Australia Kneels : Week 2 – Day 6

Doing the Will of the Father who sent us – Joh 4:34

Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work. 

The Garden Catalogue For Today

Welcome to the Discipleship and Action Day – Let us go and Draw from the Well of Life, and get filled up so we can pour out the Living Water to others we can bless.

On this day we will have a variety of messages and input from trusted disciplers.

The following 2 sermons are about God’s intention in the Garden of Eden…. How Jesus was a seed and died and exploded into Resurrection new life. He is now cultivating us – as His new creation life Amazing God !! 

We invite you to listen to the following 2 sermons  by Ps. Andrew Hoey from: 

Rangeville Community Church:

 

About God our Father’s plan to awaken us to return to Him. He’s calling us to come home to Him in the Garden, to allow Him to restore us to arise & shine in His love as His sons & daughters. As creation groans & shakings increase in the earth – we’ll fulfil His purposes of His Kingdom & resurrection Life coming into the earth.

Jesus is the Gardener of our souls as we walk with Him, listen to His voice, heed & do as He asks & learn to follow His ways. Let us Abide in Him & in His Word & learn to receive His Love through the power of Holy Spirit indwelling us. Let us allow Jesus to go into the roots of our souls to cultivate in us the attitudes of His Heart & mind as we yield our will to His to obey His ways. As He prunes us let us come to the foot of the cross & bow down to Him alone & be willing to take up whatever cross He asks of us to carry with Him for His greater glory, through the process of repentance & forgiveness that we can become abundantly fruitful for the Father’s Glory and enter into beautiful times of refreshing in His Presence
Acts 3:18-21
18 But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send [a]Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.’

More sermons can be found HERE

COMMUNITIES OF HOPE

By Jason Potter
National Director OAC

In Genesis 2:18 God says that it isn’t good “for the man to be alone”. So he gave us families and communities.

We are made in the image of God (Gen 1:26-27), and God is a relationship: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Human beings have been created for relationships. This is so profoundly true that if you separate even the healthiest person from human contact for long enough, they will lose their mind.

We have clear evidence for this from studying the effects of solitary confinement in prisons and orphanages in Romania. Forty per cent of those deprived of human contact as infants and toddlers in those orphanages developed significant psychiatric conditions and developmental disorders as teenagers.

God designed the family to meet this basic need: to be the safest place for raising children – a place of love, security and belonging for every individual. But because we are all broken by sin, God has also given us communities to participate in.

What is community? It’s where we can also find belonging, love, security, and a place of mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. It’s a place to pursue a purpose, build things, advance our understanding of the world, learn together and create a place centred on a shared vision and set of beliefs.

Community is central to the Christian faith – just as important as family. God’s framing of the church as Christ’s bride demonstrates how vital community is to God.

What does the Bible teach us about Christian community?

A Christian community isn’t a club – a bunch of people who have found their answer to salvation and now sit around enjoying themselves as they wait to go to heaven (see Matthew 28:16-20).

Christian communities are not a haven or a refuge from the world, although we do love and care for each other. They are not about self-fulfilment or self-indulgence. They are the engine room of discipleship.
Christian communities are not designed to be a club of safety.
All discipling activity hinges on the strength and depth of our relationship with Jesus (cf. John 15:3) and the spiritual and emotional maturity we develop through our relationship with the Holy Spirit in community (Ephesians 4).

The longer we immerse ourselves in Jesus’ teachings and allow God to work on us, the more we love what he loves (Ephesians 2:10). To follow Jesus means to join him in the task of reaching the lost and growing his kingdom, according to our individual calling, gifts, talents and maturity in community together.

Christian communities are not designed to be a club of safety. They only operate effectively when their focus is external to themselves. Navel-gazing churches full of people meeting their own needs will never change the world.

The oxygen of Christian communities

The word we translate as hope in the New Testament is the Greek word “elpis”, which means “anticipating something with confidence”. A person with New Testament hope confidently looks forward to what is coming.

Hope is the oxygen our hearts need to keep on loving others … and hope begins in suffering.

