Our Vision. Our Future.

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” – James 4:13-16.

Every year we take a pause from what you might expect from a weekly “sermon” to remind you of what we accomplished last year and what we are looking to accomplish in 2016. I will preach that message on Sunday, January 31.  If you are a member or regular attender, I encourage you to attend as we talk about the direction of our church.

Northstar exists for a purpose. Everything revolves around Jesus and bringing people to a saving knowledge of Him. We did not want to be a church who attracted or “collected up” people who were already going to church somewhere. We wanted to reach people who either had never heard the message of Jesus or been to church before or maybe have had a church experience, but have been turned off or injured by it. In 2016, we are going to try and “hit the accelerator” and move forward with the vision of “helping the whole world find and follow Jesus.”

In preparation for the vision message and for the coming year, I ask that you pray about the following:

Commit to pray for Northstar in 2016. Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” We cannot simply make an inspiring plan and execute it. It must be Spirit-led because the Holy Spirit is the engine that moves the church forward. Please commit to pray every single day for our church. More specifically, will you pray for me? Not to be selfish, but I need your prayers.

Attend Classes: For Northstar to move forward, we need fewer attenders and more disciples. That means that we need you to get trained to do so. Sign up for our Growth Track Classes. And connect with others in a small group. We believe connections, or relationships, are vitally important and it’s impossible to live the Christian faith without them. 

Find a place to engage: We strive to be a church making an impression and leaving a mark. To do that, we endeavor to build a community where lives are positively impacted and changed for Christ’s sake. In order to be that kind of church, we need the help of those who share our passion for leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.  Find a place to get engaged, find your place of service. In addition, get engaged outside the church. Whether it’s a neighbor, a co-worker or a family member, you have someone you can tell about Jesus. Invite them to attend church. Pray for them. You’ll be amazed at what God can do. Once you identify where God wants you to be, start praying for that area. If you don’t know, start asking God to show you where He wants you engaged.

Become a member: You need to be in a group that is loving others; you need to be serving. Those things happen easily when you are plugged into the church and acting on what God has asked you to do. 

I  believe the best days of Northstar are not the ones we see when we look back. I believe the best days are yet ahead and I look forward to the coming years with faith-filled anticipation.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why is it important to have a vision for the church?
  2. What is God’s role in making that vision a reality? What is your role in applying the vision?
  3. Read 1 Thessalonians 2:7–8: What is our responsibility to know and serve one another persistently?
  4. Pray for the church and ask God to help you with your role in the vision of the church.

Pride Yourself in Prayer

“ All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” – 1 Peter 5:5-6

In the Pray First – a Personal Prayer Guide, there is a section entitled Warfare Prayers – Pride Prayer. That is the subject of this devotional.

It is wise to periodically evaluate both strengths and weaknesses as a Jesus follower. It makes sense to sit down and reflect on what it takes to effectively live the Christian life. You can’t spend much time analyzing the Christian life before you come across the idea of humility. Humility is at the core of Christianity and paradoxical to society’s norms. We Christians basically admit we aren’t all that, that we tend to mess up all the time and we are in constant need of forgiveness.

The Bible agrees with us and thus has a lot to say about pride and humility: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)  When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2) “Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” (Proverbs 18:12)

Commenting on the revival in Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1737, Jonathan Edwards said: “The first and worst cause of errors that abound in our day and age is spiritual pride. This is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of Christ. It is the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit to darken the mind and mislead the judgment. Pride is the main handle by which he has hold of Christian persons and the chief source of all the mischief that he introduces to clog and hinder a work of God.  Spiritual pride is the main spring or at least the main support of all other errors. Until this disease is cured, medicines are applied in vain to heal all other diseases.”

Humility is more than a concept, it is a tool for every Christian. It increases our desire to study God’s word and opens our hearts to His Spirit. It leads to intimacy with God, who knows the proud from afar, but dwells “with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,” (Isaiah 57:15).

Developing the identity, attitude, and conduct of a humble servant does not happen over night. In fact, it takes a lifetime. It ‘s like peeling an onion: you cut away one layer only to find another beneath it. But it can happen. As we forsake pride and seek to humble ourselves by daily deliberate choices in dependence on the Holy Spirit, humility takes root and grows.

