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worship

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God,
that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
Hebrews 13:15 ESV

Worship is central in the Christian life. Few people would argue this. Scripture commands us that in everything we do, do it all for the glory of God. Yet so often, whether among other saints or in private, my sacrifices feel so incomplete. Even in my deepest, purest moments, it never seems enough.

I want to encourage you if this is how you feel as well. Because its true. Our praise is never worthy of Him. And it always will be this way this side of Heaven.

God is the Holy of Holies. His glory far surpasses everything we deem as glorious. If we stretch our imagination and envision perfection, He is far more. God’s character is so pure and untarnished that anything less than Him cannot enter His presence. The cheribum, who guard God’s holiness, continually sing, “Holy, holy, holy!” The Seraphim, in Isaiah 6, are shown praising in the same way but hiding their face and feet with their wings before the Lord.

So how are we supposed to adequately praise the Holy of all Holies? Because in Hebrews 12 we are commanded to:

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,  for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 that a new way to worship was approaching. Worship that wasn’t stringent on location, but solely Spirit and truth. When we believe in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection, for our salvation, we are completely changed. The Holy Spirit indwells us, we are newly created, our heart is no longer deceitful and wicked, and our spirit is quickened. These changes are the ONLY reason we can offer acceptable worship.

But we have to be honest. Even when we offer a sacrifice of praise THROUGH Him, its still not completely worthy of Him. Because even though we are holy on the inside, we are still wrapped in sinful flesh. Pride, selfishness, doubt, and fear still seep into our songs and prayers.

Why then are they acceptable to God?

There isn’t a perfect illustration, but here’s the best I can come up with.

My two sons draw and color pictures constantly. Everyday, a new stack of artwork is finished for my viewing. Most you can tell took no time at all. Their name is spelled correctly, just backwards. Scribbled crayon reach far outside the lines of the picture. Or only 10% of the page is even touched. I always compliment but am quick to remind them that they can do better. These were rushed jobs and I know that if they take their time, they can do excellent work.

There’s one page though that hangs in my bedroom. My oldest drew a picture of himself on a swing with me pushing him. Below it he wrote ‘Thank you.’ Granted it was done by a four-year-old so it was in no way perfect. The H in Thank was originally a G, crossed out, and replaced with the correct letter.

I don’t treasure it because of the perfect artwork or spelling. But because I know it took him a long time and he did it to the best of his ability. All to tell me ‘Thank you.’

I have to believe our Heavenly Father is the same way. His children attempt to thank him in their limited and often broken ways. But when its genuine, he delights in the praise because we are his children and he understands our limitations.

Praise God for the Spirit who indwells us. He prays for us when we don’t know what to pray. Our worship is made complete when its done through him. And we constantly need him to be able to worship properly.

So no matter how insignificant you may feel, worship. No matter how broken you are, worship. Give him what you have. He may not receive it if its rushed or done sloppily. And yet he anticipates when its done with the right motivation from a heart of gratefulness. Not because its perfect, but because its from us.

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A Choir of Tiny Voices

August 3, 2013 — 2 Comments

I hear a choir
Of tiny voices
To their Father
Singing praises

We love you, Jesus
We adore you, Father
Thanks for holding
Us in your arms

I hear a choir
Of tiny voices
They don’t cry vengeance
Or retribution
They pray for mercy
And sweet salvation

Please rain down your grace
Undeserved
I want to meet Mommy
Spend eternity with her

Singing, we love you, Jesus
We adore you, Abba
For wanting children
That never knew love

We love you, Jesus
We adore you, Father
Thanks for holding
Us in your arms

I hear a choir
Of empty choices
Singing boldly
With tiny voices

2:30 A.M. I wake to a feeling of somebody watching me. Startling awake, I meet eyes with a very tired looking two year old. He just stands there and stares at me.

“What are you doing, Myles?”

He doesn’t answer so I pull my tired frame out of bed to take him back to his room. I walk behind him across the living room but my eyes can’t adjust to the darkness. I stumble sideways losing my equilibrium. Somewhere ahead of me is the tired toddler.

“Myles, stop moving. Let me find a light switch.”

I fumble for the bathroom light. But before I am able to flip the switch…

Thump!

I squint through the now lit hallway to a small child tumbling backward. Just a few inches to the left, and he would’ve walked through the doorway to his bedroom perfectly. But instead he smacked face first into the wall, right between the eyes.

Surprisingly, he doesn’t cry. He just moans as I scoop him up and place him back into the safety of his covers. I turn the light back off and cautiously trek back to my bed.

Deuteronomy  6:6-9 And these words that I command you today shall  be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and  shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and  when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your  hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

God has blessed me tremendously with two amazing boys. But with that blessing, comes responsibility. As their father, I must train them up in the Word of God. We are all born in spiritual darkness, and Jesus, our Light, is the way that we can be healed of that blindness. The only way to know Jesus is read and believe what is written in the Bible.

God will hold me accountable of how I raise the children he has given to me. As he will for every father. If we refuse to show them the truth and teach them about the Lord, they will continue to walk with veils on their eyes. Hurt and destruction are all that await them.

Read them the Bible. Pray over them continually. Show them a Godly example. God’s commands should be between their eyes. Not a wall.eyes