Wednesday, December 23, 2015


For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Christmas is a time of joy and giving. Christians all over the world commemorate this occasion because "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ that whosoever believes shall not perish but have everlasting life" - John 3:16In our celebration, we proclaim the Good News with carols on the streets and we expressed God's love to the world with our gifts to the needy and the orphans. In the midst of all these activities, do you know that the spirit of Christmas is WORSHIP? All those who came to meet Jesus WORSHIPPED... 

The Wisemen
"Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him." (Matthew 2:2)"On coming to the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh "
(Matthew 2:11 - note: worship before gifts)
The Angels"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men..." (Luke 2:13)
The Shepherds"The shepherds returned, glorifying God for all the things they had heard and seen..." (Luke 2:20)
Simeon The Godly Man"... Simeon, who was a righteous and devout... Took Him in his arms and praised God..." (Luke 2:25-33)
The Prophetess Anna"... She gave thanks to God..." (Luke 2:36-38)
We must remember Jesus not as a baby, but as our One and only LORD and SAVIOR - the greatest gift God has given to men. He gave His life
for us. He suffered and died... His LOVE, His GRACE, His GLORY... The most precious gift men
have ever received - SALVATION! 
As we celebrate this year's Christmas, let us reserve the best gift for our Lord -WORSHIP. Right now join me in simple praise and worship from your heart and spirit... 
JESUS IS THE REASON for the season.

 CHRISTmas is all about CHRIST our SAVIOUR Who came to this world to save us (John 3:16) but the world has crossed & deleted the word CHRIST and replaced it with an "X" and called it Xmas

Blessed Christmas!
#Christmas #Worship #Christ #Saviour #PrinceofPeace #TheWisemen #Angels #TheShepherds

Friday, December 18, 2015


We all know Job was a righteous man. God in the mystery of His ways permitted him to be deprived of everything he possessed though He Himself declared that "There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shun evil" (Job 1:8 NIV). 

How did Job react to the sudden calamities and disasters that stripped off all of his wealth and possessions? " At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised" (Job 1:22-21). Job first's act was to worship God. In Job's case there was no question of God having to vindicate Himself because of sin in his life. It was purely a question of God acting as He deemed well. Though Job in a matter of hours had been stripped of all his possessions, he could instantly fall down and worship God. Here was a man so utterly subjected to God that he could unhesitatingly bow to all of God's ways. Where there is TRUE WORSHIP, there is no complaint. Whatever God's dealings with you maybe, whether they seem reasonable or unreasonable, they are invariably good (Roman 8:28). 

Job's initial response to the first wave of trials was to humble himself and worship. His livelihood (i.e his oxen and donkeys) had been destroyed. His transportation (i.e his camels) had been stolen. His body was covered with boils (his health). And His children (i.e his legacy) had been killed. All of these in one day! And Job's first reaction, after his initial shock and grief, was not anger, not questions, and not apostasy. IT WAS WORSHIP. He violated every psychologist's formula for the stages of grief.
How could Job do such a thing? He knew, deep down in his heart, two essential facts that most of us question from time to time:


Job could WORSHIP because whatever was happening, it was under the SOVEREIGN hand of a really GOOD GOD. He didn't know why bad things were happening, but he knew who watched over him. And despite circumstances, he knew that the One who watched over him is WORTHY!
When lives fall apart, we're inclined to accuse God of not living up to His end of the bargain. Job remembered that he was not in a bargaining position - never had been. All he had received from God was from His mercy. He knew that it was now gone had nothing to do with God's character. That 's why Job could said in verse 21 "Naked I came from my mother's womb,and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."

When our trials weigh heavily upon us - even when crisis strikes - we must remember the unchanging, merciful God.


