Meditation

04/14/2021

When they arrived at the hose of the Lord in Jerusalem, some of the heads of the families gave freewill offerings toward the rebuilding of the house of God on its site. According to their ability they gave to the treasury for this work 61,000 drachmas of gold, 5,000 minas of silver and 100 priestly garments. (Ezra 2:6869)

God had given His people their freedom; in response, they freely gave to God. It wasn’t a begrudging of obedience. It was a joyful giving expressing gratitude to God and forms an integral part of worship.

God’s deliverance from exile renewed the history of His people. They preserved family, geographical, and occupational traditions of God’s people. In delivering His people God preserves historical continuity with His previous acts of deliverance.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Precious Abba, God made a conscious choice to take His people out of Egypt, to remove them from the time they had spent as slaves for Pharaoh, and moved His people to new lands, new lives, and renewed the history of His people, all at the same time. He offers us the same freedom, to live free of condemnation and judgment by the world, and to live in peace and comfort under His protection, and all by accepting His Son, our Lord and Savior. By living in relationship with Christ, we are living with God as well, and we have the additional benefit of God’s Spirit to guide us every step of the way. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

Beloved, the first step to hearing God, is for us to stop talking and listen. (John 6:5-13)

KNOWING GOD:

I hate, I despise your religious feats; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:2124)

Beloved, there is a caution here that requires understanding on our part, lest we fall into prideful actions. Going to public worship is not necessarily prayer. Public worship can turn into self-serving ceremony without God’s presence. Humble service of God and the oppressed He protects is a necessary partner to true prayer. Prayer is seeking God’s presence; therefore prayer results in true, meaning life and a worship experience with God. We invite Him to join us in prayer and worship, because He wants to be in a relationship with His people, not just one that helps only when we are in trouble.

I AM:

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.’” (Hebrews12:2829)

The writer saw many things around him crumbling. One thing gave him confidence. He knew God had created a world with moral and spiritual values in it that would endure even if the external things about him dissolved.

Chief among the things that ‘cannot be shaken’ is God’s kingdom of love and righteousness, and integral part of the world He brought into being through His creative powers. The material world is not eternal. God’s kingdom is. The inheritance that belongs to Christians and the awesomeness of God make worship and grateful prayer logical actions.

SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshiper must worship in spirit and in truth” (John4:23-24)

The opposite of spirit is flesh. Worship is not a performance to bring pride to those performing, be they preachers, singers, or laypersons. It is not performed for the sake of the performers or participants. It is an offering to God and must done in that which is hidden, the spirit. The opposite of truth is falsehood. Worship must be genuine. Prayer pervades true worship seeking fellowship with God.

God is spirit, not physical or material. He thus exists on a much different plane from us and is not subject to the limitations of a physical body. God is deeply personal and can be worshiped only at the most intensely personal level from our spirit to God as Spirit. Worship is not offered to a physical object or a mechanical way. True worship of God must be in a personal relationship. Clear enough?

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