Worship Girl

Do You Worship Out of a Sense of Duty or Thankfulness?

In Psalm 50, Asaph confronts Israel regarding their worship and living. What they were doing isn’t much different from what many do today. Their worship was formulaic. In other words, they were going through the motions. Sure, they brought the appropriate sacrifices, but it was done more out of a sense of duty instead of thanksgiving.

Many Do the Same Today

To our shame, many today view the Sunday worship service as nothing more than another box to check off on their spiritual checklist right alongside their morning prayer and devotion. Thinking that way, we drag ourselves to the Sunday Service, sing a few songs, bow for the pastoral prayer, greet our neighbors, place some money in the offering plate, listen to the sermon, and then we are on our way, patting ourselves on the back for a job well done. Why do we do this?

Why Do We Worship Out of Duty?

We worship out of duty because we think that is what God wants or needs. But that is far from the truth. God doesn’t need us, our provisions, or our worship. He owns everything, and He is satisfied in and of Himself. The truth is, we need God. We need His provisions and care.

The Gospel Changes Our Perspective

Instead of faking it, what we need to do is change our perspective. The way we do that is by meditating on the gospel.

The gospel tells us we are sinners, who have rebelled against and offended a holy God. As a result, we are destined to suffer His wrath. However, Jesus came, lived a perfect life, and, even though He didn’t deserve God’s wrath, He faced it on our behalf. He took the wrath we deserve on Himself. All those who repent of their sins and believe Jesus suffered the punishment we deserve, can experience a restored relationship with the Father free from the fear of judgment.

For Jesus’ sacrifice, we should be thankful. For God’s provision and care in our life, we should be thankful. Our thankfulness should drive us to worship God. So when we begin to go through the motions in worship, what we need to do is stop, meditate on the gospel, and remember God’s provisions.

We need to reset our heart, so we see that it’s not God who needs us, but we who need Him.

When we truly see our need for God and how He has provided for us, we should be driven to worship out of a sense of thankfulness instead of duty. When we worship from a right heart, we end up glorifying God. For He says in Psalm 50:23

“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” (Ps. 50:23)

Question for Reflection

  1. Does thankfulness or duty drive your worship?

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Hand

6 Characteristics of a Spiritual Awakening Servant of Christ

“What [characteristics must a pastor possess in order to] be the pastor of a great and growing church that is experiencing a significant spiritual awakening?”

Lewis Drummond proposed and answered that question in his comprehensive biography on Charles Spurgeon. He does so with six answers, which amount to six characteristics of the man God could use to create a significant spiritual awakening. These characteristics were true of Spurgeon and are needed in men today.

Six Characteristics of a Spiritual Awakening Servant of Christ

(1) He must be a Spirit-filled man, who has been saved by God.

(2) He must be a man unencumbered by tradition, who is able to relate to the people he is given watch over.

(3) He must be a disciplined thinker, who studies hard and reads voraciously.

(4) He must have a personality that is warm and outgoing, and he must love people.

(5) He must be sold out for Christ. Evangelism and church planting run thick in his blood.

(6) He must be a man who is given to much prayer.

Question for Reflection

  1. If you desire to be a minister, are these characteristics true of your life?
Open Bible

Christians Don’t Just Accept Truths About Jesus, They Have A Desire To Know Jesus

Every week I gather with a few faithful men to read and study God’s Word. We meet at a local IHOP, sit at the same table, and are served by the same waitress. While it is a routine meeting in a routine place, we have learned truths about God’s Word that have made our life anything but routine. It’s amazing how a simple study designed around the reading and studying of God’s Word can change your life. But it’s the Bible we are talking about, so that shouldn’t shock us too much.

Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer

As of late, we have been working through the book of John. Today we started working through Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer in chapter 17. If there was ever a chapter that was packed full, it is this one. In fact, this chapter is a theological factory that’s doing no less than pumping out deep truths about Jesus, salvation, our mission, and eternal life.

Eternal Life and Being a Christian

I don’t know why, but verse three landed hard on me this morning. It really got the wheels turning. There Jesus tells us what it means to have eternal life. He says,

“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (Jn 17:3)

According to Jesus, eternal life involves us knowing the one true God and Jesus Christ.

Sadly, that truth is not emphasized by many preachers. Instead many teach a watered down gospel which involves nothing more than someone gaining their “fire insurance” by raising their hand, walking an aisle, filling out a card, or accepting some blanket truths about Jesus.

Sure, we need to believe that Jesus is the Son of God who has come on a rescue mission to seek and save the lost. We need to believe He died on the cross for our sins, resurrected on the third day, and will return to set things right. We need to admit we are sinners, repent of our sin, and turn to God. I don’t want to downplay any of those truths and actions. We need to believe and do those things in order to be a Christian. But that is just the beginning, not the end of our Christian walk. Those beliefs and actions serve to bring us into a relationship with God that should be continually nurtured and deepened.

Being a Christian, then, involves more than raising our hand, walking an aisle, being baptized, or even accepting some truths about Jesus. Being a Christian involves a desire to know God, to have a relationship with Him.

A Christian’s Desire

Pushing the envelope a bit further, we can also say that being blessed, experiencing joy, and seeing loved one’s in heaven is just a by-product of our relationship with God. If you have come to Christ out of a desire to gain those things instead of a desire to know God, you may need to ask yourself if you truly are saved.

You see, if you are a Christian you will have a desire for the things of God. You will  have a desire to fellowship with God’s people, to worship Him, to learn more about Him, to read His Word, and to pray to Him. In other words, you will have a desire to continually deepen your relationship with God and Jesus in an effort to get to know more about Him.

Questions for Reflection

  1. Do you have a desire to know more about God?
  2. Do you have a desire to deepen your relationship with Jesus?

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