Here I Am {to Worship}

Questions can feel heavy. Sometimes, they seem to bring us anxiety, nervousness or frustration. It’s hard to face them when the answers feel far off or unsure. I’ve been a part of some pretty weighty discussions lately. It seems like most people, sometime or another are wrestling with something.

What’s my purpose? Where do I go from here? How do I know if what’s from God and what’s me? Am I pleasing Him? How do I respond when life seems too difficult? How do I impact a world, a culture that is seemingly falling apart all around me?

Lately, I have been working to be more intentional about bringing my questions to the Lord. Realizing that the answer, or solution, is often far out of my reach, I am beginning to learn that these types of questions are best answered through prayer and a posture of worship.

Looking back to the Garden, we meet a God who created humans in His image. He fashioned man to know Him freely and to commune with Him in the coolness of the day. When we chose to disobey God, we broke our perfect communion with Him.

Throughout the story of the Bible, we see a God who beautifully pursues His people, culminating on the cross and beating death. Scripture and history illustrate a perfect God who deeply desires for us to both know Him and to be known by Him. He created you and me, beautifully unique, each with purpose and value found only fully in Him.

Last week, in the middle of a situation that seemed bigger than I could handle, I was reminded of a friend of mine who travels fairly extensively. I was drowning in the details, feeling completely overwhelmed when a song (you know, one of those “oldies but goodies”) popped into my head:

Here I am to worship

Here I am to bow down

Here I am to say that You’re my God

You’re all together lovely

All together worthy

All together wonderful to me

My friend once told me that he often sings this song when he travels, dedicating his trip and actions to the Lord as worship. It’s his way of outwardly acknowledging what’s most important–Jesus. The details seemed less overwhelming as I began to realign my heart, positioning it towards Jesus.

How powerful would it be if I approached my circumstances with the intent to bring praise? What if I chose to acknowledge the worth of my Creator in all areas of my life? How would that change me? How would that change my world around me? How would that allow God to work around me?

I dare to say it’d be a game changer.

The crazy thing about choosing to worship the Lord in every area of our lives is that the questions listed above start to seem less daunting. We begin to realize that it’s okay to not have the answers or to see the entire picture, because we’re choosing to run towards the One who does.

My challenge to myself (and to you, if you’d like it to be) is just that: to wake up each morning with this song as a prayer. To see each portion of my day as it is, a chance to acknowledge the beauty, power and perfection of Jesus; giving Him permission to move and work amidst the moments of my day.

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Love… True Love

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13

The Gospel and the morning paper

So, If you’ve spent more than 3 seconds visiting my blog, you’ve probably noticed that I Love Jesus…

I’ve spent my entire life going to church, hearing about Jesus and listening to stories from the bible.  I’ve sang every cute Sunday School song, been in every Church performance.  I’ve grown up knowing the Word of God to be true, to be superior.  

I believe the bible to be the Word (or words…) of God.  I believe that it is our t-shirt tag (it tells us what we’re made of, and gives us the instructions we need to care for our lives). It is essential for growth in our relationship with Christ.  When you read it, it changes you.  I believe you should open it everyday.

Recently, I have discovered something else I believe should be read everyday.  The Newspaper.  After raising from the dead, and before ascending into Heaven, Christ commanded his disciples to Go into all the world and preach the gospel (Mark 16:15).  The last thing Christ did on earth before ascending into Heaven was command His disciples to go out and reach out.

It’s an awesome thing to know Christ.  I have found that as I get to know Him, I get to know myself.  I find what I’m made of and discover what I was made to do.  

Reading the newspaper helps keep me in tune to the world around me.  It helps me better understand my community.  It helps me better understand the people God’s placed around me.  It gives me a better idea of the things to pray for.  It helps me connect with the world around me.  

Being a Christian means I am to have a missional mindset.  It means that Christ’s mandate to Go into all the world and preach the gospel is to become mine.  It means that I am to Love, connect, and disciple the people God places in my life.  It means I have to do some research. 

Jesus understood the culture He lived in.  He connected with people and introduced them to His Father in a way that made sense to them.  He showed them something they’d never seen before.  And they were drawn to Him.

I have made it my habit lately to read the newspaper every morning over a steamy, hot cup of tea (lately, it’s been a soy chai tea misto, to be exact…).  I have made the choice to work at better understanding my culture and the world around me so that I can, in turn, better introduce my Savior to the culture I have been placed in.  

My challenge to you:  Read your bible.  Pick up the paper.  Emerse yourself in the Culture around you.  Connect with people. Introduce others to Jesus.