Day 8 – Revelation 5

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Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.  And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”  But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.  I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.  Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.  He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne.  And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.  And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
    and with your blood you purchased for God
    persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
    and they will reign on the earth.”

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.  In a loud voice they were saying:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
    and honor and glory and praise!”

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
    be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”

The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

In this amazing chapter, John is describing what he saw in Heaven. He saw Jesus sitting on the throne and He is surrounded by thousands of angels. They were all crying out to Jesus that He is worthy and that He is holy. Only Jesus is worthy to open the scroll in verse 5. He is the Lamb that was slain. The one who is worthy of our worship. All of the worship in Heaven is focused on Jesus. He is seated on the throne, He is worthy and He is holy. According to verse 9, they were all praising Jesus for being worthy because He is the one who died on the cross; He is the one who purchased men for God. What an amazing thought. God has purchased you with His own blood. You belong to God. He bought you.

In Heaven all of the worship is focused on Jesus. It is not focused on any other person or any other activity. Nothing else is honored in Heaven. All honor is given to Jesus. He is the only one worthy of being worshiped. This is true in Heaven, and it is true on earth. Only Jesus is worthy of being worshiped. Not any of the things that we put value on, not a job, a house, a car, a person, anything. Only Jesus is worthy of our worship in Heaven and only Jesus is worthy of our worship on earth. When we come to worship God, our focus must be on Jesus. Not on anyone else or anything else. All of Heaven bows down to worship Him. Our worship should be no different than that.

1. When you come to worship God, are you completely focused on Jesus?

2. Do you give all of your worship to Jesus, or is some of it directed at other things or other people?

Today, notice how many things other than Jesus are worshiped. Remind yourself that only Jesus is worthy to receive your worship.

Day 7 – Romans 12:1

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I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Paul is begging us to offer ourselves to God. He says that we are to do this based on the mercies of God. What an amazing thought, the mercies of God… that God would take sinners like us, and allow us to be changed into His children all because of His mercy and love for us! It is because of that mercy that we are to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to God. We should be willing to go wherever, to do whatever, and to give whatever God asks of us. When we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice that is exactly what we are doing. We are giving God control of everything, every part of our life. Our response to God, our worship of God is based on who He is and what He has done. He is a God of mercy and love; that is who He is. He has given us His mercy and love. He has poured it out upon us. We have no other choice but to give Him our whole lives. That is what He asks. That is what He requires.

Paul tells us in this verse that giving ourselves in this way is our reasonable service. It is our spiritual act of worship. It is not asking too much, it is not expecting us to go above and beyond. It is reasonable. It makes sense. Based on what God has done for us, we should be ready to lay down our lives for Him. He gave His all for us, so we should lay our lives down at His feet. We deserve death and condemnation. He has given us life and mercy and peace. For that, we should respond to Him by giving Him our lives. We must make ourselves available to Him in any way that He wants to use us. This is living a life of worship. This is the proper response to what He has done in our lives. Paul was a man who had done this in his own life. When he accepted Christ into His life, he gave up everything to follow Jesus. He laid it all on the line for the One who laid it all on the line for Him. God has done that for you. He has done that for me. Our response to Him should be one of giving Him our all, 100%. We must lay our lives down on His altar and trust Him with it. We will live the life God has planned for us when we trust Him with every part of our life.

1. When you think of living a life for God, do you think of it as a response to His mercy?

2. Are there areas of your life that you need to lay on the altar for God?

3. How can you respond to God based on all that He has done for you?

Today, look for the times that you can allow yourself to be used by God, times that you can lay yourself on the altar to be used by Him.

Day 6 – James 4:7-10

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Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

This passage gives us direction that we can follow in our worship. James says that we are to draw near to God, wash our hands, purify our hearts, and humble ourselves. James says that God will draw near to us and lift us up when we do these things. As wonderful as this is, this should not be our primary motivation in worship. We should worship God because He is worthy of our worship, not so that He will lift us up. Sometimes we have to rethink the way in which we worship God. We don’t always think to purify our hearts, we don’t always think to humble ourselves before God, but this is what He desires from us. When we worship God in the way that He has told us to worship Him, we will see Him in a whole new way. We will see Him as He is.