Sunday, November 15, 2015


In Genesis chapter 24 we read the story of Eliezer, Abraham's servant, who was given the responsibility to find a wife for His master's son, Issac. By this time, Abraham was about one hundred and forty years old. And though God had promised to make of his descendants a great nation, Abraham was becoming concerned. His son was now forty-two years old and had no wife or children. Abraham did indeed have faith in God's promise. But because he and Isaac lived among the Canaanites, Abraham was concerned that his son not take a wife from that pagan people. He realized that God's promised seed could not be pure if it came through a Canaanite woman, and so Abraham had to arrange for a wife to be brought from his own kindred back in Mesopotamia. (Genesis 24:2-4)

Abraham was then living Canaan and to reach Mesopotamia involved crossing two rivers and a stretch of desert in between. The journey was nearly five hundred miles through solitary country with no roads or transportation services. It was a difficult task for Eliezer to travel to a distance strange land and to persuade a young woman to accept this offer of marriage.
But would Eliezer agree? As the chief servant in Abraham's household, Eliezer was next in line to be his master's heir if Isaac were to die without children. Even if Eliezer did agree outwardly, it could have been easy for him to fail in his task intentionally. However, praise the Lord that he was a righteous man who had always obeyed his master's will. Still, in agreeing to the journey he needed Abraham to clarify his instructions. Eliezer expressed his concerns to Abraham:

"Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?" But Abraham said to him, "Beware that you do not take my son back there. The Lord God ...swore to me, saying, 'To your descendants I give this land,' He will send His angel before you ..." (Genesis 24:5-9)

The whole matter of Isaac's getting a bride and producing seed resolved around God's promise: He would give the land to Abraham's seed. The same truth applies today. All details of our lives as Christians must resolve around God's promises. We cannot leave the place where God wants us to be and still expect those promises to be fulfilled. These thing being true, as worshipers, we must make the daily decisions of our lives based on God's instructions and promised (OBEDIENCE).

But Eliezer was looking to God. He prayed, "O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See I am standing beside this spring, and the daughter of the town people are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a girl, 'Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,' and she says,'Drink, and I will water your camels too' - let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master." (Genesis 24:12-14). 
Notice also that in his prayer Eliezer considered God first, then his master Abraham whom he represented, and only then did he express his own petition.

Abraham's servant had not even finish praying when Rebekah arrived at the well, and in detail all his requests were transpired (imagine the time taken and amount of water needed to feed ten camels). But what if the girl was not of Abraham's family? So Eliezer asked about her connections. As soon as he was assured that Rebekah was a relative of Abraham, he "Bowed his head and worshiped the Lord." (Genesis 24:26)
Do you see the ways of God? if you request Him to do certain thing and begin to trust Him, and then things fall out as you asked, you will adore Him for His ways with you. What does it means to worship the ways of God? It is to render all glory to Him. When you are faced with some difficulty and He carried you through, do you just rejoice in the prosperity of your way? It was not with Eliezer, He did not even stop to talk to Rebekah, he straightaway worshiped. He did not feel embarrassed but instantly bowed his head and blessed the Lord.

There is a connection between glory and worshipTo bring glory to the lord is to worship Him and it is our bowing before Him that is true worshipThe proud in heart cannot worship Him because they will find it difficult to bow to Him. When their way is prosperous they attribute it to their own ability or to chance; they do not give glory to the Lord. To be a true worshiper is to offer without reservation all the thanksgiving, praise and worship to Him for everything we meet. At every turn Abraham's servant did so. When he went with Rebekah to her home and explained his mission and found Laban and Bethuel willing to let Rebekah go at once, again his instantaneous and spontaneous reaction was to adore the ways of God. "He bowed himself down to the ground before the Lord." (Genesis 24:52)

As worshipers, we must not only learn to recognize His works, but we must learn to acknowledge the way He works. Apart from worshiping Him for Who He is, we must learn to worship the ways of His working in our lives. If our hearts are set to be worshipers of God, He will give us more and more opportunity to worship Him.God will orders all our affairs so that we may bring Him the worship that He desires. At times He will make our way so prosperous that we have to acknowledge it is He alone Who did it, and all the glory goes to Him.

The humility that Eliezer had demonstrated in his prayers to God was manifested in his worship. And his response was simply to bow his head and prayerfully give God glory. And He did not rejoice first for his own sake; rather he rejoiced first in God's favor for Abraham  These attitudes are foundation to the ESSENCE OF TRUE WORSHIP.

Monday, November 02, 2015


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 of 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 TRUE WORSHIP.

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 demonstration 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 Hannah, 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.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


It is possible for us to be so concerned about the acts of worship, that we run ahead of the necessary steps of God requires as He leads His people to True Worship. In a sense, True worship is not an act but rather a natural response to foregoing knowledge or experience. In other words, whereas God's people can run hither and yonder trying to discover genuine ways to worship God, He would rather they obediently follow Him throughout the week so that Sunday worship will be a natural expression of their relationship with Him.

