Saturday, December 24, 2011

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS - WORSHIP (PART 2)

A TIME OF PRAISE & WORSHIP
“When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy…. And they fell down and worshiped him.”
Matthew 2:10-11

"The hope and fears of all the years
are met in THEE tonight" - Phillips Brooks
Worship was such an important part of that first Christmas. The wise-men worshiped Jesus in the house where they found him. The prophetess Anna and Simeon worshiped in the temple. The shepherds’ hearts were filled with praise as they hurried to find the child and then shared the good news with others. The place of worship was different for all of them but their HEARTS were overflowing with praise and adoration.
Do we take the time to worship the Lord during this Christmas season? It doesn’t really matter whether we worship in our home, in our church, at a Christmas concert or banquet or maybe it’s, ‘on the run,’ as we dash through the mail and hear the music, “Silent Night”. The only thing that matters is that our HEARTS are lifted in praise and worship to the Lord. Is there a song of praise on our lips at Christmas? How easy it is to see the work, feel the burdens and be aware of the frustrations instead of seeing the glory, the gift and the Savior.
GOD WITH US
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
This is Christmas. This is EMMANUEL: God with us. This is the advent – the coming of the Lord. God invading history. The one who invented it coming into it and submitting himself to all his own rules.
The teaching of the New Testament is that now, at this very moment, there is a Man in heaven appearing in the presence of God for us. He is as certainly a man as was Adam or Moses or Paul; he is a man glorified, but his glorification did not dehumanize him. Today he is a real man, of the race of mankind, bearing our lineaments and dimensions, a visible and audible man, whom any other man would recognize instantly as one of us. But more than this, he is the heir of all things, Lord of all lords, head of the church, firstborn of the new creation. He is the way to God, the life of the believer, the hope of Israel, and the high priest of every true worshiper. He holds the keys of death and hell, and stands as advocate and surety for everyone who believes on him in truth. SALVATION comes not by accepting the finished work, or deciding for Christ; it comes by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, the whole, living, victorious Lord who, as God and man, fought our fight and won it, accepted our debt as his own and paid it, took our sins and died under them, and rose again to set us free. This is the true CHRIST; nothing less will do. (from the pen of A. W. Tozer)
Articles from - Two Thoughts Each Day ( http://thoughts-about-god.com/blog )

Sunday, December 18, 2011

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS - WORSHIP (PART 1)

For To Us A Child Is Born
To Us A Son Is Given
And The Government Will Be On His Shoulders
And He Will Be Called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince Of Peace
Isaiah 9:6

Christmas is a time of joy and giving. Christians all over the world commemorate this occasion because "God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ ..." (John 3:16)
In our celebration, we proclaim the Good News with carols on the streets and we expressed the loved of God to the world with our gifts to the needy and the orphans. In the midst of all these activities, do you know that the Spirit of Christmas is WORSHIP? All those who came to meet Jesus at the manger WORSHIPPED ...
The Wisemen
"Where is the one who has been born king of Jews? we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him." (Matthew 2:2)
"On coming to the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh " (Matthew 2:11 - note: worship before gifts)
The Angels
"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appreared with angel praising God saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men ..." (Luke 2:13)

The Shepherds
"The shepherds returned, glorifying God for all the things they had heard and seen ..." (Luke 2:20)
Simeon The Godly Man
"... Simeon, who was a righteous and devout ...took Him in his arms and praised God ..." (Luke 2:25-33)
The Prophetess Anna
" ... she gave thanks to God ..." (Luke 2:36-38)
As we celebrate this year's Christmas, let us reserve the best gift for our Lord - WORSHIP!
EMMANUEL - God Is With US
Christmas Blessings
TPWC

Saturday, December 10, 2011

THE ESSENCE OF TRUE WORSHIP

"True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is a spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
John 4:23-24
The dictionary defines "Essence" as the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work. So when we speaks of the Essence of Worship, we are speaking of that "True Worship" which God is after.

The Greek word (Strongs G4352) for worship - PROSKUNEO: to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence

The Hebrew word (Strongs H7812) for worship - SHACHAH:  - to bow down, to prostrate oneself  before God in worship

All of those in the Bible who encountered the living God in His glory fell on their face in worship. Both the Greek and Hebrew word speak about "bowing down" - do we see this often in our weekly worship service? Or more directly do we personally practice bowing down in our personal worship? But if bowing down becomes a form than it becomes a ritual and that's what God hates! (see Proverb15:8). When our worship becomes superficial, it is an attempt to brush Him off and get on with the self-life. It bears the appearance of devotion, but there is nothing of relationship in it - no love, no honor, no passion.  

The Essence of True Worship is an attitude of the HEART that continually acknowledges God and values His character. In order for us to understand the Essence of True Worship, we need to go the Bible and apply the Law of First Mention, a pronciple 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 udsed throughout the Scripture.

We first see the word "worship" in Genesis 22 in the account of Abraham offering up his son Isaac. "And Abrahais m said to his young men stay here with the donkey, I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship and return to you" (verse 5 emphasis added). Abraham did not go up to the mountain with a guitar or to sing a slow song. He was going up there to offer his most precious son Isaac! - this is the original context of the Essence of True Worship!  

What is the Essence of True Worship? What does it mean to present yourself as "living sacrifice"(Romans 12:1)? Is there a set time and place for it, or does it encompass all of our lives? Worship defines the relationship between God and His people and touches every aspect of our existence.

