Day 16 – What Matters Most

1 Corinthians 13:3 (msg)
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
2 John 1:6
This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

Life is about love.
Because God is love, the most important lesson he wants you to learn on earth is how to love. It is in loving that we are most like him, so love is the foundation of every command given us.

Galatians 5:14
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Learning to love unselfishly – is not an easy task. It runs counter to our self-centered nature. That’s way we’ve given a lifetime to learn it. Of course, God wants us to love everyone, but he is particularity concerned that we learn to love others in his family.

1 Peter 2:17
Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
Galatians 6:10
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

God wants his family to be known for its love more than anything else. Jesus said our love for each other, not doctrinal beliefs, is our greatest witness to the world.

John 13:35
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

In heaven we will enjoy God’s family forever, but first we have some tough work to do here on earth to prepare ourselves for an eternity of loving. Love can not be learned in isolation. You hate to be around people, irritating, imperfect,, frustrating people. Through fellowship we learn these important truths.

The Best Use of Life is Love

Love should be your top priority, primary objective, and greatest ambition. Love i snot a good part of your life; it is the most important part.

1 Corinthians 14:1
Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

Life without love is really worthless

1 Corinthians 13:3 (msg)
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Four of the Ten Commandments deal with our relationship to God while the other six deal with our relationship with people. But all Ten are about relationships! Jesus summarized what matters most to God in two sentences: love God and love people.

Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Love will last forever

1 Corinthians 13:13
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

How you treated other people, not your wealth or accomplishments, is the most enduring impact you can leave on earth.
When life on earth is ending, people don’t surround themselves with objects. What we want around us is people, people we love and have relationships with. Don’t wait until you’re on your death-bed to figure that out that nothing matters more.

We will evaluated on our love

One of the ways God measures spiritual maturity is the quality of your relationships.

Matthew 25:34-46
Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I wasnaked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ 41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ 44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Galatians 5:6
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

The Best Expression of Love Is Time

1 John 3:18
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
Ephesians 5:2
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Love means giving up, yielding my preferences, comfort, goals, security, money, energy, or time for the benefit of someone else.

The Best Time To Love Is Now

Galathians 6:10
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Ephesians 5:16
redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Proverbs 3:27
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so.

Why is now the best time to express love? Because you don’t know how long you will have to opportunity. Circumstances change. People die. Children grow up. You have no guarantee of tomorrow. If you want to express love, you had better do it now.
The best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now.

Point to Ponder: Life is all about love
Verse to Remember: Galatians 5:14 – For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Question to Consider: Honestly, are relationships my first priority? How can I ensure that they are?

I can honestly say yes! I put a lot of people before myself. I rather make someone else happy. I try to call my friends everyday, just to check on them, but I guess I need to do this a lot more for my other friends. I need to make time for others, I need to stop, or learn how to stop being isolated in my own home. I am getting there though. Once I love someone, as a friend or family I care about them, I will tell them that over and over. I want them to know I love them, I want to make time just for them.

 

Day 1 – It’s Not About Me
Day 2 – You are Not An Accident
Day 3 – What Drives Your Life
Day 4 – Made to Last Forever
Day 5 – Life from God’s View
Day 6 – Life is a Temporary Assignment
Day 7 – The Reason for Everything
Day 8 – Planned For God’s Pleasure
Day 9 – What Makes God Smile
Day 10 – The Heart of Worship
Day 11 – Becoming Best Friends with God
Day 12 – Developing Your Friendship with God
Day 13 – Worship That Pleases God
Day 14 – When God Seems Distant

Day 15 – Formed for God’s Family

Day 15 – Formed for God’s Family

Hebrews 2:10
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
1 John 3:1
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God![a] Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

The Bible is the story of God building a family who will love him, honor him, and reign with him forever.

Ephesians 1:5
having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will

God is love, he treasures relationships. God’s nature is relational, and he identifies himself in family terms: Father, Son and Spirit. The Trinity is God’s relationship to himself.

James 1:18
Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

When we place our faith in Christ, God becomes our Father, we become his children, other believers become our brothers and sisters, and the church becomes our spiritual family. The family of God includes the past, the present, and the future.

1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
Romans 8:15-16
 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God
Mark 8:34
When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Acts 2:21
And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.
Romans 10:13
For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Galatians 3:26
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 3:14-15
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named

Benefits of Being in God’s Family

Galatians 4:7
Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Philippians 4:19
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 1:7
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
Romans 2:4
 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Romans 9:23
and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory
Romans 11:33
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
Ephesians 3:16
that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man
Ephesians 2:4
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us
Ephesians 1:18
the eyes of your understandingbeing enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints
1 Thessalonians 5:10
who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
1 Thessalonians 4:17
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
1 John 3:2
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
2 Corinthians 3:18
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Revelation 21:4
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Mark 9:41
For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.
Mark 10:30
who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.
1 Corinthians 3:8
Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
Hebrews 10:35
Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
Matthew 25:21
His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
Matthew 25: 23
His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
Romans 8:17
and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
Colossians 3:4
When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
2 Thessalonians 2:14
to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 2:12
If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
1 Peter 5:1
The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed
1 Peter 1:4
to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you

Your eternal inheritance is priceless, pure, permanent, and protected. No one can take it from you; it can’t be destroyed by war, a poor economy, or a natural disaster.

