Exodus 34:14, Romans 1:25, Psalm 13:6, 1 Peter 2:9
Exodus 34:14 says, “For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”
The Bible makes clear who our primary focus should be. God, and God alone, is not only worthy of our highest admiration, but He demands it.
Worship comes in many forms, but when it all boils down, worship is giving someone or something the utmost praise, respect, and admiration. It is placing and celebrating something in the highest place of our thoughts and enjoyments. In a Sunday school environment it is easy to say that God has that place in our lives. But, let’s be honest, frequently our hearts elevate other things to that position.
In a world filled with shiny things, it is easy to turn our worship from the Creator to the created.
Romans 1:25 says, “They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise!”
This verse captured my mind for many reasons. First, their false worship stemmed from a lie. “They traded the truth about God for a lie.” There are many lies that surround us every day. Some of these lies include: you are not good enough, you will never be good enough, you are not loved, you will only be fulfilled by_______, just try a little harder and you will find true success and happiness, if only you had ________ life would be easier, etc. These lies are told to us so often, in so many different ways, from so many different places that sometimes we start to let them take root into our hearts, and eventually we believe them.
So, how do we combat these lies? We turn to God in worship. We proclaim His truths. We proclaim His promises. We proclaim His character. We proclaim what He has done. We proclaim what He will do. Instead of trading truth for lies, pray that the Holy Spirit gives you discernment to see the lies that are trying to root in your heart. Then, reverse this verse and begin trading the lies for the truths of God.
What are some of God’s truths? Here is a quick, short, and very incomplete list. First, you are loved deeply and unconditionally. You are enough. You are cherished. You are protected. You have an immovable and eternal joy. God is always present with you. You do not go through anything alone. Change, and healthy change at that, is possible. You are strengthened by the same power that raised Jesus from the grave. You are more than a conqueror. And the list goes on and on as God’s Word reveals more and more about God’s loving nature.
The next part of this verse also speaks very personally to me. “So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself.” God is so gracious that He gives us a multitude of blessings that come in many forms. He graciously bestows to us relationships, jobs, homes, hobbies, talents, interests, and other things that are intended to bring us joy and Him the glory. However, in our fallen state, many times instead of giving God the glory for our gifts, we glorify the gift itself. We admire, we adore, we worship the creation instead of allowing the creation to point us back to the Creator. When we begin to glorify God’s creation instead of Him, we enter into a vulnerable state where lies are more likely to root in our hearts.
How do we identify these misappropriated gifts? How do we know in our own lives what we are worshiping more than God? First, pray about it. Ask God to reveal to you what is in your number one seat. Then take time to think about your life. What do you spend your time thinking about? What thoughts consume you when you are eating, brushing your teeth, walking the dog, and the other daily routines you have? What is the one thing in your life that you cannot live without? All of these are sobering questions to help us assess who/what has the number one seat of worship in our lives.
The last part of this verse helps us to turn our worship back to the One who deserves and desires our utmost worship. “Who is worthy of eternal praise!” God is worthy! Psalm 145:3 says, “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable.” Psalm 16:7, “I will praise the LORD, who counsels me.” Psalm 13:6, “I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.” Psalm 18:3, “I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.” Revelation 4:11, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
Reflect upon who God is. He is far greater than we can imagine. He is our Defender. He is good to us. He delivers us from our enemies. He is the Creator. He is the Sustainer. He is our Healer. He is our Truth. As you reflect on the truths of God, ask Him to take over the number one seat of worship in your heart.
1 Peter 2:9 encourages us, "You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." Worship Him, and allow that worship to spill over into the darkness around you.
1 Corinthians 10:31, Hebrews 13:15, Matthew 22:26, Psalm 16:11
It was a Monday. I was sick and I was at work staring down a busy week. On top of that, my husband and I were on a 21 day sugar fast which meant I hadn’t had coffee in days (this girl has to have her creamer). I was not a happy camper.
Despite my feelings though, my call for the day was still the same: be a worshipper to Jesus. I had a choice and an opportunity to succeed or fail. Obey or disobey. My success in the day would not equate to whether or not I survived my sugar fast, if I felt better, or if my to-do list at my job was completed. My success for the day was proved in whether or not I worshiped through my hunger, busy schedule, traffic jam, etc…
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
What brings God glory? Worshipful hearts. Hearts that thank Him when circumstances aren’t ideal, when the test results turn your stomach, and even when you’re having the best day ever.
We are commanded to bring Him glory, in whatever happens, in whatever comes, in whatever we do.
Worship is not a feeling. Worship is an attitude of the mind and a position of the heart.
Hebrews 13:15 says, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.”
A pastor I greatly respect said, “I will not give to God what costs me nothing.”
Although I am far from the example on sacrificial praise, I am learning that on days like that Monday, or days that are much worse, and even days that are far better, my response to God should always be the same. My response should always be to give God all honor and praise, because He is always worthy of a gift of praise.
Jesus set the perfect example for the way our hearts should always be positioned. Matthew 22:26, “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
Jesus took the bread and gave thanks. While this statement at first seems standard, we must remember what the bread represented. The bread represents Jesus’ broken body. His own physical body that was to be beaten, whipped, spit on, drug, and nailed to a cross. Yet, Jesus still was able to thank God for the bread that represented His broken body.
Jesus was not simply uttering a thanks for his meal - he was thanking God for something that would cost Him greatly. Jesus was able to thank Him for that because, despite of what was going on, or what was going to happen, or what intense burden Jesus’ carried that night, God was still worthy of all the worship.
No matter what we are walking through today, our reigning God still deserves all the praise. He created us to praise Him, and even when days are tough, a sacrifice of praise will replenish our joy (Psalm 16:11). Praise Him today for the little blessings He gives along the way, like the sunshine...or the rain. Praise Him regardless. Praise Him for who He is.
Hey 818 Ministries/A Relentless Millennial community! About 4-5 times a year I like to provide an update on where we are as a ministry and all that the Lord has been so faithful in helping us accomplish. We have SO many exciting things happening this spring and we covet your prayers as we move forward as a growing ministry. Time flies when you're having fun and the Lord sure has moved and we are growing faster than I can keep up!
We have had the opportunity already this year to partner with churches and share our story. A great example of the entire body getting behind 818 is Calvary Baptist (Oak Ridge) in the below picture. This January we were able to share how we got started with their women's ministry, make hats/write letters with their ladies, AND THEN their children's ministry got together and took pictures/wrote letters to go with hats in the future. A few weeks later we received a package in the mail with MORE hats their ladies had gotten together and made. What a blessing!
So far, we've delivered 82 hat + letter packets to treatment centers in TN! (and I have 70 hats in my living room now that we have special plans to deliver in the next couple months! God has been so faithful and we look forward to how He continues to use this ministry to touch lives.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: at the end of this month on April 30th, we quite possibly have our most exciting event EVER. We are partnering with a sweet girl named Addison (pictured below) who is 12 years old. You will hear all about her in a recap post from this event but Addison reached out to us and wanted to get involved in 818 in a big way. I didn't want her to do it on her own so I decided it made sense for the whole team to go visit her, partner with her and help her plan a big event where we tell the 818 Ministries story of how we got started, make hats + write letters and celebrate what the Lord has done by eating yummy foods, having a photo booth, etc.
Pray for us on April 30th. The Lord has already used Addison to help us secure an event venue, get TONS of fabric donated for us to use, and she is spreading the word like wildfire in her community to get people there to help serve their community in a big way. We believe God is going to do big things at this event and we are trusting that He will get the glory from it!
Until next quarter,
Founder, Chief Hat Maker of 818 Ministries + A Relentless Millennial