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Archive for the ‘Worship’ Category

LOVE ROMANCES # 1 PM – Sunday night preach 2Feb14  love quotes-a-true-love-store11

ARE YOU IN LOVE?

MY STORY – When Chris and I first dated in (dare I say it) Year 11 at school, I can remember four hour long phone calls. Whatever did we speak about? I could never manage it now!

Love has no beginning. God is love. In the beginning God chose to create a love creature. You. The act of a father was to bring children into the world. Children upon whom He can lavish His love, and if they choose, to love Him back.

Love is, at the same time, the most wonderful life giving experience and also the most painful experience. Love is painful when it’s lost or when it’s not returned. If love was unimportant then it would not be worth having. Love is essential to every person. A life without love is unthinkable! Love demands all of you, or else you are short changed! You have been ripped off if you choose a love that only shares part of you.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
― C.S. LewisThe Four Loves

Love seeks to give it’s all.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Isaac Watts wrote a hymn in 1707, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.

  1. When I survey the wondrous cross
    On which the Prince of glory died,
    My richest gain I count but loss,
    And pour contempt on all my pride.
  2. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
    Save in the death of Christ my God!
    All the vain things that charm me most,
    I sacrifice them to His blood.
  3. See from His head, His hands, His feet,
    Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
    Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
    Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
  4. Were the whole realm of nature mine,
    That were a present far too small;
    Love so amazing, so divine,
    Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Love demands my all. Love, if it is true love, is incomplete if I only give part of me.

When your heart is ruined by love, you are changed and you are better for it.

Your joy is to spend time with the one you love. Just being together feels replenishing. You focus is another, your focus is not self anymore. Just imagine what this looks like between you and Jesus.

When you’re in love you want to be with the one you love. Love romances, it says the kindest words, it makes the time to be there, it does the things that show the love in action. Can you love Jesus when you can’t see Him?

How do you love someone you cannot see? People do it all the time. Simple, as the wife of a serviceman writes to her husband who is away on assignment.

“Letters that were written during his time at Basic Training when we had no choice but to communicate through written word. They are beautiful and heartfelt, filled with love and longing. Our letters to each other during that time expressed our feelings for each other…feelings that many times went unspoken. Sometimes they were apologies for past mistakes, or promises for the future. I remember daily taking time to sit and write him a letter, filled with what the kids were doing and how things were at home, but also to tell him that I loved him, missed him and appreciated him. When writing a letter, the sender isn’t talking directly to the recipient and does not face immediate response to what they have said. While many times I want the quick response to a question or comment, there are times when I want to express my thoughts or feelings without worrying how the other person will respond.”

Are you in love?

Are you in love with Jesus?

WHAT NOW?

Love Romances. Love demands that time is spent with the one of our affection.

Would you spend a few precious moments with Jesus every day?

Ps 18:1-2 (MESS)

1-2 I love you, God
    you make me strong.
God is bedrock under my feet,
    the castle in which I live,
    my rescuing knight.
My God—the high crag
    where I run for dear life,
    hiding behind the boulders,
    safe in the granite hideout.

Ps 36:5-9 (MESS)

God’s love is meteoric,
    his loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
    his verdicts oceanic.
Yet in his largeness
    nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
    slips through the cracks.

7-9 How exquisite your love, O God!
    How eager we are to run under your wings,
To eat our fill at the banquet you spread
    as you fill our tankards with Eden spring water.
You’re a fountain of cascading light,
    and you open our eyes to light.

 

If you’re deeply in love with Jesus, you will delight to spend time with Him reading His word and talking to Him. If the feelings aren’t there for Him; meditate on the cross, think deeply on what a happened at the cross and how it affects you.

Either open your day or close your day (or both) with time alone with God.

Ps 5:3  In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord; in the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart].

Love the one you’re with!

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LOVE ROMANCES # 1 AMLOVE ROMANCES

Well of course this month contains Valentine’s day, and as all good husbands know, it’s important to do something nice for the little woman to show her that romance is not dead; pretty sick maybe but not dead!

That being the case as we are talking about LOVE this year, and so February’s theme is LOVE ROMANCES. It’s about the love we have for God.

Are you in love with God?

If you are, how do you show it? “Love romances” is a story about how we express our love to God. If we love anyone truly, then of course we express it in many ways and the ways we express it shows that we love, and how much we love. Romantic love is defined as: love idealised for its purity and beauty, and, thinking about love and doing and saying things to show that you love someone. My definition of romantic love is: doing something special or creative to demonstrate that your special someone is very precious to you. It’s more often practiced by men towards women although women think about it more often and are more likely to see great value in it compared to men.

When we consider loving Jesus look at the great example of John the apostle in the gospels.

