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Archive for the ‘Lent…Tools of Worship’ Category

We are at the end of a week with Daily Devotionals talking about tools of worship.   We women have so many tools that are unique just to women.   I can think of more than a few.  Tenderness, “woman’s intuition,” multitasking, seeing needs in others through the eyes of a woman, to name a few.  Sure men have some of these tools or even all of them, but they are applied much differently from the viewpoint of a woman.

My kids asked me the other day why I always like the crusty corners of the casseroles for dinner.  I don’t, but I have never thought to take the best for myself and leave the “crusty corners” for my family.

So many women in the Bible took the “crusty corners” too.  They sacrificed and gave their best to others.

Luke 8:1-3 tells us this,  “ Now it came to pass afterward, that [Jesus] went through every city and village, preaching and bringing glad tidings of the kingdom of God.  And the twelve were with Him, and certain women…Mary called Magdalene…Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household, Susanna, and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

Joanna and Susanna are not common women but they are self-sacrificing.  They followed Jesus from one village to another to help out Jesus and the disciples.  They supported Him out of their own means.  Mary Magdalene was there helping and serving too.  Jesus had sent demons out of her and she was there to worship Him in the way she knew how.  Sacrificial Service.  Giving of herself.  She was enjoying the “crusty corners.”  She was giving her best to Jesus.

During Lent this year, let’s enjoy some “crusty corners” together.  Let’s give ourselves as a sacrifice to the service to God and worship Him with giving Him our best.

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There was a time in the early days of the church that needs were not being met for a certain group of widows. The leaders needed to act, and Acts  6:3-5 tells us the solution they arrived at:  “…seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.”

There were needs out there to be met.  People were hungry.  There were widows that didn’t have the care of a husband anymore.  The disciples chose men from among them that were full of wisdom and the Spirit and gave them the honor and responsibility to care for these precious women.  What did the other disciples do?  The ones that were not given that responsibility?  They gave their attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word.  Again, as we talked about in yesterdays devotional, people doing different things but doing them as acts of worship to God.

There are the same needs today.  People are hungry.  Widows need to be cared for.  Attention to prayer and ministry of the Word is still a necessity.

Worship, according to dictionary.com means “adoring reverence.”  Can we adore God while providing a practical need just as well as if we are praying and in the Scripture?  We were all given different gifts, different spiritual tools with which to worship. Enjoy adoring God today with the spiritual gift He has given you.

*For further study, below is a list of some of the spiritual tools of worship used by various women in Scripture:

Service:  Luke 4:38,39

Proclamation:  Luke 2:36-38

Instruction:  Acts 18:24-28

Encouragement:  John 4:28-30

Giving:  Luke 21:2-4

Administration:  Judges 4:4-14

Mercy:  Acts 9:36-42

Wisdom:  Luke 1:46-56

Knowledge:  I Samuel 2:1-10

Faith:  Matthew 15:21-28

Discernment:  I Samuel 25:2-42

Evangelism:  Acts 21:9

Hospitality:  John 12:1,2

*This list is paraphrased from The Woman’s Study Bible, Nelson Publishing, page 1916.  II Corinthians 12 also is a good reference for spiritual gifts.

 

 

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I have a daughter that loves to sing.  One song.  Over and over again.  Same little chorus, same little voice, and by the 23rd time through I am happy when she says she would just like to listen to the radio now.  A welcome change from the exact same thing over and over.   I don’t think God would ever think like that, but He did create us all with different talents. He didn’t want robots singing the same song in the same voice over and over again as the only kind of worship.

God knows what skills, talents and abilities we have.  He is the creator of those abilities.   Exodus 31:3 says this,

“And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts.”

God is not expecting us to worship with someone else’s talent.    It took me a while to “get” that concept.  I would watch and listen to the worship team at church lead us in singing on Sunday morning and I would think that I just couldn’t worship like they did, to sing and praise Him publicly.  Then God showed me that the talents He’s given me are mine to worship with.  I need to be able to give God the glory with what I can do.

How can you use “practical” talents to worship?  Easy!  Do it all with the Glory of God in mind.  Do your best just for Him.What are you good at?  What is your talent?  Is it singing?  Is it painting a room?  Is it organization?  Is it child care?  Is it cleaning?  Is it hospitality?  God gave us as women such a vast array of talents.  We can use any one of them to worship God.  Sing to the Lord!  Organize while praising!  Have people over, cook a meal and bake dessert all for the purpose of giving God the praise.  Take your talents and serve at church.  The church needs all sorts of practical talents just to make it run and the added bonus of doing good for the glory of God will make it an awesome worship experience for you AND the others you bless with your talent.

 

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I want to worship you O God with pure gifts.  Not something left over or that had another use.  I want to worship you with things that are solely for your Glory.

Mary came before the Son of God this way.  Every one thought she was crazy for pouring expensive, pure perfume on Jesus’ feet.

“Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume;  she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair.  And the whole house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” John 12:3

Mary was far from crazy.  She was worshiping God.  She came to him with a gift and an act that was selfless and wonderful.

She didn’t come that day to listen to Him speak, or sit at his feet and soak in what she wanted.  She didn’t come to pray or be comforted like she did when He rose Lazarus, her brother from the dead.  She didn’t even come to fellowship with the disciples although it sure would have been fun.

She came specifically to pour out expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet.  Perfume she had been saving for this very moment as a sign of respect and worship.  While she is doing this she isn’t listening to the gasps or snickers from those around her she is simply worshiping Him.

Do we save our very best for God or are we giving Him what is leftover or stuff that was never intended for God in the first place?

Let’s worship with our best!

 

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She walked into the temple and placed her small amount into the offering.  One mite, than another.  It was all she had.  It was nothing compared to what the men before her had brought in, more money than she could dream of.    She must have thought that her gift wasn’t anything that would even be noticed.  She did love God though.  She knew that He gave her what she had.  She gave. Placed her money in.  All that she had.  She gave a lavish gift to her God.  (Mark 12:41-44)

It was the humble, quiet gift of the poor widow that impressed the Son of God.

“I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything–all she had to live on.” Mark 12:43

She didn’t have the same “tools” to worship that those rich men did.  She knew God had given her a tool of worship though, and she used it.  She lavished what she had on her God.

Worship with what you have.

God has given to us different tools of worship.  Money is one of them.  We all have it, in different amounts of course.  Giving sacrificially, humbly, quietly and willingly is a great act of worship.

I have been challenged by this passage to worship with my tool of money.  Do I just give off of the surplus I have each week or am I using the tool God gave me to truly worship Him?  Do I lavish Him with what he deserves?  I challenge you to do the same.

 

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