Formations lesson for June 13: Worship Challenges Us : Friday, May 28, 2004
May 28 2004 by Linda Jones

Formations lesson for June 13: Worship Challenges Us : Friday, May 28, 2004
Friday, May 28, 2004

Formations lesson for June 13: Worship Challenges Us

By Linda Jones
Focal Passage: Jeremiah 7: 1-7

When Janet Fithian went to live at her farm as a bride, the rock was there ... just around the corner of the house. It was ugly, dull orange, about a foot in diameter and stuck up a couple of inches through the lawn. She asked if she could dig it out, but her husband replied," No it's always been there" Her father-in-law added: " It goes down pretty deep I reckon, my wife's family lived here since the Civil War. No one's ever got it out." So it stayed.

Her children were born, grew up and went away. Her father-in-law died and later her husband died. After mourning a while, Janet thought about fixing up the house. It would be healing for her. She thought about the southwest corner of the yard and the rock.

She went to the shed, got her shovel, wheelbarrow and heavy shoes. I might take all day but that rock was going to come out! Five minutes later, the rock was out. It had been about a foot deep and six inches wider than it looked from the top. She pried it loose with a crowbar and hoisted it onto the wheelbarrow. She was stunned. (Guideposts)

Are our lives stuck in place? Do we worship only on Sundays?

Jeremiah 7:2 says, "Hear the word of the Lord ..." Is the Lord saying something to you?

Change your ways

Do I see God active in my life? Do I hear him? Do I go to church, have the same friends, do the same things day after day and year after year? Like that rock, my perception is that my life is set. Could it be that I am supposed to change my ways?

God created us with a purpose in mind. "We are to be for the praise of His glory" (Ephesians 1:12). Every part of our lives should reveal who He is. That is His ultimate purpose for us and is true worship.

In Romans 12:1 we read, "I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice - the kind He will accept. When you think of what He has done for you, is this too much to ask?"

We live in a culture that teaches selfishness rather than self-sacrifice. Our culture urges us to conserve our time so we can have more energy to spend on ourselves. We are encouraged to accumulate things, not share them with others.

Incarnational living

God would like to use us to impact the world. Incarnational living: Christ living in me and through me, ministering to a needy but much loved world by God.

Can we say just as Jesus said, "The Spirit of the Lord is on Me because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor? He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" (Luke 4:18-19)?

True worship

Jeremiah taught that true worship of God must result in having God's heart of compassion and mercy for people.

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter - when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood" (Isa. 58:6-7)?

What about you? Do you see the powerless, the poor, the ill and the needy around you? Where has God placed you - at work, in your neighborhood? Who do you regularly see at the doctor's office, at the gas station? What have been your life experiences? What are your talents and abilities as well as your spiritual gifts? You are unique and God wants to use you right where you are. Open your heart to a new way of being used by God. He wants you to join Him.

5/28/2004 12:00:00 AM by Linda Jones | with 0 comments

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