Repentance & Worship

Worship to GodI have grown up over the years understanding both of these words in terms of my faith journey. Repentance is like step 1 to knowing the Lord. When I look at my life even now, I find myself needing to repent often. I also learned about worship at a pretty early age. My view of this concept as expanded over the years as I realize that I often worship more than God. I often worship myself. I choose me over Him way too often.

I was reading about when Hezekiah became king of Judah and he really wanted to follow God. On the first day of the first month of Hezekiah becoming king, he started to repair and restore the temple. He didn’t waste anytime. The people cleaning up and restoring the temple took 16 days and Hezekiah prepared a time of repentance and worship on the 17th day. Check this out…

27 Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. As the offering began, singing to the Lord began also, accompanied by trumpets and the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 The whole assembly bowed in worship, while the musicians played and the trumpets sounded. All this continued until the sacrifice of the burnt offering was completed.

29 When the offerings were finished, the king and everyone present with him knelt down and worshipped. (2 Chronicles 29:27-29 NIV)

I believe that repentance should happen pretty frequently. As I meander through my day, I sin quite often. It might be something stupid and seemingly insignificant. I see sin as “missing the mark”. I know that I’m not perfect and I miss the mark way too often. I’m so thankful for the Grace of God. He forgives me. He restores me and puts me back on my feet. I think it’s really pretty natural for worship to flow out of repentance. My heart is so thankful to be forgiven that I can’t help but say thanks. Worship is my hearts affection and my minds attention focused on the Lord. I don’t deserve to be in His Presence for worship, but He loves it when I come before Him with a heart of repentance and a heart for worship. This really should happen every day. I don’t need to go to church to repent or worship.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Profoundly Thankful

Thank You Blue MarkerI have experienced such thankfulness that I couldn’t find the right words to express my gratitude. I sometimes simply have to take a breath and gather my thoughts to try to say thank you as profoundly as I know how. A grateful heart is a healthy heart. I’m constantly learning that Lord has changed my heart in so many ways and it’s a good thing for sure.

David had finally moved the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and he prepared a huge celebration. I think he hosted a countrywide fellowship meal. He then wrote a song of thanks. Check this out….

23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth;

    proclaim his salvation day after day.

24 Declare his glory among the nations,

    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

25 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;

    he is to be feared above all gods.

26 For all the gods of the nations are idols,

    but the Lord made the heavens.

27 Splendor and majesty are before him;

    strength and joy are in his dwelling place.

28 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,

    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;

    bring an offering and come before him. (1 Chronicles 16:23-29 NIV)

I want to write a song like this for the Lord.

I want to sing a song like this for the Lord.

I want the Lord to see my grateful heart.

I believe a grateful heart toward the Lord also helps foster a grateful heart toward others. If I look hard enough, I can find something to be grateful for in the toughest of times. This morning I’m thankful for the sunrise, the morning for sure. I’m thankful for my family. I’m going to keep adding to my gratitude list for sure. Knowing the Lord had helped me learn profound thankfulness for sure.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Blessed & Humble

 

work hard stay humbleThere have been times when the Lord’s blessing on me where beyond my comprehension and understanding. I can’t always see the Hand of God because He’s often “multi-tasking” behind the scenes setting up more blessings. The Lord has placed upon my heart gratitude for the past several weeks. I’m just so grateful for His Presence and His Provision in my life.

The prophet Nathan came to David early on when He became King over Israel. He told David of a vision that the Lord had revealed to Him about David and his house for years to come. The word from Nathan absolutely blew David away. I love his response before the Lord. Check this out…

18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:

‘Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 19 And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant – and this decree, Sovereign Lord, is for a mere human!

20 ‘What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, Sovereign Lord. 21 For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant. (2 Samuel 7:18-21 NIV)

David sits before the Lord absolutely blessed and humble. I imagine that he can hardly come up with the words to adequately express his gratitude. This passage reinforced my desire to have a heart of gratitude to the Lord for His blessing upon my family and me. As I constantly pursue humility, the Lord reveals His blessings upon my life. I really believe that a lot of His blessings were already given, but in my arrogance and pride I didn’t notice them.

