Worship Amidst Pain

Title: Worship Amidst Pain

Reading: Job 1-7 

worship

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21)

Famous author by the name of C. S. Lewis wrote, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” This is easier said than accepted, I believe, for this is not the common worldview of man. When pains in life come, it is as if we are instinctively compelled to make truce with an angry God. Does this occur to you as well? What is your knee-jerk reaction to life’s difficulties?

Today’s passage directs our attention to Job, a man who had all the things that one could ever hope for – a great family, a thriving business and a good moral standing. Furthermore, he was a man who enjoyed an intimate relationship with the Lord. He was, in fact, noted to be “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1,8). However, almost like in a snap, things that he treasured in life were taken from him one by one. His flock, his servants, and above all, his children – gone!

Yet in his anguish, Job did not sin nor charge God with any wrong. Instead, he worshipped. Job understood that grieving and worshiping were not two incompatible roommates. He did both – a deep catharsis of the soul while praising the God who holds all things together!

I pray that we would all see our circumstances as Job does. May we allow God to use our pains as a stage where he can proclaim his goodness, mercy and steadfast love!

Prayer Focus: “O Lord, thank you for you are in control of all things. When times get tough and I do not understand, help me to lean on your grace, wisdom and strength. Amen.”

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Take it from the Psalmist ;)

I guess everybody wants to start their day right. But… the question is how?

Below, you could see how the psalmist exhorts all of us to live each day with an attitude of giving thanks to the Lord.

“Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!

Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations”

– Psalm 100 (ESV)

Imagine when, morning by morning, we take these words to heart.

Perhaps, even if things would not always go as how we desire them to happen, we can always find reason to rejoice for.. “the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations”.

Have a joy-filled day, friends!

God begins. God sustains. And, God completes.

I missed writing for almost two weeks now, so I’d like to give you a clearer glimpse of what the Lord has been doing during that span of time.  I could honestly say that it was quite a tough “ride”, but all the events — when put together — could only point towards a profound truth:  what God started, He’ll sustain, and He’ll complete.

March 24, 2012. I was at Maria Montessori Foundation in Ayala Alabang when this photo was taken, and was granted the privilege to facilitate their teachers’ recollection.  These people were “non-Catholic” staff (both teaching and non-teaching) and belonged to various denominations (i.e. Baptist, Pentecostal, Iglesia ni Cristo, etc.).  When I received the invitation, I was so in doubt about my capability.  I wrestled with the thought for some time, but when God gradually broke my doubt and pride, I knew this was the Lord’s assignment for me.  The Lord was so gracious to me from the preparation process until the day I met with this wonderful set of people.

As I spoke to these guys, all I could feel was the joy of seeing them be transparent, vulnerable, and so much in need of God. Just… “WOW”! The 4- to 5-hour session that we had was just overwhelming, and I am so excited to hear more about the impact that they’re causing in the lives of the next generation (their students) and to the co-teachers they work with.


March 31, 2012. Exactly a week after my time at Maria Montessori Foundation, I got to be with the people from GCF Ortigas Youth L.I.V.E. (Living in View of Eternity) on their “Worship Project”.  Roughly 30 minutes before the event started, the team/band and I had a brief time to be still before the Lord in prayer and in meditating on God’s Word (focusing on Nehemiah 6:1-4). For some reason,we agreed that it was a season of “rebuilding” for most of us, particularly in the ministry we have been called to.  Truly, God’s Word is living and active.  It was so refreshing to spend a moment with their worship team even prior the start of the service.

(*Disclaimer: Pardon my look in this photo. Haha!)

Then, the service started by allotting more time in the reading of psalms and in personal prayer. This is needed. Well, I believe every church needs a time like this — where people would step on the “brakes” and remain still in His presence.  It’s a reminder that we have to lessen on the “church activities”, if necessary.  Instead, we should prioritize our time with the Person behind our “church activities” before we do anything else.

After that, the Lord opened an opportunity for me to preach His Word to their youth group.  We dug deep into 1 John 1:1-4 and 2:1-6, making it a solid foundation as to whowhy, and how we ought to worship God.  It really is a delight to see young people respond so passionately to God’s Word. I was awestruck!  Eventually, we ended our time together by leading to this conclusion:  People who live in view of eternity are people who live a life(-style) of worship.  Those who live a life(-style) of worship are those who walk as Jesus walked.  (cf. 1 John 2:6)

Basically, these are the things that transpired during the past couple of days.

I wish I could share in further detail what God has been teaching me in this “faith stretching” season, but my time for now is up.  I will put things into writing at the appointed time. (Hopefully soon!)

All I want to emphasize at this point is the fact that God completes what He has started in you. He’ll do whatever it takes to show His glory and to let you know that He’s after what is good for us.

Therefore, let’s take heart and let’s press on!

