Seeking God in worship

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God is mysterious, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God. Our lives, however, can become mundane, tedious, and cold.

Worship. We all do it. Every day our affection, adoration, devotion, honor and reverence are given to something or someone. Who or what do you worship? All too often my devotion lies with the things of this world. But when we see God for who He really is, worship is true and spontaneous.

One night our family attended a professional basketball game. As the players ran onto the court with fireworks going off (yes, inside the building!) my kids were completely mesmerized. The high-tech, full-surround arena video screens shouted out to the spectators, “Everybody Make Some Noise!”

The whole place was electric with screams, whistles, and any other available form of noise-making. The excitement over the home team just making one basket was unbelievable. As I looked around, I saw this guy wearing an obnoxiously large team hat and a small group of young men in appropriately-colored face paint. Whether the basketball team was doing well or not, the fans were sold out! This was a form of worship.

My kids play sports and so I realize how easily a fan could get a little overboard on the excitement scale. These games can be a lot of fun. It’s fun to be a fan and root for your favorite team. However, I’ve always believed that God desires a similar (and even greater) passion to be exhibited for Him, the All Star Player who made all the stars and knows them by name!
He is the MVP for all time and eternity! He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! The Great I Am!

My prayer is that this simple devotional will strengthen your relationship with God in such a way that you’ll dive into a fully-abandoned worship mode with The One and only One worthy of your worship. Agree with me in this prayer and may you never be the same again! Amen?

‘Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy. ‘ Psalm 99:5 

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“An Undeserved Love” #MomBlogger

I watched the sippy cup leave my hands and had an “out of body” moment. Out-of-body me stood there looking at sippy-cup-thrower me with that judgy-side-eye thinking “Really, you’ve stooped this low?” The sippy of juice splattered across the kitchen wall and my kids stood there as dumbfounded as I was when I realized I had just lost my ever-lovin-junk in front of them. Everyone was afraid to blink, breathe, cry, or laugh. Because what do you REALLY do in those moments? If you don’t laugh, you just cry.

Oh, motherhood. You bring out the best and unfortunately, the worst in all of us. I can’t remember what it was that made me lose my temper, throw that cup, and probably scare my children half to death. But what I do remember? My three-year-old walking up to me not moments later, hugging my leg (as I was sobbing on the kitchen counter at this point) and saying “I love you, Mommy.”

That, my friends, is a picture of grace and unconditional love. If we learn anything from our children, it’s forgiveness, grace, and love. I was hitting rock bottom, exhausted with three children under the age of three and losing it every second. But a little squeeze from a three-year-old reminded me of God’s love for me in those moments. He whispers to us through our children, “I love you.”

In our weakest, ugliest moments – He embraces us. When we have sore throats from yelling at our kids, when we can barely put a sentence together to talk to our husband because we’ve let our marriage fall apart. When the loneliness takes over because we’ve broken every relationship in our lives.

His grace, His love covers every inch of us – especially the ugly, weak parts. Redemption is such a gift, and every part of our life can be redeemed because He showed us that when He gave His life for us. He could walk away, and leave us crazy people to our cup-throwing ways – but He always welcomes us in and shows us His love.

Thank you, God, for not throwing our sippy cups against the wall and going to the cross for us instead.

Romans 5: 1-11

From a Devotional Study. By Thrive Moms.

“How to Offer Real Comfort” #MomBlogger

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“How to Offer Real Comfort”

What brings you real comfort in a place of deep suffering and trial? Does someone telling you, “It will be all right,” “I believe God will bring healing,” “You’re a strong person, I know you will get through this,” or “I’ll pray you get better and that this will all come to an end” bring you real, lasting comfort?

These statements always fall short of offering any real comfort. Though they sometimes carry partial truths—since it’s good and right to pray for healing and better circumstances—they can also reinforce the misleading idea that our greatest problem is our suffering, and the removal of it would be God’s greatest blessing.

If we do not have a correct theology of suffering, we will be shocked, devastated, and angered when adversity strikes us or those we love. What we really believe shapes what we actually say, both to ourselves and to others. If we believe the wrong thing, we will say the wrong thing, and end up resorting to quasi-Christian clichés (which offer false hope) or to never having anything to say at all to those who are hurting (which offers no hope).

Paul teaches us that no matter what circumstances or company we may find ourselves in, our message of hope should confidently remain the same. Trace his logic in these verses. He believes that Christ has risen to eternal life, and so one day he will raise Paul to eternal life. So this is what he speaks of, for the sake of his listeners coming to understand and appreciate grace, and the sake of his God coming to receive the thanksgiving he so richly and infinitely deserves.

