Friends,
A song I wrote down a few days ago to the Lord, from my heart:

I worship You, O Lord,
You are all-powerful.

I worship You, O Lord,
You are the King.

The Mighty King
Who rules the universe,
I bow before You,
I love and adore You.

I worship You, O Lord,
Come be with me.

I need You, Lord.
I choose You, Lord.
I love You, Lord.
Help me obey You,
You who are the King.

Jesus, the King,
The ruler of everything.
You gave Your life,
And broke the chains.

You rose victorious,
Showing Your awesome strength,
Showing Your loving plan,
To save mankind.

So look to Him.
So choose to worship,
And to love,
This awesome God
Who stooped to be a man.
A man who was still God,
And died to cleanse us all.
Who broke the power of death,
That chained us all.

Now we can live, live FREE!
In His eternity.
Eternal life is ours,
It’s freedom through the cross.
We live to live in Him,
For His purposes.
It is life full,
And happiness.

Therefore, I worship Christ the King,
My God, my Savior, and my Lord,
My Shepherd who does care for me,
Is my Guide, my Friend.

Thank you, God,
That You are caring and loving,
And that You are just and fair and holy.
Thank You for the privilege
Of knowing You
And abiding in Your presence.
Thank You for inviting us to worship You,
For You are worthy.

I worship You, Lord.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
Prayer, godly music, quoting the Word of God, praise, and worship –they all exhibit faith, if we engage in them. The last two, done with genuine thanksgiving, and particularly with singing, cannot, I believe, be done without a substantial level of faith; but, once stepped into, actually enlarges one’s faith. Since, then, we know that God rewards faith (2 Chron. 20:20 // Mt. 15:28 // Heb. 11:6), it is expedient for us to “continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise.” (Heb. 13:15; see also 1 Pe. 2:9)

Ps. 69:30,31 reminds us of God’s pleasure toward the one who praises Him in thankful song. It says, “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving. This will please the LORD more than an ox… [sacrificed to Him].” The next two verses speak of God hearing, and the needy rejoicing, and in the next three verses the chapter finishes with that same connection between praise and deliverance.

A perfect example of this connection between one’s praise to God and one’s deliverance by Him, is Ps. 8:1,2. These say, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants You have ordained strength through praise because of Your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” Even for infants in the faith, praise is a strong weapon against the evil realm. Ps. 9:1-3 carries this same theme when the first two verses speak of singing praise to the Lord and the third speaks of our enemies turning back. Truly, Jesus has given us authority “to overcome all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19) by participating in His divine power and nature (2 Pe. 1:3,4), and we know His powerful weapons we fight with are not of the world, but are spiritual. (2 Cor. 10:3-5)

God states that those who ignore His words have no right to His covenant of protection. (Ps. 50:16-22) However, for those who are in covenant with Him (v. 5), He promises this: “Sacrifice thank offering to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor Me.” (v. 14,15) For “He who sacrifices thank offerings honors Me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” (v. 23) Jer. 17:14 reveals that those who praise the Lord will, like Jeremiah, be able to expect God to heal and save them.

Truly, thanksgiving, praise, and worship turn God’s ear to us in a big way. 2 Chron. 5:13,14 and Ps. 22:3 remind us that His presence comes down around us as we praise Him, while 2 Chron. 20:21,22 and Acts 16:25,26 reveal that praise defeats the foe and brings miracles and deliverance for us. Anointed music played by David would, for King Saul, cause the tormenting evil spirit to leave him for a time (1 Sam. 16:14,23), and in 2 Kings 3:15-19 we see that anointed harp music helped Elisha hear an answer from the Lord.

The Lord blesses those who give Him grateful praise and worship. Let’s remember this and engage in it, for it not only pleases our Lord but also brings to us His presence, His help, His voice, and His deliverance.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Our Required Worship

May 30, 2017

Friends,
In my Bible reading this morning I found 1 Chron. 23:30,31 significant. These two verses say this concerning the Levitical priests:

“They are to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at evening, and to offer all burnt scarifies to the LORD on the Sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, and are to serve before the LORD regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them.”

