What is worship? Christian Worship is the love and allegiance and honor that we give to Jesus Christ. Worship is being happy and secure in Christ alone.
Worship is a personal encounter with the living God. One of the clearest biblical definitions of worship comes from Colossians 3—
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Colossians 3:16–17)
Worship starts with the “word of Christ,” the Bible. If it’s not based on the Bible, it’s not worship.
Read Making Our Worship Christ-Centered
Pharaoh’s hard heart had blinded him to the fact that everyone around him wanted the Israelites to leave. They evidently saw his policy of keeping the Israelites as slaves as misguided and foolish (compare with Exodus 8:19; 9:20; 10:7).
Did the Egyptians want the Israelites to leave because of fear of destruction, or because they had come to see that the Israelites had a right to be free? Certainly fear had something to do with it; they would have wanted the plagues to stop.
But we also can see that “the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians,” so it’s very likely that they had come to see the cause of the Israelites as right and just.
Read: The Beginning Of The Final Plague
We all know that our hearts are critical to keeping us alive, and not just alive, but able to enjoy life. We also know that certain foods can cause blockages and heart disease. Put those two things together and that’s why you hear a lot about heart-healthy lifestyle these days.
You can pick up a box of cereal and find the proclamation that it’s part of a “heart-healthy diet.” Bags of potato chips are careful to declare that they have “Zero Trans-fats” in their chips. We are told, rightly, that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables.
But as important as a heart-healthy diet is for our physical ticker, it’s even more important to be considering the effect of your lifestyle on your spiritual heart.
Read: Guard Your Heart
I was born and raised in Montana. When I was a teenager, I couldn’t wait to leave home. I wanted to leave the small town; I wanted to leave Montana. I wanted to be in charge of my own life.
My first attempt to leave lasted two months, but when I came back, I had my own apartment and my own job. I lived the way I wanted too. I kept the hours I liked.
My next attempt got me out of Montana for fourteen years. I lived in places like Seattle, North Dakota, Michigan, and Minnesota. I built my own life.
But a funny thing happened after Tami, my wife, and I started having kids. Montana started to appeal to me again. Every year, when we came out to visit Grandpa and Grandma, Tami and I would being driving by some small Montana town and say, “It’d be nice to live there.”
And it so happened, back in 2005, I came home to Montana. What story in the Bible does that remind you of? That’s right, the Prodigal Son.
Read The Prodigal Son
While mothers are vital in helping their children’s spiritual growth, the Bible plainly puts the burden of spiritual leadership on us fathers:
4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
How are we to obey the last part of that verse? Fathers, how do we bring up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? Our main text for today is Deuteronomy 6:5-9. How can a father be a good spiritual leader for his family?
Read How Does A Father Lead Spiritually?
I don’t think I have ever worried about the number of members of the church. As a matter of fact, I would rather have fewer, committed members than to have a large membership. Why?
The first church I ever attended had a membership roll of maybe two or three hundred people, but only 50-60 coming on Sunday mornings. Looking back on that, I have to wonder how many of those people were even true believers.
What does the Bible say about what a church member should look like?
Read The Marks Of A Faithful Church Member
A few weeks ago, we traveled out to Park River, ND to spend some time with Tami’s mother. Coming back, we left in the evening and so drove about half the way in the dark. There was a full moon out, so it was my favorite kind of night to drive, you could almost drive without headlights on.
As we travelled west of Dickinson, ND, we came upon an oil drilling rig. There was no missing this thing at night! Lights on towers lit up the entire rig and the fields beyond with the unnatural glare of white light in the night.
Man had turned the night into a day that enabled them to keep working even at the midnight hour. I have marveled at the thought that darkness doesn’t concern the human race much any longer.
We have conquered, in many ways, physical darkness, even while we plunge deeper into spiritual darkness.
Pharaoh, on the other hand, was about to experience both kinds of darkness.
Read The Ninth Plague: Darkness