Apostle John W. Stevenson in his book "Worshiper By Design - A Unique Look At Why We Were Created" aptly defines that "A WORSHIPER - is one who is INTIMATELY acquainted with, and has a DAILY relationship with GOD exhibited through OBEDIENCE."  The life of a "Lifestyle Worshiper" involves Faith, Obedience and Sacrifice:

Worship Is In The Heart and not in the art
Faith - Without faith it is impossible to please God
Obedience - Doer of the WORD 
Sacrifice - Bowing Down to His ways
Reverence - The Fear of the LORD 
Holiness - Set apart for His GLORY 
Fellowship - Friend of GOD

THE ESSENCE OF TRUE WORSHIP is more than singing a song, a good feel or nice lyrics led by a worship team in the corporate gathering. We often think of worship as words and songs that come out of our mouths. It is so much more. It is a LIFESTYLE, a sacrificial way of living that acknowledges every moment of every day that there is ONE far more worthy of our allegiance than ourselves. When His interests consisitently supercede ours, and we act accordingly, we are worshiping.

TPWC will attempt to share and expound more on the series of the ESSENCE OF TRUE WORSHIP in the forth coming posts.

Have a blessed week!
TPWC
Worship is in the HEART and not in the art.

Monday, December 05, 2011

THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP - TRUE WORSHIP ANTICIPATES CHRIST'S RETURN

Jesus taught in several parables how important it is for his servants to be ready for the Master's return. The instruction is made explicit in the admonitions to "abide in Him; that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him" (1 John 2:28). "looking forward to these things," we are to "be deligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot, and blameless" (2 Peter 3:14).
Also, the Bible teaches that we should find comfort in the prospect of our LORD's return (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). Indeed, our love for Jesus should be so great that His near return is our fondest hope. Paul expressed this outlook when he wrote, "Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the LORD, the righteous Judge, will give me on that Day: and not to me only, but to all who have loved His appearing" (2 Timothy 4:8).
Jesus taught repeatedly that it is not for us to know when our Master will return (Luke 12:40, 46; 21:34; Matthew 24:44; 25:13). In fact, He said, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only" (Matthew24:36). The reality of Christ's imminent return - and the idea that we must be ready for it at every moment - should affect the way we think, talk, and live. It should also affect the way we worship. Would we want to find us occupied in mere "religion" when He returns? Or in worship that is more concerned with meeting our own needs than with glorifying Him? Or in worship in a place where His WORD is denied? Of course not!
Some of the last words in God's Revelation to John emphasize the imminent return of Christ and the need for His servants to faithfully keep His words. As John himself learned in this passage, when we are tempted to allow our worship to become skewed, the principles of the WORD of God correct us and drive to TRUE WORSHP.
As we near the end of the Book of Revelation, John is faithful to record even his own monetary failures to heed God's WORD. First, when the apostle witnesses the joyous marriage supper of the LAMB, he is overcome. John turns to the angel messenger who has conducted him through heaven, "and [he falls] at his feet to worship him."
But he said to Me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. WORSHIP GOD! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19:10)
Then a second time, when John had at last seen everything granted to him to see - captured by Jesus' glorious promise to come again quickly - the apostle was overwhelmed. " I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things" (Revelation 22:8). John worshipped the messenger instead of the Author of the message.
John's failure warns us of how easy it is to stray in our worship. In fact John erred twice. If this beloved apostle could deviate in his worship , even while being enlightened by an angelic messenger specially sent by God, so can we. What, then, is the remedy for misdirected worship? The angel's response to John and to his wrong worship is instructive.
"Then he said to me, "See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. WORSHIP GOD." (Revelation 22:9)
First, the angel corrected John, clearly stating that his activity was wrong. It was outside the boundaries of God's word. Although the apostle was sincere, the messenger from God pointed out that John was in error. It is to John's credit that he did not become offended, as do so many in our own day when unbiblical practices are exposed.
Second, the messenger offered John an important reminder. Although angels are superior to mankind in many ways, both the angel and the apostle were created beings and fellow servants of God. All of us are created to serve God for His glory. To Him alone belong all worship and honor. Even in our churches, often, we pay more attention to the messenger than to the message. Like John, we end up worshiping a fellow created being and servant, rather than the One to whom all our worship is due.
Finally, the angel declares to John the most important lesson of all. When the apostle tried to worship the angel the first time, the angel stated to John that "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." This statement means, quite simply, that the Person and message of Jesus is the ESSENCE OF ALL TRUE PROPHECY. TRUE WORSHIP focuses on the One who is TRUTH! The second time John erred, the angel reminded him that God's servants are people who "keep the sayings of this book." It is the words of the Book that keep our focus on its Author and drive us to bow before Him in TRUE WORSHIP, worship that honours Him alone! This same Book - the WORD OF GOD that is "forever ... settled in heaven" (Psalm 119:89), declares that the return of Christ is imminent. He is coming again! Since this is so, "what manner of persons ought you to be" (2 Peter 3:11).
When we think of the awesome power of God who at this very moment is working out His great redemptive plan, our response can be only this: We must recognize His majesty. We must be humbled by His grace and mercy, We must be emptied of self and we must fell on our faces before our God in TRUE WORSHIP!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP - TRUE WORSHIP PRAISES GOD'S JUDGMENTS (THE TRIBULATION SAINTS)