In Romans 5:1-5 Paul gives us a profound insight into hope. Hope for the Christian is in God’s glorious plan and promises. God’s glory manifests through his plan for salvation and the reconciliation of all creation to himself.

Hope is the oxygen our hearts need to keep on loving others as part of participating in God’s plan. Hope is the confident anticipation of the fulfilment of all that God has promised, and hope begins in suffering. The elpis (hope) in fulfilling God’s promises and plans is founded on suffering, perseverance and character.

What is a community of hope?

In a community of hope, people find belonging, relationships and hope in the biblical sense. Suffering is shared, and people are supported to persist through the character-building journey that leads to the ultimate resurrection hope we all find in Jesus – a hope validated through his own resurrection. Communities of hope forge and strengthen disciples to stand against the enemy’s schemes. They are a cove where a follower of Jesus is changed and sent out to change the world.

Relationships in communities of hope can’t be a facade.

But none of this works without authenticity. Authenticity binds people together in a healthy community. We are called to a life of fearless authenticity. It is the only way we can endure and grow through suffering together.

When Jesus said to take up your cross and follow me, he precisely meant this. We all carry a cross, but we don’t all have to carry it through the public square like Jesus did. If we live in an authentic community, we must share our cross so others can help us carry the burden. Relationships in communities of hope can’t be a facade of pretence where people try to Facebook their lives to each other; for churches to be communities of hope, they must begin with authenticity.

Planting communities of hope

A good friend of mine, Graeme Hush, describes planting a community of hope as “being Jesus where you are”. It is the best description I have heard of what we are called to do and be. In more recent times, people have called this micro-church. The vision is to plant tiny churches of 10-12 people in every community, workplace, interest group and people group.

I am not too fussed about the model — call it micro-church, organic church, or purpose finders — it doesn’t matter. What matters is being Jesus where you are, living as a Christlike force wherever God has placed you, with deep and uncompromising authenticity. When you do that, communities will form, disciples will grow, and ultimately, God’s kingdom will grow.

It is time for bravery in his service. Be authentic and build communities of hope!

Jason Potter is an author, speaker, educator and the National Director of OAC Ministries Australia.

 

Read the full message HERE

Thank You Jesus for the Blood
Song by Charity Gayle

I was a wretch
I remember who I was
I was lost, I was blind
I was running out of time

Sin separated
The breach was far too wide
But from the far side of the chasm
You held me in your sight

So You made a way
Across the great divide
Left behind Heaven’s throne
To build it here inside

And there at the cross
You paid the debt I owed
Broke my chains, freed my soul
For the first time I had hope

Thank you Jesus for the blood applied
Thank you Jesus, it has washed me white
Thank you Jesus, You have saved my life
Brought me from the darkness into glorious light

You took my place
Laid inside my tomb of sin
You were buried for three days
But then You walked right out again

And now death has no sting
And life has no end
For I have been transformed
By the blood of the lamb

Thank You Jesus for the blood applied (thank You Jesus)
Thank You Jesus, it has washed me white
Thank You Jesus, You have saved my life
Brought me from the darkness into glorious light

There is nothing stronger
Than the wonder working power of the blood
The blood

That calls us sons and daughters
We are ransomed by our Father
Through the blood
The blood

There is nothing stronger
Of the wonder working power of the blood
The blood

That calls us sons and daughters
We are ransomed by the Father
Through the blood
The blood

Thank You Jesus for the blood applied
Thank You Jesus, it have washed me white
Thank You Jesus, You have saved my life
Brought me from the darkness into glorious light

Glory to His name
Glory to His name
There to my heart was the blood applied
Glory to His name

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Charity Gayle / Bryan Mccleery / David Gentiles / Ryan Kennedy / Steven Musso
Thank You Jesus for the Blood lyrics © Centricity Music Publishing, Watershed Worship Publishing, Mccleery Msc, Steven Musso Music, Gather House Music

The Following article is about How to walk out reality and overcoming relational challenges in a Community of Hope

Foot Washing: Farming Wounds

By Andrew Comiskey

Visit his website

I will pour out on you a spirit of grace and supplication…We will look upon the One we have pierced and will mourn as one grieves for an only child…
On that day, I’ll open a fountain to cleanse you from sin and impurity;
on that day, I’ll banish the idols from the land…
On that day, I’ll remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land…
On that day, every prophet will be ashamed of his prophetic vision.
He will say, “I am not a prophet, I am a farmer.”
When asked about the wounds on his body, he will answer:
“These wounds I was given at the house of my friends”’
(Zechariah 12:10-13:6).