John 13:21-25

21 After Jesus had said these things, He was troubled (disturbed, agitated) in spirit and said, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, one of you will deliver Me up [one of you will be false to Me and betray Me]!

22 The disciples kept looking at one another, puzzled as to whom He could mean.

23 One of His disciples, whom Jesus loved [whom He esteemed and delighted in], was reclining [next to Him] on Jesus’ bosom.

24 So Simon Peter motioned to him to ask of whom He was speaking.

25 Then leaning back against Jesus’ breast, he asked Him, Lord, who is it? (AMP)

 

What a beautiful picture of intimacy!

John, who calls himself the “disciple whom Jesus loved,” has this amazing love relationship with Jesus. No wonder he wrote the first epistle of John which speaks so powerfully about love; and no wonder he was the only disciple present at the cross as Jesus died. John expressed his love for Jesus by being there and by committing to look after His mother, Mary.

Do you love Jesus? If so how do you express it?

Last week we shared a very significant message about David being a man after God’s own heart. This was because he was a worshipper. The key thought last week was – God is seeking such to worship Him.

We saw how incredibly successful David was as a King leading Israel to wealth and prosperity unseen from that time to this.

With David’s life and story occupying 66 chapters of the bible, more than anyone else other than Jesus, and his great success as a king, and God’s endorsement of him as “a man after God’s own heart”; you would think God wanted us to notice something about David! If Abraham is noted for faith and Moses for the law and Elijah and Elisha for miracles, what is David noted for?

He was a worshipper. He was a strong man AND he was a worshiper. He was a man of war AND he was a worshiper. He was a man’s man AND he was a worshiper. He was a man of incredible courage AND he was a worshiper.

Are you getting the message? In Australia, some great guys have been led astray by the thought that it’s not manly to worship God. Nuh!! Typical Aussie culture is that church is for women and kids! What a deception!!

If we are going to share a whole year on LOVE, then we will be speaking at some time about the love relationship between a believer and their Lord.

David learned to worship God as a young shepherd alone on the hills of Judea. Listen to one of his psalms (He wrote 78 of the ones in the bible)

Psalm 42:1-2

1As the deer pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for You, O God.

2 My inner self thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?

David learned to worship, he was led by the spirit of God and he had super revelations about God. Ps 89:26 He shall cry to Me, You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation! In the Old Testament God is always knows as Yahweh or Elohim the Lord God; but David has a revelation of God as a Father, which Jesus later reveals in the New Testament. He prophesies about Jesus on the cross when he writes:  Ps 129:3 The plowers plowed upon my back; they made long their furrows.

Later when disaster struck and his wife and children were captured and all his men likewise after their city was overrun; he goes to the place of worship in 1 Samuel 30:6 David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

David had only one bullet – worship.

At last when he was king and reigning in Jerusalem he brings back the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. We shared about this last week, and I want to show you again how David’s love for God was so great, and his life of worship was his key to greatness.

2 Sam 6:13

 12 And it was told King David, The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the City of David with rejoicing;

13 And when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling.

14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might, clad in a linen ephod [a priest’s upper garment].

15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.

16 As the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter [David’s wife], looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart.

In the story when David brings back the ark to Jerusalem he brings it 10 kms. from the house of Obed Edom to Jerusalem. Every six paces he sacrificed oxen and fatlings. If a pace is about 80 cms. then that’s 12,500 steps, or 2083 stops to sacrifice oxen and fatlings. If the priest took say 30 mins to prepare and sacrifice an oxen and a fatling, that’s 43 days nonstop or 86 days or three months if you work only in the day just to travel 10 kms! Imagine the cost of the sacrifices! Can you see the exquisite passion of David for God’s presence?

Do you love Jesus? If so, how do you show it?

In Acts 15:16 the bible talks about David’s passion for worship impacting our generation.

16 “‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it,
17 that the remnant[b] of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things 18 known from of old.’ (ESV)

Tabernacle of David is this place of worship. 288 singers singing in shifts around the clock for 33 years. God chose to restore the tabernacle of David; He chose not to restore the tabernacle of Moses, nor the temple of Solomon but the tabernacle of David. Because God is seeking such to worship Him.

In this tabernacle, the tent flaps raised up access so the Ark of the Covenant could be seen. David invented instruments to play, there was 300 trumpeters – all priests. Cymbals, harps, lyres, and a multitude of other instruments all for the purpose of worship. In fact it says 276 instruments.

In Ps 22:3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.(ESV)  God gets comfortable when God’s people worship Him. God’s supernatural presence is promised when his people worship whole heartedly.

With the tent flaps rolled up gentiles could have access, women could have access.

