Zion Baptist Church
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Baptist Missionary Association of America
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By Mrs. Connie Reifsteck - May 2010


     It is the nature of man to want to worship.  Jim Cymbala said “Inside the human heart is an undeniable, spiritual instinct to commune with its Creator.”  The problem is that so many people worship the wrong things.  People worship their wealth, their achievement, or the good life of another person (Mother Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi).  Some people spend a lot of time looking for the meaning of life, trying to find something to look up to and worship.
     God tells us that if we “do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord” (Deut. 6:18), it will be well with us.  When we choose to worship God, we reap the joy that God intends for His children.
     However, there are those who move away from God by worshipping earthly possessions (especially wealth), personal accomplishments, or even the good deeds of another person.  These people suffer in the long run, for these things of this world are temporary at best.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:19-20 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.”
     It’s a shame that so many people don’t know we don’t have to work to find an object of worship.  We have God.  He’s always been here.  And He delights in our worship of Him.  In return for our worship, God gives us joy unspeakable. 

     One way of worshipping God is to make every day and every event in our lives a cause for celebration and praise.  We worship God when we praise Him for the blessings He gives us.  We worship God when we praise Him for opportunities of service.  We worship God when we pray to Him, acknowledging Him as the Supreme Being who can answer our petitions.  We worship God when we sing of His mercy and grace.  We worship God when we experience problems in our lives and say “Thy will, not mine.”  We worship God when we acknowledge His place in our lives is front and center. 
     God deserves such worship.  God has promised to give us all of eternity.  Give Him praise and glory every day for the priceless gift of His son.  Fully experience every day that He gives us.  Thank Him for the joy we have when we worship Him with our lives.

     “...Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.”   Matthew 4:10
     “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.   God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” John 4:23-24

     The apostle John has been called the disciple of love, and in the books he wrote, John, 1, 2, & 3 John, and Revelation, he pounds on the theme of love - the love God has for us, the love Jesus has for us, and the expectation from us of the love we should show others.  The problem for us is that flesh is weak.  Many times we fall short of the expectation Jesus set for us to love one another.  And sometimes we give the outward appearance of doing good service, but our motives are hidden. 
     We are to serve God by our good works, and our good works are to be motivated by our personal love for Jesus.  No more, no less.  If we do good things for people only to receive honor and recognition from the world, we are not serving God.  If we do good things to build ourselves up, we are not serving God.  If we do good things because it is expected of us and we don’t want to lose face, we are not serving God. 
     We really need to resist the temptation to do good for personal recognition.  Serve quietly, even anonymously.  Do your good works without fanfare.  Find a need and take care of it, without a parade. 
Lend a helping hand or share a word of kindness because you truly want to share the love of God, not because someone may be watching you.  Be an humble servant to those who need encouragement, help, or love.
     “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.”  John 12:26
     “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”  John 13:34

     “And whosoever will be chief (first) among you, let him be your servant (slave): Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto (served), but to minister (serve), and to give his life a ransom for many.”  Matthew 20:27-28   (Words in parentheses added)
     “For, Brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  For all law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF.”  Galatians 5:13-14    [Being free from the law doesn’t mean we are free to indulge in sin.  It means that we are free to serve God by serving one another.]
     “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”  John 15:12
     “These things I command you, that ye love one another.” John 15:17

     “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth or straight) thy paths.”  Proverbs 3:5-6
     We have three commands in these verses.  First, “trust”, meaning rely on or depend on the Lord.  Second, “lean not”, meaning don’t depend on yourself.  Third, “acknowledge him”, meaning to have fellowship and intimacy with God in all of life.  The result of this devotion is that God will make the paths straight before you.
     Just about in the middle of the Bible is the book of Psalms.  I have heard many people claim that when they are facing any kind of issue, good or bad, they have found a Psalm that reflects what they are feeling.
     One of my personal favorites is Psalm 121 - “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.  He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.  Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.  The Lord is thy keeper; the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.  The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.  The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”
     We all may have times when we are troubled to the center of our heart.  When these times happen, trust in God.  When you are worried, trust in God.  When you are full of sorrow, trust in God.  When you are afraid, trust in God.  When you are anxious, Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God...” 
     We have the assurance of God’s promises. The Lord is faithful to us.  He will not forsake us.  If we claim that God is all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere, we must trust Him.  Since He knows the number of hairs on our heads, we can be assured He knows all our needs, and will provide according to His good grace.
     “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him...”   2 Chronicles 16:9
     “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
     “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.”  Proverbs 16:20
     “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” Hebrews 10:23
     “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:9