I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of His Body, the Church’ (Col. 1:24).

During a lush time of renewal at Vineyard Anaheim in the late nineties, John Wimber made sense of the increase of prophecy and other spiritual gifts: ‘God is filling up our “lake” so that we might direct the waters toward the poor and needy, targets—desert areas—we can irrigate and help make fruitful communities.’

In other words, beware of self-serving ‘gifts’: the water isn’t rising for us to splash around and satisfy ourselves. Mobilize to reach the lost and least. I heard him, and thought of Is. 41:17-20: ‘The poor and needy search for water, but there is none…But I the Lord will answer them…I will make rivers flow on barren heights and springs within valleys…’

God gifted us with supercharged ‘living water.’ Our task? Work hard, dig strategic ditches that will carry life-giving nutrients to those perishing without them. We at Desert Stream were well-poised to pick up our shovels. It was hard labor, but US cities and nations around the globe beckoned. We dug waterways to release merciful streams in their direction.

Jesus entrusted to us this marvel of love and labor, as foreshadowed by Elisha who prophesied: ‘Make the valley full of ditches…you will see neither wind nor rain, yet the valley will be filled with water…This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord’ (2 Kg. 3:17-18).

Amid our ‘irrigation’ efforts, I recalled my childhood dream of becoming a farmer (true that). Maybe in a weird way I realized that dream as an adult. I rallied my fellows to dig ditches so that God’s best could reach the least. We who were sourced in ‘living water’ now lived to release it. No prophet me—just faith in gifts of Spirit including prophecy to release captives.

We who are prophetically inclined need goals beyond ourselves where we can direct our gifts. And we need the wounding we receive in our efforts to keep us humble and human, reliant upon others and upon Healer Jesus to keep us on track to water this awakening land.

Zechariah addresses these farm wounds when he points out the hurts incurred by friends, fellow members, who tell us the truth pointedly enough to puncture us. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

We must ask for Jesus’ heart toward the faithful who appear to oppose us but who in truth do us the favor of refining us and our efforts. They invite us to descend deeper into mercy for our own gaps and the new gashes these ‘friends’ incur in us.

Some farm wounds pierce presumption. I recall early on believers who wisely reflected that I was in no way ready to take on the giants of converting the whole ‘gay’ community: ‘Why don’t you start by coming consistently to this Bible study? Or stop mouthing off so much? Or overcoming porn?’

How blessed are we who bear farm wounds that burn off baby fat!

Others reveal our weak leadership, even when the ‘judge’ is an immature disciple whose critique is more whine than wisdom. Jesus still speaks through asses, and we can train ourselves to listen for truth amid the transference.

Other farm wounds are from power brokers who just don’t like us. Maybe their wounds mirror ours; deferred hope morphs into cynical unbelief and tempts them to smash our hopeful reflection. I’ve experienced this more than a few times in my Catholic world. This is sourced in compromised leaders who believe my hope is a danger to the faithful who can’t and won’t change. For them, I become an enemy of God’s house!

We who suffer rejection can quietly bear opposition, so that ‘friendly fire’ deepens love in us. Persecution for what is right (not poor leadership or presumption) unites us with the One forsaken at Calvary. He has unique authority to sustain us when friends betray us.

Remember David who in grief over Absalom’s betrayal of him received insult for injury by Shimei who cursed him mercilessly? ‘Let him curse’ said David to a defender… ‘It may be that the Lord will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today’ (2 Sam. 16:11-12).