The restoration of David’s tabernacle is praise and worship in the church, leading to the manifestation of God’s presence and power among us. Let me tell you about a Pastor in Mexico called David Hogan. When his church pastors and people come together and worship, they sing for 8 hours and then God comes. They are laid out for hours.

In church, perhaps many do not understand worship. We let everything discourage us from worshiping God. We say, “I don’t enjoy it, I don’t like these songs, I couldn’t get here in time. I didn’t miss anything.” We see worship as optional, but God sees it as the only time when He receives.

I don’t ever want my kids and grandkids to grow up in a church where there is no worship, or worse, half-hearted worship. When we praise, we get the breakthrough – like Jehoshaphat – the praisers went out before the soldiers.

They had just came out of a fast. Don’t take weapons, take the singers. If you’re believing God for great things, be a praiser and a worshipper. If we are going to praise Him forever, we better start practicing now. In heaven there’s no preachers only worshippers. Church is not only for you, it’s for your children and for your grandchildren – our music and our worship needs to stay relevant for every generation.

Maybe you have thought, “I don’t feel like it…”  Jesus probably didn’t feel like it when He went to the cross, but He had such a love for you and for me that He was compelled.

Praise may begin as the sacrifice of praise. But it ends with the whole heart. Like a love relationship in a marriage that can grow stale and become passionless, so we can take God for granted and praise falls away and worship dries up.

Do you love Jesus? If so how do you show it?

What Now?

It’s time for an attitude shakeup!!

It’s time for us to be a worshiping church more than ever before. It’s time for every man and every woman to put on the garment of praise and worship the living God. To be an example to our kids and grandkids. It’s time to get to church early, to value worship, because we love God, and we can’t wait to get together with God’s people to sing and shout and clap and dance and raise our hands to the one who gave it all for us! Shall we stand and worship right now!

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Have you ever fallen in love with anyone? tell us your story.

2. Tell us how you fell in love with Jesus.

3. How do you express love to Jesus?

3. Why is praise and worship so vital in a church?

4.  Is our Aussie culture a hindrance to praise and worship?

5. What can you do to enter into praise and worship more in your life?

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LOVE SEEKS # 4 AM – GOD SEEKS TRUE WORSHIPERS.   449629985_640

This year the theme of the whole year is LOVE. This month the theme is Love seeks.

As we got the preachers together in early January this year to discuss our theme for the month and how our messages should be constructed, we thought about the significance of the prayer and fasting time taking place this month, not only in our church, but right across the whole of the inc church movement in Australia. We saw it was a time of seeking God, and asked ourselves the question, how does that relate to Love? We always begin with God. God seeks, and we used the verse in week one:         Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. We see the heart of God in seeking out lost people and when His great love for people breaches our hearts then we respond by seeking Him; (1 John 4;19 We love Him because He first loved us. (AMP)) and not only Him; but joining in His great commission to seek the lost of our community also. Fasting is the concentration of passion and humbling ourselves to ask for His mercy to be upon this city.

In week one we introduced the year-long theme of love and spoke of its significance. In week two John spoke of the prodigal son and how the Father was seeking the son to return. How great was his love. The father in the story shows us God the father and his love remaining steadfast and seeking for the son to come home, waiting at the farm gate.

In week Three Rhys shared the three stories Jesus told of lost things in Luke 15; the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. In each story someone is seeking the lost item. In each story the item is found and in each story the result was rejoicing. The stories Jesus told illustrate how much God values lost people and the extent to which He seeks them out to save them.

Today I want to show you why God is seeking certain people to give them great victory.

Our key verse for today is: John 4:23 A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers. (AMP)

What does it look like to worship in Spirit and in Truth? If I can understand that, I can be one of those people that God the Father is seeking.

The bible describes King David as a man after God’s own heart. 1 Sam 13:14 But now your kingdom shall not continue(Saul); the Lord has sought out [David] a man after His own[a]heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince and ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.

Why do you think God called David a man after my own heart, after all, he sinned greatly in adultery and murder?

In the bible there are 10 chapters are about Abraham, 11 chapters about Jacob who became Israel, 10 chapters about Elijah and Elisha, but there are 66 chapters that relate directly to David, over 1200 references to David in the bible and he is mentioned 59 times mentioned in New Testament!

When you think of faith, you think of Abraham; when you think of the law you think of Moses; when you think of miracles you think of Elijah and Elisha; but when you think of David you think of praise and worship. David wrote 78 of the Psalms, far more than any other writer.

