The Heart of Worship

Acts 17:22-28

22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring…

When the Apostle Paul travelled across the entire Roman Empire, he did so in order to help all men come into the presence of the one true God. In Acts 17 he was walking thru the temple of the gods, surrounded by men who desire worship, men seeking to be in the presence of one who was greater than they themselves.

Today in Greece and Turkey remnants are left from the places Paul walked and taught. Temples filled with gods that were nothing more than wood and stone and empty promises. Broken, lifeless, gods now laying in ruin. No Life, no strength, no power, no love, no hope. Nothing worthy of worship only empty remnants of their seeking hearts

Although the True God was hidden from them, the heart of these lost men was the same as ours. They desired to be in the presence of God and to worship. The Greeks, the Jews, and the Gentiles, all lived among each other so Paul used this opportunity to show them the God who was worthy of worship.

Paul taught the way leading to eternal life can only be found if you seek our Heavenly Father's will and live a life that reflects your worship of Him. It is not the broad and popular way that approves of any behavioral preference and practice as the world would have you believe.

"These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:8-9).

As it was in the days of Jesus and the prophets, so is it today! Most people put their faith in the words and opinions of the religious teachers they like the most. Few Seek God’s will by prayer and the study of his words given in the Scriptures.

"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17)

If we really seek to have God in your life and desire to follow God according to His instructions, then you need to read the Scriptures.

The early Church often referred to themselves as those who followed the Way. Paul refers to their way of life as "the way of the Lord" and "the way of God" (Acts 18:25-26). In other words, the early Christians who were directly taught by Christ's apostles, were recognized by their deeds and actions. Their godly way of life distinguished them from the society around them.

The way of life of the early Christians was called the Way because they lived the way Christ lived. In all things they sought out the will of the Father. They followed His example. They obeyed His instructions. The "Way" was then, and still is, a way of living and thinking that is profoundly different from that which is followed by the vast majority of the world today.

God expects much more from His followers than simply believing that Jesus is the Christ—the Messiah—and calling Him Lord. We need to surrender ourselves and actually allow Jesus to be our Lord. We need to allow Him to be the priority, the driving force in our life. God also requires that we change the way we live.

Our worship of God must be in our lives not just the first ½ hour of our Sunday worship services. Living "the Way of God" in all your life is true worship! 

O Death, Where is Your Sting?

He Is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! These are the words of Easter. These are the words that bring every Christian joy. It is our reason to celebrate.

There is a story of a young boy riding with his father on a country road. As they go along a bee flies in through the open window. The boy, deathly allergic, panics and terror runs through him like a lightening bolt. But as the bee flies near the father he reaches out his hand and grabs the bee. For a moment the boy is relieved and his fear subsides, only to immediately have his heart gripped in utter fear and disbelief as the bee escapes his father's grip! The father looks to the son and says "I am here for you", and opening his hand he reveals the stinger stuck within his own flesh.

The father turns to the young boy and says, "you don't need to be afraid any more, I have taken the sting for you."

By His resurrection Christ has taken the sting out of death. Death has been defeated. Christ is risen and in Him so are we. Death has no power over us. There is nothing to fear. The sting of death is gone. So now is the time to rejoice!!! In the resurrection of Christ death has been conquered, and the law has been fulfilled.

1 Corinthians 15:55-56 "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law"

Titus 2:11,14    "For the Grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own..."

Sometimes Prodigal

Luke 15:11-32 tell us of a father's love for his son, and in this story we are able to see how love is perceived in the eyes of each person mentioned. The true objective of the story is for us to look at our lives, see where we are, and realize the depth of love God the Father has for us and to see who we are to Him. This poem is a comment on our perspectives and the reality about our relationship with God.

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