Monday, June 22, 2015

We Honor Our Fathers!

Father’s Day is a day of commemoration and celebration of Dad - the special man in our life. We often forget the sacrifice of our fathers and the roles they have played in shaping our lives. Father’s Day gives us the opportunity to show and express our love and care to this man, who deserves our support most. Father’s Day is the most appropriate platform to make us look beyond ‘our own’ family and honor the man who brought us joy and happiness. Father’s Day is a day to honor not only our father, but all men who have acted as a father figure in your life—whether as Stepfathers, Uncles, Grandfathers, or “Big Brothers.”

The word “Father” is often used to honor spiritual leaders, inventors and originator of an idea, product, service or person. It is so, that fathers have always been associated with guidance and protection, as the person who can be loved, respected and looked up to. Let us use Father’s Day to honor these special men and let them know what place they have in our lives and how they influence us. This year for Father’s Day, do not forget to make this special day more special! An occasion to express gratitude towards your dad for all his support and love!

It is a time of burnt toast and breakfast in bed, family gatherings, and crayon scribbled “I love you Dad” and, of course, that lovely new tie. The perfect day to tell your dad how special he is to you and how much you appreciate his warm and cozy company. After all, it’s Father’s Day! Express your appreciation and love to the person who has transformed from a wonderful husband into a great father. Browse through to find some of the unique things and ways you can do on this day and allow your father to cherish these little moments for the rest of his life.

Personal Message to Men

I believe that men are facing unprecedented pressures today that is a constant test of our character. The issue for us is maintaining our integrity and our loyalty to God.

Every day God gives us real-life opportunities for us to develop consistency in our character. But if we will consistently choose God when we are under pressure, He will help us to develop spiritual integrity. To live in spiritual integrity means to live in freedom and victory!

Proverbs 10:9: “He who walks with integrity walks securely.” To walk securely means to walk safely and confidently. It means to walk on good ground, in a good way, which leads to life eternal!

The most important thing is to keep your loyalty to God undivided! Make clear choices. The pay-off for doing right is that you feel right. Love you guys!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Priests of Praise!

In the study of “God’s Presence”, we learn that each one of us are containers for God’s Spirit to dwell within us. 1 Corinthians 3:16 says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” Our bodies are really God’s temple. God does not “dwell in temples that are made with hands.” Acts 7:48

Why does the Holy Spirit come to live inside of us? Because God’s plan for you is in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit has knowledge of everything! That’s why His presence is so powerful. It’s the Holy Spirit in us that is continually changing us into the image of God’s Son.

It is God in us that is our victory! In the Old Testament under the Old Testament Covenant God’s presence was manifested on the outside.

God’s commandments to Israel came at Mount Sinai where God’s presence was manifested with thundering and lightning and a thick cloud of smoke. The people stood at the foot of the mountain and saw the smoke and the mountain quake at God’s presence. But the people could not go up into the mountain. Only Moses was permitted by God to go. (Exodus 19)

In Exodus 33, Moses also met with the Lord in his tent, which was called the Tabernacle of Meeting. Again the people could gather near his tent and see the glory pillar of cloud and worshiped God.

When King David moved the Ark of the Covenant, which was filled with God’s presence and glory, only the priests were to carry the Ark upon their shoulders. (1 Chronicles 15:1) But all Israel was able to follow the Ark on its journey to Jerusalem and worship the Lord with shouting and with musical instruments. (15:28)
When David’s Son Solomon finished building the temple and the Ark of God was brought into the most Holy place, the priests sanctified themselves and were appointed to lead worship in praising and thanking the Lord. (2 Chronicles 4) Again, God filled the house of the Lord with a cloud of His glory. (v. 14)

Priests of worship

The chief ministry of the priests in Solomon’s temple was the ministry of worship. God’s presence was the response to the prayers and praise of His people.

God’s New Testament people are privileged to become priests unto the Lord. God qualifies us to carry His presence and glory within our temple (our bodies). This happens to all born-again believers who have received God’s Holy Spirit. We become “God’s chosen people and a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praise of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9) He has built you a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices (praise) acceptable to God through Jesus Christ!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Praise that Pleases!