Colossians 3:23-24
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Baptism Identifying with God’s Family

Baptism is not an optional ritual, to be delayed or postponed. It signifies your inclusion in God’s Family.

Matthew 28:19
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

Your baptism declares your faith, shares Christ’s burial and resurrection, symbolizes your death to your old life, and announces your new life in Christ. Your baptism is a physical picture of a spiritual truth.

1 Corinthians 12:13
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

Baptism doesn’t make you a member of God’s family; only faith in Christ does that.
Baptism shows you are part of God’s family.

Acts 2:41
Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
Acts 8:12-13
But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. 13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
Acts 8:35-38
Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here iswater. What hinders me from being baptized?”
37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
38 
So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.

In the New Testament, people were baptized as soon as they believed.

Life’s Greatest Privilege

Hebrews 2:11
For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren

You are part of God’s family, and because Jesus makes you Holy, God is proud of You!

Matthew 12:49-50
And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

Whenever you feel unimportant, unloved, or insecure, remember to whom you belong.

Point to Ponder: I was formed for God’s family
Verse to Remember: Ephesians 1:5 – having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will
Question to Consider: How can I start treating other believers like members of my own family?

I use to be really open to others, even unbelievers, but I have recently figured out that even your own family can hurt you. Other believers tongues can probably hurt you worse than your own family. So, now I am sticking to only opening up to my Husband, at least I know he has my back and he won’t condemn me, rebuke me, or look down upon me.

I use to sacrifice my time, treasure my other believers, seek out a time during the day to call them and check on them, tell them how much I love them. I need to grow my trust again, and it will take time. Once you have beat down, it takes you awhile to climb back up, and right now I am working on climbing back up.

Day 1 – It’s Not About Me
Day 2 – You are Not An Accident
Day 3 – What Drives Your Life
Day 4 – Made to Last Forever
Day 5 – Life from God’s View
Day 6 – Life is a Temporary Assignment
Day 7 – The Reason for Everything
Day 8 – Planned For God’s Pleasure
Day 9 – What Makes God Smile

Day 10 – The Heart of Worship
Day 11 – Becoming Best Friends with God

Day 12 – Developing Your Friendship with God
Day 13 – Worship That Pleases God
Day 14 – When God Seems Distant

Day 14 – When God seems Distant

Isaiah 8:17
And I will wait on the Lord, Who hides His face from the house of Jacob; And I will hope in Him.

The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during a trial, trusting him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving him when he seems distant.
To mature your friendship, God will test it with periods of seeming separation – time when it feels as if he has abandoned or forgotten you.

1 Samuel 13:14
But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
Acts 13:22
And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’
Psalm 10:1
Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You hide in times of trouble?
Psalm 22:1
My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?
Psalm 43:2
For You are the God of my strength; Why do You cast me off? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
Psalm 44:23
Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord? Arise! Do not cast us off forever.
Psalm 74:11
Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand? Take it out of Your bosom and destroy them.
Psalm 88:14 (msg)
Why, GOD, do you turn a deaf ear? Why do you make yourself scarce?
Psalm 89:49
Lord, where are Your former lovingkindnesses, Which You swore to David in Your truth?

God hadn’t really left David, and he doesn’t leave you.

Deuteronomy 31:8
And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
Psalm 37:28
For the Lord loves justice, And does not forsake His saints; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
John 14:16-18
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
Hebrews 13:5
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

God admits that sometimes he hides his face from us.

Isaiah 45:15
Truly You are God, who hide Yourself, O God of Israel, the Savior!

This is a normal part of the testing and maturing of your friendship with God. Every Christian goes through it at least once, and usually several times. It is painful and disconcerting, but it is absolutely vital for the development of your faith.

Job 23:8-10
“Look, I go forward, but He is not there, And backward, but I cannot perceive Him; When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him. 10 But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.”
Psalm 51
Ephesians 4:29-30
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
1 Thessalonians 5:19
Do not quench the Spirit.
Jeremiah 2:32
Can a virgin forget her ornaments, Or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number.
1 Corinthians 8:12
But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.
James 4:4
Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Seeking a feeling, even the feeling of closeness to Christ, is not worship.
God’s omnipresence and the manifestation of his presence are two different things. One is a fact; the other is often a feeling. He wants you to sense his presence, but he’s more concerned that you trust him than that you feel him. Faith, not feelings, pleases God.

Job 1:20-21
Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Tell God exactly how you feel

Pour out to God

Job 7:11
“Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.”
Job 29:4
Just as I was in the days of my prime, When the friendly counsel of God was over my tent
Psalm 116:10
I believed, therefore I spoke, “I am greatly afflicted.”

First, he believed in God. Second, he believed God would listen to his prayer. Third, he believed God would let him say what he felt and still love him.

Focus on who God is – his unchanging nature

Remind yourself what you know to be eternally true about God

Job 10:12
You have granted me life and favor, And Your care has preserved my spirit.
Job 42:2
I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
Job 37:5
God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend.
Job 37:23
As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power, In judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress.
Job 23:10
But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.
Job 31:4
Does He not see my ways, And count all my steps?
Job 34:13
Who gave Him charge over the earth? Or who appointed Him over the whole world?
Job 23:14
For He performs what is appointed for me, And many such things are with Him.
Job 19:25
For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth

Trust God to Keep his Promises

A friendship based on emotion is shallow indeed

Job 23:12
I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.