We look into the Old Testament story of Gideon. God put a heavy burden on Gideon, though he lacked confidence about his ability to lead God's people. Since Gideon was weak in faith, he begged God to confirm His will by making a fleece wet or dry. God obliged and then instructed Gideon to fight a massive enemy army with only a handful of men. When Gideon was unsure, God told him to go to the enemy's camp in the middle of the night. Gideon OBEYED this seemingly strange requirement and, in so doing, learned an important lesson about God's power. His natural response was to fall down in WORSHIP and then rise and serve in CONFIDENCE!

Gideon was going through a very difficult time. As the Bible records in Judges 6, God had allowed the nation to suffer seven years of enemy occupation because Israel was in sin. The Israelite cried out, and God sent prophet to confirm His promise. Gideon was minding his own business, doing farm chores for his father, when "the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, 'The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor ... Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?' " (Judges 6:12-14)
We read of the progress of Gideon's faith through his obedience:
- He started out alone in faith protesting of his weakness but God assured Him (Judges 6:15-16)
- Then he began to asked God for a sign that it was God who was speaking to Him. God was gracious and gave Gideon a sign followed by a promise ("peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die." - Judges 6:17-24)
- Then Gideon obeyed God's further instruction to destroy Baal's altar. Although he received death threats God protected him (Judges 6:28-31)
- More importantly, "the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon." And the men of his town and tribe rallied to his cause, and messenger were sent to rally other tribes. (Judges 6:34)

Gideon was moving in the right direction. He obeyed God's command, then worshiped his Lord and was encouraged to start assembling an army. yet still lacking complete faith, he"put out the fleece" (Judges 6:36-40) so that God might give another confirming sign. God did so, and at the start of the events recorded in Judges 7. Gideon had amassed a host of twenty-two thousand soldiers. However God instructed Gideon to let the fainthearted go home and only ten thousand remain. But incredibly, God declared that "the people are still too many." So He proceeded to reduce the Israelite force to a mere three hundred men.  

At this stage, Gideon had no army at all, but only a small band of soldiers. Yet that situation was precisely the place God wanted His people to be  - in complete dependence on Him. Gideon knew what he was supposed to do. God had given him clear instructions: "Arise, go down against the [enemy] camp, for I have delivered it into your hand." (Judges 7:9). If Gideon was afraid to scout the enemy alone, God had told him he could take his servant along. But that very night God commanded Gideon to go "down to the camp ... and you shall hear what they say; and afterward your hands shall be strengthened  for the ensuring contest (Judges 7:10-11)
Gideon obeyed and his OBEDIENCE was no small matter since "the Midianites and Amalekites" were mighty and numerous. (Judges 7:12). The odds seemed overwhelming, but Gideon trusted God. To his surprise, in the enemy camp Gideon learned that his foes were apprehensive about him! One soldier even had a dream that, through his symbols, depicted the Midianites' destruction by the "sword of Gideon," the man who had God on his side (Judges 7:14). Like Gideon, we will not experience God's encouragement until we trust Him enough to obey Him. When Gideon heard of the fear among God's enemies, he bowed in humility before his Lord.
"And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, that he worshiped." (Judges 7:15)
The text uses a Hebrew word - SACHAH that speaks of a servant or slave's lowering himself before his master. Thus most depictions of worship in the Old Testament show worshipers bowing or prostrating themselves in humble recognition of God. That recognition was often gained as it was with Gideon, through OBEDIENCETHE ESSENCE OF TRUE WORSHIP results when God allows His servants to see His mighty power and realize their own meager state.
Gideon could worship God truly because he had learned some important lessons from God. But in order to learn those lessons, he first had to obey God and trust Him. In the same way, when we are living or acting in OBEDIENCE, we learn to trust God more. As we grow in that trust, He reveals to us His great power. And in glimpsing that power, we fall prostrate before Him and worship. Does that pattern describe the kind of worship we have today? 
#Worship #True Worship #Obedience # Faith

Sunday, October 04, 2015


By faith Jacob, when he was dying,
blessed each of the sons of Joseph, 
and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff
Hebrews 11:21

, even with his last breath. His WORSHIP WAS TRUE and  CONSISTENT. When the New Testament writer to the Hebrews was inspired by God to write the chapter we call the "HALL OF FAITH," he penned just one verse to illustrate the FAITH of JACOB. Fittingly, he chose an example from the Patriarch's last days when JACOB by FAITH"blessed both the sons of Joseph; and WORSHIPED" (Hebrews 11:21).

