Saturday, September 25, 2010


Jesus Was Intimately Acquainted With
And Have A Daily Relationship With His Father
Exhibited Through Obedience
We have sought to establish for the past weeks that there is a distinction between the state of being a worshiper and the acts of expression of worship. A worshiper is one who is intimately aquainted with and has a daily relationship with God exhibited through OBEDIENCE. We have concluded that worship is not about doing, rather it is about BEING. It is from the state of being that all acts of worship must flow.

We can look at many who worshiped God, but there is only ONE PERFECT WORSHIPER: JESUS! He is the model we must follow! It was out of His life of intimacy and daily relationship with the Father that Jesus destroyed the works of the devil. It was His OBEDIENCE unto death - the ultimate sacrifice - that allows us to be His family of worshipers.

1) Jesus Sought To Do The Will Of The Father
There is very little said in the Scripture about Jesus' childhood. But it does tell us, "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man." (Luke 2:52) Even as a child, Jesus was focused on pleasing His Father, doing His will, and walking out the purpose for which He had been born. As a young boy He sought to do the will of the Father. He declared to His earthly parents, "I must be about My Father's business," or more accurately translated, "I must be about the things of My Father." (See Luke 2:40-52)

This is important because while it is His death on the cross that paid the price for our sins, it is the way He lived His entire life that qualified Him to be the PERFECT WORSHIPER and the PERFECT SACRIFICE! We see Jesus focussed always on the purposes of God, totally consumed by the will of the Father. He said:
- "My food is to is to do the will of Him Who sent me and to finish it." (John 4:34)
- " ... I do not seek my own will but the will of the Father Who sent Me." (John 5:30)
- " I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him Who sent Me." (John 6:38)
Jesus maintained a place of discipline as He walked the earth and remained focused on His ultimate goal: Jesus listened for and listened to one voice only - the voice of the Father. He did not seek to do anything outside the will of God.

2) The Father's Delight In His Son When Jesus was being baptised, the Father spoke from heaven declaring His delight in His Son (Luke 3:21-23). This is the beginning of Jesus' public ministry. The Scripture does not tell us that Jesus had done anything necessarily spectacular up to this point. We have no record of a miracle ... He hasn't done anything, yet the Father declared that He was well-pleased with His Son. The New Living Translation says, "You are my dearly loved Son, and You bring Me great joy!" GOD'S PLEASURE DID NOT STEM FROM WHAT JESUS DID BUT WHO HE WAS! It stemmed from the relationship Jesus had with His Father which was an ACT OF WORSHIP!

3) Jesus Was Intimately Acquainted With The Father
Jesus showed us that the life of a worshiper is a life of CONTINUAL COMMUNION AND COMMUNICATION with the Father. It was this type of daily communion with God that Adam (he was created as a worshiper) had once experienced in the Garden until he fell. Jesus exemplified this aspect of a worshiper's life through a life of prayer!
- " But He Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray ..." (Luke 5:16)
- " And it came about that while He was praying alone ..." (Luke 9:18)
- " Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place ..." (Luke 11:1)
Every decision Jesus made was in direct alignment with His Father. Jesus regularly stole away to be alone with God, to spend time in His presence, to hear His heart and to know His mind. He emerged from those times of prayer empowered to carry out, by faith, the will of God. (John 5:19)

4) Jesus' Victory Over Satan
Following His baptism, Jesus was "led" into the wilderness and there He was tested by the devil (Luke 4:1-13). IT WAS SATAN's ATTEMPT TO STOP JESUS as He stopped Adam. It was the enemy's attempt to sever the relation between God and His Worshiper. Jesus was tempted in the same areas in which every person is tempted. He was tempted in the same way that Adam had been: through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life as found in 1 John 2:15-17

The enemy knew if he could get Jesus to do one thing outside of the will of the Father, it would be over! All would be forfeited! Thank God, Jesus knew what satan was trying to do. Jesus gained victory over satan by speaking the Word of God and by keeping His focus on the Father!

By defeating the enemy at every turn, Jesus demostrated the life of a worshiper. We don't often think of it that way. Each time Jesus used the authority given Him, each time He took dominion was an Act Of Worship. Each time he came up against sickness and disease, each time He came up against false religion, lies and deception, He demostrated the power and authority man was to have from the very beginning. Even calming the sea and the wind by simply speaking to them was an act of worship. He came to destroy that which hindered us from being the worshipers God had designed us to be; He came to return authority and dominion to man. Jesus modeled for us that as a worshiper we can withstand the attacks of the enemy and victorious! He eventually gave His life so that His victory would become ours!

5) Jesus' Obedience That Leads To Sacrifice
Jesus showed us that the life of a worshiper is life of OBEDIENCE to the Father. OBEDIENCE even unto death! Paul writes in the book of Philippians, reminding us that if we are to truly follow in the footsteps of our Lord, we must be obedient even as He is obedient!
" ... being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross ..." (Philippians 2:5-11)
Jesus' obedience led to sacrifice, the sacrifice of His very life so that we might live as worshipers. The writer of Hebrews tells us that even though He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things that He suffered. He set before us the example of one totally surrendered to the will of the Father, able to endure even the cross so thatwould be glorified. The end result was that He also was glorified. As we learn to walk in obedience, we shall be glorified together with Him. Our worship will reflect His glory for all to see.

