Sunday, April 29, 2012


Worship Through Crucible Pain 
Hannah was in distress of soul, 
praying to the LORD and weeping bitterly 
1 Samuel 1:10 
Hannah provides an Old Testament example of someone who manifested complete commitment in her worship. As the first book of Samuel opens, Hannah is carrying a great burden. She is unable to have children. This experience is a painful one for any woman, but it was especially difficult for Jewish women who felt obligated to continue the seed of Abraham. And Hannah faced individual circumstances that aggravated the problem. Her husband Elkanah had another wife, Peninnah, who had children (1 Samuel 1:2) Peninnah was not a nice person to Hannah. The Scripture record that "her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable,  because the Lord has closed her womb ... therefore she wept and did not eat" (1 Samuel 1:6-7).  Yet Elkanah "loved her" (1 Samuel 1:5) and tried to compensate for her barrenness by giving Hannah extra provision. The story of Hannah illustrates to us how God can bring good out to our difficult circumstances by using those circumstances to draw us into greater dependence on Him. Our greater commitment to God, in turn, leads us to more 
The way Hannah dealt with her problem illustrates the fact that she learned humility and commitment. Her "heart grieved" (1 Samuel 1:8) or, as we would say today, her heart was broken. Hannah was not merely a woman who was angry at her circumstances. Literally, the Hebrew word speaks of a heart that trembles out of uncertainty or fear. When Scripture says that Hannah "was in bitterness of soul" (1 Samuel 1:10), it means that she was in pained because of her heavy burdens. What did Hannah do? In the pain of her broken heart she vowed a vow to God. "Then she made a vow and said,'O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life ...' " (1 Samuel 1:11). Hannah willingly committed what she did not yet have to God's service. Put yourself in Hannah's situation. What if God did grant her request, as she fully believed He could? She was agreeing up  front to surrender the very thing she requested and wanted so badly! No selfish person would be willing to make such a vow! Only through an unselfish heart can we, like Hannah, truly display God-honoring humility. If our worship and requests are not rooted in humility, they will be rooted in selfishness. By her unselfish request, Hannah demonstrated her humble submission to God. This demostration was reinforced by her subsequent actions. "And she said, 'Let your maidservant find favour in your sight.' So the woman went her way, and ate, and her face was no longer sad" (1 Samuel 1:18). Her vow was not impulsive, frenzied outburst that left Hannah emotionally drained, wondering what she had promised God in the heat of the moment. Hannah was satisfied to make her commitment and trust God. This point is critical. Although her circumstances had not changed, she was satisfied to let God handle the matter as He saw fit. The next day, with a confident spirit, she and Elkanah "rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord" (1 Samuel 1:9). Like Hanah, we too can offer God TRUE WORSHIP when we lay everything at His feet and are satisfied to let Him do with it what He wants. 
The Scriptures recorded that Elkanah and Hanah worshiped at the tabernacle before returning home from the annual sacrifice. They came into the presence of God, in the manner He prescribed for them, and they bowed in humble commitment. In this case, God granted Hannah's request and personally intervened in her circumstances. Upon return home, "Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her" (1 Samuel 1:9). Hannah conceived and bored a son, and called his name Samuel, saying' Because I have asked him from the Lord.' " (1 Samuel 1:20). As soon as the child was weaned she brought him to the temple in Shiloh and presented him there with these words: "For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord." So they worshiped the Lord there." (1 Samuel 1:27-28). Let us note two phrases here: "The Lord has granted me ... I lent him to the Lord." The Lord gave her the child and she gave the child back to the Lord. The sum total of her request was for this child and when she had received all she had craved for, she gave ALL back to the Giver! Hannah's offering can be truly written that she "WORSHIPED THE LORD." It is not the person who wants God's grace, but the person who wants God Himself, who can worship Him wholeheartedly! Hannah shows us what was supremely precious to her ... not the answer to prayer, not the grace given but God's way with her in the giving of His gift. God gave Samuel to her and she gave Samuel back to God; and as Samuel passed out of her hands into God's hands, WORSHIP emerged from her heart to God's heart.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Worship Through Turbulent Times
