Thanks, Praise and Worship

Thanks, Praise and Worship

Man is essentially a worshipping creature. It is part of his nature. His choice is not whether he will worship, but only whom he will worship. In the Scriptures, God demands his worship. He will not share our worship with anyone or anything else.

Thanksgiving, praise, and worship should be compared to the three areas of the Tabernacle of Moses. The Outer Court represents thanksgiving; the Holy Place represents praise; and the Holy of Holies represents worship.

According to Psalm 100, we enter His gates with thanksgiving. Thanksgiving relates to what God has done. As come to the Outer Court of the temple preparing ourselves to enter the Holy of Holies, we begin with a recounting of what the Lord has done. This involves much action of the body. It involves the raising of the hands. Perhaps the clapping of the hands, a loud voice, excitement, and the exuberance that marks the beginning of our approach to the Lord.

We move then to the Holy Place where we offer up praise. Praise is a function of the will which is represented by the Table of Showbread in the Holy Place. It also flows out of an enlightened mind which is represented by the Golden Candlestick. A mind set on fire by the Holy Spirit, enlightened by the power of the prayer language. Praise like that is as a sweet-smelling fragrance, aroma from the golden altar of incense, representing our emotion.

First, we choose (will ourselves) to praise God, then we sanctify our minds through the power of the Spirit. Eventually our emotions take over and bring us through the veil into the presence of God in worship. When we come to that final act of worship it is the divine invitation of the Lord Himself that draws us within the veil.

No man can program himself for worship. It is an act of the will to thank God, it is an act of the will to praise God. It is an act of God’s will to invite us into His presence as we worship. It is only when our relationship with God is consummated in worship that we truly feel that we are where He is, and He is where we are.

In John 4:23, Jesus says that “true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeks such to worship him.” It is an amazing fact that God seeks people who will worship Him. The great God of the Universe takes note of the humble men and women who choose to worship Him. No matter what you are going through today, choose to give thanksgiving, praise, and worship to God. I promise you will not regret it.

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Have you ever made a connection between your own act of worship and the three areas of the Tabernacle of Moses? The Bible leaves no stone unturned. Knowing people, who are by nature worshippers, would need to understand how to worship in a manner pleasing and acceptable to God, He gave Moses very clear instructions.

How about we practice worshipping together, according to the pattern of the Old Testament Tabernacle?

First, we enter his Gates with thanksgiving.

God, thank you for ___________. (You fill in the blank.)

Thank you for the wonders of creation–the sunrise, the gentle breeze, the chirpping birds.

Thank you for seeing us through difficulties of the past.

Keep giving thanks. This is an act of the will. We choose to give thanks.

After thanking God at His Gates, we are invited to move into the Holy Place and give Him praise. The Holy Place contains the Table of Showbread, which symbolizes God’s everlasting covenant with His people and His continual provision for their needs. Go ahead and give God praise right now for this unbreakable covenant He has established with you. Praise God for His eternal promises.

After a period of time, our emotions will begin to catch up with our choice to give thanks and praise. Do you sense now God’s invitation to draw closer? Do you hear his loving invitation into His presence, into the most holy place, the Holy of Holies? This is where we all long to be, in the presence of God, the great God of the Universe.

Our Abba Father God longs to welcome us into his presence. When we follow His instructions, we’ll find our way to his throne. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Scripture Meditation

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations. Psalm 100 NKJV

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. John 4:23 NKJV

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16

Praise and Worship

The Blood of Jesus

The Blood of Jesus

What happened to the blood of Jesus after he was crucified?  Why is His blood so powerful today?  Hebrews 9:12 gives us an answer.  “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”

After Jesus died, this verse indicates there was a time when He ascended to God the Father and brought His blood into the Holy of Holies before God in Heaven.  He placed His own blood on the altar before God.  That blood is still there today, as freshly slain as it was 2,000 years ago when Jesus Christ died on the cross.  That is an objective theological fact.  The blood of Jesus Christ is on the altar before God.  It is that blood that cleanses me from sin.

Now, it is one thing for me to understand that fact, but I still have a subjective problem.  I need the blood applied every day to my address where I live.  Today I need to know the cleansing action of the blood by faith.  How do I make this happen?

In Revelation 12:11, the Bible says the believers overcame the Devil by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Our testimony is like the hyssop the Children of Israel used to apply the blood of an innocent lamb to their doorposts to save them from the death angel.  Our testimony must take what the Word says about the blood on a daily basis and apply it to the doorpost of our lives spiritually. We must declare before the Devil, before God, and before ourselves what the blood does for us.  In this way, the ongoing work of the blood becomes a faith reality to us, and we can live in the power of that blood.

It is at this point that praise and worship becomes necessary.  It is impossible to declare the power of the blood of Jesus in your life without sensing a spirit of praise rise up on the inside of you.  Praise to God is released by a sense of righteousness that comes through the cleansing of the blood.