Those of us in the New Covenant know that we are now, individually and collectively, considered by God to belong to His royal priesthood and that we too have been chosen to declare praises unto Him. (1 Pe. 2:9 // Rev. 1:5,6) In fact, we are to do this continually (Heb. 13:15), meaning, I believe, that we are to have our hearts and minds and actions turned toward the Lord “24/7” in thanksgiving and adoration and prayer and service. (Rom. 8:9 // Col. 3:1-4 // 1 Thes. 5:16-18)

In meditating on the Chronicles verses above, are we not also reminded of the words of Jesus Himself regarding the kind of worshippers the Father seeks? Jesus tells us in John 4:23,24 that God the Father is spirit, and that we must worship Him in spirit and in truth. In other words, God accepts only the worship of those who worship by and in His Spirit and in His Truth. If anyone tries to worship God through a counterfeit spirit, doctrine, or anointing (2 Cor. 11:4 // 1 Tim. 4:1 // 1 John 2:27 & 4:1), God refuses such worship (Mark 7:6,7); and if there is no repentance, He will punish that person with an increased delusion that will eventually reap condemnation. (2 Thes. 2:10-12)

Let us remember that those of us in the New Covenant have a responsibility to God just as the Levitical priests did. And that ours is no less required.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
Someone sent me a video link to a song by Joshua Aaron last week and since then I’ve listened to a few other songs of his. I really like his music, lyrics, and videos. Here is an upbeat, happy one:

“He’s Coming Again”
https://youtu.be/pX9bllb9kJ0

This one definitely inspires worship:

“Immanuel”
https://youtu.be/Dl5iPXltMH4

I encourage others to use these and other songs by Joshua Aaron to mediate on the awesomeness of our God.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
My habit is to sit in our backyard flower-garden in the early mornings with the Lord, and this morning was especially lovely because it stayed cool for quite a long time. While praying and reciting my verses, several were particularly worship-inspiring. One is Job 40:10, which, although God is speaking, I say it to Him like this: “You, Lord, have adorned Yourself with glory and splendor, and clothed Yourself in honor and majesty.” Looking up at the big, billowing clouds, I meditated on how awesome God is. I reflected on how powerful He is while also being so caring, so compassionate, and such a perfect friend.

The Lord speaking again, here is another verse I was mediating on this morning, one I’ve personalized for myself and my family: “Listen to Me, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isa. 46:3,4) I LOVE that verse! It is special to me because it reminds me that the Lord has watched over me and my family all our lives, even from the conception of each one of us. It assures me that He will continue to do these even until we are old and gray. It gives me confidence that our Maker is carrying us –as we travel over roads, both literal and figurative– and that He is Himself our Comfort and Support and Protection.

I definitely recognize that these verses which I’ve written above are words spoken by God to people other than me. The first, we see from verse 6, is the Lord speaking to Job. Even so, because “the Word of God is living and active” (Heb. 4:12), God speaks to anyone else He wishes to speak to via His Spirit in the Word. This is why certain verses seem to “jump out at us” at various times.

The two Isaiah verses above are the Lord’s words to Jacob / Israel. Verse 3 actually begins with God saying, “Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld…” So, even though I personalize verses, and expect others to do the same, this does not mean anyone can take God’s words away from the initial hearer/s. Again, no one can take God’s warnings, rebukes, and promises –to whomever He made them to– and completely transfer them to another person or group of people. To do so is to commit the gross sin of those who adhere to Replacement Theology, of those who, regarding multitudes of verses, think that they can nullify, through their teaching, what God said to the initial hearer/s. No, we are invited to share in God’s Word, not claim that the initial recipients should now disbelieve what God promised them!

There were many other Scripture verses I meditated on this morning, and I was filled with reverent worship to the One who wrote those words, to the One who, being omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, has not only created this amazing universe and is sustaining it by the power of His word (Heb. 1:3), but has also been shepherding His loved ones throughout their lives.

There are truly so many promises from our Lord about His care for us! “Look at the birds of the air,” Jesus tells us in Mt. 6:26. They are well-cared for by Him who is our Heavenly Father (same verse), so, Jesus continues, if we are seeking God’s Kingdom and righteousness, we need not doubt that He will care for us! (v. 25-34)

I saw a bird yesterday that reminded me of this. We were having a nice, steady, wonderful rain –something we’ve needed– and in looking out the window, I saw a dove sitting on our fence. She (or he) was so cute! She was thoroughly enjoying the soft rain and she kept lifting up one wing and then the other, holding it that way for several seconds, and doing this at least ten times with each wing. She was taking a shower and cooling her armpits (wing-pits)! I was trying not to laugh, but I kept smiling and thanking the Lord for such wonderful and hilarious things He shows us, if we but take the time to notice. Simple things, some people would call it, but even the “simple” things God brings, I call incredible. I prayed for that dove and for her whole family. Why not? The Lord cares for birds, and He cares for us!