This trust in God’s Word caused Job to remain faithful even though nothing made sense.

Job 13:15
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.

Remember What God has Already Done for You

2 Corinthians 5:21
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Never again should you wonder what you have to be thankful for

Point to Ponder: God is real, no matter how I feel
Verse to Remember: Hebrews 13:5 – Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Question to Consider: How can I stay focused on God’s presence, especially when he feels distant?

Worship, praise, never give up in prayer, talk to him through spirit. Talk to him while in the shower, doing chores, and other activities.

 

Day 1 – It’s Not About Me
Day 2 – You are Not An Accident
Day 3 – What Drives Your Life
Day 4 – Made to Last Forever
Day 5 – Life from God’s View
Day 6 – Life is a Temporary Assignment
Day 7 – The Reason for Everything
Day 8 – Planned For God’s Pleasure
Day 9 – What Makes God Smile

Day 10 – The Heart of Worship
Day 11 – Becoming Best Friends with God

Day 12 – Developing Your Friendship with God
Day 13 – Worship That Pleases God

Day 13 – Worship That Pleases God

Mark 12:30
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’This is the first commandment.

God doesn’t want a part of you life. He asks for all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. God is not interested in half-hearted commitment, partial obedience, and the leftovers of your time and money. He desires your full devotion, not little bits of your life.
Where you worship is not as important as why you worship and how much of yourself you offer to God when you worship.

Hebrews 12:28
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

The kind of worship that pleases God has four characteristics.

1) God is pleased when our worship is accurate

We can not just create our own comfortable or politically correct image of God and worship it. That is idolatry.
Worship must be based on Truth of Scripture, not our opinions about God.

John 4:23
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

2) God is pleased when our worship is authentic

When Jesus said you must “worship in spirit”, he wasn’t referring to the Holy Spirit, but to your spirit. Made in God’s image, you are a spirit that resides in a body, and God designed your spirit to communicate with him. Worship is your spirit responding to God’s spirit.

1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Worship involves delighting in God, it engages your emotions.
Many forms of praise are mentioned in the Bible, among them confessions, sighing, shouting, standing in honor, kneeling, dancing, making a joyful noise, testifying, playing musical instruments, and raising hands.

Hebrews 13:15
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
Psalm 7:17
I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.
Ezra 3:11
And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord:
“For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel.”
Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.
Psalm 149:3
Let them praise His name with the dance; Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.
Psalm 150:3
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp!
Nehemiah 8:6
And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God.

Then all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

You don’t bring glory to God by trying to be someone he never intended you to be. God wants you to be yourself.

John 4:23 (msg)
But the time is coming – it has, in fact, come – when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.

3) God is pleased when our worship is thoughtful

“love with all your mind” is repeated four times in the New Testament. You must engage your mind.
Jesus called thoughtless worship “vain repetitions”

Matthew 6:7
And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

Try praising God without using the words praise, hallelujah, thanks, or amen. Instead of saying “we just want to praise you”, make a list of synonyms and use fresh words like admire, respect, value, revere, honor, and appreciate.

1 Corinthians 14:40
Let all things be done decently and in order.
1 Corinthians 14:16-17
Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? 17 For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.

Being sensitive to unbelievers who visit your worship gatherings is a biblical command. To ignore this command is to be both disobedient and unloving.

4) God is pleased when our worship is practical.

Romans 12:1
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

Without your body you can’t do anything on this planet. In eternity you will receive a new, improved, upgraded body, but while you’re here on earth, God says “Give me what you’ve got!” He’s just being practical about worship. As long as you’re on earth, your spirit can only be where your body is. If your body isn’t there, neither are you.

2 Samuel 24:24
Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

One thing worship costs is our self-centeredness. You can not exalt God and yourself at the same time. You don’t worship to be seen by others or to please yourself.
Worship takes effort and energy. It is not always convenient or comfortable, and sometimes worship is an oxymoron.

Heart of Worship by Matt Redman

The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.

Point to Ponder: God wants all of me
Verse to Remember: Mark 12:30 – And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
Question to Consider: Which is more pleasing to God right now – my public worship or my private worship? What will I do about this?

You know, this really didn’t hit home till recently.
I will say, it does matter what I do and say in public, but my worship and where I worship is just right for me. I personally like worshiping in my own time, in my peace of mind, in the quiet so I can hear within my spirit. I want to in tune to what God wants to tell me.

Day 1 – It’s Not About Me
Day 2 – You are Not An Accident
Day 3 – What Drives Your Life
Day 4 – Made to Last Forever
Day 5 – Life from God’s View
Day 6 – Life is a Temporary Assignment
Day 7 – The Reason for Everything
Day 8 – Planned For God’s Pleasure
Day 9 – What Makes God Smile

Day 10 – The Heart of Worship
Day 11 – Becoming Best Friends with God

Day 12 – Developing Your Friendship with God


Day 12 – Developing Your Friendship with God

Proverbs 3:32
For the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord, But His secret counsel is with the upright.
James 4:8
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

If you want a deeper, more intimate connection with God you must learn to honesty share your feelings with him, when he asks you to do something learn to care about what he cares about, and desire his friendship more than anything else.