Why was this action significant? Why did it demonstrate such FAITH that, alone among all the deeds of JACOB, this final action is cited by the writer to the Hebrews? Read on.

Ironically, this honored member of the "HALL OF FAITH" bears a name that actually means "supplanter." The name of JACOB literally means "heel catcher," and it describes someone who will snatch you down by the heel if you are not alert. Sadly, JACOB spent most of his years living up to his name and practicing many deceptions. Yet the LORD later changed his name to ISRAEL (Genesis 32:28), which means "GOD PREVAILS." God made the name change after a long process that brought JACOB to a deep trust in Him.
Given the importance of JACOB's new name, it seems odd that the WORD of GOD, as conveyed by the writer to the Hebrews, would list JACOB in the "HALL OF FAITH" under his old name. Perhaps this name is a reminder of God's great work of sanctification in JACOB's life. Thus JACOB serves as an Old Testament example of the same sanctification God  wants us to experience today. We would do well, when we enter into WORSHIP, to remember how far God has brought us since the time we placed our trust in Him for salvation. Maybe JACOB was remembering the same thing as he lay dying; perhaps those thoughts were the cause of his WORSHIP.
Indeed, JACOB had much to think about as he recalled the 147 years of his life (Genesis 47:28). In his first fifty years, JACOB's life was characterized by sinful scheming. During the next eighty years he reaped the evil he had sown. No wonder, then, that when Pharaoh asked JACOB, "How old are you?" the patriarch replied, "The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years: few  and evil have been the days of the years of my life" (Genesis 47:8-9). At that time, seventeen years before his death, JACOB still had trouble remembering how God had forgiven and blessed him.
As a youth, JACOB deceived his father Isaac and sinned against his brother Esau by taking Esau's birthright. Because of his deed, JACOB was forced to leave his family and flee to a foreign land (Genesis 27:41-28:5). Yet even then, God was working to bring JACOB into a trusting relationship with Himself. Even as JACOB left home, the LORD provided guidance and encouragement through the counsel of his father Isaac. He blessed his son, urged him not to take a heathen wife, and advised JACOB where he should go (Genesis 28:1).
During JACOB's journey, God met him in a dream. The LORD not only confirmed the blessing Isaac had given, but made JACOB an unconditional promise that He will bring JACOB and his descendants back to the land. (Genesis 28:13-15).
JACOB did not throw himself on God's mercy when he heard this promise. But his response to the dream indicates that he was thinking seriously about his relationship with God. "Surely the LORD is in this place; and I did not know it," JACOB exclaimed when he awoke. He then piled some stones into an altar, poured oil upon it, and called the place BETHEL, which means "HOUSE OF GOD." Yet JACOB did not trust God completely to provide for His needs, and he continued to put God to test. (Read Genesis 28:20-22)
After JACOB arrived at his destination, God provided him a wife - although ironically, JACOB obtained two wives after enduring the trickery of his uncle (Genesis 29). In the years he lived with Laban, JACOB reaped the consequences of the actions he had sown earlier. . But he also received much blessing from God and learned of His care and mercy during a difficult time. Through difficult circumstances JACOB's FAITH in God grew. When at last he had to face Esau, the brother he had wronged, JACOB anticipated trouble and realized that he might be killed. Yet the night before their meeting, God came again to JACOB.
This time JACOB wrestled with God. In spite of an injured leg, JACOB hung on and said, "I will not let You go, unless You bless me" (Genesis 32:26). He longed for God's blessing more than anything, for he finally trusted God to provide . So the LORD said to him, "Your name shall no longer be called JACOB, but ISRAEL: for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed" (Genesis 32:28). When JACOB received the blessing he had requested, he gave God all the credit: "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (Genesis 32:30).
God brought JACOB to the end of his rope once again when he was compelled in his old age to make a journey to Egypt. Just as JACOB had once tricked his own father, his own sons had deceived him into believing his favorite son Joseph was dead. Yet now, after many years of grief, his sons had changed their story. Joseph was alive, they said, and ruling Egypt! What? Such a thing was impossible! Yet JACOB learned to trust God even in this strangest of situation. When father and son were reunited, JACOB's first utterance was to credit the promise God had given to preserve his children.
"Then JACOB said to Joseph: 'God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and said to me, 'Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make you a multitude of people, and give this land to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession' " (Genesis 48:3-4).
Now at the end of his life, JACOB's trust in God was complete. As the writer to the Hebrews recalls and the Old Testament relates (Genesis 48:5-20), the patriarch gave a blessing to the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh. They, too were now included in the promise God had given first to Abraham and had confirmed in turn to Isaac and JACOB.
Why did the writer to the Hebrews view JACOB's blessing as so significant? Simply put, IT WAS BECAUSE JACOB ACTED BY FAITH. Consider his situation. Although he had  once lived in the Promised Land, JACOB had been a nomad there. Now his sons and their households were in Egypt, a long way from Canaan. Yet JACOB fully expected that God would someday give the Promised Land to his descendants. Fulfillment of God's promise would have seemed impossible; in fact, it would ultimately take centuries. But JACOB HAD FAITH. He trusted God. He was so certain God fulfill His promise  that he instructed his sons to make sure he would be buried in Canaan (Genesis 47:29-31, 49:29-32).
JACOB saw in advance something that others would see only in hindsight. And it was because of this faith that he could give his LORD TRUE WORSHIP, even with death closing upon him. Thus did the writer to the Hebrews say of JACOB and his forefathers, "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them" (Hebrews 11:13).
(an extract from TRUE WORSHIP by David Whitcomb and Mark Ward, Sr.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


In our previous posts we learnt that the life of a WORSHIPER is a life of FAITH, OBEDIENCE AND SACRIFICE.This week let us look further at the life of Abraham who is one great model to learn from:

1) The Promised Of A Son
So After Waiting Patiently,
Abraham Received What Was Promised
Hebrews 6:15

As a childless couple, they had been told by an invisible God that they would be the parents of countless descendants. They had no Scripture or fellowship of believers to encourage their FAITH on a discouraging day. All they had was a promise and a lot of time to think about it. Too much time, in fact. They passed childbearing age, not just barely, but hopelessly. 

This is the same Abraham who suggested that his servant Eliezer might be his best chance at an heir (Gen 15:2-3); the same Abraham who listened to Sarah's advice to try for a miracle son the natural way through her servant Hagar (Genesis 16); and the same Abraham who laughed when God repeated the promise well after childbearing years (Genesis 17:17).

When God changed both their names from Abram to Abraham (father of many nations) and Sarai to Sarah (mother of many nations) (Genesis 17:5-6 & 15-16), it was the ACT OF FAITH to be calling each other daily by their new names without seeing the promise. Yes, we are told, this is the Abraham who "did not waver through unbelief" (Romans 4:20) and waited patiently.

But against all odds, God fulfilled His promise. The child was born, the invisible God was vindicated, and the couple rejoiced. 

2) The Sacrifice Of Isaac
God said to him, "Abraham!" 
"Here I am," he replied
Genesis 22:1
God called upon Abraham with a test. It was perhaps the most difficult test any of us could think of. Did the thought of sacrificing his own son horrify Abraham? Did he weep all night before he got up and went to Moriah? The text doesn't say. All it says is that Abraham OBEYED. And that OBEDIENT began with a simple statement of readiness: "Here I am." In fact we were told that "EARLY NEXT MORNING Abraham got up .... he took with him two of his servants and his Isaac ... and on the third day ... said to his servants, 'Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. WE WILL WORSHIP and then WE WILL COME BACK to you.' " (Genesis 22:3-5)
We know that Abraham feared God and that he was obligated to God. But somewhere wrapped up his reverence and duty was the simply desire to please the Lord who has graciously provided the son. His response was more than that of a slave or a subordinate. It came from the HEART; it had to, considering the command. It mean that Abraham had cast his affections on a very trustworthy God.

As worshiper, when God calls do you say, "Here I am"? Probably so. But here's a deeper question" How do you say it? Let your response flow from a loving, reverential FAITH in your PROVIDER.