THE SIGN IN HEAVEN
As the 15th chapter of Revelation opens, John writes that God allowed him to see "another sign in heaven, great and marvelous" (Revlation 15:1). God used signs often throughout history to gain the attention of human beings. For example, God gave the sign of burning bush to Moses when He promised to deliver His people from Egyptian bondage. God also gave a sign to Gideon when He consumed his offering with fire, to validate His promise of deliverance from the Midianites.
In John's case, he saw "seven angels having the seven last plagues." The palgues are contained in bowls, and he recorded that "in them the wrath of God is complete" (Revelation 15:1). This great and marvelous sign of the seven angels, therefore, introduces the final outpouring of God's wrath against the sinful world.
When John writes here about God's wrath, it is significant that he uses a Greek word that connotes an outward expression of inward anger. Usually the word "wrath" suggests a slow, inward, boiling indignation. But in this case, "the wrath of God" describes the outworking of that anger in words or actions. Sin truly makes God angry, and the Bible records this fact repeatedly. "God's anger  was aroused" because of Balaam's stubbornness" (Number 22:22). Moses warned the Israelites to avoid idolatry, for to worship idols is "evil in the sight of the LORD your God, to provoke Him to anger" (Deuteronomy 4:25). The Israelites were to flee idolatry, "lest the anger of the LORD your God be aroused against you, and destroy you from the face of the earth" (Deuteronomy 6:15).
It is important to understand that God's anger is expressed against people. When David wondered whether people could sin and get away with it ("Shall they escape by iniquity?"), God inspired him to write the answer: "In anger cast down the peoples, O God" (Psalm 56:7). Jesus affirmed this truth when He taught that anyone who "does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the warth of God abides on him" (John 3:36). Another New Testament passage warns that "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18).
Revelation records that God's wrath is coming. The seven plagues about to be loosed in final judgment include loathsome sores (Revelation 16:2), the turning of the seas and then the fresh water into blood (Revelation 16:3-4), heat and fire (Revelation 16:8), darkness and pain (Revelation 16:10), the drying up of the great Euphrates River so that the armies of the world may be gathered for Amrageddon (Revelation 16:12), and the worst earthquake and hail in history (Revelation 16:18). Men will try to hide from God in that day, but He will not cease until His wrath is completely spent on sinful people.
THE SONG IN HEAVEN
After John saw the seven angels holding bowls full of God's complete wrath, he reported,
"And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God." (Revelation 15:2)
John described a similar sea in heaven surrounding the throne of God (Revelation 4:6). In both cases, we might conclude that the crystalline quality of these seas represents purity from sin. if so, this sea of glass will be fitting place for the redeemed people of the Tribulation to stand before God. Little wonder that these Tribulation saints, "having the harps of God," will start to sing "the song of Moses" and "the song of the LAMB" (Revelation 15:2-3). We do not know what the song of the LAMB will be, although clearly it will be a song of praise to Christ for His sacrifice. The song of Moses, however, has a precedent in Scripture. This "servant of God" sang a song at the end of his wilderness journey, just before God took him home. "Then Moses spoke in the hearing of all the assembly of Israel, the words of this song until they were ended" (Deuteronomy 31:30).
In this song, Moses praises God as faithful and dependable (Deuteronomy 32:1-6), and as a God who provides for His people (7-14) in spite of the fact that they are often unthankful (15-18) and would later prove unfaithful. God would punish His people by displaying His love for the Gentiles, thus moving Israel to jealousy (19-21), and by bringing calamity upon Israel (22-35). Moses' song ends by declaring that God will redeem His own (36-39) and take vengeance on His enemies (41).
Like the song of Mises, the song sung by those redeemed from the Tribulation will praise God for His might and power.
"They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the LAMB, saying:'Great and marvelous are Your works, LORD God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O LORD, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.' " (Revelation 15:3-4)
This joyous song acknowledges God's great works, mighty power, justice, authority, and holiness. The saints singing in heaven teach the very  important lesson that prasie from redeemed people does not focus on self. There is no hint that anyone in heaven will complain about God's judgment on sin and sinners (although many on earth today are against at the thought of such judgment). None of the redeemed will complain that God allowed them to experience persecution in the Tribulation (although many today complain about their difficult circumstances and blame God for them).
The song of the saints in heaven will conclude that God is worthy to be feared. that fear is founded on an awesome respect for God's person and power, as well as dread of losing fellowship with the One who loves us. A right view of God compels us to glorify and reflect Him in what we think, say, and do. And this truth leads to a question: If you are uncomfortable or resentful with God for pouring out His just wrath in judgment against sin, how will you have a place in heaven with people who will praise His name because of that very same wrath? Indeed, how can you give God true worship today?
(an extract from TRUE WORSHIP by David Whitcomb and Mark Ward, Sr.)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP - TRUE WORSHIP REJOICES AT GOD'S TRIUMPH