I must choose to be honest with God

God doesn’t expect you to be perfect, but he does insist on complete honesty. If perfection was a requirement for friendship with God, we would never be able to be his friends. Fortunately, because of God’s grace, Jesus is still the “friend of sinners.”

Matthew 11:19
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”
Job 42:7 (msg)
After God had finished addressing Job, he turned to Eliphaz the Temanite and said, “I’ve had it with you and your two friends. I’m fed up! You haven’t been honest either with me or about me—not the way my friend Job has.”
Exodus 33:1-17
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Depart and go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’ And I will send My Angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you area stiff-necked people.” And when the people heard this bad news, they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments. For the Lord had said to Moses, “Say to the children of Israel, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. I could come up into your midst in one moment and consume you. Now therefore, take off your ornaments, that I may know what to do to you.’” So the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by Mount Horeb.Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting. And it came to pass that everyone who sought the Lord went out to the tabernacle of meeting which was outside the camp. So it was, whenever Moses went out to the tabernacle, that all the people rose, and each man stood at his tent door and watched Moses until he had gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. 10 All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door. 11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle. 12 Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.” 14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.” 17 So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”
Exodus 33:12-17 (msg)
Moses said to God, “Look, you tell me, ‘Lead this people,’ but you don’t let me know whom you’re going to send with me. You tell me, ‘I know you well and you are special to me.’ If I am so special to you, let me in on your plans. That way, I will continue being special to you. Don’t forget, this is your people, your responsibility.”  14 God said, “My presence will go with you. I’ll see the journey to the end.”  15-16 Moses said, “If your presence doesn’t take the lead here, call this trip off right now. How else will it be known that you’re with me in this, with me and your people? Are you traveling with us or not? How else will we know that we’re special, I and your people, among all other people on this planet Earth?”  17 God said to Moses: “All right. Just as you say; this also I will do, for I know you well and you are special to me. I know you by name.”

Genuine friendship is built on disclosure. God listens to the passionate words of his friends; he bored with predictable, pious clichés. You must be honest to God, sharing your true feelings, not what you think you ought to feel or say.
People often blame God for hurts caused by others. Releasing your resentment and revealing your feeling is the first step to healing.

Consider Job (Job 7:17-21)
“What is man, that You should exalt him, That You should set Your heart on him, 18 That You should visit him every morning,
And test him every moment? 19 How long? Will You not look away from me, And let me alone till I swallow my saliva? 20 Have I sinned? What have I done to You, O watcher of men? Why have You set me as Your target, So that I am a burden to myself? 21 Why then do You not pardon my transgression, And take away my iniquity? For now I will lie down in the dust, And You will seek me diligently, But I will no longer be.”
Asaph (Psalm 83:13)
O my God, make them like the whirling dust, Like the chaff before the wind!
Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:7)
O Lord, You induced me, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I, and have prevailed. I am in derision daily; Everyone mocks me.
Naomi (Ruth 1:20)
But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.

God gave us the book of Psalms
– a worship manual, full of ranting, raving, doubts, fears, resentments, and deep passions combined with thanksgiving, praise, and statements of faith.

Psalm 142:3
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk They have secretly set a snare for me.

Expressing doubt is sometimes the first step toward the next level of intimacy with God.

I must choose to obey God in faith

Every time you trust God’s wisdom and do whatever he says, even when you don’t understand it, you deepen your friendship with God. Jesus made it clear that obedience is a condition of intimacy with God.

John 15:14
You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

We obey God, not out of duty or fear or compulsion, but because we love him and trust that he knows what is best for us.

John 15:9-11
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

True friendship isn’t passive, it acts.

1 Samuel 15:22
So Samuel said:“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.”
Matthew 3:17
And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Luke 2:51 (msg)
So he went back to Nazareth with them, and lived obediently with them. His mother held these things dearly, deep within herself.

Thirty years of pleasing God were summed up in two words “lived obediently”

I must choose to value what God values 

This is what friends do
– they care about what is important to the other person. The more you become God’s friend, the more you will care about the things he grieves over, and rejoice over the things that brings pleasure to him.


2 Corinthians 11:2 (msg)
The thing that has me so upset is that I care about you so much – this is the passion of God burning inside me!
Psalm 69:9
Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up, And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.

What does God care about most?
– The redemption of his people.
You must care about all people around you whom God cares about. Friends of God tell their friends about God.

I must desire friendship with God more than anything else

Psalm 27:4
One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.
Psalm 63:3
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You.
Genesis 32:26
And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”
Philippians 3:10
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death

You are as close to God as you choose to be. Intimate friendship with God is a choice, not an accident. God is not mad at you; he is made about you and he will do whatever it takes to bring you back into fellowship with him.

Jeremiah 29:13 (msg)
“When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.”
1 Timothy 6:21
by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.

Point to Ponder: I’m as close to God as I choose to be
Verse to Remember: James 4:8 – Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Question to Consider: What practical choices will I make today in order to grow closer to God?

Surrender to him, Worship – not just when I remember to. Try and be more understanding to people (friends/family/workout people) and refuse to listen to gossip. Learn to keep my tongue held tight by not complaining to those who need help and continue to pray.

