Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Well, this is embarrassing!

I just started this blog and I am already a day behind! But I have been thinking a lot about what I wanted to name my Monday posts, and I think it will officially titled:

"Monday's Meditation"

So, without further ado, here is Monday (November 8, 2010)'s Meditation:


I have been doing a bible study with 5 close friends at church called "Discipleship Essentials." It is a bible study that is written and geared towards small group discipleship. The intention is to create a climate for the Holy Spirit to bring about accelerated growth in our spiritual lives and our walk with the Lord. The author of the study challenges us to be truthful, transparent and accountable to one another. This creates an atmosphere of complete trust and vulnerability. We study a core truth, memorize a verse or two of scripture, do an inductive Bible study and have a short reading each week. We decided to do this study after seeing how it changed 3 of group members husbands' lives after completing the study. The ultimate goal is to finish the study and each group member to form his/her own group and become the facilitator. It focuses on Jesus Christ's approach of discipleship-making through his example of his relationship with the 12 disciples. Jesus focused on the 12 while he was on earth so that after he was gone, they would continue the work that he left and tell others about Him. The first week also tells us about how Paul also followed this type of discipleship during his ministry.
So that is really the very skinny intro to this study, it is indeed an incredible bible study that I encourage you to look in to! I see revival taking place in the heart of many of our young adults at our church and I believe this study is the perfect stepping stone for that revival! Praise GOD that He does supply all our needs! He knew our hunger and I truly believe He placed this study in our lives for this very purpose!
I can't talk about this study without thanking the one person God used to bring it to us; David Kizziah. David and his precious wife, Katie, have ministered to our church family for the past 2 years and have especially ministered to my family specifically. We are super sad to see the Kizziah family leave us to serve at a church in North Carolina. Alan and I have been so blessed to call them friends and see our children grow to love and adore one another. Alan and David (and two others) traveled to Africa together this past Spring for a mission trip. At the same time, those 2 guys and 2 other friends were doing this bible study. Needless to say, it has changed Alan's life and many other lives and I look forward to see what all God has in store for me throughout this study.

So far, the three weeks that have impacted me the most are the weeks that covered quiet time, prayer and worship. Probably the three things that form the foundation for a fruitful relationship with Jesus Christ. Today, I want to talk about worship. I grew up in church, in a baptist church, and I have heard all my life that we are going to "worship service." Probably not until the last few years and more so the last few months have truly come to understand and experience true worship. Going into "big church" and singing the hymns, listening the preacher and listening to special music is not worship. One of our main purposes as Christians while on this earth is to worship God because when we get to heaven, that is all we are going to be doing! In Revelation, while the apostle John was being held prisoner by the Romans, an angel delivered to him the scenes of Heaven we see in chapter 4. He describes God's throne as blazing with glory and beauty and surrounded by creatures who continually praise the Lord saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty." (v. 8). Verse 11 goes on to say that God is worthy of glory, honor and praise because HE alone created ALL things and ALL things exist because of Him. There is no other God that has created ALL things and is worthy of this praise.

If we were to truly see who God really is, in all of His perfection and beauty, we would probably be in despair because this would make us see just how unrighteous and filthy we are.  The author states: "In the presence of God we are but dust and ashes. Every breath we breathe is a gift of His grace."
In Isaiah, when he comes into the presence of God, he cries out "Woe to me...I am ruined.." (Isaiah 6:5) but he doesn't run away. The author predicts that "perhaps he knew that he could never flee God's presence. Or perhaps there is something about God in his holiness that is irresistible." I like to think it is the later that kept him there, because I know that when I feel a glimpse of the presence of our God, it is so amazing and I never WANT to leave it!
In my own words, when I come into a state of worship, I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, I am reminded of what Christ did for me, undeserving and worthless as I am, and it makes me see the magnitude of my sin and how disgusting I really am and how marvelous and perfect HE is! I also think about how much He does love me and through grace and forgiveness I am able to have a relationship with Him. One final thought about worship is this, a quote from our bible study: "The vitality and depth of our worship are directly related to our view of God." Our worship should consist of falling before Him with gratitude and praise at the wonder of his holiness and the glory

I have several songs that I listen to when I want to come into a state of worship. Whether it be in the bathroom getting dressed and putting on my makeup, in the car, or in the kitchen cleaning! I have my "go-to" songs that are perfect for bringing me into the presence of the Holy Spirit. I want to share them with you.
The first is "Revelation Song" and my favorite version is by Kari Jobe. If you haven't heard it, I beg you to do so. It is the perfect worship song. The lyrics are straight from Revelation:

Clothed in rainbows, of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and
Glory and power be
To You the Only Wise King,Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come, yeah
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And – I - will - adore You!

The second two songs are by Bethany Dillon called Sing Over Me and it is a gently reminder of how God promises us a peace that passes all understanding if we seek His face in all circumstances. One of my favorite lines is :

Sing of Your unending faithfulness
That knows no doubt or fear
In the face of all that I don't know yet
Remind me of who You are 
 I find it quite comforting to know that OUR GOD is faithful in ALL circumstances and He knows how to get us through anything, even those things we don't know anything about yet! Isn't that great!? Isn't GOD great!?

Finally, the second Bethany Dillon song is; "Let you light shine" and wow. This one right now really  moves me to tears when I listen to it. She says "the calmer of the sea, here in this room with me, so gently welcoming the weakest thing in me." I find so much peace in knowing that the God who is able to calm the sea, cares about me and all the little situations in my life when I can't seem to figure out what to do or how to do it. He wants ME to turn to HIM and rest, just let Him handle it. That is so amazing and comforting to me! My favorite verse from this song is this:

Oh Jesus, you became, what was my deepest shame
That in your very name
My calloused heart would change
How could you, oh perfect one,
Love me, when I have done nothing that's worthy of
My freedom You have won

How true that is that He is so VERY PERFECT and we are are so unworthy of freedom, yet He became our deepest shame and bought our freedom for us; we have calloused hearts but just the very mention of His precious name can soften our heart.

I hope that you are comforted by these songs as I am. I promise that if you sing them, really think about what they are saying, and focus on how great our creator is, what an amazing gift Jesus Christ gave us through the cross, and how unworthy we are of that gift, it will bring you, too, into a place of worship with our amazing, loving God.

I don't plan on making all of my posts this long. I hope to shorten them as I know that I tend to ramble with random thoughts at times and many of you will not want to read such lengthy posts! :) I felt like i needed to give some history my first day. If you've made it to the end of this, I sincerely thank you for that. You MUST be a dear friend. ;)

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