God wants us to worship Him, but He doesn’t tell us to come to Him however we want to. God has given us the way to worship Him. When we follow His plan for worship, we can come into His presence and meet with Him. When we try it our way, we cannot come to Him. We must acknowledge our sin, confess our sin, and humble ourselves and then we can worship Him, then we can see Him. As we come to God in this way, we see Him lifted high, we see Him for who He truly is and we see ourselves for who we are. God is calling us to worship Him. God wants us to worship Him. But God has told us how we are to worship Him. There is a place for rejoicing and celebrating with Him. But first we need to come humbly understanding our sin. We can have such incredible times of worship with the Lord when we come His way. We when see our sin and we see His holiness and we understand His forgiveness, we will worship, we will celebrate, and we will rejoice!

1. Do you come to God His way when you worship Him?

2. Do you think about God’s holiness when you worship Him?

3. Do you think about your own sinfulness when you worship God?

4. Do you need to change the way you worship God based on what this passage teaches?

Today, reflect again on God’s holiness and your sinfulness. Remind yourself that you must be humble when you come to God.

Day 5 – John 4:21-24

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Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.  But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.  God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

In this passage, we see Jesus talking with a Samaritan woman at the well. She begins a discussion with Jesus about the proper place to worship. Jesus turns the conversation to a talk about Himself. The woman wants to debate where worship should take place. Jesus answers her by saying that there will be a time when worship will not take place on any mountain. He says that a new type of worship is coming and in fact has come. Worshipers who worship in spirit and in truth will characterize this new worship. He says that God is seeking a particular type of worshiper, one who will worship in spirit and in truth. This is far more important to God than any instruments or style of music or color of the carpet!

In this conversation, we see that Jesus is not as concerned with the “nonessential” parts of worship that man is concerned with. He looks beyond the place of worship and looks to the heart of the worshiper. God is looking for those who will worship Him in the way that He desires and commands to be worshiped. That type of worship is worship in spirit and truth. Both of these are essential in true worship. A heavy reliance on the spirit and on emotions with out relying on the truth can cause worship to become unbiblical. A heavy reliance on truth without relying on the spirit can cause worship to be a matter of the mind and not of the heart. The worship that God desires is genuine worship from the heart that is a response to the truth of who He is and what He has done for us. What an amazing thought that the God of this universe is seeking us to worship Him. He is not satisfied with the millions of angels who worship Him, He wants you and I to worship Him. There is something in our worship that the angels do not have. We are able to respond to the salvation we have in Christ, we can worship Him because of this salvation. The angels are not able to do that. We, who have been saved by His grace, bought by His blood, and made His children, can worship Him like no one else can. God is seeking for us to worship Him from our hearts and in truth.

  1. Is your worship of God, true worship from the heart?
  1. When you think about worship, are you more concerned with the place, the style, the volume,and the method of worship than with worshiping Him with all of your heart?
  1. Is your worship a response to the truth of who God is and what God has done in your life?

Today, remind yourself that God is seeking real worshipers. Be sure that the methods of worship don’t distract you and cause you to lose focus of who you are worshiping.

Day 4 – Genesis 22:1-14

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After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.  On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar.  Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.”  And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together.  And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”  Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.
  Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.  But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”  He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”  And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.  So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

Abraham had committed his life to the Lord, so when the Lord called to him in verse 1, he answered right away. God told Abraham to offer his only son as a sacrifice to the Lord. During this time, pagans were sacrificing their children to their pagan gods and God is testing Abraham to see if he was as committed to the Lord as the pagans were committed to their gods. God also wanted to see if Abraham would trust Him. Isaac was the son that God had promised Abraham many years earlier and He wanted to see if Abraham trusted Him. Abraham obeyed God fully, without hesitation. He knew that God would provide for them, as he tells Isaac in verse 8. As they made their way up the mountain, Abraham knew that God would take care of everything because he was obedient to the Lord. When living a life of worship, you have to trust God to take care of your needs. If you do not trust Him with everything, you cannot live a life of true worship. Abraham obeyed God every step of the way. All the way to the point of having the knife raised to kill Isaac. God was testing Abraham to see if he would be obedient through the whole process, and he was. God also wanted Abraham to see that He would provide for him. It is God’s desire to provide for our every need. Often, we have to learn that the hard way. When God brought the ram up the mountain, He was showing that He always provides for His children.