Or St. John of the Cross whose reforms incurred a host of rejections from his overseers? He persistently forbade friends who sought to rectify these injustices: ‘Do not let what is happening to me cause you any grief, for it does not cause me any…Men do not do these things but God, who knows what suits us and arranges things for our good…God so acts with us, for He loves us so that we might love with the very love He bears towards us’ (The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross).

St. Paul, when pierced by the Church at Corinth, declared that Jesus transformed his affliction into a wellspring of pure compassion for them (2 Cor. 1: 3-7).

Might we who dig ditches for ‘living water’ to flow to the least in our parched communities be like the apostle? Only Jesus turns affliction into anointing. May we who irrigate the land—farmers who welcome the prophetic flow—allow every wound to further His way in us. We proceed humbled and hurt but not struck down.

May we dare to believe that wounds we received in the house of friends work miracles? Jesus trusted the Father accordingly. From His wounds still flow ‘the River of Delights, the Fountain of Life’ (Ps. 36:8-9).

 

Join Andrew on Desert Streaming each week as he dives deeper into his blog. Watch here or listen on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Your Children Will Return

By Joy Frangipane Marion

[This message was written by Francis’ daughter Joy in 1995. We felt that this would be a special encouragement to those who are standing in prayer for (their) children. Currently, Joy and her husband, Steve, have two children. She is a successful businesswoman who continues to be an immense blessing to her parents.]

No one can tell me that fathers and daughters can’t have close relationships, or even become best friends. People are almost envious of the love my dad and I share. The only time we argue is about who loves who the most. But our relationship was not always this warm. There was a time when I felt I had lost my ability to love my father. I was a teenage Christian in a public high school. My Christian background made me different. I was new, craving acceptance. My father’s rules seemed to be the source of my rejections.

Fueled by my insecurities, in my eyes my dad became the root of my problems. While I set an adequate standard and struggled to live by it, he was strict. I was angry because he refused to back down from the standard he knew was right. He refused to appeal to my ignorance in order to keep my acceptance.

Things were going from bad to worse during those years. We hit bottom the day I looked him square in the eyes and told him that I hated him. They were harsh words, but it was a hard time. I didn’t really hate him. I hated me. I felt I wasn’t bad enough to be accepted by my friends and not good enough to be accepted at home. When these feelings take over your life, you search for something – – anything — to blame. I chose my father. He carried the blunt of my pain. He even became my enemy.

In my heart I knew I didn’t hate him. I was angry and confused. I felt he wasn’t concerned with how I felt. It seemed he had made no room for compromise with my situation. He risked losing my love to save my soul.

It was a hard time for us both. He suffered the pain of rejection as I did. He suffered the hurt and the loss but from a different angle. His fear of the Lord withstood his fear of pain. He loved me, but he had a higher obligation than my favor and my approval. I’m sure at times he wondered if he was doing the right thing. There must have been times when he felt like his prayers were hitting the ceiling and bouncing back at his feet.

At times I’m sure he considered lowering his standards. It would have made things so much easier than wrestling with the power of an independent, strong-willed child. These considerations may have come, but he never gave in to them. He stood firm and prayed harder.

The “prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16 KJV). Many times he cried out to the Lord in anguish and in frustration. “What have I done wrong?” My father has a wonderful ministry to God in prayer. I think I had something to do with the character God worked in him during those days. Before he ever prayed for cities and nations, he was on his face praying for me.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). That verse was a promise that he would hold on to. “Your sons and daughters will prophesy” was another promise he stood upon (Joel 2:28). He had given me to the Lord, set a godly standard and held God to His word.

At the same time, I was wrestling with my salvation. My desire to be accepted by my non-Christian friends at school warred against my desire to be with the Lord. James speaks of a double-minded person being unstable in all of their ways (James 1:8). I was completely unstable. I walked on a line between Heaven and hell. I wanted the best of both worlds and was satisfied in neither.

Although I had been brought up in the church, the world had taken its toll on me. My eyes had been blinded to the sin in my own life, further separating me from God and parents. It was so hard for me to see my way out.