Abraham's OBEDIENCE is commended as the cornerstone of righteous, biblical FAITH. The FAITH that led Abraham up that mountain is unimaginable. Any illusion that the life of FAITH is a life of comfort and ease is undone by this story. FAITH is excuriating, sometimes illogical, and always right.

Does your FAITH sometimes defy logic? If not, it hasn't been stretched as far as God wants to stretch it. Has God ever called you to give up His promise as an act of OBEDIENCE AND SACRIFICE? If not, your FAITH has deeper depths to reach.

3) The Faith Of Abraham
What did Abraham see in that day? He saw nothing. Year after year until he died, he only begot Isaac. Of the numerous descendants promised to him, who would be as man as the stars in heaven, the sands by the sea, and the dust on the earth, he only saw Isaac! When his wife died, he did not have one plot of land in which to bury her. He had to buy a burial ground. Is this what God had promised? Yet as the WORSHIPER and father of our father, he did not doubt. He knew what FAITH was and what it was not to live by sight
What a lesson of on FAITH, OBEDIENCE and SACRIFICE!

Sunday, September 06, 2015


Pastor John W. Stevenson in his book Worshiper By Design defines a worshiper as:

one who is INTIMATELY ACQUAINTED with, and has a DAILY RELATIONSHIP with GOD exhibited through OBEDIENCE.
He said, “You were NOT created to DO, you were created to BE”.
The first time you find ‘worship’ in Scripture is in Genesis 22. It reads:
"And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; I and the lad will go yonder; we will worship and return to you ." (verse 5 emphasis added)
It is important to note that Abraham was not going up yonder with a musical instrument to sing a song with Isaac. He was going up there to put the most treasured possession in his life to death, simply because God ask him to do it! So as you can see worship involves faith, sacrifice and obedience. These three elements set the foundation for all Christian worshipers.

God never intended for worship to be ‘synonymous’ with music and the arts. Christians tend to ‘compartmentalize’ worship. For example worship seminar tends to focus on the "doing" rather than Christian living. Why do worship workshops attract only musicians, singers and worship leaders? The reason is that Christians have drawn a line of demarcation between worship and the Christian life. True worship is a life of obedience and out of that life will flow songs of worship, which will delight the heart of God, rather than repulse Him as in the following Scriptures:
"Away with your hymns of praise! They are only noise to my ears. I will not listen to your music, no matter how lovely it is. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, a river of righteous living that will never run dry"(Amos 5:23-24 NLT).
You see, there really is no difference in singing a song out of a hymnbook or singing a song that is projected on a screen. The real difference is in the heart of the person singing. Singing "worship" songs does not make you a worshiper! Having a worship team does not make you a worshiping church! All of that can become religious exercise if we are not intentional to keep our hearts engaged in the exchange and remain in passionate pursuit of the ONE we are worshiping - JESUS! It is our daily relationship with Jesus that makes our worship of God genuine and authentic.

The church has entered a season in which the Holy Spirit is confronting us about the things we have taught in many ways have moved us away from a worship relationship and a worship life to a place more focused on worship activity. If we are going to help bring about change in the Body of Christ, it must start with changing our own models, our vocabulary, and our teaching on worship.

Worship is not about doing! It is a lifestyle that flows from dwelling in the very presence of the Lord. The worship life of the believer is living with the awareness that we are daily in that Presence. It is living in the reality that we are in Him and He is in us. When we worship Him, we are not trying to work our way into His presence. we are acknowledging that we are already in His Presence and our worship of Him is what gives us access to relate to Him.

What does it take to be a worshiper of God? Considering our definition of a worshiper, we realize that to focus on the elements of music and the arts is to reduce worship to something less than God intended and something far less than He deserves. If a worshiper is one who is INTIMATELY ACQUAINTED with and has a DAILY RELATIONSHIP with GOD exhibited through a life of OBEDIENCE
we must move beyond songs, instruments, banners and art to something deeper and greater; we must move to something encompasses all of life and it involves faith, sacrifice and obedience!