A consistent daily declaration and testimony concerning the blood will invariably move you into the area of praise.  I have found it so helpful to sing choruses that declare my righteousness through the blood of Jesus.  As I sing these choruses daily, I reinforce and testify to myself and particularly to the accuser that I truly am righteous.

We need more songs concerning the blood.  We need more songs concerning our righteousness.  Our daily testimony concerning the blood can be done so easily in the form of a praise chorus.  May God reveal to you the power of the blood. Then may your praise through the blood, pull down the Devil’s strongholds in your life.

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Making It Personal

The word “stronghold” coupled with “Devil” is a hefty statement.

A stronghold is a “fortified place, a place of security or survival, a place dominated by a particular group or marked by a particular characteristic.” In Bible terms, a stronghold is a negative pattern of living or believing (aka sin) that is impossible to change without God’s help. This could be a recurring, habitual sin (iniquity) like lying, cheating, stealing, gossip, gluttony, adultery, etc. Or, even patterns steming from one’s mental health such as racing thoughts, anxiety, depression, ideas of suicide. It is also a point in one’s life where the accuser, the Devil, is able to manipulate, blame, heap shame and guilt…anything to separate us from the One who has the power to liberate. Strongholds are like prisons, fortified under the Devil’s control. The blood of Jesus is our only defense and way to experience freedom from strongholds.

Take a few moments before going any further to ask the Holy Spirit to show you any stronghold that is impossible to change by your own effort. You may be a very strong Christian man or woman, yet struggle with judgmental attitudes, pride or self-dependency. Ask the Holy Spirit to examine your life, to reveal what and how He sees you, his child. When He shows you something that is hard, respond with worship, thanking God for the blood of Jesus that covers you and is the only power strong enough to free you of these strongholds…once and for all, permanently. Linger with the Lord, wait patiently for Him, until you feel the strongholds crumble in your life. Amen and amen. Praise the name of Jesus!

Scripture Meditation

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. Ephesians 1:7

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7 NKJV

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. Romans 5:9 NKJV

Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:12 NKJV

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Revelation 12:11 NKJV

Praise & Worship

The Name of Jesus

The Name of Jesus

In Acts 3, Peter and John had gone up to the temple at the hour of prayer, which was approximately three o’clock in the afternoon. There was a lame man lying at the gate of the temple. He begged for money from Peter and John as they came in.

Peter looked at the lame man, and said to him, “Look at us.” He looked at them expecting them to give him something. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you:”. Peter knew that he had something to give the man. He said, “I have something, and what I have I am going to give you.”

Then he said, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Peter gave the man what he had, and what he had was the Name of Jesus. And as soon as Peter spoke, he took the man by the right hand and lifted him up and his legs were healed.

Peter makes it very clear how the lame man was healed. He was healed with the weapon of the Name of Jesus. Peter used the weapon of Jesus’ Name when he looked at the man bound with a stronghold of lameness. Then he had to reemphasize this truth to the crowd and tell them that it was the Name of Jesus; faith in the Name of Jesus that had made the man strong.

When you see the awe and the respect Peter had for the Name of Jesus, you begin to realize that the Name meant something very special to the early church. They did what they had to do for God in the authority of the Name.

Praise and worship should play a vital part in the life of the believer in relationship to the Name of Jesus. Praise will lead us into the mighty revelation of God concerning the Name of Jesus. Hebrews 13:15 says that we are to offer a sacrifice of praise to God continually.

A sacrifice involves something that is difficult to do. When things are going wrong, we are to offer a sacrifice of praise, we are to do it continually, every day of our lives. The praise that we offer should be offered verbally, it should be offered by our lips, it should be spoken out loud.

How do we give that praise? We give thanks to His Name. That is what praise is. Praise is giving honor to the Name. Praise and worship are inextricably tied up with the power of the Name of Jesus. The sacrifice of praise will lead us into a mighty revelation of Jesus’ Name.

There are many believers who are weeping bitterly in the midnight of disease, financial bondage, divorce, and temptation. The Name of Jesus is the answer for us today. I pray that God will give to you a powerful revelation of Jesus’ Name as your weapon.

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Scripture says the name of Jesus is a strong tower, a place of safety. When all else fails, speak the name of Jesus. Begin and end every prayer in the name of Jesus.

Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. What does it mean to “be saved”? John 20:31 says, “But all that is recorded (in scripture) is so you will fully believe Jesus is the Anointed One, the Son of God, and through your faith in him you will experience eternal life by the power of his name.”

Jesus commissioned his disciples, under the influence and power of the Holy Spirit, to preach the message of the forgiveness of sins. This is what it means to be saved and to experience eternal life…to receive forgiveness for every sin you have ever committed.

If you have not yet walked through the steps of salvation, here is a very simple prayer to speak aloud and to believe in your heart. You may have drifted away from the Lord. This prayer is for you as well.

“God, I come to you in the name of Jesus. My sin has separated me from you, but you made a way through Jesus to forgive me. The best I can do as an imperfect human being is to sin. The best you could have done as the perfect God and creator of all, is to send your son as a final sacrifice for my sins. In Jesus is forgiveness, eternal life, and a brand new life for me here on earth. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for healing me. Thank you for calling me into your family. Thank you for giving me purpose and hope. In the name of Jesus. Amen.”

