Day 3 – Zoning In

One Month to Love!
This was an awesome book, check out my review and I wanted to share with y’all the “important” parts to me. This is by far not what the whole book is about, but just a glimpse of what I thought was catching, or needed to be shared. I will be going through each day, as this will be sorta like my “journal”.

There are 4 weeks involved:
Week 1: The Art of Being All There
Week 2: The Art of Acting Intentionally
Week 3: The Art of Risking Awkwardness
Week 4: The Art of Letting Go

Day 3 of Week 1: Zoning In

Zoning

I love you for the smallest things, bluebells on my desk, a pat on the head when I make an awful speech, a cup of tea in the middle of a deadline panic, being the only one to tell me that the green skirt really does make me look like a sack of potatoes. And the big things; giving me the best things in your life, sharing my joys, being kind to me in all my failings and giving me courage. ~Helen Thomson

Only through focus can you do world-class things, no matter how capable you are. ~Bill Gates

It’s not just that they want you to acknowledge them, it’s that they need to know they’re important to you.

“Wherever you are, be all there”

First, a conscious effort to clear my mind of outside distractions.
Second, to step into the other person’s world, which simply means to focus on what the other person’s joy or need or hurt really is.

Being fully focused in your relationships isn’t efficient, but here’s the great news it’s stunningly effective!

Lasting Love Relationship Challenge
1) Who have you known who made you feel like they were all there for you? How did their life impact yours? How can you do the same for the important people in your life?
2) How can you refocus your vision to see others needs in spite of your own?
3) When you’re with them (one of the key people – in person), focus on them wholly, block out your own needs and worries, and consciously make them the most important person in your world. Afterward, write down your impressions of what happened as a result.

In case you missed it:
Day 1 – The Most Important Thing
Day 2 – Face to Face

Day 2 – Face to Face

One Month to Love!
This was an awesome book, check out my review and I wanted to share with y’all the “important” parts to me. This is by far not what the whole Day 1 is about, but just a glimpse of what I thought was catching, or needed to be shared. I will be going through each day, as this will be sorta like my “journal”.

There are 4 weeks involved:
Week 1: The Art of Being All There
Week 2: The Art of Acting Intentionally
Week 3: The Art of Risking Awkwardness
Week 4: The Art of Letting Go

Day 2 of Week 1: Face to Face

Face2Face

To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world. ~Brandi Snyder

For finally, we are as we love. It is love that measures our stature. ~William Sloane Coffin

The greatest gift you can give other people is your presence in their life.

When you choose to be all there for someone, you give them your most valuable possession: your time.

Hebrews 13:5 “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you”

God chooses to be all there for me no matter what I go through in life. God is never too busy. God is never preoccupied with something more important.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

Lasting love thinking says, “If I’m serious about making sure the people I love know how I feel about them, I need to take the initiative to get together with them.”

Lasting Love Relationship Challenge
1) Last time you were with each of them (key relationships)?
2) An experience you had where someone’s unexpected presence meant a lot to you. Write some notes reflecting on this in your journal.
3) Make a “being-there” connection with one of your key relationships this week. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to spend some time together? Write your plan in your journal, and be specific.

 

In case you missed it:
Day 1 – The Most Important Thing

Day 1 – The Most Important Thing

One Month to Love!
This was an awesome book, check out my review and I wanted to share with y’all the “important” parts to me. This is by far not what the whole Day 1 is about, but just a glimpse of what I thought was catching, or needed to be shared. I will be going through each day, as this will be sorta like my “journal”.

There are 4 weeks involved:
Week 1: The Art of Being All There
Week 2: The Art of Acting Intentionally
Week 3: The Art of Risking Awkwardness
Week 4: The Art of Letting Go

Day 1 of Week 1: The Most Important Thing

importantthings

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. ~C.S. Lewis

I don’t wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone. ~Javan

Key relationships, meaningful, essential people in your life, who are your three key people in your life.
Relationships aren’t machines. You can’t replace a broken part and be good to go.
Real love, whether romantic love, a close relationship, or a family relationship, happens long after first sight. Real love in relationships isn’t a magic ad; it’s a journey.

We have bought into the false idea that if we’re connected to huge numbers of people in cyberspace, we must be important and loved.
A real friend is someone who is with you – present in your life – someone who gives you their time, shares your hurt, and feels your ache.

