Scripture calls them wise, but behind their knowledge was curiosity, a desire to: know learn discover. Which came first? I’m not sure which came first; seeing the star or seeing the prophecy. I don’t know if the brillant sign in the dark sky drove them to search for the why behind it’s arrival or […]
Granny, just plain Granny, was a character we all, staff and kids alike, loved. I was in charge of the children’s ministry and Shirley was the pianist, lover of kids and my partner in everything that went on in Children’s Ministry. Shirley decided to stretch herself by developing a grandma costumed character. Granny was the […]
They teach me. I’m surprised at how often my grandchildren are the teachers and I’m the student. Both Brayden and Ashlyn were excited to be spending the night with us. Karyn wasn’t coming with us, so I opened her door first to give her a hug. Ashlyn’s voice from the back seat greeted me even […]
With an elevation of 20, 237 feet, Mt. Mckinley is the highest mountain peak in North America. Our highest elevation, east of the Mississippi river is in the Appalachian Mountains. It is Mt. Mitchell at 6,683. That means Mt. McKinley’s summit is 3 times our highest peak. You would think with a summit that high, you […]
Like a bee, he followed his nose to the source of the sweet fragrance. The bushy-like orange tree was almost as glorious as the fragrance from the blooms. Vibrant orange balls hung like ornaments on the branches covered with emerald green leaves and beautiful white flowers.Wayne brought a fresh orange inside and handed it to […]
I got my socks blown off last week (I lose more socks that way!) and it wasn’t even my fault. I was cleaning the kitchen, Praise the Lord! Might as well do some praising, it doesn’t do any good to grumble about dirty dishes, especially since the food was good and it wasn’t even burned this time. Beside that, praising God makes everything better, but I digressed.
You know me. I’ve got to do more than one thing at a time, that’s why I burn everything. So, while I washed dishes I was listening to Bryan Jarrett. I love that man. Listening to him is like trying to drink from a fire hydrant! Honestly, in the first five minutes of that sermon my faith was ignited and my socks went missing. Most of the time I skip the introduction and go right for the meat of the sermon. But even his first five minutes was riveting. I had to listen again and again.
If you have my Prayer Object Lesson Kit for Kids you know I love the verse in Psalms 34:3 KJV “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” If you’ve ever played with a magnifying glass you understand that it allows you to focus and analyze more clearly what you are seeing. Worship causes us to stop and focus on the nature and wonders of God. It is a powerful way to move into God’s presence to experience the wonder of who He is.
Pastor Jarrett expounded on this verse. Magnify means make bigger. Yet our worship cannot make God bigger. God is already big, really BIG. So big in fact that it take a universe that spans the distance of billions of light years to reflect His glory. God is immeasurable. God is unfathomable. But if we can’t make God bigger, why does the Psalms tell us to magnify God.
Listen to his explanation: “Our worship does not change the nature of God. Worship changes the perspective of the worshiper. When the Psalmist says come magnify the Lord, He was not saying ‘Come make God bigger’. He was inviting you into a mind shift, a perspective shift where you right size your God, and in the process of right sizing your God you right size your mountain. You right size your difficulty. You right size your perspective.”
Wow! When our perspective is right, we understand God is big and our problems are little. That’s the kind of perspective that turns a youth into a giant killer. It turns a fiery furnace into a revival center where you dance and praise God. It turns a lion’s den into a place to catch up on your rest.
Bro. Jarrett explains there are two methods of magnification:
1.A microscope takes something small and make it bigger, so we can see what it looks like and examine it more closely.
2. A telescope takes something enormous, but because it is so far away we can’t see what it looks little. So the telescope makes it look bigger so we can see what it looks like; so we can be awed by its splendor and beauty. Like the pictures taken from the Hubble Telescope.
Bro. Jarret explains that God is not little. And because God is so big, our praise is like a telescope. The church is like a magnificent observatory filled with telescopes. When we begin to praise God, it gives us a lens to focus on God and see more clearly what He is like. Our praise focuses our attention on Him and brings Him into our view so we can see more clearly what He is like.