When a child is brought up in a Christian home, regardless of what may happen, there is a seed that has been planted in their heart that continues to grow. It’s an amazing seed because it can grow in the dark without water; it can even bloom in adversity. The reason we can never outrun God is because He is that seed growing within us. Once you have tasted the presence of the Lord, nothing satisfies you like He can. Sometimes those who seem to be running the hardest from God are doing so because He is so close to them.

On the outside my witness was weak and I was in bondage to my unsaved friends. But inside my heart cried for oneness with the Lord. I hated my double-mindedness as much as my father did. My whole life I wanted strong Christian friends to save the world with me. I wanted the support — I just never had it. I did the best I could, but I lost my sensitivity to sin, and the more I was with non-Christian people the more deceived I became.

Paul warns us to not be deceived: “For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?” (2 Cor. 6:14 KJV). I didn’t realize the impact my unsaved friends had on me. The more I was with them the more I conformed to them. When I look back, I know if my parents had not been praying for me, I would have been on my way to hell.

Sin has a way of moving in and taking control. But “love is as strong as death” and “many waters cannot quench love” (Song of Sol. 8:6, 7). “Love never fails” (1 Cor. 13:8). And prayer is the highest power through which love is released. I had to relearn how to love. My love had become completely self-centered and conditional. I had failed to realize that my father and my Lord loved me unconditionally. I had only to try. I had only to bridge the communication gap to understand that God had loved me before I was even aware of His standards. And my dad loved me for me alone, not for something I had to become.

My relationship with my father is wonderful, and that’s the truth. God has proven faithful in the working of both our lives. The Lord has bridged the gap and filled it with love. It took me leaving my environment and being planted with Christian people who faithfully loved me. It also took my will to change, but it did happen.

Listen, please don’t give up on your teenagers. Don’t sacrifice God’s standards of righteousness to appeal to their carnal nature. They can’t respect you for it and God won’t honor it. Your children were not consecrated to Satan; they were dedicated to the Lord. He has had His hand on them and He will not forget them. He has heard your prayers and He is faithful to your cries. He is your God.

Prayer works. I’m living proof of it. I look back now and see how many times nothing but the miraculous dedication of loving parents took me out of hopeless situations. The Lord will not forsake His children. He will not turn His back on them. We are never too far from His reach. Believe the promises of the Lord. He is not a liar. He honors a steadfast heart. Hold on. Your children will come back to the Lord.

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

Adapted from Francis Frangipane’s In Christ’s Image Training course (www.icitc.org) and his book, This Day We Fight!, available at www.arrowbookstore.com.

Who is God, the Father?

”…Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.”
Matthew 6:9

The God Revolution begins with God. God is the Father of us all and deeply longs to have a relationship with us. Many people lack this relationship. God is invisible to them because they haven’t opened their hearts and accepted God into relationship and sought forgiveness for their sin.

In the above video, Bernard Ilango shares his testimony on how depression had gripped him from a very young age. However, he always had this desire to find God even though he was raised as a Hindu and tried everything from Hinduism to Atheism. Then somebody sent him a Bible. He read the Gospel of John and he discovered the true God, a Father who cares.

God is calling us into a personal relationship with Him. This is both a revelation as a well as a revolution.

Wouldn’t it be revolutionary to have God as the pilot of your life? It is available for all who want to break away from sin and evil, and enter into that which is good and right.

 . . . . . . .

Becoming a Disciple for Jesus

By Tony McLennan

Chapter 3

How can I Understand
the Bible?

Introduction
Martin Luther, the well known reformer of the 16th century, once wrote: “The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold on me.
Luther was referring to the incredible power that God has built into His Word, the Bible. It is the most memorable and amazing book ever written.

  • About 40 men of several countries and many occupations.
  • Written over a period of 1,500 years.
  • In three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.
  • It has one great theme and central figure – the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
  • It has One Author: the Holy Spirit.