Scripture Meditation

Faith in Jesus’ name has healed this man standing before you. It is the faith that comes through believing in Jesus’ name that has made the crippled man walk right in front of your eyes! Acts 3:16

And now you must repent and turn back to God so that your sins will be removed, and so that times of refreshing will stream from the Lord’s presence. Acts 3:19

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:15 NKJV

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ Acts 2:21

…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Praise & Worship

The Word of God

The Word of God

In 2 Corinthians 10, Paul says, “Our weapons are mighty to pull down strongholds.” What weapons is he referring to? Obviously from the context of the verse, he is talking about offensive weaponry. Every believer at one time or another in his life has to ask himself, “What weapons has God given me that will be effective in pulling down the strongholds of the Devil in my life?”

There are three primary weapons God has given to every believer. They have an intrinsic power in them that is generated by the Holy Spirit. The first of these three weapons is: The Word of God.

The Bible declares itself to be the Word of God. However, there are also many portions of Scripture that refer to Jesus Christ as the Word of God. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Christ is the living Word of God; the Scripture is the written Word of God. It is impossible to overemphasize the power of God’s Word in the life of the believer. John 14:23 says, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”

Our attitude toward God must be the same toward His Word. We can never say that we love God more than we love His Word. If you want to know how much God means in your life, then examine the place you’ve given His Word in your life. God means as much to you as His Word means to you; just that and no more.

But the Scripture claims power for itself. In John 6:63, Jesus said, “…the words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” There is a working of the Word of God. There is an innate spiritual energy. There is a power from God that makes the Word a weapon that you and I are to use. There is life in God’s Word. There is spirit. It is active. It is more powerful than a two-edged sword.

When you sing God’s Word, you bring supernatural life to your world. His Word will not return void, and his Word can conquer any stronghold in your life!

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Make It Personal

As a Christian, we depend upon the Word of God. The complete revelation of God, the Bible, is our daily bread, our guide through life, and the anchor for our souls. We would all fall away from faith in Christ if not for His Word.

What scriptures have you read today? Better yet, what scriptures have you read and prayed today? The Bible isn’t only for preachers to use in Sunday sermons. It is for you, today, to guide your decisions, build your faith in God, inspire your dreams.

Scripture Meditation

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 (NKJV)

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (NKJV)

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63 (NKJV)

Word of God by Vertical Worship

Thought Attacks

Thought Attacks

When the Lord impressed upon me the words of 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, immediately, I saw that strongholds were the major stumbling blocks of God’s people. It was not difficult for me to believe that strongholds could include physical disease, spiritual oppression, temptation, financial bondage, and relational difficulties in marriage and family.

One day, it suddenly occurred to me that the strongholds that Paul talked about in verse 4 were further described in verse 5. Evil imaginations and every high or proud thing that exalts itself against God could be strongholds. Then Paul says we are to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Paul was describing thoughts as strongholds.

Suddenly it became clear. Satan had been operating in my life by establishing a stronghold based on a thought system. There is no doubt in my mind that the modus operandi of Satan’s kingdom is to create strongholds in our lives by the manipulation of our thought life.

David knew what he was talking about when he said, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes” (Ps. 101:3); he knew the secret of guarding his mind. He also said, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord” (Ps. 19:14). The meditations of our heart, our thought life, should be acceptable to God.

The area of our thoughts is both the first and final battlefield. The warfare is in the mind before it goes to other areas. It’s amazing in a practical sense to see how the Devil works against us on a day-by-day basis.

Over the years I have seen Christians endure violent attacks in their mind and body. The Devil tells them that their loving, heavenly Father sent the sickness. He tells them they must suffer patiently and be faithful for this is God’s doing. This is nothing but a lie from hell!

We do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but we wrestle with principalities, powers, and strongholds in the heavenlies. When we praise and worship God, we attack the strongholds in our lives and in the lives of other believers. When we do this, we will see physical manifestations here on the earth. We will see people healed and delivered. We will see homes healed. We will see tremendous manifestations of healing in marriage, and in every other area where people are bound.

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Every human being ought to be able relate to the message of today’s devotional. In our minds is where spiritual battles are fought and won. It is where we choose to believe what scripture says, or to not believe.

Revelation 10:12 describes Satan as the “accuser of the brethern”. He masterfully accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath, falsely claiming to be God, etc. to discredit his ministry.

What accusations do you hear? Which ones do you entertain? How do you combat thoughts that set themselves up against (and contrary to) the word of God?

Praise and worship tears down strongholds in our thinking and keeps us from entertaining demonic accusations. It is absolutely vital to winning the battles in our minds.

Have you spent even five minutes of your day praising and worshiping God? If not, stop now and play the song below. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise!

Scripture Meditation

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 (NKJV)

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

Praise & Worship

Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble sung by Sean Feucht