THE ANNOUNCEMENT
The Seven Angels With The Seven Trumpets
In Revelation chapter 8 to Chapter 11, the first six judgments on the earth will take place as the LAMB opens the first six seals of a book, or scroll. But when He opens the seventh seal, something different will occur. Seven angels will come forward, all bearing trumpets whose successive blasts introduce judgments even more serious than the previous six "seal judgments." One by one, the "trumpet judgments" unfold. All of heaven - the saints and elders, the four living creatures and the great angel host - will witness an incomparably awesome display of God'spower and wrath. Then, at last, everyone knows that the time has come for the seventh trumpet to herald God's final assault against sin and sinners. But the trumpet blast will be accompanied by an announcement: "Then the seventh angel sounded: and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,'The kingdoms of this world would have become the kingdoms of LORD and of His CHRIST,and He shall reign forever and ever!And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshipped God'." (Revelation 11:15-16)
This announcement is the announcement for which all of creation has been waiting! Since Adam and Eve first trusted Satan more than they trusted God, until the moment of this announcement, the kingdoms of this world have been under the rule of the enemy. Jesus Himself called Satan "the ruler of this world" (John 14:30) and John affirmed that "the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one" (1 John 5:19). Satan made no empty boast when he tempted Christ by "show(ing) Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And said to Him, 'All these things I give You if You will fall down and worship me'" (Matthew 4:8-9)
How thankful we should be that Jesus did not yield to Satan's offer but chose to wait on His Father's timing! In the final redemption He will be restored as King of kings. Scripture declares that the literal kingdoms of this world rightly belong to this King of kings. "The earth is the LORD's and all its fulness; the world, and they those who dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1). God Himself proclaimed,
"I have set my King on My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You, Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.' " (Psalm 2:6-8).
Interestingly, though Revelation describes future events, the announcement [that the kingdoms of the world will be restored to Christ] is made in the past tense. Even the grammar underlines the absolute certainty that full redemption will occur according to God's plan!
THE RESPONSE
The Elders Bow Down in Worship
The Revelation provides a picture of how those in heaven will react to God's final judgment  upon the earth and the restoration of it's kingdoms to the rightful Ruler. Of those who represent the redeemed before the throne of God it is written, "And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: 'We give You thanks, O LORD  GOD ALMIGHTY, THE ONE WHO IS AND WHO WAS AND WHO IS TO COME, because You have taken Your great power and reigned." (Revelation 11:16-17)
Do the elders really know what is coming? Are they really thankful for the millions who will die and be eternally condemned because of the massive that God is about to bring to pass? YES! For Revelation confirms that the elders are aware that "the nations were angry, and Your wrath has come ... and [GOD] should destroy those who destroy the earth" (Revelation 11:18). Then why do the elders give thanks? Because not only do they understand God, but they also understand His work.
Note, "the nations were angry." Even in the Old Testament times David wondered, "Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His anointed" (Psalm 2:1-2). The world has always been angry with God! Yet mankind's innate consciousness of God, and since the time of the apostle, the minstry of the Holy Spirit, have restrained somewhat the full boldness of the wicked. During the Great Tribulation, however, their anger will no longer be suppressed. The world will vent its ultimate rage against God because of His full judgment against its sin.
Therefore, at the final destruction, the elders will give thanks and worship their triumphant LORD. No one will question, at this point, how a Christian can be joyful in heaven when others are suffering in hell. Indeed, as the elders fall down before God and worship Him, they will do so in the knowledge that:
"the time of the dead [is come], that they should be judged, and the You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great." (Revelation 11:18)
All men will have their due from God, whether for good or evil. In fact, this truth is explicitly affirmed at least thirty-four times in the Bible. Those who spurned His LAMB and chose to persih in their sins will be raised for their sentencing (Revleation 20:12). Judgment will come also to those who in life threw themselves on the mercy of God and atoning sacrifice of the LAMB. But their judgment will be for reward rather than for condemnation (2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 3:13-15).
The twenty-four elders will worship God as they rejoice in His triumph. Do we rejoice in His coming triumph as well? Does the thought that God will judge sin and restore rightful rule cause us to give thanks and bow before His great power? God's WORD gives us marvelous details about His work in the last days. If our worship is true, it will illustrate knowledge of what God has done and of what He will do to complete His plan of redemption.
(an extract from TRUE WORSHIP by David Whitcomb & Mark Ward, Sr.)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP - TRUE WORSHIP BOWS BEFORE THE LAMB

Last week we shared the awesome grandeur worship in the Throne Room witnessed by the apostle John where he revealed wondrous heavenly beings and honoured elders of the redeeemed bowing down in worship to Almighty God. (Revelation 4). After this event, six terrible judgements will be loosed upon the world, and then follow a pause before the seventh and final judegment. During that pause, John beheld "a great multiude, which no man could number," standing before the Throne and worshiping God with grateful hearts.

[A] great multitude which no one could number ... [was] standing before the throne and before the Lamb ... and crying out with a loud voice, saying. "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" (Revelation 7:9-17)
What a magnificient scene! But who are these people that will be privileged to come into the Throne Room of God? Why will they honour Him and how will their honour of Him find exression in their worship? God has recorded their example in His Word for our instruction. What can we learn?

A PICTURE OF WORSHIP
Revelation 7:9 tells us that the multitude comes from "all nations, tribes, people  and tongues."  indicating that the multitude includes the Jews and Gentiles. John further reveal that the multitude are "clothed with white robes with palm branches in their hands."  Clothed in white - symbolic of their victory in righteouness and  with palm branches - imply joyous celebration. Palm branches likewise figured significantly in Jesus' triumphanl entry into Jerusalem. (John 12:13) 
Who is the Lamb? His coming was prophesied by Isaiah (Isaiah 53:6-7). His arrival was announced by John the Baptist (John 1:29) And John the apostle records in the Revelation that "in the midst of the throne ... stood a Lamb as though it had been slain" (Revelation 5:6), at whose appearing the living creatures and elders will sing:
"You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:9-10)
Then "with a loud voice": an innumerable host of angels will join in the song:
"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessings!" (Revelation 5:12)
The LAMB IS JESUS! for what John records was prophesied in Philippians 2:10-11 that "At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and those on earth, and of those under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus is LORD."

A PICTURE OF THE WORSHIPERS
We have established that the multitude will include Jews and Gentiles. The identity of the multitude is revealed to John in a conversation:
"Then one of the elders answered to me,'Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?' And I said to him,'Sir, you know.' So he said to me, 'These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made white in the blood of the Lamb.' " (Revelation 7:13-14)
It is significant, therefore, that when the Tribulation saints give credit to the Lamb for their salvation, all heaven will join in their worship. The living creatures and elders and angels will have seen how these believers were martyred under the reign of the antichrist, being "slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held" (Revelation 6:9). Their testimony is all the more remarkable in light of the fact that God's Spirit will not be in the earth during the Tribulation. Through special witnesses given by God (see Revelation 7:1-8), these  saints will come to a knowledge of truth and despite great satanic delusion in the world. And then they will keep to their faith without the benefit of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. So all of heaven will join their victory celebration, saying:
"Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honour and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 7:12)
Even the angels will fall down and worship. They will never experience the joy of salvation, but they love God and cannot help joining the redeemed as they all worship their mutual Creator. The elders, also, will fall down and worship, for they know personally God's grace in salvation. And we, also, when we read of the Tribulation saints and their miraculous deliverance, should we wondrously encouraged at the saving grace and power of the Lamb. For these saints will be won the same way we are, through being washed by the blood of the Lamb!



