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Worship


“The fourth edition of the United Bible Societies’ Greek Testament (1993) lists 343 Old Testament quotations in the New Testament, as well as no fewer than 2,309 allusions and verbal parallels. The books most used are Psalms (79 quotations, 333 allusions), and Isaiah (66 quotations, 348 allusions). In the Book of Revelation, there are no formal quotations at all, but no fewer than 620 allusions.”^[1]^ Furthermore, “the OT is quoted or alluded to in every NT writing except Philemon and 2 and 3 John.”^[2]

I find this statement from “Theopedia,” – “New Teatment use of the Old Testament very similar to what I have been taught in 3 different seminaries and read from studying the New Testament along with the old. Some of my instructors put it this way – “the old explains the new and the new explains the old.”

Here is my observation. Moses saw a burning bush that was not consumed and out of a great wonder at such a thing, he decided to investigate. As he approached, God called to him not to come close, in fact take the shoes off your feet because you are standing on Holy Ground. Now brethren, don’t be snarky or snide here. I don’t believe we worship at a burning bush, even though I believe there was an actual burning bush. I also don’t believe that we have to take our shoes off. Very simply, here is a principle, notice, principle being taught here. Where we meet God is a Holy place that deserves our reverence and respect.

How about Exodus 19:9-12. In preparation for the Lord coming to Mt. Sinai, certain spiritual requirements given, sanctify yourselves. Then there is a physical requirement, wash their clothes. Then he set bounds they could go to. They were not to touch the mount. From this, I know that God sets some spiritual standards, some physical standards and some boundaries for us.

So far we have reverence, respect, spiritual standards, physical standards and established boundaries.

Notice the requirements of the priest. Exodus 29:4-9. Notice the principle of dress that the priests are to adhere to. Once again I refer to principle. We stand as priests before God ministering to Him in praise, worship and prayers, sanctified to His service. They had certain clothes that they wore when doing the daily work around the tabernacle. Certain clothes for emptying the ashes. Then when entering the Holy place, they dressed with fine clothing. An example for us.

Exodus 29:43 says “And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory. Where we meet the glory of God is a place that is specifically designated. We don’t meet Him at the tabernacle but we meet Him where he designated on the first day of the week. Israel was called to the door of the tabernacle. We are called to the house of worship on the first day of the week.

Here is my summation: We are to revere the place where we have been called to meet and worship God. We have spiritual standard of preparation to meet God in that place. We also have physical standards that we should meet when we are ushered into the presence of God. I believe there are boundaries that we should not cross and these standards have been established by God. We don’t run in the sanctuary and we don’t drink in the sanctuary except to relieve a parched throat with a little water. It is not a social place but a worship place.

For those that built a fellowship hall first, you got it backwards. The tabernacle was not a place for fellowship it was for worship. Let us put a priority on worship and then build for fellowship. We can fellowship in homes. Sometimes we get our priorities mixed up.

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WORSHIPPING GOD WITH MONEY


ABApologetics.org

What responsibility does a Christian have in the use of his money? May he actually worship God with it? This is an oft asked question, especially in lessons and discussions of stewardship. It is asked because there are tangential extremes that invariably get thrown into the verbal mix. There is acceptable worship of God with money, but money is never a substitute for what worship should include.
In Old Testament times, God demanded a tenth of one’s increase, even the first fruits of man, beast, the field, the orchards, and the vineyards. Wealth or lack thereof was not taken into consideration, except in the offerings in which the poor could offer birds instead of beasts.
Under the New Testament era of grace, God’s people have not received less, but more responsibility, all within the realm of maturity rather than demand.
But modern times have produced their own extremities. On one hand, some would have us to always study to boycott companies that sell what we need when those companies then use their money wrongly. I do not accept that responsibility unless the evil is blatant. I cannot be responsible for what others do with their money. I have enough trouble governing my own decisions.
On the other hand, one should be aware of his responsibility to use money wisely. It is hard to claim that there is no money for God’s work when one is spending God’s money ( yes, your money is God’s money that you would not have unless He blessed you with the health and ability to earn it) for alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and other vices that are a blight on society. Moreover, what does the widow who gave her last two mites to the work of God say to us? Anything???
Furthermore, it is not the religious super-structural programs, but the local, New Testament Churches that should be the object of our concern in wise stewardship. After all it is not the tele-evangelist; the cooperative programs; or self-styled religious programs that visit you in the hospital, conduct funerals, deliver God’s messages in sermon, song, Bible study, and in property maintenance commensurate to worship services. It is the local church which provides these ministries. It is worthy of the support of all its members. Maintaining it is giving to God and accepted as such. Personally, I am careful how I spend my money, and more careful how and where I give it, because I am convicted that is how the Word teaches me to be.

