Monday, December 6, 2010

Praising God

“Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29

This is the place where the king lives; “king” and “dom”. Where does Our King live? He lives in our hearts (1 Cor 12:9; your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you).

When we gave our lives to Jesus Christ, He gave us His Kingdom, we are heirs to the throne and if we overcome (as we read in Revelations 3:21) we will sit on this throne. So whenever we overcome sin and temptations, we are given the right to sit on the throne with God. Doesn’t this make us grateful? We who don’t deserve anything, God has given us the opportunity to sit at the right hand of God, all we have to do is avoid temptations.

Imagine the queen coming to New Zealand and as she is driving in her car, waving, she stops the car and says, “Hayley, come here, I want you to sit with me today.” Won’t I feel honoured and humbled and ready to say thank you? Imagine Donald Trump coming and saying, “the next apprentice will earn $500,000 and I have chosen Hayley”. Donald Trump who is capable of choosing anyone and he wants me who have nothing to offer him. I’ll be amazed. Or imagine Simon Cowell saying, “I have chosen Hayley to inherit all my money and riches” or Oprah Winfrey saying, “You are my new best friend, you are going to come and live with me and travel with me and be on the cover of my magazine”. It will be a surprise because we haven’t done anything to deserve it. We will be so thankful and grateful to receive these gifts and glory without having done anything.

So let’s really give God the praise He deserves because He has taken us out of the world and darkness and brought us His Kingdom and He lives in our hearts and so long as we overcome temptation, we have the right to sit on His throne.

“receive a kingdom”
Let’s pray for the Holy Spirit today, let’s pray we will receive the Kingdom of God here today and let’s pray for the Spirit to lead us and guide us as we worship God and thank Him and praise Him. Let’s ask the Spirit to remind us of all that God has done for us so we can make sure God is thanked and glorified and not taken for granted.

“which cannot be shaken”

When I think of the word, “shaken”, I think of earthquakes. A building that can withstand an earthquake is like the Kingdom of God, everything else around it can fall apart but God’s Kingdom keeps standing and it doesn’t matter how we feel and it doesn’t even matter if we believe it, because God can’t be shaken, no matter what. If we are in that Kingdom, then we are safe (in the same way we are safe in a building that withstands earthquakes) from all attacks, all situations, all problems. If the building can’t be moved, then neither can we.

So let’s pray against all evil spirits now remembering that the Kingdom of God cannot be shaken, or moved by satan. Let’s pray tiredness won’t shake us today, let’s pray sickness won’t shake us today, let’s pray fear or doubts or negative thoughts won’t shake us today, let’s pray….

A feeling of being grateful to someone for what they have done or given you. What do we have to be thankful for…..

- He died for us
- He forgives us
- He provides for us, comforts us, guides us, protects us, listens to us and answers us
- His perfect plan being fulfilled in us

“Acceptable service”
The best way to show God how grateful we are is to serve Him. We can use our mouths but that means nothing if it’s not backed up with our actions. Once a very good friend of mine told me I was her very close and good friend but behind my back she completely betrayed me. Being betrayed by a friend is worse than someone saying, “I hate you” and then betraying you because you expect it but when our friends betray us, it’s hard. So let’s keep that in mind when we go about our daily lives, ask ourselves, “is what I’m doing acceptable?”

Let’s thank God today because we have been meeting together on Wednesdays, Sundays, fasting, praying, encouraging one another and God found it acceptable and we are really privileged to be a part of that work. God also gave us gifts and talents and abilities and we can really praise God because we have used them for His glory. If you know you could have done better, that’s ok, just make a decision to do better next year but today let’s thank God for what He achieved through us. E.g. every third Sunday, every person has a role and everybody fulfils it and nobody needs a title, people do their role with humility and zeal.

“With reverence”
Godly fear. Often we fear people but we don’t fear God. We often worry about what others will think of us but we don’t worry about what God will think of us. Everyone will have different experiences of that. For myself, I often fear what people will think of me if I tell them about Jesus but I should only fear God who said to go and make disciples.

Respect and admiration combined with fear because “Our God is a consuming fire”.

Dan 2:44, God is a consuming fire and He is a jealous God
2 Thess 1:7, He’s coming down with His angels with fire
Heb 10:27,31, He’s bringing judgement and fire will consume the adversaries and it’s a terrifying thing to fall at the hands of God

God can consume us in an instant (He is so powerful) and so we must fear Him. Without fear we can’t understand or appreciate what we have or what we have been saved from.

Praise God for who He is (a consuming fire)

Kind, good, gracious, powerful, peaceful, forgiving….

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