Great Are You Lord

Today, throughout the world, believers gather to acknowledge and celebrate the Lord’s Day. Some only by habit. A tradition they learned from their childhood. But others gather because they are sincere followers of Christ and as such, they understand that they are called into a relationship with Yahweh, the Father of Christ (I Corinthians 1:9). But in John’s first letter, he makes it clear that they also enter a fellowship that goes two ways: with their God and with other Christians!

Our Lord ordained the Church for Himself. However, the Church‟s chief function, as also the individual believer‟s function, is to glorify our God and to enjoy Him forever. He must be the foremost priority of the church!

Look at what the Scriptures declare:

“May God, who gives you this endurance and encouragement, allow you to live in harmony with each other by following the example of Christ Yeshua. Then, having the same goal, you will praise the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua Christ.” —Romans 15:5-6

“God also decided ahead of time to choose us through Christ according to his plan, which makes everything work the way he intends. He planned all of this so that we who had already focused our hope on Christ would praise him and give him glory” —Ephesians 1:11-12

“He is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, the first to come back to life so that he would have first place in everything” —Colossians 1:18

“That way the name of our Lord Yeshua will be honored among you. Then, because of the good will of Yeshua Christ, our God and Lord, you will be honored by him —II Thessalonians 1:12

“Through Yeshua we should always bring God a sacrifice of praise, that is, words that acknowledge him” —Hebrews 13:15

“You are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, people who belong to God. You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” —I Peter 2:9

There is no doubt! The Church is for Christ! Well then, as Ray Ortlund says, “Let the Church be The Church!” Everything it does is to focus on Him! The members are to gather around Him! Their praises are to ascend to Him!”

(Listen to this as you continue reading)

Once we begin to worship our Father, we will find obedience to what he says. As Ray Ortlund explained, “Once we learn to worship, we will see that the Church is to reach upward, to reach within, and to reach out. First to glorify him. Secondly, to build each other up in love. Thirdly, to evangelize the world.”

Ray Ortlund continued, “But the second and third functions will fall into place only when the first is seen to be — and faithfully practiced as — first.”

Now I could spend pages and pages describing how and why we can worship the awesomeness of our God. Each of us needs to connect with our Heavenly Father. Oh, not through some superficial religious experience, but on an intimate level, But that is something you need to “experience,” instead of having it “taught” to you. My suggestion is for you to give yourself the opportunity to fall in love with your Father.

I believe we can find the perfect expression our Father’s heart:

I know you have a thirst, and I invite you to come and drink from me. I am the one who wants to comfort you. I bought you, and I will complete the work I began in you. I still delight in you and claim you as my own; I rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. Although you have lost sight of me, I will never fail you or forsake you.

I know your manifold transgressions and pain; I know all of the mighty sins and frustrations you hold on to, yet my grace is sufficient for you. I have cast all your sins and pains behind my back; I have trampled them under my feet, and thrown them into the depths of the ocean! I have washed away all your sins and pain; I have swept them away like the morning mist, scattered them like the clouds. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.

You are troubled and worried about many things; trust me with all your heart. I know how to rescue my people from their trials. My Spirit helps you in your distress. Let me strengthen you with my glorious power. I have never withheld anything from you—I did not spare my Son but gave him up for your sake. If I have done this for you, can you not believe that I will provide for you everything that you need? March on, my dear one, with courage! Never give up. I will help you. I will uphold you.

When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

I will never tire or sleep. I will stand beside you. I wish to hide you in the shelter of my presence. When you are troubled, I will go ahead of you, directing your steps and delighting in every detail of your life. When you stumble, you will not fall, for I promise to hold you by the hand. I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.

I will make you fruitful in the land of suffering, trading beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, praise for despair. I live with the low-spirited and spirit crushed. I will put new spirit in you and get you on your feet again. Weeping may go on all night, but joy
will come with the morning. If I am for you, who can ever be against you?

