Tag Archive for Come

What Do You Worship?

“I am the Lord your God. . . . You shall have no other gods before me.”
(Exodus 20:2-3, NIV)

“The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods.”
(Psalm 16:4, NIV)

We all seek security. We want our lives to have significance. We want to achieve. We crave a sense of meaning and fulfillment.

How are we seeking those things? On what are you focusing your hopes and energies? A house? A job? Comfort? The praise of other people?

What are you worshiping? Who are you serving?

We are children of the Creator. We have His life within us. He has patterned us after Himself. And He has planted in our hearts a yearning for something beyond what we can touch. He has given us a deep longing for the eternal.

He wants us to know Him. He wants us to share His life fully. He keeps prodding us to seek Him, to love Him and trust Him as our Father. Of all the guidance He has given us, He says that the most important thing in life is this: 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mark 12:30, NIV)

That is the key to happiness.

Yet we worship the temporary. We devote ourselves to what can’t possibly satisfy our deep desires. We fashion gods from created things. What was written 2,700 years ago still applies to us: 

They pour out their money. They hire a craftsman to make a god for them, then they bow down and worship it. They lift it up and carry it – it cannot carry them. They care for it – it does not care for them. They put it in its place, and there it stays – it cannot move. Though they cry out to it, it does not answer. It cannot save them from their troubles. 

Remember this, fix it in your minds: I am God, and there is no other. I am God, and there is none like me. (Isaiah 46:6-9, para.)

We are like selfish, rebellious children. Anxious to have complete “freedom,” impatient to fulfill our every desire, we turn our backs on the love that gave us life. We reject the wisdom that taught us and nurtured us. Instead we chase things that can’t possibly help us and can only drag us down. Our “gods” are a burden and a false hope. They don’t carry us. We carry them.

As a result, we are out of balance. Look around you. Our lawns are better manicured than our lives. We have nearly every material resource this world can offer. Yet we are unhappy and unfulfilled. We have no peace.

We are worshiping gods that are not gods. We are ignoring the one true God – our Creator, our Father.

Turn to the One who can truly help you. Seek Him. Talk to Him. It’s not at all difficult – He hears each word, each murmur of your heart. Discover your Creator. He is the security, the significance, the fulfillment that you crave.

My God, I want to know You. I want to obey You. I’m sorry for all my wrongness. Forgive me and fill my life as I believe in You now.

when I begin to realize who You are,
Your lavish gifts are not enough.
I want to know You and
please You and
worship You.
I want to love You and
walk with You and
trust You every moment.
I want to live
in You and
for You and
to You alone.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Come
Printed Music & Lyrics

Come to Me

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)

What burdens you right now? Various situations and concerns probably start parading through your mind. Each involves uncertainty and fear.

Fear creates an imaginary world for us—a world in which there is no God, with all His love and power and promised faithfulness. Don’t live another day in that dark world! Christ invites us to come to Him and know Him. As we do, fear and its imaginary world melt away in the light of His love.

But you may carry another burden that doesn’t immediately come to mind: the burden of self-concern. It’s the most constant, most distracting, most draining burden that any of us carries. It is the drive to constantly look out for ourselves and worry about ourselves and promote ourselves to those around us.

It is another burden that melts away as we come to Christ and know and trust Him. We come to Christ with many burdens. We leave with only one: the burden of pleasing Him. But what an easy burden it is! All He asks is that we trust Him who has proven Himself trustworthy and love Him who is so loving and lovely.

Bring all your burdens to Christ—now and every time they raise their heads. Trade them for His one burden: the burden of simply loving and trusting Him. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Come
Printed Music & Lyrics

Following the Father

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER 

John 8:12; Luke 4

“I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12, NASB)

Father, I say I want to follow You,
but how easily I am distracted by my own desires.
If I get my eyes off You,
I begin following my agenda,
not Yours.

Because Jesus maintained
His close and constant relationship with You,
He followed You into the harsh wilderness,
conquered temptation, and
was empowered by Your Spirit (Luke 4:1-14).

He obediently spoke the unpopular truth in His hometown (Luke 4:14-30).

He confronted a demon in Capernaum and banished him (Luke 4:31-35).

He spoke with Your authority and wielded Your power over evil (Luke 4:36-37).

He healed all the sick brought to Him (Luke 4:38-41).

Though His schedule was demanding, He rose early to pray (Luke 4:42).

He knew when to ignore popular pressure and move on (Luke 4:42-44).

Father, that’s what I need:
Your enabling for my weakness;
Your wisdom for my ignorance.
Father, give me the Spirit of Christ!

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Spirit, Come
Printed Music & Lyrics

Living Without Guilt

Jesus said,

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
(Matthew 11:28, NASB) 

1 John 1:9 promises this:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (NIV)

I know about guilt. I know about the shadow deep inside, the heaviness, the darkness. I know about being deeply, unforgettably aware of the wrong I’ve done.

I’ve tried to deal with that guilt in a variety of ways.

I’ve tried to deny it: “It’s just a state of mind…an emotion…it’ll pass.”

I’ve tried to rationalize it: “Everybody does wrong once in a while…I’m no worse than most people.”

I’ve tried to blame it on others and escape it: “It’s just the way my parents raised me…society’s false standards…If I ignore their rules, I’ll eventually get past this feeling.”

I’ve tried to make up for it somehow: “I will be nice to people…do good deeds…give money…That will make up for the wrong I’ve done…My good deeds will outweigh the bad.”

But none of that lifts the blackness. None of it makes me clean. None of it changes the person I know I am. My wrongness is not a feeling, or a fiction, or a passing phenomenon. It’s a fact.

But thank the Lord, I also know what forgiveness feels like. Years ago friends told me about Jesus. At first, hearing about Him only made the guilt worse. I felt painted in a corner. My wrongness, my sin, was bigger than ever. It loomed over me. It stared me in the face.

Finally, in desperation, and in feeble hope, I turned to Jesus. I just opened myself to Him. I admitted how wrong I was, and I asked Him to help me.

And you know what happened? He didn’t scold me. He didn’t punish me. He just forgave me. Forgave me! Freely, completely, unconditionally forgave me! I was a brand-new person! I felt bathed in His love inside and out.

I can’t describe the freedom. I can’t describe the cleanness, the joy, the rightness of life.

I’m not talking about a feeling. It was a fact. I was a different person, and everyone who knew me knew I was different.

No, I wasn’t perfect. I’m still not perfect–not by a long shot. But I’m learning to trust Him, and He’s helping me to live a clean life, a loving life, above the wrong that once dragged me down.

And when I fail, I just ask Him to forgive me, and He does, as freely and completely as ever.

If you’re living with guilt, let me tell you: you don’t have to. You don’t need to deny it. You don’t need to rationalize it. You don’t have to make up for it. Jesus forgives sin. Jesus takes away guilt completely. Jesus makes new people. Jesus can make you a new person.

Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: Come, My Friends!
Printed Music & Lyrics