Ginrich's Devotional Blog

September 10, 2019

Real Worship

Filed under: God,heart,Holy Spirit,Uncategorized,worship — by ginrich @ 7:25 pm

Amos 5:21-23 21 “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me.   Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. 23 Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.  (NIV)

I am concerned about some of the contemporary services in many of the churches.  The music is loud with memorizing rhythms.  The worship team is professional and the music is such as to grab the emotions.  As many start responding and joining in it tends to become a crowd mentality.  People look around to see how others are responding and start to respond in the same way.  The emphasis seems to be on the emotions to the music rather than on the sense of the presence of God.  I was in a service doing this when I heard the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit ask me if I knew whose worship was true and really pleasing to God.  A little huffed up, being a professional singer, I thought about myself.  Then I was directed to look at the young man standing next to me.  He was not singing any recognizable pitch or rhythm but he also was totally unaware anyone else was around him.  He was totally singing praises and worshiping God, Almighty.   True praise and worship comes from the heart.  True praise and worship comes from the individual.  Yes, individuals can and should often combine with other individuals to offer corporate worship to God but it must come from each one’s heart without concern of what others present might think of the way we sing, stand, look or anything else.  All eyes and hearts should be tuned to God.  Next time we’re are in a setting of corporate worship, let’s be sure to keep our eyes, minds and heart on God, not on our neighbor.

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August 20, 2019

Our Whole Heart

Filed under: Church,encouragement,God,heart,praise,song,Uncategorized,worship — by ginrich @ 7:01 pm

Psalms 100:2 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. (NIV)

.I love the praise and worship time in music at church (or anywhere else).  But I am hearing less and less of worship.  Worship is to and about God.  It is offering Him our thanks and praises and love for Who He is.  So many of the songs we sing are about us, what we want, what we need.  These are songs of intercession.  There is nothing wrong with these songs.  They definitely have their place in our service.  My problem is the imbalance of the songs.  I think the worship songs should outweigh the songs of intercession.  We are gathering together mostly to worship.  We also gather together for encouragement for that is so very necessary but let us first worship with our who heart and being.  That means singing the songs of worship to God, not about God.  That means when the worship leader repeats the song over and over we don’t go into rote in our singing and let our minds wander.  We continue to pay attention to the words and make them real in our hearts and minds.  I’ve shared this before but it bears repeating.  One day as I was enjoying worshiping the Lord with about 500 other worshipers, I heard God say, “Do you know who’s worship is the loveliest.”  Since was a professional singer I started to get puffed up.  Then I heard Him say the man standing right next to me.  I looked.  He had his eyes closed, his hands up and was singing notes that didn’t even exist in a rhythm that didn’t really match any known rhythm but he was totally unaware of anyone else being around.  He was totally focused on worshiping Hid Father God.  Oh what a lesson I learned.  Worship is totally from the heart and is not for others to think you sound really good.  Let us worship with our whole hearts and not be concerned with what others around us might think.  Their focus should be on worshiping God, not on what others are doing.

August 19, 2019

Gathering Together

Filed under: body,Christ,Church,encouragement,Uncategorized,worship — by ginrich @ 7:07 pm

Hebrews 10:23-25 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIV)

I like how the Message interprets these verses. So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out.  Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going.  He always keeps his word.  Let’s see ow inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.   I especially like the part of being inventive.  So very often, in most of our churches, the order of worship and the things said are the same week after week.  This probably has a part in why the overall attendance in churches is steadily declining.  People are bored and see no advantage in gathering together for worship.  In the church where I am currently attending, we have to stay on our toes so to speak.  The order for worship varies from week to week.  That means we can’t worship as an automatic reflex.  We must think about what we are doing and saying.  We have a time of updating each other on prayer needs and encouraging one another in our various walks.  We can’t be a true part of the body of Christ if we avoid being with the other parts of His body.  In other words, if we aren’t fully involved in a local church group, we are not functioning in the body of Christ.  We are not meant and cannot do it alone.  If you aren’t already involved in a local church group, find a church that believes and practices the message of the Holy Bible and become a real and active part that the part of His body you are can function with the other parts of His body and become whole.

July 24, 2019

X-Ray

Filed under: glory,God,judging,praise,Uncategorized,worship — by ginrich @ 7:47 pm

Revelation 2:23 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.  (NIV)

I like the way The Message translation reads.  Thnen every church will know that appearances don’t and make sure you get what’s coming to you.  We are in a physical world.  We look at the world and it’s people with physical eyes.  We judge by what our physical eyes see.  God sees beyond the physical.  He sees what is in our brains.  He sees our motives.  Sometimes the praise and worship part of some churches end up with a “mob mentality” of singing.  Some are putting up a show of how much they are “into worship.”  Some churches, pastors and/or people tell it far and wide how much money the give to others.  They want everyone to see how good they are.  When are motives are to be seen by others, to be known as being spiritual or benevolent, our giving and doing are as filthy rags to God.  God x-rays our motives.  Are we worshiping out of love for Him or for show to others?  Are we giving out of love for God or to look good to others.  Let us remember we are here for God’s pleasure and glory.  Shakespeare wrote, “Life is a stage.”  God says life is for His pleasure and He doesn’t honor play acting.  Let everything we do be for the glory of God rather than the glory of mankind.