Look to me, Mike, Phil, Carlos, John, Jipu, Patricia, Kathy and David (and everyone who was not named), and I will throw my arms around you, lavish attention on you, and guard you as the apple of my eye. I know that at times you feel I have neglected you, but I rejoice over you with singing and great joy every time I hear your name. Are you listening Susan, Debbie, Mary, Nathan, and Stewart? You cannot count all of my thoughts of you; they outnumber the grains of sand!

Nothing can ever separate you from my love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Your loneliness can’t, and your confused thoughts can’t. Your fears for today, your worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell that have sought to destroy you can not keep my love away.

You have sometimes said, “The Lord has deserted me; the Lord has forsaken me.” But can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for a child she has given birth to?Even if that were possible, I would not forget you! I paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, my sinless, spotless Lamb. No one will snatch you away from me. I have written your name on my hand. I will call you my friend. Why, the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are valuable to me.

Give me your burdens; I will take care of you. I know how weak you are, that you are made of dust. Give all your worries and cares to me, because I care about what happens to you.

Remember, I am at hand. Come to me when you are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. I delight in you, and I can be trusted to keep my promises. Come and drink the water of life.

Your loving Father,

Yahweh

Take that to the bank and treasure it always! Print it out, copy it down and let the Words soak in and draw you even deeper. My friend, to paraphrase Tozer, unless you find God in personal experience, you are no better off for having heard the truth. The Bible isn’t an end in itself. It is simply a tool the Spirit uses to bring you to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of our God. You can enter into Him; you can delight in His Presence; taste and know the inner sweetness of your God Himself in the core and center of your heart.

Tozer went on to say,

“We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit. `No man can come to me,’ said our Lord, `except the Father which hath sent me draw him.'”

The joyous reality is that once The Church focuses on worshiping our Father; we are drawn to His Church and the world outside the walls of The Church. This study is my call for us to allow God’s family to dominate our lives. Even a casual observation gives me the impression this particular area has been too often misunderstood and neglected.

Great Are You Lord

You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord

It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to You only

You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord

All the earth will shout Your praise
Our hearts will cry, these bones will sing
Great are You, Lord

I can’t help it. Sometimes I just consider the wealth of love from our Heavenly Father, that I just begin to cry out to Him. It might be a particular passage of scripture; a time of deep prayer; driving down the highway; walking down a city street; it really doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing. It might be a song that will draw me to worship.

Sure, maybe I’m a wimp, but when I hear Amazing Grace, especially the revised version from Chris Tomlin, I become choked up:

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

I just get a lump in my throat, and fall down on my knees.

I don’t care how many times I hear Phillips, Craig and Dean’s version of “When God Ran,” I can’t help but cry:

I was so ashamed, all alone and so far away
But now I know He’s been waiting for this day

I saw Him run to me, He took me in His arms
Held my head to His chest, said “My son’s come home again”
Lifted my face, wiped the tears from my eyes
With forgiveness in His voice I felt His love for me again

He ran to me, He took me in His arms
Held my head to His chest, said “My son’s come home again”
Lifted my face, wiped the tears from my eyes
With forgiveness in His voice He said, “Son,” [He called me Son!]
He said, “Son do you know I still love you?”
He ran to me and then I ran to Him
When God ran

Wow! Especially when he cries, “Son? He called me son!”

Even Start a Fire from Among Thorns, draws tears from me:

Start a fire in me,
Let the flames run free,
Burn away the dross,
Holy fire of God. (repeat)

Let it begin, let it be new,
Let me be used for Your sake,
Bringing glory to Your Name.
I can live knowing that You
Reside in my heart.

Oh Lord, You are the fire,
You’re the fire of God.

Then Jesus spoke: You’re blessed when you’ve lost it all. God’s kingdom is there for the finding. You’re blessed when you’re ravenously hungry. Then you’re ready for the Messianic meal. You’re blessed when the tears flow freely. Joy comes with the morning (Luke 6:20 MSG)

Nickolas
Doulos Studies

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)

I do thank you for your gifts
It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.

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