Monday, August 13, 2012

Worship Without Sacrifice

The Seven Blunders of the World: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principle... Gandhi

It goes without saying that people who are wealthy without ever having done a day's honest work, tend to be somewhat "worldly"...think Paris Hilton.  I don't want to judge this woman, but her wealth without work has provided her ample opportunity to indulge in pleasure without conscience (I might add), and she doesn't seem to mind letting the whole world know about it because she tends to be in the hollywood limelight a lot.
Wealth without work lends itself to decadence, lack of appreciation and a mindset of elitism.

Pleasure without conscience is defined as sin, licensiousness, and overindulgence.
I think of Monsanto when I think of commerce without morality.

Commerce without morality looks like greed.
...again Monsanto and other companies who are striving to line their pockets without any thought to what effects their "products" might have on human beings.
Science without humanity brings about humanism, transhumanism, genetic manipulation, and playing God.
Is there any country out there with principles in their politics?
Polictics without principles looks exactly like what is playing out on the world's stage right now.

It is the Worship without sacrifice that I would like to look at at little closer. What does it mean to worship without sacrifice? What happens when we do that?

 Jeremiah 33:11

The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD [is] good; for his mercy [endureth] for ever: [and] of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.
Hebrews 13:15

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.

To the best of my knowledge, Gandhi was not a follower of Christ; however, Gandhi claimed to like Christ but did not like Christ's Christians because they were so little like their Christ.

We are all called to pick up our cross, and endure persecution and sorrow for the Lord just as He suffered for us. It's part of the package. 2 Tim. 3:13 says: "Yea, and ALL that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."

John 16:20 goes further in this vein by saying "Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy."

Something that I have noticed about myself is that sometimes (even when it is appropriately due) praise dries up in my mouth and evaporates. I'm not just talking about praise for God; I'm talking about praise for anyone or anything. I always wonder about that and why I would be so unwilling to lift up someone for something for which they deserve praise, and it always shames me because I know that is sin - most likely caused by envy or covetousness. Thankfully, though, that is something that does not occur often, and I have even been told that I have the gift of encouragement which I believe stems from naturally praising others for their gifts and talents.

It stands to reason, then, that it's not always going to be easy to praise God. For example, in the book of James, we are instructed to count it all joy when we are visited by times of trial and trouble (James 1:2).

The strength, the wisdom, the patience, the ability to endure hardship; these are all great reasons why we should praise God during times of testing. One of my friends has a saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger".  Kelly Clarkson recently even made a record by that title.

A lot of times, then, praise really is a sacrifice;  something we make ourselves do even when we don't want to or don't feel like it, simply because we know that, in truth, God is teaching us a life lesson that will in the end be very good for us.

Psalms 116:17: "I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD."


This time last summer I was dealing with my son's illness, that progressed into a state of destruction, disobedience and anger that led to our enrolling him in wilderness camp.

Just today, my daughter informed me that she believes we (the people of the world) all believe in the same God; that God in Christianity is the same god in hinduism, islam, sikhism, buddahism, etc.!   My heart hit the floor.  Instead of immediately replying; I kept silent.  I wanted to think about my answer before just blurting out an instanteous reply.   A little later I addressed her remark by calmly saying to her that I wanted her to think about what she said.  I then told her my belief in a short statement of "We do not all worship the same God.  The God I worship is not the God of islam or hinduism or any other religion.  I understand why you want to believe that (she has friends who are from those religions and the areas that partake in them as well as Jewish friends), but that does not make it so."

 
And so it has been in this season of trial with my son's illness and subsequent problems with anger, destruction and disobedience and now with my daughter in her belief of satan's lies.   It has been a time of making myself walk the walk of truly putting my faith and trust in the goodness of God and praising Him even in the bad things we go through; even when we don't feel like it; simply because He is worthy of our praise. 

Lord, there are so many things in my life that are not the way they "should" be.  By that, I mean that they aren't lining up with your Word and You.   They are out of my hands, and I have no control over them because they have to do with the actions and thoughts of those I love.  Today I put them in to your more than able Hands.  I give them to you.  One minute of worry on my part will not change them.  Only you can change them, and that is my prayer today, Father.   You know my heart.  I want for all my loved ones to give their lives to you.   I trust you  with their lives, Father because you are good, and you are able, and You are God.  You are in charge.  Turn their hearts toward you.  Open their eyes and ears and heart to all that you say, to all that you do and to all that you are.  I pray on their behalf this morning for your forgivness and mercy to be poured out on them.  I praise you for who you are and for Your Great Name's Sake.   I thank you that you drew me near and I came.  Bless the Lord,oh my soul, oh, my soul, worship His holy name!  In Jesus matchless name, Amen.



4 comments:

  1. Kim, I agree with your observations about the current situation in our world. It probably won't be of any comfort to you but I have two adult sons that have denounced their belief in God. A daughter that is walking in sin and rebellion. I keep praying that however, whatever, God will bring them back to him.

    It is heartbreaking to see this but I know we are not alone with rebellious offspring.

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  2. JMD,

    I prayed for your children. I feel your pain. God bless...

    Kim

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  3. And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing.

    Keep hold of God's promises. God can do what we cannot.

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  4. Hi, I too am a mother and have children rebelling against the Lord. I cry out to Him. I remember Psalm 139:16 and Isaiah 57:1,2 and I have some peace. I know that the Lord has ordered ALL my steps and the steps of my children too. Only He can save them. I fight the tendency to be an idol, thinking I have a responsibility to keep my children on the narrow road. It is a fine line I have walked and not well. However God has been faithful and has taken my oldest son home in the midst of his rebellion to learn from the Master away from the world. I miss him so much and the trauma of his death is hard to live with. There is so much more I wish I could say. Please be encouraged that the One who loves you enough to leave the other 99 to save you, loves your children that much too.... Be encouraged... Our Lord loves to save!

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