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April 27 – Sacrifice of Fools


April 27 – Sacrifice of Fools

Ecclesiastes 5:1  Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. 

Keep thy foot while going to worship God. This is the thought of Moses and Holy ground. This is the idea of reverence and respect for the idea of meeting God here. Fruitful and acceptable worship is what is under consideration here. Would this mean that God does not accept any way we desire to worship God? Absolutely, a serious study of worship in the Old Testament and the New Testament is needed to find God’s way of worship. To keep your foot means to be careful of your conduct when coming into the presence of God. A place of worship is a sanctified place because of the presence of God. If we were meeting outside under a tree, the very presence of God demands a reverence because His presence sanctifies that ground just as much as the ground at the burning bush.

Hear the word. Be ready to draw near with great desire to hear and obey the call of the Lord in salvation, surrender, and service. The Word is precious indeed and much needed today. The inward devotion of the spirit will direct our outward worship in a manner that is approved and loved by God. The Word should convict us as to the worship that is acceptable, not based upon our desire but based upon what the Word has revealed to us about the character of God and the desire of God for a proper and acceptable worship.

The sacrifice of fools would be a sacrifice that is unacceptable to God. The sacrifices of the Old Testament were not to be sick, lame or blind. What are we offering that comes under the heading of “the sacrifice of fools? Some offer out of ignorance, others out of convenience, and yet others offer out of emotion. Knowledge of God’s Word should guide our sacrifice of worship to God.

A reverent sincerity is always appropriate. Obedience is always acceptable.

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APRIL 3 – Let us Get it Right


APRIL 3 – Let us Get it Right

Isaiah 3:4  And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.

5  And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.

 

Could this passage be describing our day? We are in a time where youth are admonishing their seniors. We find it in families and in churches where pastors that are seniors are being told by youth to step aside. We have seen a propensity towards the silencing of respected men by younger men that are disrespectful and belligerent. Gone are the days when a discussion on a subject is done in a respectful manner. This is a shame and a disgrace. Notice the removal of bread and water. Could this be a spiritual application?

Notice I Peter 5:1-5 – 1  The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 

2  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 

3  Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 

4  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 

5  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 

This passage gives the thought of the immature replacing the mature and making immature decisions that are not “feeding the flock.” They have left the feeding of the flock so they can emotionally manipulate the flock. The elders were to be a stabilizing and teaching influence over the younger ones. We have raised a generation behind the boomers that are proud and despise the influence of the elders. This change in leadership and attitude has resulted in the loss of the dignity and reverence of worship. The depth of knowledge is being reduced in favor of an emotional experience that is led by a culture of youth, infatuated with a worldly system based upon feelings.

 

It is time for the seniors and elders to reclaim the place of maturity and with the Word of God drive God’s people into the bedrock of Jesus Christ. It is not enough to know there is a Jesus. We must understand His work. We must understand what He did while here on earth. We must understand His past and his future. We must understand the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Time to get back to study and worship.

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MARCH 23 – This is the way


MARCH 23 – This is the way

Isaiah 30:21  And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. 

The Lord has given us a way to walk. We don’t have to worry about finding the path He has laid for us. It is plainly written in the “Book of Life”. This “Book of Life” is also our “Book of Living.” There is no need for us to seek a way of living, it is laid out for us. While we are on this track, it is also the “Book of Worship.” There is no need to search out how to Worship God, it is not by our wants, it is not by our desires, but it is the way God has laid out for us.

The way that is laid out here is by getting rid of our idols. I know we generally consider idols to be those carved items that pagans bowed down to. Yet we have idols in our lives that we worship. What is an idol? An idol is anything that takes us away from the worship of God. It does not have to be a carved icon, it is anything that takes us from the worship of God.