Jesus Christ became the first of many sons, the first of many worshipers, and He set before us the perfect model of worship - beyond the song, beyond a dance, beyond the words of love and adoration that we offer up to the Father. Our worship is a life that perfectly reflects the love, light and life of the Father. It is a life lived by walking in the authority and dominion God has given us. It is a life of kingdom influence, kingdom purposes, establishing God's kingdom on earth as it is in heaven; it is a life of kingdom influence, kingdom impact with kingdom results. It is a life lived from the "secret place." It is a life of FAITH, OBEDIENCE and SACRIFICE. It is a deep, intimate relationship with the Father that allows us to know His heart and mind. It is a life that allows others to see God every time they look at us. It is a life lived in the confidence of knowing who we are called to be - WORSHIPERS!
(an extract from Worshipers by Design by Apostle John W. Stevenson)

Saturday, September 18, 2010


In our last two posts we learnt that the life of a WORSHIPER is a life of FAITH, OBEDIENCE AND SACRIFICE. This week let us look at the life of Abraham who is one great model to learn from:

1) The Promised Of A Son

So After Waiting Patiently,
Abraham Received What Was Promised
Hebrews 6:15

As a childless couple, they had been told by an invisible God that they would be the parents of countless descendants. They had no Scripture or fellowship of believers to encourage their FAITH on a discouraging day. All they had was a promise and a lot of time to think about it. Too much time, in fact. They passed childbearing age, not just barely, but hopelessly.

This is the same Abraham who suggested that his servant Eliezer might be his best chance at an heir (Gen 15:2-3); the same Abraham who listened to Sarah's advice to try for a miracle son the natural way through her servant Hagar (Genesis 16); and the same Abraham who laughed when God repeated the promise well after childbearing years (Genesis 17:17).

When God changed both their names from Abram to Abraham (father of many nations) and Sarai to Sarah (mother of many nations) (Genesis 17:5-6 & 15-16), it was the ACT OF FAITH to be calling each other daily by their new names without seeing the promise. Yes, we are told, this is the Abraham who "did not waver through unbelief" (Romans 4:20) and waited patiently.

But against all odds, God fulfilled His promise. The child was born, the invisible God was vindicated, and the couple rejoiced.

2) The Sacrifice Of Isaac

God said to him, "Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied
Genesis 22:1

God called upon Abraham with a test. It was perhaps the most difficult test any of us could think of. Did the thought of sacrificing his own son horrify Abraham? Did he weep all night before he got up and went to Moriah? The text doesn't say. All it says is that Abraham OBEYED. And that OBEDIENT began with a simple statement of readiness: "Here I am." In fact we were told that "EARY NEXT MORNING Abraham got up .... he took with him two of his servants and his Isaac ... and on the third day ... said to his servants, 'Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go ove there. WE WILL WORSHIP and then WE WILL COME BACK to you.' " (Genesis 22:3-5)

We know that Abraham feared God and that he was obligated to God. But somewhere wrapped up his reverence and duty was the simply desire to please the Lord who has graciously provided the son. His response was more than that of a slave or a subordinate. It came from the HEART; it had to, considering the command. It mean that Abraham had cast his affections on a very trustworthy God.

As worshiper, when God calls do you say, "Here I am"? Probably so. But here's a deeper question" How do you say it? Let your response flow from a loving, reverential FAITH in your PROVIDER.

Abraham's OBEDIENCE is commended as the cornerstone of righteous, biblical FAITH. The FAITH that led Abraham up that mountain is unimaginable. Any illusion that the life of FAITH is a life of comfort and ease is undone by this story. FAITH is excuriating, sometimes illogical, and always right.

Does your FAITH sometimes defy logic? If not, it hasn't been stretched as far as God wants to stretch it. Has God ever called you to give up His promise as an act of OBEDIENCE AND SACRIFICE? If not, your FAITH has deeper depths to reach.

3) The Faith Of Abraham

What did Abraham see in that day? He saw nothing. Year after year until he died, he only begot Isaac. Of the numerous descendants promised to him, who would be as man as the stars in heaven, the sands by the sea, and the dust on the earth, he only saw Isaac! When his wife died, he did not have one plot of land in which to bury her. He had to buy a burial ground. Is this what God had promised? Yet as the WORSHIPER and father of our father, he did not doubt. He knew what FAITH was and what it was not to live by sight

What a lesson of on FAITH, OBEDIENCE and SACRIFICE!