Wor[k]ship: A Personal Application

If you’re on track with my entries, last week I wrote something about living a lifestyle of worship in the workplace (check  https://musingovercoffee.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/workship/).  I find it interesting because I got to engage in a similar discussion with a disciple of mine just this past Saturday.  I find it absolutely cool.  But it’s likewise challenging because the Lord would usually (and immediately) put to test what He has been teaching you. Like a regular student, you undergo long exams so your teacher would know if you really got the lesson or not.  Today, though, it wasn’t just about theory but life application.

I was about to finish my day at work earlier this afternoon.  I went out of the therapy area and what caught my attention was not my last student, but his mother who was in tears.  In an instant, I had to bring them to a separate room.  I was unsure of what to do next, but all I was able to utter was this question:  “How can I help you?”  For a moment there, I was surprised I asked that.  It was never my intention to meddle with personal matters, but I recognized that it was a divine appointment.  I didn’t have the time to get back to my contract and check if this was part of my job description.  I wanted to be very cautious, but I felt God nudging me to minister to this hurting parent.  I listened, but the matter was too heavy that I could not give an answer.  I caught myself being silent for a couple of seconds.  I took a deep breath, and asked if I could pray for her.  And she agreed.  After we prayed together, she admitted that she had nobody else to open her problem to, since all she had during that moment was her 4-year-old child (my student). As I continued to listen, I was simply awestruck by God’s work.  This situation is certainly bigger than myself, so I’m thankful to the Lord for breaking through mightily at that particular moment.

I have to be honest, friends.  At the level of my own fleshly nature, I could have just ignored the matter.  I could have just walked away, and went straight to do my task. But seeing this through the lens of Jesus, I had to step out in faith.  I desired to please my heavenly Master and do the task that He’s placed in my heart to do – to serve and love His people even when it’s inconvenient.

By God’s grace, I could say that I love where I am now not because it’s easy, but because I get to meet people who have a sense of brokenness within them. I love where the Lord has planted me, because He’s blessed me with such an opportunity to bring the church outside of its four walls.

Two weeks ago, I remember myself preaching to our youth group that the church in its in original Greek text would refer to the people (“assembly”, “congregation”) and not the structure.  The church is a living organism, capable of movement, where Jesus is at its very core.  (Oh, what a way to put this truth in application!)

As I recall what transpired today, I could only stand in awe of God.  I’m so thankful that it was Him who moved and that He enabled me to flee from the temptation of being apathetic.  I’m thankful for the parent who opened her heart to me, even if we hardly knew each other.  I’m grateful for each detail — for the Lord was in it, above it, behind it, through it.  All these things were definitely for His glory and for our good.

Wor[k]ship

This video’s such a strong rebuke and reminder for me, particularly during this season of my life.  May the Lord bless the people who created this!

On the other hand, as I meditated on the message that it was trying to convey, I was reminded of Paul’s call to the church at Colosse:

“Slaves, obey in everything those who are earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.  Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.   You are serving the Lord Christ.  For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.”

— Colossians 3:22-4:1 (ESV)

I pray we’d all learn to move away from the dichotomy of work and worship.  Let’s remember that our work is our ministry.  Our place of work is our mission field.  We have been planted there for a purpose!

And by the Lord’s grace, may we all stand as salt and light wherever we may be!

Wonderful. Beautiful. Glorious. Matchless.

A week of “busy-ness” was it. Yet now, I’m not here to tell you how fruitful my week has become, but to tell you of the God we could take refuge in. Here’s a song that has spoken to my heart this entire morning as I took time to “recharge” in His presence.  It is not a new song for some, but it was a timely reminder in my current time and season. And, that may be the same for you.

I confess that I was all-the-more in tears as I listened to this song after reading my bible, knowing full well that I had to release the burden that I carry to our Lord — the One who controls and sustains all things. Call me “emotional”, but it’s just me being transparent before the Lord. Besides, He knows our every detail, hence no reason for pretense.

It’s an 11-minute video.  It’s not that long, so I hope you’d take this opportunity to pause — it could mean letting go of your phones for a bit, putting down your pen, leaving your workspace for a moment, or simply setting aside the rest of that things that pre-occupy you.

I personally do not know what’s going on in your life, but I pray that you’d take refuge in our Lord — the only God who is wonderful, beautiful, glorious, and matchless in every way!

Here in Your Presence

Verse:

Found in Your hands, fullness of joy
Every fear suddenly wiped away here in Your presence
All of my gains now fade away
Every crown no longer on display, here in Your presence
Heaven is trembling in awe of Your wonders
The kings and their kingdoms are standing amazed

Chorus:
Here in Your presence, we are undone
Here in Your presence, heaven and earth become one
Here in Your presence, all things are new
Here in Your presence, everything bows before You

Bridge:
Wonderful, beautiful, glorious, matchless in every way!
Wonderful, beautiful, glorious, matchless in every way!

Encouragement in this “Waiting Season”

In my personal “waiting season”, this Scripture passage has always been God’s encouragement.  May the truth of this psalm minister to you as well. 🙂

“I waited patiently for the LORD;

He turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,

out of the mud and mire;

He set my feet on a rock

and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth,

a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear the LORD

and put their trust in Him.”