Day 1 – It’s Not About Me
Day 2 – You are Not An Accident
Day 3 – What Drives Your Life
Day 4 – Made to Last Forever
Day 5 – Life from God’s View
Day 6 – Life is a Temporary Assignment
Day 7 – The Reason for Everything
Day 8 – Planned For God’s Pleasure
Day 9 – What Makes God Smile

Day 10 – The Heart of Worship
Day 11 – Becoming Best Friends with God

Day 11 – Becoming Best Friends with God

Purpose Driven Life –
My posts are what I considered “highlights” from the book. I am not re-writing the whole chapters, so if my scriptures and my words doesn’t add up then that is why. If you would like to look into the book more I suggest to  buy the book. I love the book, it is easy to read and follow and so much more. I do not copy from another blog, this is my personal blog, just for what I want to do with it. The high points are what brought attention to myself as I read the book. I am using my blog as a personal journal, you can either skip my Purpose Driven Life posts by simply not clicking the “Day __ – whatever the title might be”. Thank you for my followers who do like it and comment 🙂

God is your Creator, Maker, Lord and Master, Judge, Redeemer, Father, Savior, and much more. Almighty God yearns to be your Friend.

Psalm 95:6
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
Psalm 136:3
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever
1 John 3:1
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
Isaiah 33:22
(For the Lord is our Judge, The Lord is our Lawgiver, The Lord is our King; He will save us)
Jude 1:4
For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ
Isaiah 47:4
As for our Redeemer, the Lord of hosts is His name, The Holy One of Israel.
Psalm 89:26
He shall cry to Me, ‘You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.’

Fear of God, not friendship, was more common in the Old Testament. He paid for our sins on the cross, the veil in the temple that symbolized our separation from God was split from top to bottom, indicating that direct access to God was once again available.

Romans 5:11
 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Friendship with God is possible only because of the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:18
Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation
1 John 1:3
that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ
1 Corinthians 1:9
God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 Corinthians 13:14
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
John 15:15
No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

The word friend in this verse does not mean a casual acquaintance but a close, trusted relationship. The same word is used to refer to the best man at a wedding.

John 3:29
He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.

and a King’s inner circle of intimate, trusted friends.
That God would want me for a close friend is hard to understand.

Exodus 34:14
(for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)
Acts 17:26-27 (msg)
“The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?
Jeremiah 9:24
But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord.

Becoming A Best Friend Of God
1) Through Consistent Conversation

You will never grow a close relationship with God by just attending church once a week or even having a daily quiet time. Friendship with God is built by sharing all your life experiences with him.

– Daily Devotional Time

Talk to him about everything.

1 Thessalonians 5:17
pray without ceasing

Converse with God while doing everyday tasks. A common misunderstanding is that spending time with God means being alone with him. The key to Friendship with God is not changing what you do, but changing your attitude toward what you do. Worship is not an event to attend, but a perpetual attitude.

Ephesians 4:6
one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
pray without ceasing

Your goal is not feeling, but a continual awareness of the reality that God is always present. That is the lifestyle of Worship.

2) Through Continual Meditation

Think about His Word throughout the day. This is called meditation, the Bible repeatedly urges us to meditate on who God is, what he has done, and what God has said.

Psalm 23:4
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 143:5
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.
Psalm 145:5
Iwill meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works.
Joshua 1:8
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Psalm 1:2
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.

You can’t love God unless you know him, and you can’t know him without knowing his Word.

1 Samuel 3:21
 Then the Lord appeared again in Shiloh. For the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.

Mediation is simply focused thinking. Thinking about a problem continually is worry. Thinking about God’s Word continually is mediation. Switch your attention from your problems to Bible Verses.

Job 23:12
I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.
Psalm 119:97
Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
Psalm 77:12
I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds.
Genesis 18:17
 And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing”
Daniel 2:19
 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
1 Corinthians 2:7-10
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written:“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

When you read your Bible or hear a sermon or listen to a tape, don’t just forget it and walk away. Develop the practice renewing the truth in your mind, think about it over and over. Prayer lets you speak to God, meditation lets God speak to you.

Point to Ponder: God wants to be my best friend
Verse to Remember: Psalm 25:14 – The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.
Question to Consider: What can I do to remind myself to think about God and talk to him more often throughout the day?

I do think about God a lot, but probably need to do more with my “thinking” when someone talks to me about God or the Bible I automatically start asking myself “What is true” and so on.
I am internal with God then external because I know the Bible can bring up a lot of arguments, a lot of resentment, a lot of different translations, so I usually don’t listen to people. I do my studying on my time, well God’s time in my own house. I rarely trust people to talk to, but that is something I have to work on myself, and I have been sorting it out for a while.
Every time I feel my mood shift to negative I need to connect to God, immediately start talking to him, rather if it is loneliness, tired, being resentful, etc.

 

Day 1 – It’s Not About Me
Day 2 – You are Not An Accident
Day 3 – What Drives Your Life
Day 4 – Made to Last Forever
Day 5 – Life from God’s View
Day 6 – Life is a Temporary Assignment
Day 7 – The Reason for Everything
Day 8 – Planned For God’s Pleasure
Day 9 – What Makes God Smile

Day 10 – The Heart of Worship

Day 10 – The Heart of Worship

As most of you know I am doing the Purpose Driven Life. I really like it a lot, it gives me time to study. Romans 12:1-2 have been popping up a lot more, and when you get a revelation about something it seems to come up all at the right times. So, any way back to my Bible Study, and I hope you are enjoying it too.. if not please continue to wait on my basics of life, haha

Romans 6:13
And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

The heart of worship is surrender. Surrender is unpopular word, disliked almost as much as the word submission. If you constantly want to win, surrendering is unthinkable. But we must surrender to God as a heart of worship.