I. The Authority of God’s Word

In the Old Testament the Bible is referred to as God’s Word:

  • Isaiah 55:10-11
    Psalm 119:105

Writers of the Old Testament said they had heard from God:

  • Nehemiah 9:13 -14

The Bible is completely inspired:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God….” 2 Timothy 3:16
“… they spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:20 -21
The New Testament has the same authority as the Old:
“… our brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God
gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters…. His letters
contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant
and unstable people distort as they do the other Scriptures, to
their own destruction.2 Peter 3:15 -16
Jesus used the scripture:

  • Mark 7:6 – 9
  • Matthew 4:4, 7, 10

II. God’s Word: Its Importance to You

The Bible is referred to as the “Sword of the Spirit”.
(Ephesians 6:10).

Read Psalm 19:7 – 8 and write in your answers.
What does the Bible do?
1) ________________________________________
2) ________________________________________
3) ________________________________________
4) ________________________________________

What should we do in handling the Word?
“… For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of
the law of the Lord, and to keeping its decrees and laws in Israel.” Ezra 7:10

III. Absorbing God’s Word

Psalm 119 is dedicated completely to highlighting the value of the Word. Among all its statements, it gives us 5 key things we need to do to absorb or to take the Word into our spiritual digestive system:

  • Verse 9 – “heed” or “hear”.
  • Verse 11 – “hide” or “study”.
  • Verse 13 – “lips” or “read”.
  • Verse 15 – “meditate”.
  • Verse 16 – “not forget” or “memorise”.

**See inside back cover for a very useful illustration of how to gain a firm grip on God’s Word.

IV. Applying God’s Word

It is necessary to act on the Word of God. Don’t just be a person who hears and then ignores. This is of no value – James 1:22-25.

Obedience is the key – John 14:21.

Act on the Word.
eg. “Do not enter into the path of the wicked” – Proverbs 4:14.

Receive the promisesProverbs 4:18, 2 Peter 1:4.

If one doesn’t obey, what can happen? Deuteronomy 28 (from vs 15 onwards). 

Also Proverbs 1:23 – 26.

 

Conclusion:

    The Bible is God’s provision to guide you. It is His instruction book for your life. If people contradict the Bible, they do not speak with God’s authority.
    Isaiah 8:20 – “…there is no light in them.” (KJV)

    Read and Memorise:
    Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful”. Joshua 1:8

    ~~~~~~~

    ** The “Word Hand”:  shows five very important methods of learning from the Bible.

    HEARING
    So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
    Romans 10:17
    Hearing the Word from godly pastors and teachers provides insight into others’ study of the Scriptures as well as stimulating your own appetite for the Word.

    READING
    Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.Revelation 1:3
    Reading the Bible gives an overall picture of God’s Word. Many
    people find it helpful to use a daily reading program which takes them systematically through the Bible.

    STUDYING
    These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11
    Studying the Scriptures leads to personal discoveries of God’s truths.
    Writing down these discoveries helps you organise and remember them.

    MEMORISING
    Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed
    thereto according to thy word. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.Psalm 119:9, 11
    Memorising God’s Word enables use of the Sword of the Spirit to
    overcome Satan and temptations…to have it readily available for witnessing or helping others with a “word in season.”

    MEDITATING
    Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall  prosper.” Psalm 1:2, 3

    Meditation is the thumb of the Word Hand, for it is used in conjunction with each of the other methods. Only as you meditate on God’s Word–thinking of its meaning and application in your
    life–will you discover its transforming power at work within you.

    We encourage you to study the Topical Memory System produced by NavPress.

    ~~~~~~~

     . . . . . . .

    Becoming a Disciple for Jesus

    By Tony McLennan

    Chapter 4

    What is Worship?

    Introduction
    Worship is bowing down in awe before the Lord’s majesty and pouring out your love to Him as the supreme offering you could make to Him.
    God does not seek worship. He seeks worshippers!
    But the time is coming and is already here, when by the power of
    God’s Spirit people will worship the Father as He really is, offering
    Him the true worship that He wants. God is Spirit, and only by the
    power of His Spirit can people worship Him as He really is.John 4:23 -24 (GNB)

    God is ultimately not after the things we possess, eg, abilities, prayers, giving. He wants you. He wants your love.