With God all things are possible – Matthew 19;26

Three stages all relationships, whether a marriage, a family, or a friendship, go through: First Glance, Second Look and Lasting Love.

Lasting Love Relationship Challenge
1) Get a blank book – Journal (or website)
2) Write today’s date and list 3 Key Relationships you want to focus on
3) Commit one day a week to a Facebook Fast. Take this time to hand write a letter to a friend, or to meet a friend face to face for coffee. More ideas are at onemonthtolove.com
4) Think about inviting three/four friends to take the Lasting Love Relationship Challenge.

Unglued Devotional

Unglued Unglued Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst
This companion devotional to the bestselling book Unglued provides encouragement to help readers handle emotional struggles. Including a daily opening Scripture, Thought for the Day, devotion, and closing prayer, this book helps readers begin a 60-day journey in learning to positively process raw emotions, such as fear, anger, and regret.
Gosh, I love devotionals, I guess I always have. The one reason why I love this devotional is that I can completely relate to her. Lysa reminds us that life isn’t perfect, and we all deal with emotions, we all come emotional unglued when things get hectic. I would love to get my hands on the book “Unglued” now, maybe I will just add that to my wish list.

With the devotional, they are short, but packed with a lot of information. Information that we all face with everyday life. You will definitely be glued and want to learn more, and strengthen your relationship with God. I love how she is honest, and really knows how to connect with you.

There is 5 Main Areas
1) Having confidence on how to resolve conflict
2) Peace
3) What type of Reactor you are
4) No Regrets
5) Deep Sense of Calm

She reminds us that by trusting in Him we can have the peace that our body and soul long for.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Perfect Lies

Perfect lies Jennifer Crow talks about nine lies that we truly believe in. She starts the book off by leading us into her life journey. She is very open about her breakdowns: physical and mental, and how she took the path to overcome all of it. As you read her book, she starts breaking down the perfect lies. Each chapter holds a lie that we have all faced. She includes scriptures, prayer experience, statements, and how to tell if you are believing a lie, or not.

Once she worked through each lie, she had believed and identified through a process, she called meditative prayer, in which she focused on scripture, thoughts about God and Jesus and mental pictures she made in her head, dealing with each emotion and pain associated with the lies she had believed for many years. Changing her thought process and brain waves from negative lies to true statements of God and his word, she saw a difference in her physical health in six weeks and continued to make improvement in it over the years.  Her book is sharing her journey of healing, clarifying the lies she believed, breaking them down and replacing them with the truth of God and the process that she did.  This included statements to think about to replace the lie as well as scripture that would go against the lie she had believed.

I would recommend you to read this book if you have ever said or heard these nine Perfect Lies:
I am Unlovable, I am Unable, I am a Target, I am not Angry, I am Bad, I am in Danger, and I am Deprived

This book will definitely help someone who struggles with his or her self-image, or self-worth.

 

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale Media Center. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Christmas the Art of Giving

St. Nicholas – modern-day Santa Claus

Nicholas lived during the third and fourth centuries in a small village now known as Turkey. He grew up in a wealthy family. but both parents died in an epidemic when he was young. Nicholas’ deep faith led him to take Jesus’ word to heart. He set out to sell what he owned and to give the money to the poor. Nicholas spent the rest of his life-giving his fortune away. He cared for widows, orphans, the sick, suffering, sailors, and children. His life work was giving.

it is amazing we can celebrate Christmas with such love not only for the birth of Jesus, but yet to bring toys for kids to also show compassion for Nicholas – showing his Faith and wisdom.

Christmas is a spiritual season – the perfect gift given already – the Son of God. One of the best things about Christmas is the generosity we ca offer to celebrate by spending time with our family, our friends, and the Son of God.

A lot of time we get caught up into buying presents that we forget the true meaning of Christmas.

I remember not only the gifts during Christmas, but reading the story from the Bible. We would take turns every year, it would be another kid/another grandchild. My Grandpa would wait till we finished reading the story to break down the true meaning of us gathering near the tree. After we would have the discussion the kids got to pass out the presents in celebration of Jesus’ life.

Those are the moments I will never forget, and now I can pass down the tradition to my kid/kids.

As the time comes closer to Christmas try to remember the real reason of the celebration. Don’t be too stressed due to money, or wondering how you’re going to visit everyone. Just relax, smile, and be devoted to Him for that’s what the Son of God would want us to do.

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


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