— Psalm 40:1-3

“Five Thoughts on Worship” by Kevin DeYoung

Five Thoughts on Worship

Posted By Kevin DeYoung On May 18, 2011

Kevin DeYoung is the Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, right across the street from Michigan State University.  He’s been the pastor there since 2004.  He was born in Chicagoland, but grew up mostly in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.

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There is no shortage of good books (and bad!) on the theology of worship. The best is David Peterson’s Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship [1] (IVP, 1992). Peterson’s book is not a practical how-to on worship planning, but rather an in-depth, exegetical look at the biblical understanding of worship.

Worship, according to Peterson, is first of all a whole life lived to the glory of God.

Throughout the Bible, acceptable worship means approaching or engaging with God on the terms he proposes and in the manner that he makes possible. It involves honouring, serving and respecting him, abandoning any loyalty or devotion that hinders an exclusive relationship with him. Although some of Scripture’s terms for worship may refer to specific gestures of homage, rituals of priestly ministrations, worship is more fundamentally faith expressing itself in obedience and adoration. Consequently, in both Testaments it is often shown to be a personal and moral fellowship with God relevant to every sphere of life.

While he argues throughout the book that all of life is worship, Peterson also recognizes that the New Testament speaks of the corporate gathering as a specific kind of all-of-life worship. Peterson makes several helpful points with regards to corporate worship.

First, the starting point for reflection is the conviction “that God fully and finally manifested himself in the person of his Son. Jesus Christ is at the center of New Testament thinking about worship.” He is the mediator between God and man. He is the procurer of salvation and blessing for the nations. He is the new temple in which and around which all true believers gather. Christ draws us to himself in worship and through him a new relationship with the Father is made possible.

Second, true worship is gospel-centered. The gospel–Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection–is what makes worship possible. The gospel is what we proclaim in worship. The gospel is what we sing in worship. The gospel is what calls a people together in worship, arouses a people to praise in worship, and sends a people out in a life of worship. Some churches ignore the gospel. Others reject the gospel. Many churches only touch the gospel tangentially, focusing on nebulous truths like relationships or connecting with God or acceptance or love. But in the best churches, never does a Sunday go by when God’s people don’t sing about the cross or glory in our Redeemer or marvel at substitutionary atonement.

Third, “Jesus removes the need for a cultic approach to God in the traditional sense.” Cultic doesn’t refer to cults, but to the ritualized worship of Israel. Because of the uniqueness and completeness of Christ’s work, there is no longer a need for a human priesthood, no need for a sacrificial system, and no sacred buildings and implements. The heavily symbolized, strictly regulated approach to worship in the Old Testament has been abrogated. Hebrews 8 and 9 make clear that the regulations of the first covenant have been fulfilled and superseded in Christ.

So, the pastor matters in the church service, but not as a priest. The architecture matters, but not as sacred space. The Lord’s Supper matters, but not as a sacrifice. Christ is our High Priest, our Temple, and our Sacrifice. What matters is that we worship him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). For these reasons, we are probably not quite right when we speak of “entering into worship” or “lingering in his presence.” Through Christ, we are already in God’s presence. Through Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, we have already come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God and to the heavenly assembly (Heb. 12:22-24).

Fourth, corporate worship is set apart from all-of-life worship in its focus on edification. Because of this focus, there are many activities that are appropriate for the Christian in all of life that aren’t appropriate in a worship service. I can change diapers to the glory of God, but changing diapers in front of the gathered congregation would be considerably less appropriate because it does not edify like preaching, praying, and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.

Fifth, corporate worship is meant to be an anticipation of the heavenly gathering of God’s people. The grand scenes of heavenly worship in Revelation are both present and future, and they are meant to be mirrored on earth. Like the saints and angels in Revelation, we too should direct all our attention to the throne. We too should sing of Christ’s work. We too should be earnest and uncompromising in our devotion to God. Our weekly gatherings–sometimes small, sometimes clumsy, sometimes forgettable–are meant to be a sweet foretaste of the heavenly worship we will one day experience for ages unending.


Article printed from Kevin DeYoung: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung

URL to article: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2011/05/18/five-quick-thoughts-on-worship/

Backstory of “Everlasting God”

Hi guys, I just wanted to share what  my friend posted on Facebook. Great testimony!  I likewise attached the lyrics of  his composition.  Search Youtube for this worshipful song. I highly recommended it =)

Everlasting God

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon you Lord

Our God, you reign forever
Our hope, our strong deliverer…

You are the everlasting God, the everlasting God
You do not faint, you won’t grow weary
You’re the defender of the weak, you comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles…

ccli # 4556538
Brenton Brown/Ken Riley, Copyright © 2008 Thankyou Music (PRS) (adm. worldwide by EMI CMG Publishing, excluding Europe, which is adm. by kingswaysongs.com)