     

    I. Worship – Definitions

    The Greek word – Latreuo means:

    • To serve; to worship.
    • Everything we do is done as if we are doing it for the Lord.

    Therefore, I urge you, brothers, … to offer your bodies as living
    sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of
    worship.Romans 12:1

    A more specific meaning – Proskuneo:

    • To throw kisses.

    II. Worshipping in Practice

    It is easy to worship God when things are going well. But true worship is shown when things are not so good; when you don’t feel like it; when it’s not so convenient.

    • God is always worthy of our worship.
    • Other things need not interfere, eg, how we feel, the music,the worship leader or other circumstances.
    • Worship is a choice.

    Read these Scriptures:
    In all things, give thanks.” 1 Thess 5:18
    Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise Him, my Saviour and my God.Psalm 42:5

    III. Jesus and Worship

    Refer to John 4:20 -24 (partly quoted in the introduction).

    Worship in Spirit
    Our spirit can communicate directly with God because we are joined
    together with Him by the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:11 – 12).

    • Jesus sent the Holy Spirit enabling our worship to become “heart to heart” with God enabling us to call Him “Abba”, that is, “Father”. (Romans 8:15)

    Worship in Truth
    The “truth” reference in John 4:23 -24 probably refers to the ignorant worship of the Samaritans who had distorted and confused their understanding of the Scriptures with their own traditions. (Mt Gerazim, etc)
    The Jews, by contrast, based their worship on the recorded will and
    purposes of God shown in the Bible.
    We take our instruction to worship from the Bible. Sincerity in and of itself is not enough. Our worship must be based on truth. eg. there are sincere worshippers in Buddhism and Islam.
    Also, we do not want to be hypocrites. Our love for God must be our
    motivation to worship.

      IV. Hindrances to Worship

      Sin and Guilt
      Sin puts up a barrier between the sinner and God.
      “… if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23 -24)

      Worship flows from contrition. It is an expression of repentance.
      (Luke 7:36 -50)

      Pride
      Worship is an act of bowing down and humbling oneself before God.
      See the incident involving pride in 2 Samuel 6: 6 -7, when Uzzah touched the Ark. Pride? or unwitting error?

      Idolatry – The Worship Of Other Things
      Worshiping anything else other than God is idolatry. One could even
      ‘worship’ worship and this would be idolatry.

      Mary and Martha
      See Luke 10:38 – 41. Worshippers will be servants of the Lord but the priority must be to worship first…. This is our highest calling – to love the Lord.

       

        Conclusion:

          “Jesus said: ‘I assure you that whoever does not receive the
          Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.’” Mark 10:15 (GNB)
          Worship is an act of love for God. It occurs when our hearts reach out to Him as a loving child seeks to embrace his/her mother or father. There is a beautiful simplicity in worship. We need to approach God with a child – like attitude. We do this by confessing our sins and being cleansed as we come to worship God.

          Memorise these verses:
          God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.John 4:24

           . . . . . . .

          We will continue next week with the next 2 chapters from the book: Becoming a Disciple of Jesus by Tony McLennan

          For even more information please visit:  The God Revolution  & Australia for Jesus websites.

           . . . . . . .

          Pastor Jeff’s Special Today:  “usurping parents’ authority, indoctrinating children...” 

          Children are a heritage from the Lord.. (Psalm 127:3), and parents are called to ” Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). Timothy is the model for this: From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wish for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15). Repent if you have given this responsibility over to others, or whether you have been usurping parents’ authority, indoctrinating children in a non-Biblical mindset.

          Being candid with yourself and the Holy Spirit, is this issue of delegating your child’s training or usurping parents’ authority, something blocking your serving your Almighty Creator today? Is there any remnant of this old pattern needing to be confessed? Do you think this is only applicable to the disciples 2,000 years ago? Do you have any residue of a residue of this issue for such a time as this? Was it connected to your upbringing as a child? Was it a family pattern in any way?

          God bless you as you seek His Holy Spirit Wisdom and Comfort on this issue. May you go forward on His path, “perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1).

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          Bible Verse of the Day

          But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.