“When they had slaughtered the bull, they brought the boy to Eli, and she said to him, ‘As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.’ And he worshiped the Lord there.” (1st Samuel 1:25-28)
Beloved, parents are responsible for dedicating their children to the Lord. While contemporary society would not carry this out in such a dramatic form as did ancient Israel, the need is no less real. Children should grow up with the awareness of devotion by parents to the purposes of God. As in this case, an answer to prayer should call forth worship. A commitment or vow should therefore be fulfilled. Elkanah had affirmed Hannah’s vow and He prayed for God to act as He said. Such a prayer is an affirmation of God’s fidelity more than a petition. What God promises, He will do.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, today we recognize the gift of worship. In all things, God should be praised, for He is more than worthy of our praise and thanksgiving. He has taken us as His family and our response to that is not demanded; God allows us to make the decision to accept Him or not ourselves. No one can make this decision for another, even if we feel it is the right thing or not. God loves us enough to allow us to decide on our own to follow Him. Have you made your decision yet? If you have questions, ask someone, don’t hesitate because of stubbornness, but make an informed decision to commit yourself to Him, as it is an eternal decision. Today we continue to pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, for those we don’t know, especially the people in Ukraine, as they are fighting for their very lives and way of life. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Willpower, you give God your will, He gives you the power.”
“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 1:20-21)
The praiseworthiness of God does not depend on our circumstances. Job praised God, not for his circumstances, but for God’s unchanging and inherent worth.
“After this, I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing while robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’ All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: ‘Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!’” (Revelation 7:9-12)
The praise here is ascription for God’s intrinsic worth. The second song is noteworthy in that it begins and ends with “Amen.” Note that all of the people are clothed in white robes, not in the clothes of their own cultures or traditions. He will clothe all who come to Him in repentance and faith with the white robe of righteousness and given them the palm branch of eternal peace an rest. God desires that men, women, and children from every nation belong to Him. But the contemporary churches must be faithful to the missionary vision for God’s plan to be carried out. Salvation is the point of focus for God the Father and the Lamb, Jesus the Son. Salvation comes only from God’s throne
2ND 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 worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. The woman said, ‘I know that Messiah (called Christ)’ is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us. Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.” (John 4:23-26)
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 be 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.
Beloved, God is spirit, not physical or material. He thus exists on a different plane from us and is not subject to the limitations of a physical body. He 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 in a mechanical way. True worship of God must be accomplished in a close and personal relationship. Understand? I pray so.