July 23, 2019

Incense

Filed under: God,Incense,prayer,Uncategorized,worship — by ginrich @ 7:33 pm

Revelation 8:3 3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne.  (NIV)

We like things to smell pleasant.  We spray incense in our rooms.  We light candles or plug in devices that emit incense into our rooms.  Some religions use incense in their worship to please their gods.  Incense makes us feel good.  God also likes incense.  In fact, incense is part of His creation.  But God’s most favored incense is the prayers of His people.  As we pray, our prayers do more than move mountains.  Our prayers are a sweet aroma and are collected with the incense on God’s golden alter.  The subject of the prayers isn’t mentioned which means all prayers, whether players of pleading for mercy or prays of thanksgiving and worship.  Let’s laden down God’s golden alter with the daily aroma of our prayers throughout each and every day.  As we pass a beautiful tree, let’s lift up a prayer of thanksgiving to God.  As we hear a siren, let’s offer up a prayer of intercession to God.  Prayer is the button that sprays the incense on God’s alter.

July 10, 2019

James and the Church Family

James 1:1 1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
Greetings. (NIV)

I like the introduction to James in “The Message” translation of the Holy Bible.  James was a half-brother of Jesus.  He grew up with Him.  As per normal human behavior, we tend to think more critically of those closest to us even though we love them.  James grew up not believing Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.  Jesus showed Himself to James after His resurrection.  We all must believe in the resurrected Jesus to be a Christian believer.

When Christian belivers gather in churches, everything that can go wrong sooner or later does.  Outsiders, and labels them a such, the church collects sinners. Many of the people outside the hospital are every bit as sick as the ones inside, but their illnesses are either undiagnosed or disguised.  It’s simiar with sinners outside the church. (The Message Bible)

James deals with the various problems pastors have in discerning, confronting and dealing with the normal problems of sin in the body of believers.  Each of us, from time to time, are part of those problems.  Let us look to our own words and actions rather than judging the words and actions of others in our church family.  Let us be an active participant in the gathering together for worship which includes encouraging others and helping others rather than judging and criticizing.

July 9, 2019

Encouraging in Actions

Filed under: encouragement,love,Uncategorized,worship — by ginrich @ 7:03 pm

Hebrews 10:24 Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching. (The Message)

We are to be inventive in encouraging love among all of us.  We are to be helping out each other.  Each of us perceives love in different ways.  There are many books written on the different languages of love.  Being inventive means, we are to find ways to reach out to love in ways the love can be understood and received.  For some it might be a phone call, for other a visit, for some it might mean an offer to go out someplace.  There are multitudes of ways to demonstrate our love for one another.  Also, multiple ways to help out others.  But we are not to stop with reaching out in love.  We are to come together to worship together.  Something they needn’t go to a group worship service.  They nick pick and think they can worship by themselves so much better than with others.  The benefit of worshiping together is to encourage others in their worship.  Basically, our problem is a me-first and I have the only right way of doing things attitude.  Let us not be self-absorbed.  Let us love as Jesus loves, not just in our words but also in our actions.

May 7, 2019

Prepare

Filed under: God,Uncategorized,worship — by ginrich @ 7:28 pm

Isaiah 40:3 3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (NIV)

We are still to prepare the way for the Lord.  On the morning we are getting ready to assemble with other believers what do we do?  Are we frenzied because of the time?  Are we yelling at our children to hurry up?  What about when we’re in the car on our way.  Are we fussing at others because we’re pressed for time?  We need to be up in time to give us time to prepare.  Instead of fussing, let’s put on some favorite worship music and prepare our hearts and minds to give Him first place.  In the car we can put on our favorite worship cd to prepare all the hearts and minds in the car.  This world is a wilderness full of the noises and stresses of the wilderness.  Let us learn to make a straight highway for God to communicate to us and for us to worship and hear Him.  Let us prepare the way for the Lord in our hearts and minds.

February 12, 2019

Continually

Filed under: Father,God,Holy Spirit,Jesus,Obey,praise,sin,Uncategorized,worship — by ginrich @ 8:34 pm

Isaiah 27:3  I, the Lord, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it (NIV)

In Africa, when the graft a plant, they tie a water bottle to it just above the graft so it can continually seep water on the new graft.  God is grafting us to Himself.  He has His Holy Spirit within us to continually pour out in us enabling us to worship, praise and follow His commands.  It is our job to not block the flow of the Holy Spirit.  We block Him with willful, unconfessed sin.  We also block Him by failing to open up to Him.  Whether we put our attention elsewhere or not, He is in us, desiring for us to pay attention so we can continue to grow in the vine (Jesus).  Jesus prayed that we would be One in Him and in the Father (as well as in each other) in the same way Jesus is One in the Father and the Father in Him.  Let us not block the prayer of Jesus from coming about in our time and place.  Let us always pay attention to the Holy Spirit in us watering continually so we can come into that oneness.

February 4, 2019

Always Ready

Filed under: God,heart,Jesus,service,Uncategorized,wisdom,worship — by ginrich @ 8:15 pm

Psalms 90:12  Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (NIV)

None of us knows how many days we have on this earth.  We must learn to make each and every day count.  The best way to do this is to live each day as if it is the day Jesus comes back to this earth to take us home.  When He comes, we want Him to find us doing what He has called us to do.  Every morning I ask God to help me be pleasing to Him this day.  I ask Him to help me hear His direction for the day.  At night I review the day and often find myself asking forgiveness for the time I’ve wasted.  When time is past, we cannot reclaim it.  Though we cannot give an exact number to our future days, we can number each day as an important day to serve and worship our God.  Let us have the wisdom to make sure we are always ready to go with Jesus to the Father’s throne.

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