Sunday, November 06, 2011

THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP - THE LIVING CREATURES BOW BEFORE THE CREATOR

We began our study on the ESSENCE OF WORSHIP in Genesis with the first recorded Act of Worship in the Bible. God accepted the worship of Abel, but not his brother Cain (see TPWC's blog post dated 7 May 2011); God could see the conditions of their HEARTS. In fact, the pattern has been the same throughout the rest of the Bible. God instructs and encourages mankind to fall before Him in worship. Some people do; most do not. Now we come to the last book of the Bible - The Book of Revelation makes clear, sadly, that when time is coming to its end, humanity still will nothave learned its lesson. For the book records prophecy not only of TRUE WORSHIP from right HEARTS, but also of false idolatrous worship. Tragically, those who ignored His pleading, who preferred false worship because they did not have faith in God will become the objects of His final and immeasurable WRATH!
THE THRONE ROOM
The apostle John was among the most privileged persons ever to live. God invited this choice servant to see a glimpse of His GLORY. As theRevelation opens, John records the vision he is given of the glorified Christ (Revelation 1:9-17) and of His letters to the seven churches (Revelation 1:18-3:22). After recording these letters, at last John is invited to see and to begin recording "the things which will take place after this."
"After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices.[c] Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the[d] seven Spirits of God. Before the throne there was[e] a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. (Revelation 4:2-7)

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Notice that John himself did not open the door; God opened the door for him. No man can possibly force himself into the THRONE ROOM of God! In the THRONE ROOM the Lord spoke to John in a voice that the apostle could only liken to a trumpet, for he could not think of any other earthly sound that would compare to the authoritative voice of God. When John writes that he "was in the spirit," he is indicating that he was transported to heaven by the Holy Spirit. This is the only way in which anyone can ever get into heaven: to be taken there to see a vision, as was the case with John, or whether he comes for eternal residence.
Once in the THRONE ROOM of God, John's natural and immediate response was obedience - that is, obedience to the command that he begin to write down what he saw. The word "THRONE" is in fact one of the key words in the Book of Revelation. John mentions it in nearlyevery chapter. Its importance to the Revelation is evidenced by the fact that of the sixty-two references to the word "THRONE" in the New Testament, forty-seven are in the final book. The idea of a THRONE conveyed ultimate power and authority.
Yet the majesty of God far surpassed even such a grand picture. John found tha the could not adequately describe in human terms the ONE seated on the THRONE. How long must John have marveled at the sight of the One upon the THRONE! How could any one of us have pulled our eyes away from that GLORY? But the apostle had been commanded to make a record of His vision, and so eventually he drew his gaze to another wondorus sight.

HEAVENLY BEINGS WORSHIP HIM
Revelation 4:8-11 ....'And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.'
These beasts are heavenly beings, and how do they worship? They do not rest day or night in worshiping God. The twenty four elders not only fall upon the ground in humility and reverence, but they also throw all of their crowns at the foot of the throne.
In both the above scriptures we see the angels singing "HOLY HOLY HOLY ...."
(an extract from - The Fear of the Lord by John Bevere)
We have sung these exact words in out churches in hymns, worship choruses ... yet often our worship ring void of the passion found in these angels. As worship leader you would sometime see people yawning or glancing about as they sing the words. How different is the atmosphere in GOD'S THRONE ROOM!
These mighty, awesome angels are not bored or restless; they are not merely singing nice songs. They do not say, "God, I have been singing this song before Your throne for millions of years; do You think a replacement could be brought in? I would like to go explore the other parts of heaven." No way! They would not desire to be anywhere else but crying out and singing praises before the throne of God.
These spectacular angels are not merely singing a song. They are responding to what they see. Every moment, through vieled eyes they glimpse another facet and great dimension of God's glory being revealed. Overwhelmed, they shout, "Holy, holy, holy!"
Some points to note about heavenly worship:
(extract from : Exploring the Mysteries of Worship by Lamar Boschman)
1) Perfect Worship - In heaven worship occurs perfectly and continually.
2) Centre of Worship - The first thing Apostle John saw was a throne. In heaven there is no worship artist, worship leader or even a Christian leader of any kind. There is simply a throne and a LAMB!
3) Heavens's Songs - No single worship style is favoured over another in heaven. there is no debate over the worshipers' preference. Only One sits on the throne, and what He wants will be done. There is a perpetual song that is sung often in heaven. It is called the new song (Revelation 14:3)
4) Heaven's Musical Instruments - There is no mention of percussion or wind instruments used in worship in heaven. However, in connection with worship, strings instruments were played. (Revelation 5:8-9; 14:2-3)
5) Heaven's Order of Worship - John also described the position of the worshipers as they worshiped. It was almost like they were in a round stadium, only larger and more glorious. (Revelations 4:4-6)
6) Heaven's Modes of Worship - The expressions of worship in heaven are extreme. There is constant action of obeisance to Him who sits on the throne. (Revelation 4:10)
7) The Worship in Heaven is also loud and long (Revelations 5:11-12 & 7:9-11)


Blessing, Glory, Honour and Power to our Lord forever and ever Amen!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP - JOB (TRUE WORSHIP BOWS DOWN TO HIS SOVEREIGNTY)

We all know Job was a righteous man. God in the mystery of His ways permitted him to be deprived of everything he possessed though He Himself declared that "There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shun evil" (Job 1:8 NIV).


