An Atmosphere for Worship

Atmosphere For Worship

Worship is said to come from the heart and it is between God and you, isn’t it? It is a one-on-one encounter with Him where you praise Him simply because He is worthy of it besides the fact that as His children it is His right to receive it from you. It is an outward expression of our love and gratitude for who He is, for enfolding us into His flock, for what He has done in our lives, for what He is able to do. There can be no single reason for praising Him. They number far too many. Worship is an experience that has to be personally felt by every one of His children and God desires that it be not tainted or influenced by external forces. It is a pure and blissful feeling that resides in every one of us as we are aware of ourselves being transformed into another world where only God and His people exist.

But just how pure is it in our society today?

As we read Matthew 2:1-12, we stumble upon a common passage in the Bible – the wise men from the east visit Jesus. They had travelled from far to meet the King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2). Now a manger is hardly a place where a king can be expected to reside in. But when they saw the star, they didn’t question the place. In fact, we read that “they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy” (Matthew 2:10).

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Matthew 2:10-11

Verse 11 says that “they entered the house… and worshiped Him” and presented very expensive gifts to Him. We need to understand that these were no ordinary men. They were learned men and they might have been quite rich (considering the gifts they brought).

But as they entered the manger and saw whom they needed to see (Jesus), they couldn’t care less about anything else. They didn’t care that they had travelled miles and miles to finally see Him in a poorly manger, they didn’t care that the place was smelly, dirty and noisy, they didn’t care that Mary and Joseph and the Child were not dressed in fine apparel and decked in jewellery as should be for a king. They didn’t keep any prejudices or preconceived notions in their mind. When they saw Jesus, everything else faded away. They understood their aim and that was all that mattered to them. Everything else was only secondary. There was nothing special about the place but it became a place worthy of worship because Jesus was present in there.

How do we measure our churches? Based on the number of people attending? Based on the quality of musical instruments being played? Based on the beauty and space of the hall? Based on the smartness of the pastor? Some people spend their entire life wobbling from one church to the other in search of the “perfect” church. And because they keep complaining and keep looking out for a utopian church, they miss numerous opportunities to enjoy the beauty of just sitting in His wonderful presence and worshiping Him.

It doesn’t really matter where you are or how many people there are. It doesn’t matter whether you are in a hall with 1000 other people or even if you are in a little hut with just two people, the only question you need to ask is “Is Jesus in there?” If so, prayers are bound to be answered, miracles are bound to happen; His peace and joy will be filled in each and every believer’s heart. If not, it is equivalent to a few people gathering in a hall, making some noise and going away. The purpose of worship (which is the ultimate purpose) will never be met.

Dear brothers and sisters, next time you enter your worship hall, stop analysing the hall or the singers or anything else. Enjoy His presence and worship Him for He deserves it.

A Willful Mind is a Willful Giver

Exodus 35:21-22
Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments. They came, both men and women, as many as had a willing heart, and brought earrings and nose rings, rings and necklaces, all jewelry of gold, that is, every man who made an offering of gold to the Lord.

God has given each one of us, as members of the church, a special duty to do. We should not think of ourselves less talented than anyone else. We should not compare ourselves with others. We should have that “we-feeling”, a sense of belonging and bring whatever we have to offer—with a WILLING mind. The willing attitude is very necessary. God will be pleased with such sacrifices. Let us give of our time, money, effort, talents, spiritual gifts to the Lord with a willing heart.

2 Corinthians 9:7
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart,not grudgingly or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.”

No one has to force us into doing something for the church, it should be inspired by the Spirit from within. The church will be strengthened if each member puts in the best that he has even if it is “the two mites” that he has. God looks at the intents of the heart.

We should bring our best into the church in such an abundant manner that the “people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done-indeed too much” according to Exodus36: 6, 7.

Prayer:Dear Heavenly Father,make our hearts generous as You have been so generous to us. Thank you for all the wonderful gifts especially your dear Son. Help us to reciprocate your love and care for us. Help us to give willingly,for you are pleased with such sacrifices.Make us active participants in the building of the church. Amen.

*Original post :http://churchofgodjebelali.org/2013/06/16/a-willful-mind-is-a-willful-giver-by-sr-reena-r-george/

A Mind to Work

Nehemiah 4:6
So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.

As we know, Nehemiah together with the children of Israel set about to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. For those not familiar with the story of Nehemiah, when the walls of Jerusalem were  in ruins, through the inspiration from the Holy Spirit, he set about to build it up. Nehemiah 4:6 states that the entire wall was joined up to half its height because “the people had a mind to work”. The building up of the wall took place fast because the people were united in their outlook toward their goal of building the wall.

There must have been hundreds of people. Even among them, there were people from different tribes, families, etc. Yet, when it came to this particular task, their hearts were united and hence they worked in harmony.  God needs this type of unity and harmony from His children. Today, we see and hear of fellowships dissolving and having problems because the much required unity of the Spirit is not among them. We praise and worship the same God and yet are often quick to judge and complain on different matters pertaining to the church.

The Church is His house.

We are children of the most High and members of the Church. Unless there is unity among His children, we cannot expect a spiritual growth to take place neither in our individual life nor in the church. Let us learn to love our fellow brothers and sisters. Forgive those who need to be forgiven, help those who are in need, deal with our fellow church members with patience and love, etc. Where the love of God flows, peace is sure to reign and we will be bound by the unity of the Spirit.

God bless.