Sunday, September 24, 2006


It's 6:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, and I'm thinking about true worship. As we start our services on Sundays, I always say something like:"Brethren we have met to worship the only One who is worthy of our adoration, and that is the God of the Bible". I say that hoping to encourage our people to focus their attention on God, and hopefully, to truly worship Him.

However, as I think about it this morning, it may very well be impossible for some (or should I say many) of our folks to really worship. Why? Because Worship on Sunday cannot be separated from how we have responded to God from Monday thru Saturday.

If we really want to worship God on Sunday, we must be worshipful on all the other days. We do that by looking to the Word of God as a revelation of His glory and His will for us. As we do so, according to IICor.3:18, we begin to progressively reflect God's glory, from one degree to another, and to another , and another, and so on until we become reflections of God's glory in this world. It is a never ending process. If we stop progressing, we stop reflecting.

In light of this, I think that at least one aspect of true corporate worship is God's people coming together in one place and , in a sense, reflecting back to Him the image that has been stamped upon us through our faithfulness and obedience to His Word. If that image is being reproduced in us, we will worship and be carried to another degree of glory. If that image is not being imprinted on us we will not be able to truly worship Him.

In other words, we can't live careless, half-hearted, and largely disobedient lives all week and then expect to acceptably worship God on Sunday.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Luk 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
Luk 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Luk 11:3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
Luk 11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

One of the things that characterized the humanity of Jesus was His praying. Luke, who focuses much on the perfection of His humanity, was obviously awed by the praying of Jesus, leading him to write more about it than any of the other gospel writers. Jesus' communion with the Father surely would have been an awesome thing to witness. It was during one of these times of divine interaction between the Son on earth and the Father in heaven that one of His awe-struck disciples said:"Lord, teach us to pray".

In His response to this request, Jesus gave to His disciples and to us the secret of successful praying. What is that secret? Simply stated it is this: Get in tune with God. By that I mean that when Jesus taught prayer to His disciples, He simply told them to pray for the things that the Father intends to do. He taught His followers to desire the things that God desires.

In this model prayer, each item that we are to pray for is something that God is doing or that He desires. As John Piper constantly reminds us, God is passionate for His glory. Therefore, we are taught to pray "...hallowed be thy name" .We know that God has a plan and that He is accomplishing His will in the earth, so Jesus teaches us to pray "...thy kingdom come, thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth". God is the source of all that we need and He delights to provide for His own, therefore, we are told to pray "...give us day by day our daily bread". God is full of mercy. He delights to show mercy and He wants His people to love it and show it like He does, so we are instructed, not only to seek it for ourselves, but to be a channel of mercy to others as we pray"...forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us". God's will for us is to lead us in the way of holiness, and He wants us to want that way also, so we are lead to pray"And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil."

Why would Jesus teach us to pray for things that, in a very real sense, our Father in heaven is doing anyway? The answer is simply this: Real prayer is not my attempt to get God to 'tune in' to me, but real prayer is me getting in tune with God. It is not about convincing God to get in on what I am doing, but about me getting in on what God is doing.