1 John 4:9-10
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:19
We love Him because He first loved us.

Paul urges us to fully surrender our lives to God in worship

Romans 12:1
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

True worship – bringing God pleasure – happens when you give yourself completely. Offering yourself to God is what worship is all about. Three barriers that block our total surrender to God is Fear, Pride and Confusion

Can I Trust God?

Trust is an ingredient to surrender. You wont surrender to God unless you trust him. Fear keeps us from surrendering, but love casts out all fear.

Psalm 145:9
The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.
Psalm 139:3
You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.
Matthew 10:30
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
1 Timothy 6:17
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Psalm 86:5
For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
Psalm 145:8
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.
Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Once you completely surrender to Jesus, we discover that he is not tyrant, but a savior; not a boss, but a brother; not a dictator, but a friend.

Admitting Our Limitations

A second barrier to total surrender is our pride.

Genesis 3:5
For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

That desire – to have complete control – is the cause of so much stress in our lives. Life is a struggle, but what most people don’t realize is that our struggle, like Jacob’s, is really a struggle with God!
We are human. When we try to be God that is when we end up most like Satan, who desired the same thing.

What It Means To Surrender

Surrendering to God is not passive resignation, fatalism, or an excuse for laziness. It means sacrificing your life or suffering in order to change what needs to be changed. Do not repress your personality, or become a robot, God would not waste the mind He gave you.

Luke 5:5
But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”

You know you’re surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out. You let go and let God work.

Psalm 37:7
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

Instead of trying harder, you trust more.

Matthew 6:24
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon.”
Matthew 6:21
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Mark 14:36
And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

The Blessing of Surrender

First, you experience peace.

Job 22:21
“Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace; Thereby good will come to you.”
Romans 6:17 (msg)
But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master
Joshua 5:13-15
And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” 14 So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” 15 Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.

Victory comes through surrender

Luke 1:38
Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
James 4:7
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

The Best Way To Live

Everybody eventually surrenders to something/someone. If not to God, you will surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to fear, or to your own pride, lusts, or ego. You were designed to worship God.
All other approaches lead to frustrations, disappointments, and self-destruction. Surrendering your life is not a foolish emotional impulse but a rational, intelligent act, the most responsible and sensible thing you can do with your life.

Romans 12:1
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 Corinthians 5:9
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.
Philippians 4:13
 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
1 Corinthians 15:31
I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

You may have re-surrender your life fifty times a day. You must make it a daily habit.

Luke 9:23
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

Point to Ponder: The heart of worship is surrender.
Verse to Remember: Romans 6:13 – And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Question to Consider: What area of my life am I holding back from God?

Control, I don’t have a lot of control, but I do like having the little control I do have. I need to let go of my self-control.
Insecurities, I have never felt completely beautiful, but as I look back I wish I would have let go in high school. So what if I don’t tan, so what if my legs are the shade of paper… Why do I care what people think? Why don’t I let things get to me? Even now. I hate wearing tanks, because I am afraid my stretch marks will be seen. LET IT GO
Emotions, I tend to hold things in. I only open up to a few people (which I am getting better, but still), people I feel as though I can trust. I let my emotions get the best of me. When I finally cave, I usually open a can of worms and say things I don’t mean.
Trusting, Trusting in God. Not turning toward His help.

Day 1 – It’s Not About Me
Day 2 – You are Not An Accident
Day 3 – What Drives Your Life
Day 4 – Made to Last Forever
Day 5 – Life from God’s View
Day 6 – Life is a Temporary Assignment
Day 7 – The Reason for Everything
Day 8 – Planned For God’s Pleasure
Day 9 – What Makes God Smile

Day 9 – What Makes God Smile

Numbers 6:25
The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you
Psalm 119:135 (msg)
Smile on me, your servant; teach me the right way to live.

Pleasing God is the first purpose of life, your important task is to discover that.

Ephesians 5:10
Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.

Noah’s day, the entire world had become morally bankrupt. Everyone lived for their own pleasure, not God’s.

Genesis 6:8 LB
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

5 Acts of Worship that Make God Smile
1) God Smiles When We Love Him Supremely
Genesis 6:9
This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.

God wants a relationship with you.
God made you to love you, and he longs for you to love him back.

Hosea 6:6
For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

God deeply loves you and desires your love in return.

Matthew 22:37-38
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.

2) God Smiles When We Trust Him Completely
Hebrews 11:7 (msg)
By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God.

Noah didn’t complain or make excuses. Trusting God completely means having faith that he knows what is best for your life.

Psalm 147:11
The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy.

In what areas do you need to trust God completely? Trusting is an act of worship.

Hebrew 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

3) God Smiles When We Obey Him Wholeheartedly
God told Noah exactly what to build and which animals.

Genesis 6:22
Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.