How did Job react to the sudden calamities and disasters that stripped off all of his wealth? " At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised" (Job 1:22-21). Job first's act was to worship God. In Job's case there was no question of God having to vindicate Himself because of sin in his life. It was purely a question of God acting as He deemed well. Though Job in a matter of hours had been stripped of all his possessions, he could instantly fall down and worship God. Here was a man so utterly subjected to God that he could unhesitatingly bow to all of God's ways. Where there is TRUE WORSHIP, there is no complaint. Whatever God's dealings with you maybe, whether they seem reasonable or unreasonable, they are invariably good (Roman 8:28).


Job's initial response to the first wave of trials was to humble himself and worship. His livelihood (i.e his oxen and donkeys) had been destroyed. His transportation (i.e his camels) had been stolen. His body was covered with boils (his health). And His children (i.e his legacy) had been killed. All of these in one day! And Job's first reaction, after his inital shock and grief, was not anger, not questions, and not apostasy. IT WAS WORSHIP. He violated every psychologist's formula for the stages of grief.
How could Job do such a thing? He knew, deep down in his heart, two essential facts that most of us question from time to time:
(a) GOD IS SOVEREIGN
(b) GOD IS GOOD
Job could WORSHIP because whatever was happening, it was under the SOVEREIGN hand of a really GOOD GOD. He didn't know why bad things were happening, but he knew who watched over him.And despite circumstances, he knew that the One who watched over him was WORTHY!
When lives fall apart, we're inclined to accuse God of not living up to His end of the bargain. Job remembered that he was not in a bargaining position - never had been. All he had received from God was from His mercy. He knew that it was now gone had nothing to do with God's character. That 's why Job could said in verse 21 "Naked I came from my mother's womb,and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."


When our trials weigh heavily upon us - even when crisis strikes - we must remember the unchanging, merciful God.


"COME LET US BOW DOWN IN WORSHIP, LET US KNEEL BEFORE THE LORD OUR MAKER." Psalm 95:6

Saturday, October 22, 2011

THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP - MARTHA KNOWS HOW - MARY KNOWS HIM (PART 2)

Mary took a pound of ointment of pure liquid nard [a rare perfume]
that was very expensive, and she poured it on Jesus' feet
and wiped them with her hair. And the whole house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
John 12:3 (Amplified Bible)

The account of Mary's anointing of our Lord is found also in Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9. But it must not be confused with the account given in Luke 7:36-50, where a former harlot anointed Jesus in the house of simon the Pharisee. Mary was a virtous woman, and she anointed Jesus in the house of Simon the (former) leper (Mark 14:3). The Luke 7 event took place in Galilee, while the account we are now considering occurred in Judea. The fact that there are two "Simons" involved should not surprise us, for Simon was a common name in that day.
When you combine all three accounts, you learn that Mary anointed both Jesus' head and His feet. It was an act of pure love on her part, for she knew her Lord was about to endure suffering and death. Because she sat at Jesus' feet [A Worshiper] and listened to Him speak, she knew what He was going to do.
In a sense, Mary was showing her devotion to Jesus before it was too late. She was "giving the rose" while He was yet alive, and not bringing them to the funeral! Her act of love and worship was public, spontaneous, sacrificial, lavish, personal, and unembarrassed. Jesus called it "a good work" (Matthew 26:10; Mark 14:6) and both commended her and defended her.
It would have required a year's wages from a common labourer to purchase that ointment. Like David, Mary would not give to the Lord that which cost her nothing (2 Samuel 24:24). Her beautiful act of worship brought a fragrance to the very house in which they were dinning, and the blessing of her deed has spread around the world (Matthew 26:13; Mark14:9). Little did Mary realize that night that her love for Christ would be a blessing to believers around the world for centries to come!
When she came to the feet of Jesus, Mary took place of a slave. When she undid her hair (something Jewish women did not do in public), she humbled herself and laid her glory at His feet (see 1 Corinthians 11:15). Of course, she was misunderstood and criticized; but that is what usually happens when somebody gives her best to the Lord.
What Mary did was a blessing to Jesus and a blessing to her own life. She was also a blessing to the home, filling it with fragrance (see Philippians 4:18); and today, she is a blessing to the church around the world. Her one act of devotion in the little village of Bethany still sends "ripples of blessing."
As we look at this event, we see some "representative people" who are examples for us. Martha represents work as she served the dinner she had prepared for the Lord. This was just as much a "fragrance offering" as was Mary's ointment (see Hebrews 13:16). Mary represents worship, and Lazarus represents witness (John 11:19-11). People went to Bethany just to be able to see this man who had been raised from the dead! Lazarus' miraculous life was an effective witness for Jesus.
Actually, the Christian life ought to be a beautiful balance of worship, work, and witness (in the right order). This event must have brought special encouragement and strength to the Saviour's heart as He faced the demands of that last week before the Cross. we should examine our own hearts and homes to ask whether we are bringing joy to His heart by our worship, work, and witness.
(an extract from Be Alive by Warren W. Wiersbe)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP - MARTHA KNOWS HOW - MARY KNOWS HIM (PART 1)

"Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" 'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Luke 10:38-42 NIV

I would like to approach this passage of scripture in the perspective of a worshiper ...