Saturday, September 11, 2010


"Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego replied, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, your majesty. But even if he doesn't, we want to make it clear to you, your majesty that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up." (Daniel 3:16-18 NIV) The life of a worshiper (one who is intimately acquainted with and has a daily relationship with God exhibited through OBEDIENCE) is not without tests, nor is without the pressure that comes with living in a sinful world. We continue the story of the three Hebrew worshipers who lived a life of Faith, Obedience and Sacrifice. The three men were given one more chance by the king to bow to the golden image but they stood firm even if it caused their lives. Here are eight excuses they could have used to bow to the image and save their lives:
1) We will fall down but not actually worship the idol
2) We won’t become idol worshipers, but will worship if this one time, and then ask God for forgiveness.
3) The king has absolute power, and we must obey him. God will understand.
4) The king appointed us – we owe this to him.
5) This is a foreign land, so God will excuse us for following the customs of the land.
6) Our ancestors set up idols in God’s temple! This isn’t half as bad!
7) We’re not hurting anybody
8) If we get ourselves killed and some pagans take our high positions, they won’t help our people in exile.
(Please feel free to add on if you have more thoughts …)

Although all these excuses sound sensible at first, they are dangerous rationalizations. To fall down and worship this image would violate God’s command in Exodus 20:3, “You shall have no other gods before me.” It would also erase their testimony for God forever. Never again could they talk about the power of their God above all other gods.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were pressured to deny God, but what made them choose to stay faithful to God no matter what happened? I believe it was because they were CONSISTENT in living a life that were intimately acquainted with and have a daily relationship with their GOD exhibited through OBEDIENCE. That was why they were able to trust God to deliver them and were determined to be faithful regardless of the consequences. This same exhibition of Faith, Obedience and Sacrifice could be seen throughout the Scriptures on the lives of many other “worshiper-saints” like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, King David, Queen Esther, Prophet Daniels and many more heroes of FAITH.

Hebrews 11 has been called faith’s hall of fame. But do bear in mind that while we do read of many being rescued by our faithful God for their faith; there were also many who were tortured, flogged, stoned, sawed in two, put to death by the sword for their faith (Hebrews 11: 35-40). True worshipers are those who are able to say like the three Hebrew children : “But even if he doesn't, we want to make it clear to you, your majesty that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up."

Be A Worshiper! - TPWC

Saturday, September 04, 2010


A Worshiper Is One Who is Intimately Acquainted With And Has A Daily Relationship With God Exhibited Through Obedience - John W. Stevenson

We were created NOT to DO but to BE a worshiper. In order for us to gain greater insight into what it takes to be a worshiper of God, we must use the "Law of First Mentioned," a principle that states the first time a word or idea is mentioned in Scripture is significant, for it sets a foundation and framework for any other time the word is used throughout the Scripture. The first time the word "worship" was used in connection with Abraham offering Isaac (Genesis 22) and it involves Faith, Sacrifice and Obedience.

The life of a worshiper is not without tests, nor without the pressure that comes with living in sinful world. It is God's grace that strengthens us and helps us to walk in victory even in our most challenging times! Let us see other worshipers in the Bible who walk in Faith, Sacrifice and Obedience in order to learn from them:

1) The Three Hebrew Children In The Fiery Furnace

"Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego replied, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn't, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up." (Daniel 3:16-18 NIV)

This was a faith-defining moment for these three worshipers. They made it absolutely clear that they would not compromise and maintained their covenant relationship with the God of Israel and refused to bow down and worship anyone other than Him. As worshipers they were confident in their God and His ability to keep them!

At this point it looked like these men would surely die for their beliefs. They were tied up and thrown into the fiery furnace and that's when the miracle happened! These young worshipers were now joined in the fire by the One they worship! That's worshiping God with their lives in Faith, Sacrifice and Obedience ... no instrument and no songs but they encountered the manifest presence of God - "The 4th Man!"

As a result, the king gave praise to the God of Israel and decreed that from that time on anyone who said anything against Him would be executed “for no other god can save in this way” (Daniel 3:28-29).

2) Daniel In The Lions' Den
As a worshiper, Daniel had enjoyed God’s favor all his life, and when king Darius appointed Daniel as one of 3 administrators to oversee the kingdom he so distinguished himself that king Darius thought to give him sole administrative authority over all the kingdom. This of course made the others jealous and they sought to discredit him, but Daniel was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent (Dan 6:4). Finally they devised a scheme to trap Daniel by making it illegal for him to worship God. They convinced king Darius to make it mandatory for all his subjects to worship him for the next 30 days and anyone caught worshiping anyone else must be thrown into a den of hungry lions (Dan 6:6-9).
Daniel of course remained true to his God and since he made no attempt to hide this, he was caught praying and worshiping God and was thrown into the lions' den. From the original language of Dan 6:16-20 it appears that king Darius believed God was obligated to save Daniel because he was intimately acquainted with and has a daily relationship with God exhibited through obedience.

In Dan 6:23 the word translated trusted means to trust continually. The fact that the lions immediately devoured Daniel’s accusers in the morning proves they had been hungry all night long. This faith became one of the great examples in “The Hall of Faith” (Hebrews 11:33).
“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:11 (NIV). Faith is trusting what the eye can’t see. The natural eyes see the prowling lion but faith sees Daniel’s angel.

In conclusion, I would like to quote from Ps John W. Stevenson's book - Worshiper By Design: "God does not test us to destroy us, but rather to make us! As worshipers, we must come to expect times when we will be tested. But "those who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits" (Daniel 11:32). In every case, God honours and protects those who are intimately acquainted with and have a daily relationship with Him as exhibited through their obedience to His word. He honours His worshipers!"