God wanted to see if Abraham would offer anything and everything as a sacrifice to Him. This is the type of sacrifice that God wants us to have. God wants us to have an obedience to Him that holds nothing back, even our most prized possession. When we trust God for everything, we will see Him do amazing and wonderful things in our lives. God wants us to trust Him. In living a life of trust, often He will ask us to give Him everything, even what we value most. But He is so good, so loving, and so faithful to us. He will not bring us harm when we are living in obedience to Him. God blessed Abraham’s life in an incredible way. He never would have done that if Abraham had refused to offer Isaac as a sacrifice on the altar. God saw Abraham’s love and obedience; Abraham saw God’s provision. What an awesome time of worship they must have had on the top of that mountain as the ram was being sacrificed. What a time of praising God for His love and for His providing!

1. Would you be willing to give God anything that He asked you to give to Him?

2. What is the thing in life that is you most prized possession? Would you be willing to give that up if God asked you to?

3. Have there been times in your life where you have seen God provide for you at the last minute?

Today, remember the ways that God has provided for you. As you spend time with things that are important to you, decide if you would give them to God if He asked you to do so.

Day 3 – Amos 5:21-24

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The Lord said, “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.  Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them;  and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them.  Take away from me the noise of your songs;  to the melody of your harps I will not listen.  But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

This passage in Amos is one of the most striking passages regarding worship in the entire Bible. Amos is speaking the words that the Lord had given him regarding the state of the Jewish people’s worship of God. They desperately wanted to obey God.  So they continued to show up at the Temple to worship Him at the appropriate times. Despite their desire for obediece, their worship was worthless.  It was worthless because their hearts were not in it. Often our worship of God, whether privately or at church, can get to this same place. God said that He hated their religious feasts and He could not stand their religious assemblies. We shudder to think that our religious practices can actually be hated by God!  We can be at the right place at the right time, bringing the right offering singing the right songs…and God hate it!  The reason is that God looks at the heart, and their hearts had grown cold towards God. They were not worshiping God with their hearts. They were simply going through the motions. This angered God. We can fall into the same routine; praying and reading our Bibles every day so that we can check them off of our “spiritual to-do list.” Maybe we come to church only because it is expected, or because we have some commitment to fulfill. When we get to this place, we are doing the same thing that God’s people were doing when Amos penned these words. God feels the same way about it now as He did then. He hates it!

In verse 22 God says that even though they were bringing offerings to Him, He did not want them. God does not need our money. God does not need anything that we can bring to Him. They thought that they were pleasing God and helping God by bringing these things to Him. God is not interested in what we can give Him. God is interested in us having a heart that is full-on in love with Him. He wants us to bring an offering to Him the same way a husband brings roses home for his wife, not out of an obligation, but out of love. When we give God an offering, He is interested in what it represents. Do your offerings to Him represent a heart that is in love with Him? The final thing that God says to His people in this passage about their worship is that they must take away their music. He calls it noise. When we sing a song to God, we want it to please Him. If we are singing for any reason other than our love for Him, it is noise to Him. He told His people to take away their noise. This same principle is true for us today. Whether we sing a 200 year-old hymn or a new song, it can become noise to God if it is not sung out of a pure heart. God is not interested in the age, tempo, style, or volume of our songs. He is interested in the hearts of those who sing to Him. God is not interested in us coming to church at the right times, He is interested in us having a heart that loves Him.

  1. Has your worship gotten to be routine? Do you spend time in prayer and Bible reading every day because you feel obligated to do so? Do you come to church so that God will not be disappointed in you?
  1. Do you bring Him offerings out of an obligation?
  1. Do you sing the songs at church simply because you know the words?

Today, think about the condition of your heart when it comes to worshiping God. Be sure that your worship is not a routine, but that it comes from a heart in love with God.  Don’t let your worship be worthless.