David was a man after God’s own heart, a man of worship. There must be a reason why God chose to lift up David as the one for us to clearly see. God is saying, “This man is the one I hold up as being after my own heart.” He is more prominent in the bible than anyone else except Jesus. Why? – because he was a worshipper. It was because He loved the presence of God. We see that when he is bringing the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem after he began to reign in Jerusalem and he is dancing before the Lord out in the open in the streets with only a priests linen ephod on as his clothing. This was an act of humility and also an act of joyful exuberance because he was so excited receive the presence of God back to the city of David.

In another time in David’s life he was at his lowest point after he had sinned by committing adultery with Bathsheba, and the baby of their union is deathly ill. David humbles himself and asks forgiveness and as he intercedes for the life of the baby; and then he hears that the bay has died. His reaction – he went to the house of the Lord and worshipped. At his highest point in his life and at his lowest point in life he has the same reaction – he worshipped. This is why he is a man after God’s own heart.

David was the greatest King Israel has ever had. The kingdom of Israel grew and extended and had peace for 40 years under the reign of David. And why do you think this man was so successful and why do you think that God has devoted do much of the bible to his life and his legacy? It is because God is seeking such to worship Him.

God is seeking true worshipers!

Listen to me business man, listen to me anyone who wants to see great favour upon your life – become a worshipper. When you think about how blessed you are, worship God for His blessings and goodness, when you think of how much pain you are going through when life is very very hard, worship God; because He is the hope of your life.

What if, during this time of prayer and fasting in this early part of the year, we could practice worship and learn the true value of worship and also receive the revelation of life as a worshiper. Don’t get this one wrong believer, God does not reward us because of works but faith, we are not acceptable because of our own works, but listen, this is how it works. If you truly see how great and amazing God is, how loving and how kind He is, so that you are compelled to love and worship Him; then you put yourself into a place where you can hear His voice and you can see and understand that He is with you, and He is for you, and He will never leave you nor will He ever forsake you. Then you will experience the victory like you have never felt it before. When you worship God comes and sits down at your table. In Psalms 22:3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises[a] of Israel.

Worship brings evangelism. Look at the story of the woman of Samaria in John 4. Jesus meets this woman who had five husbands and the one she was living with now was not her husband. They begin a conversation about worship and Jesus says the statement that we read at the beginning of the message today, God is seeking those who worship in Spirit and in Truth. God is seeking out those who worship Him in a certain way. Often we say that we seek God for His blessing and favour, but in this picture Jesus is saying God is seeking out the one who worships in Spirit and in Truth. How would you like God to be seeking you out?

God is seeking true worshipers!

The result of this conversation is that this woman goes back to the city and brings back with her the whole city, to hear about this Messiah, this one who “told me all I ever did”. Salvation came to that region that day out of a revelation on worship.

A city can be saved when God finds a church that is set out to be a people of worship. To love and cherish and value God for who He is – that is worship. The Spirit of worship creates the spirit of evangelism. It makes sense when a people are so in love with Jesus that they show it by their worship. Then unsaved people coming in are going to see real Christianity , real love, not hypocrisy, not likewarmness, not a religious ritual, not ambivalence, not a half-hearted attendance, but a people of passion in love with the one true God.

It’s interesting that Jesus quoted more from the book of psalms than from any other Old Testament book, more than from the books of the law, more than from Isaiah. Why? Because He knew the power of praise and worship and He knew the heart of David. He knew worship would bring about evangelism.

How much do you think David loved God?

In the story when David brings back the ark to Jerusalem he brings it 10 kms. from the house of Obed Edom to Jerusalem. (2 Sam 6:13) Every six paces he sacrificed oxen and fatlings. If a pace is about 80 cms. then that’s 12500 steps, or 2083 stops to sacrifice oxen and fatlings. If the priest took say 30 mins to prepare and sacrifice an oxen and a fatling, that’s 43 days nonstop or 86 days or three months if you work only in the day just to travel 10 kms! Imagine the cost of the sacrifices! Can you see the exquisite passion of David for God’s presence?

God is seeking true worshipers!

When you decide to be a worshiper, you’re opening the door for God the Father to seek you out! You’re opening the door for God’s powerful life of victory. You can decide to be a worshiper. It’s not based on feelings, it’s a choice. The bible says, We love Him because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19) Do you know you are loved by God?

What now?

Receive His love. Meditate on what He has done for you. Begin to express love through praise and worship to God. If you run out of words open the Psalms and speak it out. Get a worship CD and sing the songs to God. Worship at home, worship in the shower, worship in your car on the way to work.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Why do you think God describes David as a man after my own heart?

2. Which Psalm particularly inspires you?

3. How can a person, like David, worship God when things have gone wrong?

4. Can we worship God even when our feelings are negative?

5. What does worship look like for you? – Is it in Spirit and Truth?

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