In the Old Testament we read of the Ark of the Covenant being released out of the captive hands of the Philistines who had captured it during the sinful reign of Eli, Israel’s high priest and his two sons. (1 Samuel 4:11)

The Ark was most important to Israel as it was the place where God’s presence was manifested in power and glory and was the place where Israel’s leaders would meet to commune with God and consult with Him.

When David was anointed king over Israel, his first order of business was to bring back the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and provide a place there where once again the people could be amongst the manifest presence of God. The story of this action is found in 1 Chronicles 13-17.

The excitement over the restored presence of God was the setting for the most active and expressive worship recorded in the Bible.

In 1 Chronicles 15:16 David appointed singers and musicians to praise and worship God. And keynote of their praise was joy! “Sounding by lifting up their voice with joy.” (verse 16)

The New Testament is so consistent with lifting up worship with joy to the Lord. In Philippines 4:4 we are commanded to “rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.”

Praise is commonly associated with noise. The Psalms declare at least seven times with the words, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” Psalms 89:15 says “Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound.”

Why the expression of joy, or joyful praise? Truly, there is no joy which can compare with the joy of the Lord. Our praise and worship should be an expression of joy over God’s presence living in us. We are God’s temples, or mobile arks of the New Covenant. Just as there was a direct relationship between the Ark of the Covenant and the noise of song, praise and rejoicing, there is the incredible presence of the Lord Jesus Christ and the power of His Spirit living in us to which we glorify Him with praise, worship, song, and rejoicing continually from our hearts.

Yes, praise is expressed with noise. But noise is not obnoxious to God. He loves for us to lift up our voice with joy.

Many times in the Old Testament we have the accounts of people facing difficult battles, but before they even entered the battle they would praise God with shouts of praise and God would give them victory.

A note for us to “lift up our voice with joy” when we face our battles in life! PTL!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Practicing Spiritual Praise and Worship!

Jesus said, “Now is the hour when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”

The New Priesthood

The priestly ministry of Christ fulfilled all of the ritual and ceremonial ceremonies that were under the Old Testament priesthood. All of the Old Testament symbolism and types were fulfilled and have been replaced by a new priesthood. (Hebrews 7:11-28)

We do not offer animal sacrifices, as did the Old Covenant priests. But we are called to be a “holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 2:5)

One of the spiritual sacrifices is praise. “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.” (Hebrews 13:15) To “offer” means to bring, raise up, offer up.

What is Praise?

There are some Old Testament words that are used for the translation of “praise.” One is “Hallal” from which we get the word “Halleluiah.” It means “to boast, to celebrate, to rave about, and to glory in.” Praise then, is a note of celebration and a boasting in the Lord.

Another word for “praise” is “Shabach.” This means to shout with a loud voice, a shout of triumph, glorying in the victory. There are occasions when a triumphant shout is the only fitting manner in which to praise our God. Psalms 47:1 “...shout unto God with a voice of triumph.”

Another word for “praise” is “Yadah.” It means “to give forth a confession of thanks.” It also conveys the thought of “extending forth the hands”; giving thanks with the hands extended towards God.

One more word for praise is “Barak” which means “to kneel in adoration.” To kneel before someone is to manifest humility, and to demonstrate their superior worth and position.

Praising God is not an emotional exercise; it is a spiritual activity. However, it does necessitate some emotional release. We should not be frightened of emotional expression. To suppress praise by believing it to be carnal or fleshly is a negative and unhealthy viewpoint. God gave us emotions, and they are meant to glorify Him. King David wrote to “Bless the Lord with all that is within us.” (Psalm 103:1) Praising God is the healthiest way to release your emotions. It is the God-ordained way:

To offer up “sacrifices of praise” suggests that it is not always easy or convenient to give praises to God. To praise the Lord at all times means even when it is not easy to do so. Our “sacrifice of praise” is the “fruit of our lips” which is praise that is verbalized, and spoken forth audibly.