May we consider the idols in our lives. When our children that are involved in sports that take that family out of their church worship, it is an idol. The parents have made that sport more important than worshiping a righteous and Holy God. This is a lesson to the children in that family that there are worldly things more important than worshiping God. If a hobby such as golf or woodworking keeps us from worshiping on the Lord’s day, that is an idol. If fishing or deer hunting takes you away from the house of God, that is your idol. There is no excuse for these idols in our lives. When family comes and keeps you away from worship, that family has become your idol.

Here are the results of your idol worship. Those that see you involved with sports on a Sunday testifies to all those there at the event, all of the teams and teammates, and all of the coaches, that God is not important enough to you to be in the house of God. You have testified to your lost friends and neighbors that you are no different from them. You have testified to your Church that it is not as important as your worldly activities. When your singing group takes you out of your Church service, even if you are singing at another Church, you have testified that you worship your singing and it is not as important as the service you are to render to your Church.

The call is to get rid of your idols. The call is to be faithful to your Church and Serve it with all your heart.

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MARCH 20 – Self Destruction


MARCH 20 – Self Destruction

Pro 13:13  Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded. 

There is a great value in the Word of God that orders life in a profitable way. There are many today that despise the Word of God. They boldly attack it and try to destroy the Word of God. There are those that are not so bold and simply attack the Word in a subtle way. They attempt to quietly destroy the authority of the Word. Some do that by being correctors to the Word. The way they use to do that is to say, “well this passage really means this.” This implies that the common man cannot understand the Word of God. Others despise the Word by misapplying passages of scripture. Leaving the idea that if you are a true follower, God wants you to be rich. If you are a true follower, you will never be sick.

John 1:1 gives us what the Word is. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This speaks of Jesus Christ. Now when we despise the Word, we are despising Christ and in essence trying our best to destroy Him. We distort Jesus Christ. We give pictures of Christ that are not true. Notice that those that despise the Word will be destroyed. But those that fear the commandment shall be rewarded.

We should fear God and his call to trust in His Son. We should be obedient to the Word after repentance and believing so that the world will know we do not despise the Word. Those that claim to have been saved and still are living in their sins are despisers of the Word, of Jesus Christ.

May we ever love the Word and love our Savior, Jesus Christ.

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MARCH 19 – My Thoughts are not Your Thoughts


MARCH 19 – My Thoughts are not Your Thoughts

Isaiah 55:7  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 

8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 

9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

There are times when we need to stop and take a look at what we are doing. We need to study and re-consider, are we doing this God’s way. Are we feebly trying to get God to accept something that we are doing? God has made the claim that our ways are not His ways. Our thoughts are not His thoughts.

Notice that God is not happy with the wicked ways of man. He is not happy with man’s unrighteous thoughts. We can scheme and plan all we want and attract a great crowd and it not be accepted by God. Paul had a few things to say about the manner of doing things.

2Timothy 2:4  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 

5  And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. 

God lays out for us in His book how to approach Him in worship and in service. I have heard the statement, “God knows my intent.” I have also heard, “what is important is what is inside not outside.” These are people that are trying to justify themselves before man hoping that what they are engaged in will be accepted by God. If it is of the world or worldly thought, it is unacceptable to God.

Have we entangled ourselves with the methods of the world? Are we truly seeking God’s way?

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MARCH 15 – An Attitude of Worship


MARCH 15 – An Attitude of Worship

Ecclesiastes 5:1  Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. 

2  Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God. We have a righteous and Holy God that wants to be worshiped. The question that comes to mind is, do we worship Him in the manner we want or in the manner that God wants? What type of worship does God want? We have the Old Testament as an example unless we would want to disregard it. In that case, just buy a New Testament and ignore the Old Testament. Keep thy foot, is an interesting statement as it relates to the house of God. Moses at the burning bush was called upon to take off his shoes because he was walking on Holy Ground. Joshua was commanded to “Loose thy shoe from off they foot.” The reason was given that the ground he walked on was Holy Ground.