If we believe in resurrection hope, we will speak that hope into the lives of others. One of the most crucial times for us to share this truth is when we are walking alongside a brother or sister who is suffering and struggling to see this hope for themselves. And what better person is there to share such hope than one who has been comforted and strengthened by it through their own season of suffering? It is from the overflow of the comfort we find in knowing that Jesus has risen and will raise us too that we are able to comfort others.

2 Corinthians 4:13-15 NIV
“It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak,” “because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.” “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NIV “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,” “who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 

Power in Weakness 

Americans will do almost anything to appear strong, capable, and worthy of admiration. We exercise our bodies with intensity, climb the corporate ladder at the expense of integrity, and struggle to accept the help of other people. Our society works by the principle that the way up is the road to success and value. 

When we transfer this into our Christian faith, here is what happens: We believe that comfort is a right that Christ would never remove, and that success indicates a godly Christian life. This sense of entitlement has therefore deeply impacted the way Christians interpret and respond to suffering. 

Think about how we talk about and react to a trial. We try to avoid it. We complain about it. We think we don’t deserve it. We’re embarrassed by it. We commiserate with others about it. We believe that God is mad at us, or just plain angry. 

We hate weakness and will do almost anything to escape it. 

One big problem with this approach is that weakness is real. Behind our masks, everyone is weak. It’s inbuilt into our humanness in this world. We can’t run from it, and thankfully we don’t need to. What we need is a biblical understanding of the value of weakness (that’s a strange-sounding phrase!), and how suffering is the tool God uses to expose it (that’s another strange idea!). 

Everything changes when we see weakness and suffering in the light of the gospel. For it is through human weakness that God’s strength upholds us and is displayed to the world. 

Here is the Bible’s description of who a Christian is: “We [are those who] have this treasure in jars of clay.” What treasure? The glorious gospel: the work of Jesus Christ to save sinners by grace through faith. And what is clay? A brittle, easily broken substance. And that’s what I am. That’s what you are. 

God has a purpose in placing such a treasure in such a jar. We are unfit, breakable, disposable vessels, and God has decided to use our weaknesses to display his power and love. A jar of clay might be cracked in a few places, making it unusable in the world’s eyes, but God sees these deficiencies as a means to pour out and reveal more of himself. 

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“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of Godʼs glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Oh, How He Loves Us” 


“Oh, How He Loves Us” 

You’ve always heard that we are created in the image of God. But what does that really mean, and why did God create us in His image? When you hear that, you probably are reminded of your worth – that if the God of the universe created you like Him – you are worth something. But it can also be a little scary, because we can get a “God complex,” thinking we are equal with Him because we are made in His image. 
Let’s take a look at the beginning – to see where God fell deeply in love with us. Take a trip with me back to the Garden of Eden. I imagine it must have been the most beautiful sight. Vast with greenery, sprouting with life, and glowing with perfection. It was perfect. God created our world and had us in mind. He knew he wanted to bring us into this world to love in a way our minds cannot fathom. So, He created us in His image. 
The Hebrew meaning of the phrase image of God is imago Dei meaning “image, shadow or likeness of God.” I like to think of us as a snapshot, or a replication of Him. And that’s where it gets tricky because we begin to think we are in charge. We can easily confuse our God-likeness to being gods. God did place us in the highest order of His creations, because we are the only creations made in his image. It’s when we begin to become more like Him that we are truly his image bearers. We will be the most whole when we develop into who God made us to be. 
If this in itself isn’t a beautiful picture of God’s love for us, He gave us an entire love story in His Word. Story after story of His love, His faithfulness and His unrelenting passion for us. When we are ready to realize we are not God, we are of Him and His love for us is deeper than anything we can fully grasp – that’s when we will truly be an imago Dei of Him.
{ Genesis 1  } 

What if? What if? 

What if? What if? Have you ever dealt with the what-ifs? Entertaining the what-ifs in your life is the first step to being overtaken with worry. Worry is taking responsibility for things you were never intended to handle. Worry is a lack of trust in the Creator of the universe. Worry says that you can handle it when many times you simply cannot. Are you worried that you worry too much? You don’t defeat worry by worrying about it. You defeat worry by redirecting your concerns to Someone who can actually do something about your situation. It does not mean that you do not take responsibility for the things you are supposed to handle; it just means that you know when you stop and God begins. Worried you don’t know enough about it? Check out what the Bible says!