(1)Martha Served But Mary Sat At The Feet Of Jesus (Luke 10:38-42):
We are all familiar with this one story when Jesus visited the home of the two sisters. Martha came to Him to complain about her sister, Mary. God used the story of two well-known women in the Bible to demonstrate to us the type of relationship He wants with each of us.
I get the image of a house busy with people engaged in numerous conversations around the house. Martha is running about trying to figure out how everybody is going to get fed and coordinating the logistics of cooking for all the people. Somewhere in a secluded corner the Lord Jesus Christ is calmly teaching a handful of people who are intently listening to His every word. Mary is sitting at His feet, very content and very settled.
Martha frantically rushes over to interrupt the intimate gathering. Everyone casually looks up at her as the Lord easily sets the record straight. Feeling compassion for Martha, He reassuringly says, “Martha, Martha … you are worried and upset about many things, but only ONE THING is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." After all, if Jesus could feed the 4,000 (Matthew 15:32-39) and the 5,000 (Matthew 14:14-21), then certainly He could handle supper for a house full of people.


Jesus said:
"ONE THING is needed ..." As worshipers, especially if you are in the ministry of worship (i.e worship minister, worship leaders, musicians, singers); RELATIONSHIP with Jesus is the foundation for worship.


King David said:
"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 27:4). David's primary occupation was to seek God and His beauty. God declared David to be a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). Imagine that? Wouldn't you love for God to say that about you? I know I would.


(2)Martha's Emotion vs Mary's Comfort (John 11:32)
In another story about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, the two sisters had different reactions to the news that Jesus was coming to see them after their brother Lazarus had died. There are many lessons that Jesus prepared us to see in this whole scenario. Herein we focus on the differences between the two sisters’ approaches to Jesus before He brought Lazarus back to life (kindly read John 11:17-40)


In verse 20 - Jesus was coming
- Martha took off quickly to find Jesus (impatient and anxious)
- Mary stay at home (probably waiting for Jesus)
In verse 25 and 26 - Jesus spoke to Martha but
- Martha did not really hear Jesus(verse 21-22). She was focused on what she had to say to Him. - Mary only went to see Jesus after Jesus called her (verse 28). She went without delay (at the right time).
In Verse 30 - Jesus met Mary in the same place as Martha
- Mary said the same thing as Martha, but unlike Martha complaining to Jesus, Mary worshipped at Jesus' feet(verse 32). Consequently Mary got a different response from Jesus(verse 33).
- Martha had not spent the time in God’s presence (just as in Luke 10) was overcome by her feelings did not believe. Her faith was not at a high level. Even when Jesus was ready to raise Lazarus from the dead, Martha was filled with unbelief(verse 39). Our unbelief can block God's miracles in our lives but, again Jesus lovingly corrected the situation (just as in Luke 10), when He said, “if you believed, you would see the glory of God ” (verse 40).


Both Mary and Martha were believers in the one true God. But, their walk were not the same. Martha knows how ... whereas Mary knows HIM ...


Martha's Syndrome:                   Mary's Solution:           
Fret & Worry                      Quiet 
Complain                                      Peaceful
Focus on feelings                       Prayerful
Anxious                                        At Jesus' feet
Unbelief                                        Faith

Saturday, October 08, 2011

THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP - PAUL & SILAS (TRUE WORSHIP STAYS FOCUS EVEN IN HOSTILE CIRCUMSTANCES)

"About midnight Paul and Silas
were praying and singing hymns to God,
and the other prisoners were listening to them."
- Acts 16:25 -

What do you do when your hostile environment seems to get the best of you? If you're like most people, you fight, lament your looses, or just get depressed. Not Paul and Silas. They sat in a dirty Philippian jail in the dark of night singing hymns to God.
The reason they were in jail to begin with was because they were obedient to God. They cast the demon out of the servant girl, but in doing so, they undermined an entire fortune-telling enterprise. Those who had been exploiting the girl's "talent" set them up on false charges - a reaction many people have when loosing money. So Paul and Silas sat in a cell with a song in their hearts.
They could WORSHIP enthusiastically because they realized that their opponents had only seemed to get the best of them. They knew that circumstances can be mis-leading. They understood that the enemy's tactics are superficial sacre tactices. Satan can create all kinds of situational havoc, but he cannot disturb the Spirit within us. If that's where we dwell - if we are immersed in the SPIRIT OF GOD - the difference between a five-star hotel and a Greek jail cell is minimal.
Where do you dwell? If you are easily swayed by your circumstances, your quality of life will be manipulated by the enemy of God. If you live at a deeper level than that, grounded in the WORD OF GOD and filled with HIS SPIRIT, your quality of life  cannot be shaken. Every situation will be an opportunity to WORSHIP, or at least to acknowledge the SOVEREIGNTY of the Father.
This is a crucial principle to grasp if you are going to maintain your sanity in the hostile environment of a fallen world. You cannot live zealously for Jesus while living as a victim of circumstance. You have to read between the lines of your life and recognize both the enemy's surface tactics and the underlying will of God. The spiritual war requires great focus - and the ability to WORSHIP in dark places

Saturday, October 01, 2011

THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP - JESUS AND THE SAMARITAN WOMAN PART 2 (TRUE WORSHIP - WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH)

We are worshiping creatures by nature. It's why we were made. A glance around our world reveals a panorama of worship. Our culture alone includes an abundance of styles, a plethora of deities, a multiude of definitions, and myraid motives.
Considering the central role of worship in the life of a human being - is our entire reason for being, as well as the eternal activity of the saints in heaven, according to the WORD - we might do well to consider what God wants it to be like. Does He prefer informal or formal? Ritualistic or spontaneous? Noisy or quiet? Dignified or recklessly passionate? Nearly everyone has an opinion on these alternatives, but they aren't really the heart of the issue. What God desires most has less to do with how we express our worship than with the spirit behind it. In our adoration of our Creator, GOD SEEK INSPIRATION AND INTEGRITY, SINCERITY AND A SPIRIT OF SACRIFICE. HE WANTS OUR OUTWARD EXPRESSION TO MATCH OUR INWARD ATTITUDES. He wants us not to worship ignorantly, but to know who He is. HE WANTS US TO BE REAL.
That's hard for us. We fall into error so easily: We're either too emotional or not emotional enough, too rigid or too unstructured, too self-conscious or not self-aware enough. Most of all, we're apt to turn a worshipful heart into a routine behavior in the blink of an eye. What was sincere devotion yesterday is a performance for God's approval today. What was once an act of passion is now an act of obligation. Our hearts can grow cold faster than we ever thought.
What is your worship like? Is it a Sunday ritual or a frenzied emotion that you can put on and take off? Is it limited to one style of music or a particular church? Most important, is it more than skin-deep?
God seeks those whose worship emanates from deep within. He desires legitimate praise and integrity between the heart and mouth. He wants to be the One we treasure most. Most of all, He wants you. All of you.
(An extract from Worship The King by Chris Tiegreen)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP - JESUS AND THE SAMARITAN WOMAN (TRUE WORSHIP - WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH)