(an extract from Worshiper By Design: A Unique Look At Why We Were Created by John W. Stevenson - for more information: )

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP (Part 8) - The Essence of Worship: Joshua - True Worship Centers on God's Word

When Joshua began to settle God’s people in the Promised Land, one of the first things he did was to draw the people together in worship of God. Since this worship centered on sacrifices and offerings, the surrounding pagans might observe the Israelite's  worship and conclude that they were all doing the same kind of thing. But there was at least one major difference between the Israelite’s worship and that of their pagan neighbors.  After Joshua had built an altar, gathered the people and made offerings, their worship included the reading of God’s law.
“[Joshua] read all the words of the law, the blessings and the cursing  according to all that is written in the Book of the Law. There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded, which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel.” (Joshua 8:34-35)
Declaration of God’s Word was the focus of the Israelite’s worship. The ESSENCE OF TRUE WORSHIP must draw people into God’s presence where they can hear, read, and study what God says about Himself, His people, and mankind in general. 

Secondly, Joshua led the people to a specific place, Mount Ebal, as God had commanded through Moses in the law (Joshua 8:30). There they built an altar according to specifications:“an altar of whole stones, over which no man has wielded an iron tool. And they offered on it burnt offerings to the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings” (Joshua 8:31).
Why a plain structure of undressed stone altar? During this time in history, the pagans built beautiful, ornate altars for the worship of their gods. How could the Israelite impress their enemies with only a plain altar of stones? In requiring that the altar be made of natural stones, God was making an important distinction. The principle of simplicity in worship is still in effect. “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise things which are mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:27). God does not need human glitz or gimmicks in worship. He will be glorified and magnified when we honor Him with our worship that is from the depth of our heart.
After Joshua built the proper altar, the people worshiped with offerings and sacrifices. Their burnt offerings illustrated thankfulness and dedication to God, while the peace offerings indicated a right relationship with God. They were thankful for the privilege of knowing God, of being His people, and dedicating themselves to His service. They gave their freewill offerings to the LORD, beautifully picturing the picture of our offerings in worship today – our offerings must express obedience to God’s WORD and a genuine love for God. We cannot engage in THE ESSENCE OF TRUE WORSHIP when we give offerings under compulsion; we must give to the LORD because we love Him.

While the people watched, Joshua "wrote on the [altar] stones a copy of the law of Moses" (Joshua 8:32). He did not personally chisel the words into the stone; that method would have taken too long and limited what he could write. The Hebrew words here indicate instead that the stones were covered with plaster. So Joshua copied exactly what God has given, which was the same law that Moses gave to the people. By copying the exact law in the presence of all the people, he revealed to them that he had great respect for the law. Why did Joshua have this respect for the law? He knew that it came from God. Christians today must likewise respect God's WORD simply because it is from God.
By writing God's WORD in stone Joshua also pictured the importance of preserving God's principles. Similarly, when we gather for worship today, there should be no question of the people that God's WORD is important. That regard for God's WORD is what we need for TRUE WORSHIP. When the excitement of the meeting is done and the "mountain top experience" is over, what do we have left? Emotions change and fade with time, but the principles of God's WORD endure forever.

After the people saw Joshua write a copy of God's law, something very significant occurred. The Bible records that "all Israel, with their elders and judges, stood on either side of the ark before the priests, the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord" (Joshua 8:33).
Here we see a picture of the people gathered together, and in the very center of the crowd is the ark symbolizing God's presence. There were reminders of God's power in that ark. These included a sample of the manna that had fed the people in the wilderness, along with Aaron's rod of power and the original (second) set of stones upon which God wrote His law. On the ark was also the mercy seat where God accepted the blood atonement for sin. And at special times, God's "shekinah glory" would come upon the ark. All of these realities reminded the people that God's presence could be found at the ark.

When the people were gathered around the ark, spreading out for many hundreds of miles between the two mountains, it appears that the leaders dispersed so "that they should bless the people of Israel" (Joshua 8:33). The passage then records that Joshua "read all the words of the law, the blessings and the cursing  according to all that is written in the Book of the Law. There was not a word of all that Moses commands, which Joshua did not read before the assembly of Israel."(Joshua 8:34-35).  Presumably, the leaders were also involved in the reading, for it would have been impossible for millions of people to hear one man speaking. This procedure was used, for example, in the time of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 8:1-8; see also chapter 13).
In our day, too, declaring the whole counsel of God must be the focus of our worship. God promises that His WORD is sufficient to make His people what they should be: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17). 
Christians in the early church met for the purpose of "continuing steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42). They practiced THE ESSENCE OF TRUE WORSHIP, making God's WORD the center of their gathering.