You shall not bow down to them (any other gods) or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…”_ — Exodus 20:5

Consider sports fans at a game; dressed head to toe in paint, yelling and screaming, booing and cheering. Consider a pop concert; persons crying and screaming with arms stretched out reaching for that celebrity.
You see, as humans we are worshipers and we can’t help it. It’s who we are, what we do and how we were made. We therefore need to give our attention over to God. Spend time in prayer, in his word, in fellowship and walking in obedience. From out of that comes our desire to worship God. If you recognize God’s Sovereignty throughout the week, then you shouldn’t have any issues praising, crying and screaming when you meet with the believers (for church services).
What you spend the most time thinking about, doing, or giving the majority of your attention and so your worship to?

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

In John 15:5, Jesus says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” So we really are paralyzed. Without Christ, we are capable of no good. As Paul says in Romans 7:18, “Nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.” But according to John 15:5, God intends for us to do something good — namely, bear fruit. So as our strong and reliable friend — “I have called you friends” (John 15:15) — he promises to do for us what we can’t do for ourselves. How then do we glorify him? Jesus gives the answer in John 15:7: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” We pray! We ask God to do for us through Christ what we can’t do for ourselves — bear fruit. Verse 8 gives the result: “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit.”

So how is God glorified by prayer? Prayer is the open admission that without Christ we can do nothing. And prayer is the turning away from ourselves to God in the confidence that he will provide the help we need.

“ACQUAINT NOW THYSELF WITH HIM, AND BE AT PEACE: thereby good shall come unto thee” (Job 22:21). “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the LORD” (Jer 9:23,24).
A spiritual and saving knowledge of God is the greatest need of every human creature. The foundation of all true knowledge of God must be a clear mental apprehension of His perfections as revealed in Holy Scripture. An unknown God can neither be trusted, served, nor worshipped.
Something more than a theoretical knowledge of God is needed by us. God is only truly known in the soul as we yield ourselves to Him, submit to His authority, and regulate all the details of our lives by His holy precepts and commandments. “Then shall we know, if we follow on [in the path of obedience] to know the LORD” (Hosea 6:3). “If any man will do His will, he shall know” (John 7:17). “The people that do know their God shall be strong” (Dan 11:32). – A.W. Pink
Do you know the living and true God?

“Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord.” (Philippians 3:1)

No one had ever taught me that God is glorified by our joy in him. That joy in God is the very thing that makes praise an honor to God, and not hypocrisy. But Jonathan Edwards said it so clearly and powerfully: God glorifies Himself toward the creatures also in two ways: 1. By appearing to . . . their understanding. 2. In communicating Himself to their hearts, and in their rejoicing and delighting in, and enjoying, the manifestations which He makes of Himself. . . . God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it. . . . He that testifies his idea of God’s glory [doesn’t] glorify God so much as he that testifies also his approbation of it and his delight in it. This was a stunning discovery for me. I must pursue joy in God if I am to glorify him as the most surpassing valuable Reality in the universe. Joy is not a mere option alongside worship. It is an essential component of worship.

We have a name for those who try to praise when they have no pleasure in the object. We call them hypocrites. This fact — that praise means consummate pleasure and that the highest end of man is to drink deeply of this pleasure — was perhaps the most liberating discovery I ever made. (Piper)

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the almighty” Psalm 91: 1

To dwell means to live or stay as a permanent resident, to live or continue in a given condition or state (Oxford dictionary).

Therefore dwelling in the shelter of the Most High God can be an attitude of acknowedging his presence at all times. It means giving him praise in our hearts constantly. To be in a permanent place of saying yes Lord. It is being at that place of total surrender to God. I believe it speaks to being obedient to the word and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and direct our paths. Dwelling in the shelter of the Most High means that we turn over all our worries, anxieties and fears to him because He cares for us. It means a life that is totally submitted to Him. When we are at the place of rest in God we find peace no matter what storm may be raging. We can trust Him because we have proven Him many times. This entire Psalm is about the benefits of trusting God.  It is about God’s protection and provision. The Psalmist cries out in the 2nd verse, “I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” What confidence!!!z  It is clear the author of Psalm 91 had a personal knowledge of God and an intimate relationship with God. Like the Psalmist we too can find rest in the shadow of the Most High. It is offering our lives up to Him with praise and adoration no matter what is happening. It is having the knowledge that God will be there for us therefore we can rest in Him.