The greatest pleasure of the Christian life is WORSHIP, though we scarely realize it until we've dived in wholeheartedly. We approach it at first as an obligation. We're fairly self-focussed, and it's hard to turn our hearts toward God. But if we do, in spirit and in truth (i.e with zealous inspiration and according to who God really is), we find inexpressible delights. Jesus seeks to turn us, like the woman at the well, into WORSHIPERS with substance rather than WORSHIPERS of ritual. How do we make that change?
Many of us ask God this question: "What is my responsibility toward You?" While not a bad question, there is a better, more heartwarming question: "What can I offer You to show my devotion?"
Do you see the difference? The first question presuppose a requirement we must meet. It almost assumes that there will be a minimum standard, and after having met it, we will cease our God-ward activity and resume our self-ward obsession. The second question presupposes a desire to express love and devotion. It assumes that there can never be enough we can offer Him, but whatever we can find to offer, we will. There is no self-focus in it at all; it is entirely enarmored with God.
JESUS would have us not ask which requirements we are to fulfill, but what more of ourselves we canoffer Him. When we look for our required obligation, we do not worship in spirit, because the SPIRIT OF GOD would not inspire us to fulfill quotas of devotion. And we do not worship in truth, because we underestimate God's worth. He is worth all we are, and more.
Blessed is the WORSHIPER who can truthfully - and with pleasure - say to the LORD: "What can I do for You? You name it, it's Yours. Whatever I can offer You, please let me." This is the kind of worshiper the FATHER seeks.
(an extract from At His feet Devotion by Chris Tiegreen)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP - JACOB PART 2 (TRUE WORSHIP EXPRESSES GREAT FAITH)

JACOB EXPRESSED HIS FAITH
The blessing JACOB gave his grandsons Ephraim and Manasseh is significant as a demostration of FAITH. The content of that blessing is also important. For one thing, it defied all normal expectation.
"Then Israel stretched out his rgiht hand and laid it on Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh's head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the first born ... Now when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took hold of his father's hand to remove it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. And Joseph said to his father, 'Not so, my father. for this one is the firstborn; out your right hand on his head.' " (Genesis 48:14-18)
When Joseph pointed out the irregularity in the blessings, "his father refused" (Genesis 48:19) to stop. What was going on here? JACOB was himself a younger son who maneuvered to take the birthright of his brother Esau. Look what had resulted becuase of his action! Had JACOB not learned his lesson?
Now, the two reversals were different, however. Rather than reversing the usual custm through trickery, JACOB did so through his TRUST in God. Earlier in the conversation he had expressed his acceptance of both grandsons by proclaiming, "[They] are mine" (Genesis 48:5). When he gave the right hand of blessing the younger child, JACOB answered Joseph's reproach by saying he was certain of God's plan.
"I know, my son, I know: [Manasseh] also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother [Ephraim] shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multiude of nations." (Genesis 48:19).
JACOB knew this blessing was God's will, and he stood squarely upon that knowledge - even though, given his past, he may have thus laid himself open for criticism. Nevertheless, JACOB "blessed them that day ... and he set Ephraim before Manasseh" (Genesis 48:14-20).
Centuries later, this prophecy of God through JACOB was proven true. The descendants of Ephraim became the leaders of Israel's ten northern tribes, while the tribe of Manasseh divided.
The writer to the Hebrews records, finally, that JACOB blessed Joseph's grandsons "and WORSHIPED." (JACOB's act of WORSHIP actually preceded the blessing. Nevertheless, the two events occurred close together during the pariarch's final days.)
"When the time drew near that ISRAEL must die, he called his son Jospeh and said to him, ' Now if I have found favor in yoursight, please put your hand under my thigh'. So ISRAEL bowed himself on the head of the bed." (Genesis 47:29, 31).
His physical strength had waned. He needed help to sit up. He was so weak, apparently, that he had to lean on his staff (Hebrews 11:21) even to sit on the edge of his bed. He could no longer imagine it possible to do any mighty deeds to impress God and gain His favor. In fact, his life was nearly over. Yet as JACOB leaned on his staff, he did the best thing any man could ever do. In his heart, as in his body, he was prostrate before God. This is the attitude of TRUE WORSHIP, that of a heart that is humbled in complete submission before God
The New Testament's HALL of FAITH records this scene because, even for us today, it is a powerful lesson and a great encouragement. At one time this man had acted and schemed as if all success depended on him. But in the end, JACOB humbled himself before God. He had learned to TRUST God instead of himself. Lovingly, the LORD had allowed JACOB to experience many trials and blessings in order to bring His child into a vibrant relationship with Him. God does the same for us TODAY! If we TRUST Him fully, as JACOB did, we will naturally WORSHIP the Object of our TRUST until the end of our days.
(an extract from True Worship by David Whitcomb and Mark Ward, Sr.)