Day 5: Consider His Glory – Praise Emphasis Week

Philippians 2:5-11  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherfore, God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

What is glory?  Continue reading

A Confident Prayer

One thing that we know about prayer is that when we pray according to God’s will, we will receive that petition.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 Jn. 5:14-15)

Part of our struggle in prayer is asking “amiss” as James puts it; other times, it may be that we do not discern God’s will.  Last Sunday the choir sang this prayer:

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Look at that last line again.  I find great comfort in that prayer, because this is a prayer strikingly similar to one prayed by Jesus himself.  Let’s not miss the fact that Jesus prayed these words for us:

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (Jn. 17:20, 21)

Now, I don’t think Jesus was in the habit of not praying according to the will of His Father.  Even in Gethsemane, he chose his Father’s will, as opposed to his own human desire.  Because Jesus prayed this for us, we may pray with confidence the same thing:  Father, make me one with You.

While there may be some mystery as to what that fully means for us, I find great strength, encouragement, and assurance in knowing that this prayer is one God will answer.  For one, it is the will of the Father.  Two, I know the Spirit is making intercession for me according to the will of the Father.  What great encouragement there is for us to persevere, to press on, because “he which hath begun a good work in [us], will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6)  Being one with the Father means there is available to us an abundance of wisdom, strength, fellowship, comfort, guidance, and on and on it goes.

We would jump up and down if God dropped a large sum of money into our laps.  How often do we rejoice over the oneness of fellowship that God is giving us in this life? Praise God that Jesus paid the price and bore sin’s curse that we could receive this adoption!

My Jesus Fair

I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am with the introduction of My Jesus Fair to our congregation this past Sunday.  Our quartet did a great job introducing the song and the congregational singing on the final stanza was tremendous!  I mean, we could have kept going and sung the whole song over a few more times.  I love that kind of service where there is an obvious response to the preaching of the Word that is expressed in song.

As we talked about last Sunday night with our Praise Emphasis Week, we have printed the words to My Jesus Fair on the back of your “table topper.”  I want to challenge you as a family to sing a stanza and the chorus together.  I really want you to try it.  This song is on Christ Only, Always that was commented on in another post as we have included a link here to the singing of the song with congregation.

If you can’t remember the tune, click on the link and sing with the music. Reading through those stanzas as a family will be very profitable and I think there are many points on which to stop and have some conversation.

A Pure Heart is a Praising Heart

Do you ever feel like your “praiser” is broken? When Pastor challenged us to have a praise emphasis week did you find yourself terribly deficient in this area of your walk with God?  Did you find that your mind more often ran to the earthly difficulties than the heavenly delights you were experiencing?  Did you find yourself wishing you were more like that friend who always seems to have a word of praise to God?

Psalm 119:9-16 teaches us that a praising heart is the byproduct of a pure heart.  Continue reading

Saved to Pray

Sometimes it’s easy to wonder whether prayer really makes a difference. Have you thought about the fact that prayer was one of the primary purposes for which you were saved?

Think about it. Romans 8:29 says, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.” That is, saved people are intended to become more like Jesus. Pretty basic. But what was one thing that Jesus spent tons of time doing? Praying!

Does prayer matter? Does it make a difference? God saved you so that you would pray. I guess God’s opinion is that it does matter. So…what does God want you to pray for today?

Great Praise for a Great God

When Solomon built the temple he did it with great extravagance and expense.  His reason for this was explicit:

“And the house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods.” (2 Chron. 2:5)

Solomon’s philosophy was certainly logical:  Because God is great, His house should be great.  But Solomon’s logic was also inspired by God.  The principle of “great praise” is articulated many times in Scripture.  Continue reading

There is no God like Thee

SkyWhat is the greatest commandment?  The answer too easily rolls off our tongues:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (Mt. 22:37)

How much of our lives is governed by this love?  Continue reading