2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. There is a difference between God humbling you and you humbling yourself. What are some ways you can place yourself in a humble position with God, at home, at work, or with friends?
  2. Read Jeremiah 49:16 and Daniel 5:20. Read Proverbs 16:18, and 16:5. How do these verses warn us about pride?
  3. The reality is that everyone struggles with pride. What does surrendering to God look like? What are some ways a person could embrace humility and turn away from pride?
  4. Take some time to communicate with God and ask Him for help to grow humility in your life. If there is an attitude that needs changed, give that to Him and ask for Him to work in your life. 

The Prayer of Forgiveness

“ In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.” The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth,“ – Numbers 14:19-21.

In the Pray First – a Personal Prayer Guide, there is a section entitled Warfare Prayers – Forgiveness Prayer. That is the subject of this devotional.

People sometimes ask “Is there a prayer I could pray that will help me forgive, and if so, how often should I pray it?” Over time, we often come to the realization that the only answer for the anger and bitterness we feel is to discover the healing power of forgiveness. They want to forgive, but discover that it is not easy. Because what does forgiveness look like when your character has been assassinated? What does forgiveness look like when people have cheated you, or assaulted you?

There are no words that allow you to wash away the deep hurts in life. But there is power in forgiveness and there is power in prayer. Take the people that hurt or wronged you to Jesus individually in prayer, one by one. Tell God what you are feeling and ask God to give you the power to forgive. Rather than laying out your hurts and the justification for how we feel about others, talk to God about it. He is the only one who can keep your heart soft and sensitive to Him and others and give you the power to forgive. I am convinced that if we pray for people who have hurt us, we will have the ability to react in love.

We know that forgiveness is a way of life for a Christian. Do not take it for granted. Do not assume it will just happen. It is continuous process. So pray continually to help you forgive continually. Regardless of what has been said, written, or presumed about you, let it go. Take it to the Lord in prayer. Forgive as many times as is necessary. Then, let it go. You cannot go forward holding onto a past hurt. You cannot go forward with resentment running through your veins. Let it go.

“Marty, that is a heavy price tag for me to pay when it was the other person who is at fault.” That makes sense.  But remember that not forgiving you will cost you more. We should also remember that when we forgive those who have sinned against us we are only doing what Christ did when he forgave us first.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is forgiveness to you?
  2. Is there power in forgiveness? Why or why not?
  3. What happens if I don’t forgive?
  4. Read Matthew 6:14-15: What is this passage telling you about forgiveness?
  5. 6-Day Challenge: Pray and ask God this week to give you the power to forgive.

The Armor Of God

“…my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—from violent people you save me. “I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies.” – 2 Samuel 22:3-4.

In the Pray First – a Personal Prayer Guide, there is a section entitled Warfare Prayers – Protection Prayer. That is the subject of this devotional.

The Christian life is a battle. It is warfare on a grand scale. What do you do to prepare for this battle with Satan? Ephesians 6:11 says we are to “stand against the devil’s schemes.” Satan is God’s enemy; therefore he is our enemy. The only way he can attack God is through us. And we can be sure he will seek us out and attack us with his schemes. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Our best protection is to put on the armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-20) I would like to highlight just a few pieces of the total armor of God. 

A primary piece of armor is the breastplate of righteousness. Righteousness isn’t found in our actions, goodness, or ability to go to God without Jesus; it is found in Jesus alone. Nothing that we’ve done, and everything that He’s done, is what allows us to be in a right relationship with God the Father, making us righteous in His eyes. When we are attacked by our enemies, it’s His righteousness that protects us. 

Then you have the shield of faith. Clearly, a shield is vitally important to a soldier. It provides a blanket of protection. It is meant to be taken up in all circumstances. It is the first barrier against the enemy’s attack. Often, shields were painted with identifying marks; a Christian who takes up the shield of faith identifies himself as a foot soldier who serves God. The arrows, the attacks of the enemy, the lies, the bad circumstances, they are stopped by our faith.

Then you don the helmet of salvation. Needless to say your head must be protected in battle. The assurance of salvation is our impenetrable defense against anything the enemy throws at us. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28). The idea in this verse is that, as we prepare for Satan’s attacks, we must grab that helmet and buckle it on tightly. Salvation is not limited to a one-time act, rather is daily protection and deliverance from our enemies.