I have been really challenged lately with humility. I must keep a constant check on my heart and my attitude so that in humility I can serve the Lord and others. If I have talent, He gave it to me. If I have gifts, He gave them to me. If I have resources to share, He owns them all and He trusted me with them. The blessing of God upon my life blows me away. I want to sit in His Presence and start trying to count all the blessings He’s given to me.

I’ve been blessed lately by Tim McGraw’s new song “Humble & Kind”.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

More

 

MoreThere are times when I have enough, but I want more. I struggle with this when it comes to eating. I enjoy food and I’m not always willing to quit at enough. I struggle with this when it comes to money. I seem to always want more. I think there are times when more is a real improvement. For example, I can always find time to give more to others. I can give more money to the Lord and others. I can always love more than I do right now.

The kids of Joseph- Ephraim and Manasseh wanted more land. They were given quite a bit, but they didn’t think it was enough. Check this out…

14 The people of Joseph said to Joshua, ‘Why have you allotted us only one portion of land and one share for an inheritance? We are a numerous people, and the Lord has blessed us abundantly.’

17 But Joshua said to the tribes of Joseph – to Ephraim and Manasseh – ‘You are numerous and very powerful. You will have not only one portion of land allotted to you 18 but the forested hill country as well. Clear it, and its farthest limits will be yours; though the Canaanites have chariots fitted with iron and though they are strong, you can drive them out. (Joshua 17:14,17-18 NIV)

I think it’s a part of our human nature to want more. I’m not sure how this develops inside us, but I think all of us have a “selfish tendency” inside. I have to figure out how to keep that in check. I’m actually not sure I’m capable on my own.

I need the Lords help to become unselfish.

I need the Lords help to not want more all the time.

I need the Lords help to become more generous.

I need the Lords help to love more.

I need the Lords help to open up new opportunities of service even though it looks difficult.

I need to be thankful for what I’ve received. I need to stop whining about what I don’t have. I need to press on to expand my horizons and use my gifts to reach more people with influence on behalf of the Lord.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Big Blessing

 

Count Your BlessingsOver the years I’ve been blessed more than I deserve for sure. I am so thankful for my big family. I have multitudes of dear friends and acquaintances that have blessed my life in so many ways. I have been blessed with possessions as well. I can’t possibly count all of my blessings.

The past 10 years or so have been a bit different though. I don’t remember the date when I decided to get up early to spend time with the Lord in His Word. This one decision has changed my perspective on everything else. He continues to speak into my life and shape my heart every day as I set aside this time to hear from Him.

This morning I read how important obedience is to the Lord. He wants my commitment to follow His plans, respect His boundaries – to trust Him with the every day choices. Check this out…

8 The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

9 The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. (Deuteronomy 28:8-9 NIV)

I will have to do battle with my sinful nature for as long as I live. I will often choose what I want over what He wants. I will choose my way over His way. I want to keep His commands and walk in obedience before Him.

I’m so thankful that His Spirit in me convicts and leads me back to His way.

I’m so thankful for His patience with me.

I’m so thankful for His mercy and grace.

I’m speechless to try to thank Him for His Love.

I am such a blessed man. I feel like I have the blessing of God all over my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Reinstate

This word carries with it “restoration of a person or people to their former position or condition”. It also implies that there was a time when the person of people were taken out or removed from this certain position of place. God had punished His people significantly for their disobedience and irresponsible behavior. He is now rolling out the plan to return them to their position of prominence and power as His chosen people. Check this out….

6 ‘I will strengthen Judah

    and save the tribes of Joseph.

I will restore them

    because I have compassion on them.

They will be as though

    I had not rejected them,

for I am the Lord their God

    and I will answer them. (Zechariah 10:6 NIV)

I believe that the Lord wants to reinstate me and restore me no matter how far away I’ve strayed from Him. His Grace is ridiculous and unlimited. He wants me to follow Him. He wants me to trust Him. He wants me to hold on to Him. He wants me to pursue His heart.

I have been far away from the Lord. I have even been far away when I appeared to be close to Him. Walking with the Lord is deeply personal and private. I can fake it with others, but He knows my heart. He knows me like no one else. He knows my secret thoughts and sins. The amazing thing He restores and reinstates me while erasing my sin. He loves me with a love that is hard to comprehend and sometimes understand because it is not deserved. I deserve punishment and strong consequences yet I receive grace and love that is crazy ridiculous. Wow! #thankful

Pressing On!

Dwayne