Magnify enables us to take something big, like a star that is much bigger than the Earth, pull it closer, so we can analyse it and see it in all its glory for what it really is. Our worship magnifies Him by bringing his presence near. Our worship gives us the opportunity to study, feel and experience and know God for Who He is. Worship is the lens that allows us to see how wonderful, powerful and glorious He really is. Worship brings His presence near.
He also quoted from the classic sermon of Dr. S.M. Lockridge. It is one of the most powerful sermons ever given. I’ve listened to it dozens of times, and every time I am moved to tears and worship! He paints a graphic word picture of Christ our King, Redeemer and Savior. Here’s the link to the audio with slides of this amazing sermon entitled That’s My King
Listen to Bro. Jarrett’s sermon. Even if you only have 10 minutes, you’ll be blessed. http://northplacechurch.com/resources/watch/ Select Incomparable/Magnify Don’t forget to take off your sock first though.
And if you haven’t read his book, Extravagant, run, better yet, take the car and get to the Bible book store or Christian Book Distributors online and get his book! It will bless you. Great book!!!
There have been many times that I’ve opened the drain in the bottom of the bathtub,then instructed one of my children to get out of the tub. Often I gathered them in my arms, wrapping them in a soft towel, while rubbing them dry and hugging them all at the same time. Sometimes they would lean over the tub and watch a red and yellow boat swirl in the harmless vortex that was created as the water drained from the tub. And sometimes, I’ve watched with them as one of their little toys, made it’s way down the drain before I could grab it. Sorry, Wayne I know that’s how drains get stopped up. There must be something fun about watching things whirl and swirl down the drain, because so many kids do it, including my grandkids. Sometimes they’ve flushed big things, but that’s another story for another day.
But there’s nothing fun about listening to the gurgle or watching people whirl in the vortex of fear and stress from life’s problems. As I listen to people and look around me, I realize that our culture and our country are facing serious problems. I realize that the reality of an avalanche of serious problems piling in on top of us can create a vortex that sucks us into the whirlpool of disaster. I understand how and why that happens. My heart breaks to see people spinning, and whirling, as they plunge deeper and deeper in a seemingly endless vortex. But be encouraged, God has made a way of escape. 1 Corinthians 10:13b NLT “…And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.”
Because that verse is a fact and not a fluffy fantasy, we don’t have to allow problems to suck us into a downward spiral of panic or fear. Realize that allowing yourself to be sucked into the vortex of the problem or situation only compounds the problem instead of solving it. If you let your emotions get away from you, you can get sucked in very quickly!
Calm your emotions. Psalm 131:2 NLT “But I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes, like a small child is my soul within me.” Quiet your spirit with worship music, taking a shower or taking a walk. Read a verse and ponder or write down what the verse means. Refuse to allow fear to penetrate your peace. Think about how much God loves you. Think about how His love doesn’t have to be earned. Think about the endlessness of His love. It’s bigness. It’s grandeur. Line up your thinking with scripture verses. Again, refuse to allow thoughts that contradict God’s Word to penetrate your quiet time. You may need more than just a quick few minutes to calm your emotions, if you’re in the middle of a storm. Ask God to quiet your spirit and give you peace.
Worship God. Psalm 43:5 KJV”Why art thou cast down , O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” I love to worship with the Psalms.
Call out to God. Psalms 34:17 NLT “17 The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.”
Lift your eyes to Him and His promises. Fill your mind with scriptures that fit the situation. Focus on the promise and not the problem. Don’t allow the problem to drain your thoughts or resourcefulness.
Rehearse your victories and those of people that have won in similar circumstances. Read and reread the stories of people like David and Goliath; Daniel in the Lion’s Den and the three Hebrew men in the fiery furnace.
Think Missional! Pass this on to someone you think may enjoy it or need it.
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