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May 8, 2007

The Meditations of a Man

Psalm 104:33-34 (NKJV)
33 I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
34 May my meditation be sweet to Him;
I will be glad in the LORD.

One of the things I'm reminded of as I read the Psalms is that most, if not all of them, were authored by men - and one man in particular, David. The Biblical record credits David with being a King, a Warrior, a Businessman, etc. David seems to be the most manly of men, a guy's guy. We also have some insight to his flaws. He could be presumptuous. He could be self-serving. He could be ruthless. The point I'm making is that David was a man, a male, like me.

Our culture has no problem with men being successful, leaders, warriors. What's odd is that most rock stars are male too, and in our culture's odd way, they are celebrated for their "maleness" (booze, women, fights, all that "Behind The Music" stuff). Where am I going with this? Well, it's about guys...and worship. When I look out at our congregation on Sundays I would say there's only 10-15% of the men actually engaged in the "worship" (the congregational singing part of the service). By "engaged", I'm evening bringing it down to the lowest level of even singing along, let alone giving some kind of physical expression to their worship like lifting their hands.

I don't get it. I don't understand why men have trouble engaging. Most of the songs we sing are written by men. There's nothing more manly than declaring, "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise will continually be in my mouth." Talk about taking a stand. I think a real man isn't afraid of intimacy either. The same man who engages in the worship of his God will most likely be a better communicator with his spouse. Then why don't men worship?

I think it's a problem with what we (I) think about - the meditations of our hearts. Men are so easily sidetracked and at the same time can be completely consumed by his circumstances. It takes effort to guard our minds, and change our focus. I think David understood this challenge when he wrote, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer" (Psalm 19:14). Today, I'm taking these words not just as a mushy, "spiritual" comment, but instructions to men on how to keep their lives focused from a man who knew what it takes to be a God-fearing man and was taking on that challenge.

I want my meditations, the things that consume my mind and require my energies, to be pleasing to God - a continual worship. To praise Him while I'm engaged in the activities of my life. To sing to Him, as long as I live. And to find pleasure in worship...the true measure of my manhood.

Lord, I want my mind to be focused on You. Help me fill my heart with Your desires. And I wil be glad in You.

May 16, 2007

Did you see that?

Psalm 47:5-7 (NKJV)
5 God has gone up with a shout,
The LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
7 For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with understanding.

On the day when Jesus ascended into heaven, angels addressed the disciples saying, "why do you stand gazing up into heaven?" (Acts 1:11) I wonder if the angels had this Psalm in mind at that moment, wondering why those present weren't sounding the shofar and shouting praises. Could it be that in that moment they saw the messianic fulfillment of these words? I don't know if that was the case - these thoughts are my own musings. But we know one day He will return to the earth with a trumpet sounding and people praising.

My thoughts today could be influenced by tonight's study in Revelation, as I'm much more aware of the eschatological implications of so much of the scripture. For me, there's an application at the conclusion of this passage that tells me not just to intellectually understand the words of praise I offer to God, but also to be perceptive to the events around me and not missing their significance. He is the King of the Earth. I will praise Him for who He is. And I will praise Him as I gain understanding about what He's doing, the fulfillment of His word, not left just "gazing heavenward" but realizing the significance of the Messiah moments in my life.

Lord, let my observations be accompanied with praises today.

May 19, 2007

The Cost of Worship

2 Chronicles 3:1 (NIV)
Then Solomon began to build the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David.

There are some places, even specific locations, that seem to have special significance to God. One of them turns out to be a rocky hilltop once owned by a local farmer to thresh wheat. This piece of property was purchased by David to offer a peace offering sacrifice with God to remove His wrath with David and the plague from the people 2 Samuel 24). This location also seems to be the place where Abraham offered Issac to God (Genesis 22:2-19).

Even though Solomon's Temple becomes one of the most amazing facilities in the ancient world, all those who would visit would be conscious of the location's significance. It would serve as reminder of what worship requires. Worship requires obedience. Just as Abraham obeyed, so do I have to bring my own sacrifice to God. If worship requires obedience, it also requires faith - the exercise of my dependence upon God. It's also requires repentance. Knowing that my choices have conseqences that affect more people than just me (as I am a husband, a father, a leader), my worship requires self-examination and humility. Worship requires sacrifice. Whether it is placing my dreams and desires on the altar like Abraham, or the death of my pride and self-reliance, like David said, "I will not offer to the Lord that which cost me nothing."

The temple that Solomon built was decorated with offerings of gold and silver. But the worship that happened there required offerings of another kind...a sacrifice of obedience, faith, repentance.

Lord, I don't want to offer worship that doesn't cost me anything. I want my worship to be pleasing to you because I have offered my obedience and faith, and come in humble repentace before You.

May 21, 2007

Dedicated

2 Chronicles 7:15-16 (NIV)
15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

These are God's words following the dedication of Solomon's temple. These words follow an admonition for repentance and humility. God promises that His eyes and ears will always be open. To the repentant heart, to the humble soul, God will not resist but He will see and hear and respond. This is His choice, His covenant with the place where He is worshiped.

The NT says that I am a temple, that I have been consecrated. There is a promise I believe here for me that God's eyes and heart are turned towards me. "El Roi," the God who sees, sees me. He has chosen me, consecrated me, and I bear His name forever.

It has was always God's intent to dwell with and in men rather than in tents or buildings. Lord, let my heart be a dwelling place for You.

March 2, 2011

All I Can Do

Mark 14:6-8 (NKJV)
6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. 7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. 8 She has done what she could.

OBSERVATION
This is the story of the woman with the alabaster flask of perfumed oil who anointed Jesus.

APPLICATION
"She has done a good work for Me...She has done what she could." Amidst all the call to social justice, Jesus is before us. There are "good works," "mitzvahs," that God even "prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10) that we should be doing. But there is a good work for me to do: to come and worship Jesus.

I was so convicted this morning reading what Jesus said about this woman: "She did what she could." The implication I get is that this woman considered every option, considered every offering, and determined her best to bring to the Lord. I don't what to be known as a man who gives what is convenient, or easy. Whether it is 5 loaves and 2 fish like the little boy, or the expensive perfume that made up this woman's net worth, I want to to give all that I can in worship to the Lord. The ultimate good work is to acknowledge God's worth. The only way to do that is to give all that I can to Him.

PRAYER
Lord, you are all. There is no gift, no action, no response that can ever measure, that would ever qualify. But that's not what you require. So I will give what I am able - not the minimum, but the maximum. All that I can I give to you.

About Worship

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in the Worship category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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