Finally, the sword of the Spirit, which is an offensive weapon. Rather than being defensive we can take the offensive by using a powerful weapon, His word. How did Jesus fight the devil? He quoted scripture. How can we fight the lies, the deception, the attitudes, the circumstances, the enemy coming against us? Confessing and standing on the scripture. Which is why we need to read it. Daily. Intentionally.

God’s Word is filled with promises of His protection. For example, Psalm 28:7 which says, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Psalm 91: What does this passage tell us about protection from illness, the trials in our life, the unforeseen circumstances and the attacks of the enemy?
  2. Why is the armor of God important in your view?
  3. Is it possible to “put on” only part of the armor? Why or why not?
  4. What’s the importance of our faith?
  5. Pray and ask God to help you with a piece of armor this week. 

Living Sacrifices

“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. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:1-2.

My life is full of activity and schedules and commitments. Where am I going to find the time to be a living sacrifice? I’m not even sure what “presenting” and “living sacrifice” looks like in the practical sense. 

The reality is we have been offering our body as a sacrifice all the time. For example, when you leave the door open to temptation and you start spending a little too much time with a co-worker, then you are letting your mind and heart take you to places you should not go. When you say something in anger that causes a rift in a relationship, the tongue, is taking you places you don’t want to go.  You could talk about the ears, the eyes as well. While they might not be classified as evil, our hands and feet, eyes and ears, tongues and hearts can be sacrificed to people, places and things we should stay away from.

But, as a follower of Jesus, we have the opportunity to offer our body as a living sacrifice that will bring glory to Jesus. Then our hands and eyes and feet and tongue—and all our other body parts—will be living sacrifices to God instead of to this world. Presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice is not the ominous thing it can sound like when you first hear it. 

We should remind ourselves daily of the truth that we are not our own, we are servants of God, and every part of our body is His to control. Then, as we go through our day, that understanding is fresh in our mind, and it will affect our behavior during the day.

Here is your six-day challenge: Take the Word of God literally, and put every part of your body before the Lord as a sacrifice. If you’ll sincerely do that for the next six days, you’re going to discover that you’ll be learning how to present your body as a living sacrifice. And you’ll discover that God can and does use you in ways you never imagined.

Remember, we are sacrificing our bodies either to toxins or sin, or to the Lord. The choice is ours. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. In your own words, what does it mean to be a living sacrifice?
  2. What is the difference between being a living sacrifice and surrendering your life to Jesus Christ?
  3. Are there areas of your life you have not sacrificed to God? What in your life would be most difficult to sacrifice?
  4. Pray and ask God to help you live your life like a “living sacrifice”?

Pray For Easter Services

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,” – 1 Peter 1:3-4.

Spring is a time of rebirth, when everything outside comes alive in vibrant colors. There is no greater picture of this new life than the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. At Northstar, we can’t think of a better time to visit for a first visit, or perhaps to return after a season away. Easter Sunday gives us a unique opportunity to bring the Gospel to our families, neighborhoods and cities. I ask you to join with us in praying for churches across the country and the world that God will do some incredible work within the hearts of people in the areas we serve, as well as all over the world. 

Our Easter services are for everyone, no matter where you are on your journey with God. At each service, you can expect a thought-provoking and engaging message based on the Bible, high-energy music, and more. A lot of planning and praying goes into our Easter services. We try to pull out all the stops and for good reason. Easter is one of the few times of the year when many semi-churched and unchurched people come to church. These services are going to be joyful celebrations of our resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ. We really want to encourage everyone to be inviting friends and neighbors to come to one of our services. 

The Easter story has real meaning and continues to capture people’s imagination. It is an opportunity to reach people who are far from the heart of God, to hear the gospel preached and let God work in their lives. Our goal is to have every parking space filled, every chair occupied. We want people in every crevice of every campus we have. Many will have their perceptions about church changed. Many will have a completely different church experience then they imagined or experienced before. Many will find Jesus. Many will become regular church attenders. You might be inviting them to the place they truly belong. You inviting them to Easter could be the most important invitation they ever receive.

The six-day challenge is to pray for our Easter services. Pray that the people we invite will hear and respond to the gospel on Easter. But remember it is not about numbers. Metrics are valuable and big attendance days can help us envision what our church will look like in the years ahead. But don’t forget that every person is loved by God. And that every person needs the new life that God offers each of us.   