"Joseph sold as a slave.
They bruised his feet with shackles,
his neck was put in irons."
(Psalm 105:17-18)
Have we ever felt like our lives were just one huge, gigantic knot that could never be untangled? Or we're caught in a strangling, spidery web that we just can't seem to extricate ourselves from? Or locked away in the shell of a dark cocoon, hidden from sight and sound? Joseph must have felt all of these things throughout the duration of his turbulent life! Life had been extremely difficult for Joseph for a very, very long time. Sold into slavery by his own brothers as a young man, he must have thought then that things could not get much worse. But this was to be just the beginning of years of turmoil for this young man. He is later imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. The Bible says that Joseph was “laid in chains of iron until his soul entered into the iron” (Psalm 105:18). 
The word of the Lord had tried and tested Joseph with grueling persistence. Just how much injustice could one man endure in one lifetime? Yet Joseph learned the secret of enduring times of trial and testing. Though the road was hard and long, he put his trust in the One who would never fail him (Genesis 49:24). Joseph’s heart could have failed him many times throughout his bleak, dark journey. Only his faith in God would pull him through to ultimate victory. That victory may have seemed a long time coming, but God had something greater in mind than just Joseph’s comfort and well-being. 
Have we ever stopped to think that God had held this plan in His heart for Joseph for a very long time? God’s plan included slavery, imprisonment, injustice and pain, yet the end result would be the saving of nations. Through the hand of Joseph, Egypt would be saved from famine and certain death. The descendants of Abraham would be housed, clothed and fed by a people not their own. God’s determined plan was the saving of His people. God always has a plan where His children are concerned! He is jealous over us and His goodness is towards us. 
So if the going gets tough – breathe a little easier. The King of all heaven has us firmly in the palm of His hand. He is committed to us no matter what wry turns our life seems to take. 
To worship God is to get past our self and past our own pain, to focus on the bigger picture that is inscribed on the canvas of God’s heart. Prophetic vision helps us to see clearly what’s written on God’s canvas. But sometimes that purpose and vision lie hidden from our eyes so that we do not understand the things that are befalling us. Joseph must have felt confusion and bewilderment for all the things that were happening to him. It was not until the very end that Joseph would finally understand what had happened to him. 
How many times have we wished that we could know the end of a matter before the beginning of it? This is what we call hindsight. Hindsight is the ability to understand after something has happened, what we should have done! But hindsight would take the fun out of walking by faith now wouldn't it?! To be able to walk blind through heartache and turmoil, with faith in our hearts and a song on our lips, is the stuff that crowns are made of! (See Revelation 2:10; James 1:12)
No matter what trials or temptations we are facing today, make a quality decision to worship God anyway! Who knows where these storms of life may take us? And who knows what exciting adventures yet lie ahead of us? One thing is for certain though, with Christ as the Captain of our high seas, we can put our trust in Him, and enjoy the journey! 
(an extract from Heart of Worship by Kerrie Christensen)
Worship God!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


