of us and give Him the value He truly deserves. Let us know that there is a deeper level that God wants us to reach through the renewal of our mind daily so that we do not conform to the patterns of this world (Romans 12:2). Aspiring to reach this level will encourage our mindset to shift and evolve as we begin to value the things of God in a manner acceptable to Him. In today’s society, understanding our limitations will enable us to overcome them as we seek to fulfil our purpose in Christ. If we do not strive to overcome our human nature, we will forever be governed by it. Jesus revealed Himself to Saul on the road to Damascus in such a profound way, Saul completely became a new being. He was transformed from being a persecutor of believers to what he himself proclaimed as a slave to the gospel. God became so valuable to him, he dedicated the rest of his life fearlessly preaching the word of God. (Acts 9:1-30). Saul fulfilled his purpose because he knew the value of Christ. In the same way, let us allow God to reveal himself to us in such a way will too are completely transformed. Remember that it is important to put value in the things of God so that you can invest your time in it. Why? Because the bibles outlines that where your treasure is, that is where your heart is (Luke 12:34). This means that your actions will reflect if God is valuable to you or not. Never forget that God is the one that gives you the breath to be alive, therefore He needs that acknowledgment from you. Without health, you cannot do anything that you may set out to do. Put God first and let the word of God have authority in your life.

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