ON PURPOSE – Worship

Matt 22 37,8

 

The rest of this week we are talking about living life ON PURPOSE – the way God intended.  Choosing God-given targets (not the fake worldly targets that keep popping up in our way), and then pursuing those goals with everything we have – both individually, as well as with the church body.

 

If you took the opportunity to read the passages at the end of yesterday’s post (Matthew 22:36-40, Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 2:41-47), you read the Great Commandment(s), the Great Commission, and a brief description of the Early Church – great reading for sure.   In Rick Warren’s book, Purpose Driven Church, he recounts the work done at his church to create and live by a great purpose statement.  After much study of God’s Word they boiled it down to this slogan: “A Great Commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will grow a Great Church.” (p. 103).

 

Today let’s dive into just the first part of the Great Commandment passage.  A Pharisee tested Jesus, asking him what is the greatest commandment?  Jesus replied – quoting Deuteronomy: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt 22:37-38).  And, so living our life to love God should be our first and greatest priority.  What does this look like?  When we love something/someone we revere it and hold it up.  We spend time with what we love.  We seek out ways to honor those people and things we love.  We put up on a pedestal those we love – and in God’s case – he fully deserves this and much more.  We call this WORSHIP!

 

Worship is defined as, “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity”.  I like that the definition includes not just feeling it – but showing it.  Our church worship services ought to be great places for us to be active, engaged, thoughtful, giving, speaking, singing participants in worship.  But, if that is the only time we are worshipping we are falling far short of our God-given purpose of worship.

 

Many examples of worship can be found throughout the book of Psalms.  Go ahead, pick a chapter or two and look for instances of worship – as well as why God is worthy to be worshipped.  Just a few examples are: “I will PRAISE you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will TELL of all your wonders.” (Psalm 9:1), “OFFER right sacrifices…” (Psalm 4:5), “WAIT for the Lord…” (Psalm 27:14).  “I PRAY to you, O LORD” (Psalm 69: 13).  “I will PRAISE God’s name in SONG and GLORIFY him with THANKSGIVING.” (Psalm 69:30).

 

This is all well and fine when we FEEL like praising God – when the sun is shining and we are on top of His world.  But, what about those days when the clouds are out and we are discouraged or feel God is silent or playing hide and seek with us.  Our feelings don’t change the first and greatest commandment – to LOVE God.  Our circumstances don’t change our first and greatest priority – to WORSHIP God.

 

Psalm 13 is a perfect example for us when we are stuck in the cloudy day mentality.  David feels forgotten by God, he is wrestling with dark thoughts and a heavy heart, he feels he has been trampled down by his enemies/life.  Yet, he ends the short Psalm with this: “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.  I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.” (Psalm 13:5-6).   God is worthy of our worship – all the time …. And all the time – God is worthy of our worship.

 

How will you WORSHIP Him today?

 

Blessings,

Marcia Railton

 

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On Purpose

Eph 2 10

Imagine a marathon runner who starts the race excited, prepared and pumped.  But, he doesn’t know where the finish line is or how to get there.  Add in lots of runners who are running lots of different races – following completely different paths to multiple finish lines.  It is questionable whether our racer will finish the race he had hoped to win.

Or, take an archery championship where all the competitors are lined up and across the field are 1000 targets.  They do not know which target they will get credit for hitting and they each have a limited number of arrows and time.

WHAT is YOUR TARGET_

“It’s not how you start out that matters but how you end.” (Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Church p. 26).   Life gets messy and when you lack a clearly defined goal and a plan for how to get there, it is easy to get completely off track and find you don’t reach the finish line you thought you would and you don’t hit the target that really counts.

 

Just as individuals need a goal – churches also will drift without a set purpose and vision.  Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”  Why does the church exist?  Why do you exist?  God knows.  And He gave you His Word to help point the way.   Jesus knew his goal, and what sustained him and kept him going in the right direction.  “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”  (John 4:34).  Paul said that we all have God-given work he designed us to do – “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10).

You don’t want to end life (whenever that might be) with the big house, cute family, lots of adoring facebook friends, and retired from the dream job; BUT, find you missed the mark on doing what God planned for you to do – meeting HIS Purpose for your life.

By digging into God’s Word we can get a clearer picture of what our God-given purposes are for us as individuals and for His church.  Take a few minutes today to look up a few key passages.  Matthew 22:36-40, Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 2:41-47 are great possibilities.  Tomorrow we will look further into God’s Purpose for YOU!

-Marcia Railton

 

Marcia has the cute family and the dream job (wife and mom).  She is working on seeking God’s purpose for her and for the Family of God she gets the pleasure of worshipping with in Granger, Indiana.