Psalm 55:22 encourages us to cast our cares upon Him because He cares. Would you do that today?

”But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison (Acts 8:3) NIV.
If ever we need proof that God is a God of purpose and can use anyone, the Apostle Paul is that proof. When one studies the life of this man before his transformation we cannot help but see a person that appeared merciless. The scriptures said he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison! In fact the very day he had his encounter with Jesus he was heading into Damascus to bring back Christians to Jerusalem for imprisonment. Nevertheless God stepped in and Saul’s life was literally turned around for the glory of God and to fulfill His divine plan. The fact is we know many people who are not walking with God and their lives may seem beyond redemption according to our judgment. However we need to remember that no one is beyond God’s reach. The bible said that it is not His will that any should perish .(2 Peter 3b) Most of us know of loved ones or people within our radar who have total disregard for anything to do with God . However we need to still pray for their salvation; Paul’s passion was not only for the Gentiles to be saved but he also had a passion for his own people to know God. Speaking about the people of Israel He cried out in Romans 9:2 ‘I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.’
When was the last time your heart cried out for the salvation of the unsaved in our nation? Every day we meet people who may be going to a loss eternity. Do you care enough to ask and share the good news of the gospel? Acts 9:21-22(NIV) says ”And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

“…that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that
they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” —John 17:21

Someone may fear that we are magnifying private religion out of all proportion, that the “us” of the New Testament is being displaced by a selfish “I.” Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become “unity” conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified. The body becomes stronger as its members become healthier. The whole church of God gains when the members that compose it begin to seek a better and a higher life. (The Pursuit of God, 90.)

“Lord, let this start with me. Give me a closer walk with You today. Then as a leader enable me to encourage others as well, individually, so that all to
whom I minister might be in harmony as we individually are close to You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Isaiah 1:18-19 “Come now, let us settle the matter’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land;”

The fact that an utterly holy God is conciliative enough to even propose a sit down, in order that He may explain the way of repentance and redemption to His rebellious nation Israel, is amazing in itself. Let us sit together and let me explain things to you, says God to sinful Israel! What God says to them is that all their wicked sinfulness can be removed from them leading to their being blessed, but only if they were ready to be willing and obedient. But what is even more amazing is that this same utterly holy God has reached out to us, we who were not His people, who were not part of Israel, and said “come now, let us settle the matter”. God sat down with us and reasoned with us by means of His Word. Rom.10:17 says, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ”. He so worked in us as to make our hearts respond willingly in obedience to the Word about Christ. We who were stained with sin and beset with a bent towards wickedness, were made white as snow and pure as wool!

The God that we did not seek sought us and made us His people, holy, righteous and blessed with every spiritual blessing. Is that not amazing enough to praise Him and bless Him every single day of our lives?

Today may our hearts be filled with gratitude and may they resound with His praises.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. – Ephesians 2:13
Paul opens up chapter 2 by showing the Christians in Ephesus their former condition without Christ, and then in vs. 11 appeals to them to remember their alienation from the promises of God. But he then tells them that they who were estranged have now been brought near through the blood…
One of the great truths of scripture that ought to propel a heart into eternity is what Christ has done for us; let’s not take the latter part of vs. 12 lightly… “We were without hope and without God in the world,” it kind of puts into perspective our loved ones and those around us who don’t know Christ as Lord, but more specifically, it leaves us totally in awe of the grace of God. May this truth sink deep within our hearts today as we consider the greatness of our God.