Pray for:

  1. A spirit of joy and celebration in our services.
  2. Boldness in inviting neighbors and friends.
  3. Strong turnout for Easter services on all campuses.
  4. Clarity in presenting the gospel.
  5. Pray in faith that the Holy Spirit will work in people’s hearts.
  6. Hearts to be transformed and for people to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. 

Day In and Day Out

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5.

In the Pray First – a Personal Prayer Guide, there is a section entitled Order and Obedience – Present Your Day to God. That is the subject of this devotional.

Have you ever been in the middle of your day and wondered what God’s will is for your life? You need to make a difficult decision and wondered what God wanted you to do in that situation. Or maybe it was a typical day and you are wondering whether you are honoring God with your day. The Bible instructs us to glorify God all the time. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) But what does that actually mean? How can we glorify God every day and all day long?

It means we glorify God with our thoughts, with our words, in our deeds, with our attitude, in good times and bad, at work and at play. We offer words of praise and we pray daily?  It is easy to look at our Christian walk with a longer view, rather than in daily terms. The Christian life is a journey, yet we should daily try to live a life of obedience in the power of the Holy Spirit and demonstrate our first love for our Lord. If we do those two things, the Holy Spirit will guide you in the daily, moment-by-moment decisions and actions of your life.

“Teach me your ways, O LORD, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, that I may honor you.” (Psalms 86:11 NLT)

The Psalmist expresses a spiritual truth that is difficult for us because our natural and learned behaviors tend to be more focused toward self. It is only by surrendering ourselves, completely to the power and control of God that we are able to think and live in ways that bring honor to God, whether hourly, daily or monthly.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

The Fruit of the Spirit is God teaching us His ways of living. As we surrender ourselves to Him, He begins to change us on the inside, to teach us how to live a life that will honor Him. He is not just giving us knowledge, the Spirit is changing our hearts and that change begins to flow out of our life. We begin to love as God loves. We have the joy of God. We have a greater peace than we had before. We begin to be more and more patient as we trust in God for our lives. It is the natural process of surrendering everything to God and receiving His gift of a pure heart that helps us present our day to God.

Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” (Psalm 25:5)

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Mark 1:35–39: How would you describe Jesus’ typical day? How does it compare to your typical day? 
  2. Describe what you think it must have been like for the disciples to have a day by day walk with Jesus. How does that compare to the kind of day by day walk we are called to have?
  3. Talk about the biggest roadblocks you face in persisting in a day by day walk with Jesus?
  4. Make a list of one or two spiritual practices (prayer, Bible reading, devotional time, serving, etc.) Over the next 6 days pick one of those things to work on each day.   

From the Heart

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!“ – Psalm 139:23-24

In the Pray First – a Personal Prayer Guide there is a section entitled Confession and Cleaning – Present Your Heart To God. That is the subject of this devotional.

Imagine yourself in the crowd in the story in Luke 5.  Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Man, your sins are forgiven you!”

“Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” the Pharisees teachers of the law exclaimed among themselves.  Jesus knew what they were thinking, and He replied, “Why do you question in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” This is one of many examples of God’s willingness to forgive.

To be forgiven, we must first confess our sins. Confession of sin is a Biblical mandate. We all sin and as a result we need to acknowledge to God that we have sinned, turn away from our sin, and seek His grace. If we do so, He has promised to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). There are no other Biblical conditions to God’s forgiveness.

As D.L. Moody used to say, “We have to be emptied before we can be filled.”  By confessing your sin, you act on your faith in God and His Word. Confession does not give you more forgiveness. Christ has already forgiven you once and for all. But by admitting your sins, you establish in your experience what God has done for you through the death of His Son.

When the heart is not right with God we fail to see sin in its proper light. “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:6-7)

Over the next 6 days, confess your sins and your need for God. Ask God to forgive you for trying to figure everything out on our own, for not trusting that He is more than able and powerful to work on our behalf. Ask God to give you the ability to trust Him more, give you a heart that finds rest in His presence, remembering it’s only to be found in Jesus Christ.

Thank God this week for peace of mind that His loving and strong presence guards and protects our hearts and minds.  Thank God for sending His son to save us and freeing us from sin.   