Hebrews 11:7
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Wholeheartedly means doing whatever is asked without reservation or hesitation. You do it without delay. Understanding can wait, but disobedience can’t. We often pick and choose. I’ll attend church but I wont tithe. I’ll read my Bible but I wont forgive the person who hurt me.

Psalm 100:2
Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.

Psalm 119:33
Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end.

James 2:24
You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

God’s word is clear that you can’t earn salvation. That only comes with grace, not your effort. Obedience is also an act of worship.

John 14:15
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

4) God Smiles When We Praise and Thank Him Continually

Noah brought pleasure to God because he lived with a heart of praise and thanksgiving. Noah’s first act after surviving the Flood was to express his thanks to God by offering a sacrifice.

Genesis 8:20
Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we don’t offer animal sacrifices as Noah did. Instead we are told to offer God sacrifice of praise.

Hebrews 13:15
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Psalm 116:17
I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the Lord.

Psalm 69:30
I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.

Psalm 68:3
But let the righteous be glad; Let them rejoice before God; Yes, let them rejoice exceedingly.

5) God Smiles When We Use Other Abilities
Genesis 9:1
So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
Genesis 9:3
Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.

Often we only feel that God is pleased with us when we read the Bible, attend Church, praying, or sharing faith. Actually God enjoys watching every detail of your life, whether its working, playing, resting, or eating.

Psalm 37:23
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.

Every activity, except sin, can be done for God’s pleasure if you do it with an attitude of praise.

Psalm 33:15 (msg)
He has shaped each person in turn; now he watches everything we do.

Don’t hide your abilities. Don’t reject anything about you, because then you are rejecting God’s wisdom and sovereignty in creating you.

Isaiah 45:9
“Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’?
1 Timothy 6:17
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.

Parents do not require their children to be perfect, or even mature, in order to enjoy them. God doesn’t wait for you to reach maturity before he starts liking you. He loves you and enjoys you at every stage of your spiritual development.

Psalm 103:14
For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.
2 Corinthians 5:9
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.
Psalm 14:2
The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.

Point to Ponder: God smiles when I trust Him
Verse to Remember: Psalm 147:11 – The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy.
Question to Consider: Since God knows what is best, in what areas of my life do I need to trust him most?

I do know right now I am fulfilling God’s purpose. God gave me the gift of words, a great personality, and a journey that I am still navigating through. I need to trust him the most with he is in control of my life. He knows my life a lot better than I do. I also need to know God will help us financially and he knows what we need when we need it. Also, I need to trust him not only with the hard stuff, but the easy things in life too.

Day 1 – It’s Not About Me
Day 2 – You are Not An Accident
Day 3 – What Drives Your Life
Day 4 – Made to Last Forever
Day 5 – Life from God’s View
Day 6 – Life is a Temporary Assignment
Day 7 – The Reason for Everything
Day 8 – Planned For God’s Pleasure

Day 8 – Planned For God’s Pleasure

Revelation 4:11
“You are worthy, O Lord,To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

Psalm 149:4
For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.

God wired you with five senses and emotions. He wants you to enjoy life, not just endure it. God also has emotions. He grieves, gets jealous, angry, feels compassion, pity, sorrow, sympathy, happiness, gladness, and satisfaction. He loves, delights, gets pleasure, rejoices, enjoys, and even laughs.

Genesis 6:6
And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

Exodus 20:5
you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me

Deuteronomy 32:36
For the Lord will judge His people And have compassion on His servants, When He sees that their power is gone, And there is no one remaining, bond or free.

Judges 2:20
Then the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and He said, “Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not heeded My voice

1 Kings 10:9
Blessed be the Lord your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.”

1 Chronicles 16:27
Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and gladness are in His place.

Psalm 2:4
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.

Psalm 5:5
The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity.

Psalm 18:19
He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.

Psalm 35:27
Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”

Psalm 37:23
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.

Psalm 103:13
As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him.

Psalm 104:31
May the glory of the Lord endure forever; May the Lord rejoice in His works.

Ezekiel 5:13
‘Thus shall My anger be spent, and I will cause My fury to rest upon them, and I will be avenged; and they shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it in My zeal, when I have spent My fury upon them.

1 John 4:16
And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

Bringing pleasure to God is called “worship”
Psalm 147:11
The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy.

Worship is a natural as eating or breathing.

John 4:23
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

Worship is far more than music

Every part of a church service is an act of worship: Praying, scripture reading, singing, sermon, taking notes, giving an offering, baptism, communion, signing a commitment, and even greeting other worshipers. God loves all style of music because he invented it all – fast, slow, loud, soft, old or new. We often disagree with music used for worship, defending our preferred style as the most biblical or God-honoring. There is no musical notes in the Bible.

Worship is not for your benefit

We worship for God’s benefit. Our goal is to bring pleasure to God. Don’t worship to please yourself.

Isaiah 29:13
Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men”

Worship is not a part of your life; it is your life.
Psalm 105:4
Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!
Psalm 113:3
From the rising of the sun to it’s going down The Lord’s name is to be praised.

Praise God at work, home, in a battle, in jail, or even in bed. Praise should be the first activity when your eyes open in the morning, and the last activity when you close your eyes at night.

Psalm 119:147
I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope in Your word.
Psalm 5:3
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.
Psalm 63:6
When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.
Psalm 119:62
At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You, Because of Your righteous judgments.
Psalm 34:1
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Every activity can be transformed into worship.