“Yes, Lord, You have adorned Yourself with glory and splendor, and clothed Yourself in honor and majesty.” You are a beautiful, personable God, full of light and power and love! Your whole creation proclaims it!

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
My dad sent this link to me this afternoon that someone had sent him. The song and scenery definitely inspire worship to God, the wonderful God who created this amazing universe with all the beauty of landscapes, seas, and sky, as well as all the exquisite creatures! Truly, how could anyone say, “There is no God”? His existence is proclaimed throughout the world, in every budding flower, glorious waterfall, pounding wave, the wonder of changing seasons, and everything else.

Here is the link:

http://www.andiesisle.com/magnificent.html

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
It is highly important and beneficial to praise and worship the Lord, with words from our heart and spirit, and especially with singing, in order to start our day off in victory –victory over anything that might try to attack us –such things as worry, depression, anger, listlessness, doubt, etc. When we renounce any known sin that has crept in, when we turn immediately to God when we wake up, and when we proclaim God’s power and salvation, the evil realm does not want to hear it and they flee. In this habit, we continue throughout the day and we thereby walk in faith, in joy, in peace, and in triumph.

God loves us. He wants to help us. He wants us to involve Him so that He can pave the way for blessings and for success in furthering His Kingdom of justice and righteousness. We’ve been given instruction in how to invite Him into our day, our situations, our concerns, and even into the world at large. We pray. We praise. We step out. We go. We obey. And we definitely prepare our hearts, our minds, and our spirits by meditating on His Word of strength and instruction, and then by actually putting it into practice while calling on God to guide us and protect us.

While getting my coffee this morning, I broke out into spontaneous songs of praise to the Lord. Below are two of those songs as best I can recall. I encourage everyone else to make it a habit to do the same and to remember that when we open our mouths to obey God, then His Spirit, using the Word –which we have already studied and have hidden in our hearts– will give us His words and help us to sing what is pleasing to God and powerful to save.

It is a tremendous blessing to abide with the Lord every day, every moment, so let’s remind each other of the way we do so!

EXALTING YOU, GOD, IN SONG:

Break forth, break forth,
Raise the banner of praise!
Clap your hands,
Universe!
To sing praises to our God,
The Mighty One who saves!

Yes, Lord, You are glorious,
Beautiful in splendor.
We come before You now,
To worship at your feet.

Jesus, we exalt You,
You are the King of kings.
You are the Rock, our Fortress,
We hide in You in faith.

Wisdom, love, power, and glory,
Fill Your throne above.
Majesty and honor,
Are to be ascribe to You –always.
For You, Oh Jesus Savior,
Are King, the Coming Reigning King,
You are worthy of our worship,
Forever and in our day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AND IN THIS SONG:

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.
Yes, come to Jesus!
Come to the King,
The reigning King,
The One who delivers us,
Because of His great love.
Yes, come, come to Jesus!”

“He who fills the earth
With His awesome presence.
By His Spirit we can know,
This God who came to save us
And let us know the Truth.”

“Full of splendor,
Full of majesty,
Glorious in beauty
And marvelous in mercy!”

“The water, the Spirit, and the blood–
The three are in agreement.
He washes away our sin,
When we bow in repentance.”

So the Spirit and bride say, “Come!
Come to Jesus!
He is the Prince, the Prince of peace,
The Lamb who was slain for us.

“He is the Word become human,
And the bodily image of God.
Yes, the Everlasting Father Himself,
The Mighty Creator LORD!”

“We enter Christ’s Kingdom
By being born of water and the Spirit.
The blood washes us clean
And the Word purifies us as we learn it!”

So the Spirt and the bride say, “Come!
Come to Jesus!
He is the God who reigns,
The Resurrection and the Life!”

So the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!
Yes, come to Jesus!”

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel