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

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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

My song to You, Lord, this Thanksgiving Day, taken from Your Own beautiful Word:

Oh Lord, this day and every day,
“I rise to give You thanks
for Your righteous laws” (Ps. 119:62)
which “are the joy of my heart.” (v. 111)

“All Your commands are trustworthy” (v. 86) God,
and “how sweet Your promises are.” (v. 103)
You teach me through Your laws, (v. 108)
so “Accept, O LORD, the willing praise
of my mouth.” (Same verse)

“Your Word is a lamp…
and a light for my path.” (v. 105)
It gives me wisdom (v. 98)
and comfort (v. 52)
and counsel. (v. 24)
It gives me purity, (v. 9)
renewal, (v. 50)
healing (v. 92)
and hope. (v. 81)
“I stand in awe of Your laws” (v. 120) Oh God.

Yes, “May my tongue sing of Your Word.” (v. 172)
“May my lips overflow with praise.” (v. 171)
For those who love Your law
do indeed have great peace, (v. 165)
freedom (v. 45)
hope, (v. 81)
and strength. (v. 28)

I love and obey Your Word, Oh Lord, (v. 56,127)
and I trust it completely. (v. 42)
It is more precious to me than anything (v. 72)
besides You Yourself, and Your Name. (138:2)
Therefore many “times a day I praise You
for Your righteous laws” (119:164)
–so wonderful, (v. 129)
“true… [and] eternal.” (v. 160)

“I obey Your precepts and Your statutes” (v. 168)
“O LORD, and I follow Your commands.” (v. 166)
“For I love them greatly.” (v. 167)
They are ever “giving joy to the heart.” (19:8)
Your precepts have certainly proved
“perfect… trustworthy… and right.” (v. 7,8)
“By them Your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.” (v. 11)

“I love You law” (119:113) Oh Lord.
“I have put my hope in Your word.” (v. 114)
I’ve learned that Your Word
is All-Powerful, (33:6,9 // Heb. 4:12)
and that it remains firm and enduring forever. (Ps. 119:89 // 1 Pe. 1:23)

“Oh, how I love Your law [O God]!
I meditate on it all day long.” (Ps. 119:97)
Therefore wherever I am, (v. 54)
“Your decrees are the theme of my song.” (Same verse)

Oh Lord, “I will not neglect Your Word” (v. 16) –ever!
I thank You for it with all my heart. (v. 10-16)

With love,
Rachel

Friends,
This morning in meditating on God’s Word, Ps. 148:13 struck me, so I memorized it. It says, “Let them praise the name of the LORD, for His name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens.” What a beautiful and worshipful verse to quote reverently before the Lord!

Who is the “them” being encouraged to praise the Lord’s name? Verses 7-12 tell us, and those that are mentioned are many within God’s creation, both animate and inanimate. Great sea creatures are mentioned, as well as all ocean depths. Lightning, hail, snow, and clouds are included, and so are “stormy winds that do His bidding” (v. 8 ), letting us know that stormy winds, even those which cause destruction, that would have to mean, happen because of God’s direct command and/or permissive will, and this so that His plans are accomplished. (Regrettably, there are Bible teachers who, in their desire to believe that since the cross God stopped executing all judgements on the earth, reject Scripture’s doctrine on this in spite of multitudes of verses concerning it.)

In verses 9-12, mountains, all hills, fruit trees, all cedars, wild animals, all cattle, small creatures, flying birds, kings of the earth, all nations, princes, all rulers of the earth, young men, maidens, old men, and children –all these are called upon to praise the Lord. The word “all”, used six times here, should not be left unnoticed so that we will recognize that the entire creation is being commanded to praise the Lord.

In the preceding verses of Ps. ch. 148 we see there were others who were also specifically called upon to praise the Lord and His name. Mentioned in verses 2-4 they are: All the Lord’s angels, all His heavenly hosts, the sun, the moon, all the shining stars, the highest heavens, and the waters above the skies. These are addressed directly and commanded to praise the Lord and His name. And again the word “all” is repeated.

So are we –each one of us– obeying? Are we joining in with the praise? Are our mouths, and our whole lives, extending praise to the name of the Lord and exalting Him alone? –The One whose splendor is above the earth and the heavens? –The One whose splendor is continually being displayed throughout, and in, and through the earth and the heavens, this fact being understand by what is revealed in both the Word of God and creation?

In verses 1 and 7 there is the command to praise the Lord from locations. These are: From the heavens, in the heights above, and from the earth. Verses 5,6,13,14 tell us why we should praise the Lord and His name: It is because He created through His command, because He set the creation of the heavens in place through a decree that will never pass away, because no other name is worthy of exaltation, and because He has raised up a king (Jesus) who is the joy of those who belong to Him.

Ps. ch. 148 is rich with both theology and words by which to praise the Lord. Verse 13 was especially precious to me this morning, but because of the rest of the verses (all of which I was not memorizing), I felt it appropriate to substitute “them” for “all creation” as I said it before the Lord. In this way much of the chapter’s meaning is summed up in this one worshipful verse, and so I memorized it like this: “Let all creation praise the name of the LORD, for His name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens.”

Amen! May all creation praise the Lord!

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel