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 (NIV)
The kind of worship that pleases God:
Accurate worship: Not my personal made up version of God. My worship must be based on the truth of the scripture and not my personal opinion.
Authentic worship …(with all your heart and soul): Genuine and heartfelt worship. Like I always say, God is the expert heart checker and if my attitude is wrong, my “worship” is worthless! The best style of worship is the one that most authentically represents my love for God… If I’m not dancing exuberantly like the person next to me, it doesn’t mean I’m not worshipping right…Maybe I’m not just a dancing person…🤷 I may be a “lifted hands” person… What matters most is that I’m being both accurate and authentic
Thoughtful worship… (with all your mind): Giving thought to the act of worship and not just chanting some customary prayer. If worship is mindless, it is meaningless. Being specific is also key…When I think well, I will thank well. I think recording a gratitude journal helps in being specific in worship.
Practical worship… (with all your strength): Worship with my body which involves sacrificing my time, my will, my money…even when not convenient or comfortable.
Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you ~ James 4:8 (NLT)
Just like any other of my friendships, I must be intentional in cultivating my relationship with God
Honesty and authenticity are very vital for me to be close to God. My take is that He already knows my most hidden emotions anyway so why pretend? 🤷 Being real is what God wants. Realising that God has my best interest at heart will always redirect my negative emotions to praise and thanksgiving
Total obedience (in faith and trust) to God is another way to develop my friendship with God. Not out of duty or fear but rather out of Love and gratitude for all He’s done for me💜. I obey Him because I know He wants to bless me and would never mismanage my life
I love love the part that says we don’t have to do something “great” to please God. He is interested in the little things we do that may not even be noticed by others as something ghen ghen… God is not a man… He is an expert at “heart checks”… In that “little thing” I’m doing whether it be serving as a wife, mom, sister, daughter or friend… Whether it be being kind to the cleaner at work… Whether it be showing empathy to a colleague going through a challenge… God is pleased as long as I’m doing it to His glory
Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence Him ~ Psalm 25:14a (LB)
Jesus’ death on the cross granted me direct access to God. Being friends with God is not just a casual relationship but a close and trusted one. It is intimacy with God. This involves more than just having alone or “quiet” time with God. It involves staying aware of God’s presence in everything single thing I do. It means “carrying Him along” and never excluding Him in my thoughts and actions.
Worship is not an event to attend but a PERPETUAL ATTITUDE. Worship mustn’t be complicated. Rituals and ceremonies are not necessary. Simply just “being” – doing all that I do for and unto God – is sufficient.
Practising the presence of God… Deliberately thinking about God throughout my day… Training my mind to remember (be conscious of) God. This is something that I’ve been doing and it has changed my attitude for the better.
I love the comparison Rick made between worry and meditation. The same way I can make a problem seem bigger than it is through worry is the same way I can magnify God by meditating on His word. When I think about God’s word (and also talk about it with my husband – we do this a lot), He speaks to me and reveals deep knowledge and insights to help me live better.
Give yourselves to God… Surrender your whole being to Him to be used for righteous purposes ~ Romans 6:13 (TEV)
The heart of worship is SURRENDER. God wants all of me not just some of me. He’s an all-or-nothing God.
Ironically surrender in this sense is so different from the popular definition which depicts losing or being subdued. When I surrender to God, I actually experience freedom; freedom from the world’s standards, freedom from people’s opinions, freedom from myself even. I don’t lose anything when I yield to God instead I gain everything! I experience victory
The more I realise how much God loves me, the easier it will be for me to surrender to Him
Surrendering is not passive resignation and also doesn’t mean suppression of my personality. This is why we see different personalities of people who God used: Paul was a pure choleric 😁 David seemed like he was melancholy 🤷, Peter was definitely sanguine and I think Abraham had some phlegmatic traits. This reminds me of a prayer I usually pray over my girls. They are both very strong willed and I always pray that just like Paul, God will use their strong will for His glory.
Lithmus test for surrender? When I rely on God to work things out instead of short cuts, forcing an issue, being controlling, defensive, competitive or selfish and self serving
This chapter opens my eyes again to just how remarkable Noah was! 5 cues from him on how I can make God smile:
Loving God more than anyone and anything! Loving Him even when it’s unpopular and “uncool” to do so. Putting Him above being politically correct and socially acceptable! Noah loved God even when no one else did. I think the problem is that most times we have a problem with “being the odd one out”… But just because everyone is doing something doesn’t make it right… My utmost goal and desire should always be to please God and maintain a close relationship with Him
Trusting God completely is another way I can make Him smile. Noah’s trust ehn! Totally amazing! Like how did he do it?? Never seen rain, yet he went ahead to build the ark😳😳. Mehn… I tend to be logical o…Mr G is the “take a leap of faith” person in our union… But I am learning that to completely trust God, I have to let go of my logic when it comes to obeying Him because truth is that His ways are not my ways! And the wisdom of man is foolishness to God! So, I’m learning to always remind myself that God wants the best for me and believing that He would keep His promises to me even in the face of discouragement
Wholehearted obedience! Wow! This table ehn… Several occasions after something unpalatable happens, I’d say something like “and something told me to do so and so”. That “something” is Holy Spirit and me ignoring the instruction led to the unpalatable happening. Most times, I don’t heed the voice because the instruction doesn’t make sense to me (see the logic thing again?🤦) Understanding can wait but obedience can’t… Obedience is what unlocks understanding. Pleasing God requires that I obey Him completely, exactly and not grudgingly… If not, I might as well just disobey with my full chest 🤷 Also, I cannot be selective about what I want to obey… Obedience to God is not multiple choice where I can pick some options and leave some. God is an all-or-nothing God. Remember the scripture about lukewarmness? (I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth ~ Revelation 3:15-16)
Continuous praise and thanksgiving to God. Praising God for who He is and thanking Him for what He does pleases Him
Using my abilities and being authentic. Not trying to be someone else. God also enjoys it when I enjoy His creation. Every act of enjoyment becomes an act of worship when I thank God for it. Basically, God loves me being me! His love is not performance based. He loves and likes me at every stage of my growth. What matters most to Him is the attitude of my heart…my motive; if pleasing Him is my utmost desire. He loves me as if I’m the only person on earth! 💜
You created everything, and it is for Your pleasure that they exist and were created ~ Revelation 4:11 (NLT)
Mind-blowing Fact: God finds me delightful and important. I exist for His pleasure! So why should I have low self-esteem when God considers me valuable enough to want to spend eternity with me? Why should I wait for validation from someone before I feel significant when God already validated me? This is the sole basis for my self worth: God’s complete interest in me… His relentless love for me… 💜
Worship is NOT for my benefit! I was just smiling as I read this part. There’s this church in my neighbourhood where the singers sing off key and I find myself critiquing and evaluating 🙈😀. But I usually have to remind myself (and my partner in critiquing, Mr G 😁) that they are doing the best they can and if they are worshipping God sincerely, then He accepts it and that’s what really matters🤷
Work becomes worship when I dedicate it to God and perform it with an awareness of His presence. I must do everything as unto the Lord… An act (and attitude) of worship!
Everything comes from God alone. Everything lives for His power, and everything is for His glory ~ Romans 11:36 (LB)
God created me for His glory! I give glory to God through worship borne out of love NOT duty.
A willing heart of worship is what God accepts. This means even beyond worshipping God for what He’s done in my life, I worship Him for who He is.
Regardless of the changing circumstances, my worship should be constant K
Worship is beyond singing slow and melodious songs, it is a lifestyle and should reflect in ALL I do
Being a Christian in the actual sense of the word (Christ-like) also brings glory to God. WWJD (What would Jesus do?) is the constant question I should ask myself to be on the right track of glorifying God
Lord, remind me of how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away ~ Psalms 39:4 (NLT)
I love this chapter ❤️. The last line made me smile: “At death you won’t leave home – you’ll go home” 🙂
I particularly love the ambassador example… Really drives home the point. Just like it would be treason for an ambassador to sway to the “other side”, I’d be a traitor to imbibe pop culture and customs of the world. Again, just like the ambassador is expected to carry out his/her assigned mission, as Christ’s ambassador, I am expected to be diligent about the great (com) mission i.e. winning souls for God’s kingdom through my words and actions.
Also, just like in the previous chapters, I’m reminded to allocate my time and effort to what really matters because of the brevity of life. It’s the wise thing to do. A great reminder to discard values and beliefs that do not guarantee my successful transition to my eternal home – Heaven!
We don’t see things asthey are…We see them aswe are ~ Anais Nin
God’s view of life: Life is a test, life is a trust, and life is a temporary assignment
This chapter focuses on the first two views. The third one will be discussed in the next chapter
Life is a test. Character is developed and revealed by tests and all of life is a test! Day in, day out… How do I respond to people, problems, success, conflict, illness, disappointment and even the weather?! This means that I have to live ready at all times. No moment or event is insignificant so I must be vigilant to not miss the lesson(s) or growth opportunities therein.
Life is a trust. This means that God expects me to be responsible in the way I do things right from my everyday chores, to my office work, my role as a wife/mom/sister/daughter/friend to the way I handle money. Responsibility is the hallmark of every great steward and attracts eternal rewards from God.
God has… planted eternity in the human heart ~Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)
Life on earth is just a teeny weeny fraction of Life after death. The only 2 options after life on earth is heaven or hell and how I live on earth would determine where I would end up.
This knowledge enables me to view life differently and focus on what really matters. It makes me more conscious of the bigger picture and ensuring all that I do and all that I am align with that ultimate goal – making heaven!