1 Corinthians 10:31
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Colossians 3:23
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men
Romans 12:1-2 (msg)
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Point to Ponder: I was planned for God’s pleasure
Verse to Remember: Psalm 149:4 – For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.
Question to Consider: What common talk could I start doing as if I were doing it directly for Jesus?

Wow! I have not been doing my best. Not to say I have been cussing out my daily duties. I think I can get a lot more done if I was aiming to please Him, not only through chores, but driving, checking on friends/family, opening doors for others etc. It would be a lot more peaceful I can assure you.

Day 1 – It’s Not About Me
Day 2 – You are Not An Accident
Day 3 – What Drives Your Life
Day 4 – Made to Last Forever
Day 5 – Life from God’s View
Day 6 – Life is a Temporary Assignment
Day 7 – The Reason for Everything

Day 7 – The Reason for Everything

Romans 11:36
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Proverbs 16:4
The Lord has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.

In nature we learn that God is powerful, that he enjoys variety, loves beauty, is organized, and is wise and creative.

Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.

God reveals glory to people in different settings
~Garden of Eden
~To Moses
~Tabernacle and the Temple
~Through Jesus
~Now through the Church

Genesis 3:8
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Exodus 33:18-23
And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” 19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” 21 And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

Exodus 40:33-38
And he raised up the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and hung up the screen of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.34 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 36 Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. 37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.

1 Kings 7:51
So all the work that King Solomon had done for the house of the Lord was finished; and Solomon brought in the things which his father David had dedicated: the silver and the gold and the furnishings. He put them in the treasuries of the house of the Lord.

1 Kings 8:10-13
And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. 12 Then Solomon spoke:“The Lord said He would dwell in the dark cloud. 13 I have surely built You an exalted house, And a place for You to dwell in forever.”

John 1:14
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Ephesians 2:21-22
in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 4:6-7
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

Exodus 24:17
The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.

Exodus 40:34
Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

Psalm 29:1
Give unto the Lord, O you mighty ones, Give unto the Lord glory and strength.

Isaiah 6:3-4
And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.

Luke 2:9
And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.

We should recognize his glory, honor his glory, declare his glory, praise his glory, reflect his glory, and live for his glory.

There is only 2 things in the entire universe of God’s creations that fail to bring glory to Him.
~ Fallen Angels (Demons)
~ Us (People)

Romans 3:23
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Out Supreme goal in life should be giving God his glory. Loving anything else more than God is failing to give God glory and that is sin.

Isaiah 43:7
Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”

John 17:4
I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.

Jesus honored God by fulfilling his purpose on earth. When anything in his creation fulfills His purpose, it brings glory to God. Birds flying, chirping, nesting, bird-like activities brings glory to God. Ants being ants, and You being You.

God’s Five Purposes for Your Life
1) We Bring God Glory By Worshiping Him
~ Worship is our first responsibility
~ Be motivated by love, thanksgiving, and delight
~ Worship is far more than praising, singing, or praying.
Worship is a lifestyle of enjoying God, loving him, and giving ourselves to be used for His will.

Romans 6:13
And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

2) We Bring God Glory By Loving Other Believers
~ When you became a believer, you became a part of the family of God.

1 John 3:14
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.

Romans 15:7
Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us,to the glory of God.

God is love, and it honors him, you need to learn how God does.

John 13:34-35
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

3) We Bring God Glory By Becoming Like Christ
~ Grow Spiritual Maturity
~ Becoming like Jesus in the way we think, feel, and act
2 Corinthians 4:15
~ Changing Your Character

Philippians 1:11
being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

John 15:8
By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

4) We Bring God Glory By Serving Others With Our Gifts
1 Peter 4:10-11
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

2 Corinthians 8:19
and not only that, but who was also chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift, which is administered by us to the glory of the Lord Himself and to show your ready mind

~ We all have talents, gifts, skills, and abilities

5) We Bring God Glory By Telling Others About Him
~ He expects us to share our knowledge
~Help others discover their purpose, and their eternal destiny.
2 Corinthians 4:15
For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

Living the rest of our lives will require a change in priorities, your schedule, relationships, and everything else in between.
John 12:27-28
“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”

John 12:25
He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life

2 Peter 1:3
as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,

God is inviting you to live for his glory, by fulfilling the purposes he made for you. Real life begins by committing yourself completely to Him.
John 1:12
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name

1) Believe
~ Believe God Loves You
~ Believe you are not an accident
~ Believe you were made to last forever
~ Believe God has chosen you
~ Believe that no matter what; God forgives you

2) Receive
~ Receive Jesus into your life
~ Receive his Spirit
John 3:36
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

Point to Ponder: It’s All For Him
Verse to Remember: Romans 11:36 – For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen
Question to Consider: Where is my daily routine can I become more aware of God’s glory?

I wouldn’t say a specific time, I will say at any given moment, because we should be giving glory to him for waking up, watching the sunrise, the rain, everything.

Day 1 – It’s Not About Me
Day 2 – You are Not An Accident
Day 3 – What Drives Your Life
Day 4 – Made to Last Forever
Day 5 – Life from God’s View
Day 6 – Life is a Temporary Assignment

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