This tells us there is a prescribed way of worship. Today we have an attitude that if we gather and do our “thing” that God has to accept what we want to call worship. The tabernacle and temple worship was very strictly regulated in the way and method of approaching God. The New Testament gives us hints of what not to do in worship. The New Testament calls for us to “Let all things be done unto edifying.” Notice that this is Holy Ground when we come into the presence of God. There are many things that are done today that is called worship that is not what God calls for.

Be ready to hear. This has always been a problem in our day and age. Notice, “the sacrifice of fools.” We would say that a particular denomination is giving the sacrifice of fools because they believe in “good works” for salvation. We examine our method, our purpose and our heart in worship. Are we there to offer what we want to offer or are we there to offer unto God what He wants offered? Are we there to ease our own mind about being holy before God and leave saying to ourselves, there, I have done what was required and then live like the world until the next time we decide to worship?

For they consider not that they do evil. This is devastating to some methods of worship. This calls an attempt to worship God that is contrary to what He wants is called evil. This puts some well-meaning people in a position that they would not imagine being in.

The reverence that God wants is often confused with emotionalism. There should be a reverence as demonstrated by Israel when they would not even approach the foot of the mountain because of a Holy God. There should be that thought of sanctifying ourselves before we come into the presence of God. May we worship God in spirit and in truth.

How is your worship? Should we not consider what God wants?

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FEBRUARY 23 – Rejection


FEBRUARY 23 – Rejection

1Samuel 8:7  And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 

Rejection, what a terrible term to apply to anyone. When applied to a person it means they are not accepted. Rejection is one of the more difficult things to contend with. We all to a certain extent want to be accepted. We will deny that and argue that we don’t care, yet that is built within us.

We have to learn to handle rejection. We can not live life without experiencing rejection. When we are rejected, we need to examine the response to find the reason. Samuel appointed his sons judges and they were political, corrupt and took bribes. The people did not like these men. They rejected them. That was not the problem. What they wanted instead was the problem.

When we are rejected we need to examine ourselves to see if there is something about us that needs to be corrected. The real problem here is not that these men were rejected but that they reject God. So many brags about how much they love Jesus and they love God, but if they were under the rule of God and Jesus, how much would they love them then?

During the days of Jesus, many loved to worship, their type of worship. When Jesus came and established the Church, they hated and rejected Him. The majority of people rejected Him. They rejected His lifestyle and his teachings. They rejected His doctrine and His way of worship. He not only was rejected but was hung on a cross until He gave His life for those that rejected Him.

How about you? Do you want to live on this earth under King Jesus?

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LEFT THY FIRST LOVE!


LEFT THY FIRST LOVE!

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

The church of the Living God at Ephesus played a prominent part in the initial spread of Christianity as well as in the makeup of the New Testament. The book that bears its name features some of the best loved verses in the Bible.
The church was born in an idol worshipping city, creating significant, violent protests, yet it was a tremendous work of the Apostle Paul, who went out of his way to pay it one last visit near the end of his free ministry. It was also home to the ministry of Aquila and Priscilla, and a preaching station of glib Apollos.
It was this writer’s delight to visit the ruins of the ancient city which still bears ample evidence of its early prominence, including remains of winding streets, shops, libraries, homes, and huge storage facilities of grain. There are also remains of city laws engraved in stone in prominent places. Indeed the ancient amphitheater that hosted a protest crowd of some 50,000 in the days of Paul is there together with remains of an ancient church house and deep water baptistery. There are also prominent brothels, speaking to the sensuality of the idol worship so prominent, water cooled houses, epicurean regurgitation stations, and other indicators of material excesses of the day.
Again, the church is directly addressed in Revelation chapter two. The underscored criticism of it is that they had left their first love. Commentators, and other theologians have conjectured just what that means, and often skewed it to their own thinking more than to contextual evidence.
It is abundantly clear that the church, and indeed the entire city suffered from devastation of disease and earthquakes, yet the ruins of what once was remains. Evidence abounds that what happened to the church at Ephesus is what continues to happen to churches throughout the age: they left their first love, and their candlestick was removed, even though they may have continued to operate religiously for a time. What is that first love? The same that we all have. It is love for the God of the Word, of whom we want to know more from our spiritual birth onward. Carnality often deals that a mortal blow. Do you love the Word more than this material world? How much time do you spend with it?

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