Day 2 – Isaiah 6:1-8

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In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.  And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar.  And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”  And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

In this amazing passage of Scripture, we see how Isaiah worshiped God. This is the pattern that our worship should follow. Isaiah saw God seated on His throne. How incredible!! There are times in worship where we feel like dancing, jumping, shouting, and celebrating. All of those are great responses to God. But there are not enough times in worship where we respond to God in the way that Isaiah responded to God. Isaiah got on his face before God. He did this because he realized that he was not worthy to stand, or even to be in God’s presence. When he saw the holiness and might of God, he immediately saw how sinful he himself was. He was awed by the holiness of God and he knew for sure God would strike him dead. Isaiah said that he was ruined. He did not run up to God’s throne and expect God to thank him for coming to worship that day. He came to God understanding that He was in no way worthy to be in God’s presence. Too often we come to worship God and act like we are doing God a favor. We must recognize that worshiping God is such a privilege.  We need to know that in and of ourselves we do not deserve to get anywhere near the throne of God. Isaiah saw his life flash before his eyes. He was then comforted by the angel that flew over with a coal from the fire and touched his lips. This fire represents the everlasting flame of forgiveness that is found at the throne of God. The angel brought it and touched Isaiah on the lips; the very place that he said he had sin! The angel told Isaiah that his guilt was taken away. It was removed by that coal! At that point, Isaiah knew that he wasn’t going to die. Because of his sin, he deserved death, but God spared his life by forgiving him. Then God said to Isaiah that He needed someone to go to the people and preach His message to them. Isaiah didn’t have to wait another second before he volunteered. He had seen first-hand how God had forgiven him and given him a new life to live. He was eager to serve his God who had done this for him. Our worship of God should follow this pattern more often. Our motivation to live for God, to love God, and to serve God should come from our understanding that He is holy and that we are sinners. We must understand what great love He has shown us by forgiving us of our sins. We must stand amazed that the God of the universe is calling out to us to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him. It is such a privilege. God is holy. We are sinners. When we come to worship Him, we must come in humble adoration.

  1. When you come to worship God, do you see His holiness? Do you see your sinfulness?
  1. Have you ever received God’s forgiveness?
  1. Are you willing to serve Him because His great love allows you to live a new life?

Today, think about the fact that God is Holy. Think about the fact that He has allowed you into His presence by forgiving you of your sins through the blood of Jesus.

Day 1 – Hebrews 10:19-25

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Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

The writer of Hebrews tells us how we can come into God’s presence. We are not able to come to God because of what we have done, or who we are. As we begin this journey of worship, It is vital that we realize that only through the blood of Jesus can we come into God’s presence. All throughout the Old Testament, when a priest would come into God’s presence, he always had to bring a sacrifice. God still requires a sacrifice when one comes into His presence.  Jesus is our sacrifice.  He allows us access into God’s presence. We can not come into God’s presence any other way than by Jesus and His blood, which was shed for us.

As we live a life of worship, we must understand that it is only through Jesus that we have access to God. We must also remember that we do have access to God. We can come to His very throne because of what Jesus has done on our behalf. Whenever we have a time when we feel like we are not good enough to come into His presence, we must keep in mind that we are never good enough to come to God. The only way that we have access to God is through the blood of Jesus, the sacrifice made for us!  The writer tells us to encourage one another to continue pursuing God. There are times in the Christian life that we get weary and tired. We often need encouragement and sometimes we have to be ready to encourage someone else. What an awesome privilege we have that we can come to God because of what Jesus has done for us! Our motivation to worship God should come from two places. It comes from who God is and from what He has done. God is God. He is Lord, Creator, Sustainer, Provider, Healer, Judge, Protector, and King! This is who God is. WHat has God done for us?  Jesus died for our sins. That is what He has done for us. He gave His very life when He stepped out of Heaven and walked on earth and died a sacrificial death for each one of us. We should be motivated to worship God with our entire lives because of this. This is a life of worship. Knowing that we can only come to God because of the blood of Jesus. We are never good enough for God. We didn’t earn a place in His throne room. It is from the very blood of Jesus, our Lamb, that gives us access to the Father.

  1. Have you entered into the dwelling place of God by the blood of Jesus? Or are you trying to earn your way to Heaven?
  1. When you get discouraged, do you stop spending time with God because you don’t feel like you are good enough for Him?
  1. Are you motivated to give your life to God because of what He has done for you?

Today, rejoice in the fact that the only reason you can come to God is through Jesus. It is not because of how good you are. Praise the Lord for Him allowing you to know Him.