Discussion Questions:

  1. How would you say sin affects you? In what ways does it hold power over you?
  2. If we do not confess to God, what does that reveal about our attitude toward sin? Toward God? Toward ourselves?
  3. Read Lamentations 3:16-24: What does the writer’s description indicate about God’s character? How is our hope in God related to the humble view of ourselves as helpless sinners before Him?

I Can’t Thank You Enough

“For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God.” – 1 Thessalonians 3:9

In the Pray First – a Personal Prayer Guide, there is a section entitled Thanksgiving and Praise – Present Yourself Before God. That is the subject of this devotional.

But how do we thank God? It is like gathering with your family a few weeks back at Christmas. You are enjoying a wonderful Christmas atmosphere with the family when you receive a gift that is so special that a mere “thank you” was just not enough.

When you pause and reflect on all that God has done for us, a mere “thank you” doesn’t cut it.  Have you ever felt that way? I know I have. I feel that way sometimes when I pray. I also feel that way during communion when we thank Jesus for giving up His life so that we might be forgiven and given life. How do you respond to the general grace that God gives all of us? How do you respond when God blesses you specifically – when He answers a prayer, He provides healing, He supplies your needs in a way only He can.

While words are never going to be enough, they are needed. When I give a gift to somebody, I want to know they like what I have bought them. I can usually tell by the expression on their face, but I will only know for sure if they tell me. 

Thankfulness is a reoccurring Bible theme. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  Notice that we are told to give thanks in all circumstances. Thankfulness should simply be standard operating procedure regardless of our circumstances.

Psalm 136:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” Here we have two reasons to be thankful: God’s goodness and His steadfast love.

Here is a six day challenge: Be a thankful person and praise God for all you have been given, remember what God has done for you and take the time to thank Him in prayer.

We should be thankful because God is worthy of our thanksgiving. It is only right to credit Him because “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above”  (James 1:17). Expressing thankfulness helps us remember that God is in control. Thankfulness, then, is not only appropriate; it is actually healthy and beneficial to us. It reminds us of the bigger picture, that we belong to God, and that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 1:3). 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is being thankful really our choice ? Can we actually decide that we will be thankful people?
  2. Where has being thankful ranked on your list of required Christian qualities up until now? Has this devotional changed your mind at all? If so, how?
  3. We rarely think the source of our problems is tied to our lack of being thankful. How do you think being thankful and praising God is the solution that will help us experience God’s best in our situations?
  4. Pray to thank and praise God this week. 

What is Worship?

“Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place. Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength! Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth; yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”” – 1 Chronicles 16:23-31

Worship is a huge thing. We look forward to worship every week. When the music includes one of our favorites, we say, “worship was awesome.” When the songs don’t appeal to us, we go kinda blank and wonder why the worship wasn’t as good today. Worship style can define a church.

But have you ever wondered if we’re more concerned about what worship does for us and less concerned with the object of our worship?  It seems like it’s more about what we get, not what we give. It’s like buying a Christmas gift and keeping it for ourselves. Worship is not about the feelings we receive when we sing. Worship is not about convincing God to bless us. Worship is not about who or what is happening on the church stage. Worship is not about entertainment, lights or sound.

Worship is all about giving our lives to God again. Worship is not about us at all. It’s all about God. Real worship draws us into the presence of Christ to adore Him. He’s worthy to receive our adoration and praise. Worship is our response, both personal and corporate, to God for who He is, and what He has done; expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live.

Worship is about intentionally giving glory to God through the way that we live our lives.  In every daily activity, in every encounter with people, in every circumstance, in every conversation, in every relationship, and in every choice that we make, we learn to increasingly focus on God’s Kingdom, His will and purpose for our lives.   

In other words, our lives are to be lived in a continual mindset of worship. We bring glory to God when we work, play and interact with others. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” (Colossians 3:23)  Our corporate worship is the extension of what we are already seeking to do in our daily lives.  None of us will reach this mark perfectly on earth, but we can aim for it. Seeing everything that comes our way as an opportunity to bring Glory to God is certainly not an earthly mindset.  We must be intentional if we are to keep His Glory at the forefront of our thoughts and the basis for our actions.

Discussion Questions:

  1. In what way would you define the word “worship?”
  2. Does worship ever become routine for you? If so, why?
  3. What does our worship say about us? About God? 
  4. Take a moment to look back on the last six days. What got the most attention from you? What should have?
  5. Is there something in the area of worship that you need to pray about?