An Act of Ultimate Worship
Read Genesis 22:1-18
Genesis 22:5
Worship is about giving. It's about surrendering our lives, even losing our lives, so that God's life can be displayed through us.

"Then He said to them all, 'If anyone desires to come after Mr, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.' " - Luke 9:23-24
Abraham knew what it was to take his CROSS daily and follow the Lord ...
For Abraham, following the LORD was to suddenly have a very high price tag - his son, Isaac that he and his wife had waited so agonizingly long for.
Have we ever felt the price tag of our faith was to high? Have there been things - even good and noble things - that we have had to give up for the cause of our FAITH? Some of the pathway of our lives are literally strewn with things that in themselves may have been great, but that simply were not God's best for our lives.
Be it known that the Scriptures tell us quiet clearly that we are not our own, but that we have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 7:23). 
Abraham's price had suddenly risen to hideous heights. God was asking him to forfeit the life of his son. Is any price too high? In Abraham's estimation, it wasn't. In worshipful OBEDIENCE to the LORD's command, Abraham arose (early) and would have sacrificed his own son, had not the LORD intervened and stopped. Hebrews 11 tells us that Abraham reasoned that God could bring his son back to life again even if he were slain.
What incredible FAITH! What trust Abraham must have held in his HEART towards the LORD. He believed that his son would live again, even if he killed. Sometimes the things that the LORD asks of us can seem pretty grim. But there's always payback time! Though the price that Abraham had to pay was really huge, he effectively secured for many generations to come, the promise of blessing from the hand of the LORD. In fact the Bible says that every nation on the face of the earth would be blessed because of Abraham's OBEDIENCE. Abraham was able to worship God even when faced with the prospect of losing a son (Genesis 22:5). Can we worship God even when it hurts to do so?
Can we worship Him when things of significance crumble in our lives? Can we worship when our soul are in turmoil, pain, or deep regret? I think that the answer is "YES". When we know for sure that our heavenly Father loves us then the the answer can be "YES". When we know for sure that He is for us and not against us, then the answer can be a resounding, "YES".
It takes great FAITH to believe that God loves us even in the midst of great pain. But if we hearken to what the LORD says about us in the Scriptures, then we will find over and over and over again that God does assuredly love us and He promised never to leave us. When trials and temptations come - and they do come - we need to stand firm in the knowledge that we are ever loved by someone whose capacity to love us is tremendous!
It is even possible that the LORD may be testing our level of devotion for Him. Does this surprised us?  He tested Abraham. Scripture is clear on that point (Genesis 22:1, 16). So why does God test us to see what's in our HEART? Generally, it's to test our readiness for more responsibility in the Kingdom. It's not to be harsh or hard or cruel with us. Sometimes He just wants us to see what we're made of. God entrusts greater stewardship to those who have been proven trustworthy.
He is constantly fashioning us and shaping us so that we can contain more of His glory. God is preparing for Himself a people whose HEARTS are towards Him and who will bring praise and honour to Him in the earth.
So whatever season of our lives we're in right now, remember Abraham's ultimate ACT of WORSHIP an make a conscientious decision to WORSHIP GOD!
(an extract from: The Heart of Worship - by Kerrie Christensen)

Sunday, April 08, 2012


For the next few months, TPWC will share a series on the lives of some men and women in Scripture who were worshippers of the King. They may not have been worshippers in the traditional sense, in that they may not have been great singers or musicians or dancers. But one thing they all have in common is their outrageous, all-consuming passion for the King, which permeates every single nook and cranny of their amazing lives. This, to me, is what worship is truly about, and this is the stuff that true worship is made of.


 - A worshipper is someone whose hearts longs for companionship with the King.
 - A worshipper will give everything they have just to be with the King
- A worshipper loves to spend time sitting at His feet, learning of Him (Luke 10:38-42). 
- A worshipper is someone who will lose his or her own life for the sake of the King. They live to worship and glorify Him (Matthew 16:24-26). 
- A worshipper releases the fragrance of heaven in every place where their feet tread. When we have been in the presence of the King some of His fragrance lingers upon us and we begin to reflect the glory of our King (2 Corinthians 3:18; Song of Solomon 5:5). 
- A worshipper's depth of devotion is fuelled by their love for the King. Worship is the overflow of all that's in our hearts that we release to Him. God is actively seeking and searching for those whose heart is toward Him. Let's give our whole hearts as we seek to glorify Him (John 4:23-24). 
- A worshipper will experience divine grace and favour as they enter the courts of the King. The sacrifice of our praise and our worship are a sweet-smelling fragrance that warns the heart of the King. 
- As we look with upturned faces towards Him, so He lavishly pours upon us greater grace and and greater glory, until we begin to look just like Him! (2 Corinthians 3:18)"Let the saints be joyful in the glory upon their beds." (Psalm 149:5 - Amplified). 
- As worshippers we are created to be a praise in the earth for Him. Our whole life and destiny is tied to bringing greater glory to the King. we are living testimonies that speak of and for Him. This is our destiny: to be a praise and a glory in the earth for Him (Isaiah 61:1-3; 60:21)
(an extract for Heart Of Worship by Kerrie Christensen -