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Posts Tagged ‘Joy’

I hope you are well and that you will be encouraged and blessed this morning!

I had quite a vivid dream last night…

silhouette image of person praying

Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

At one point in my dream, I found myself in a large room with many other believers. I had the distinct impression that we were gathered together due to the prevailing challenging circumstances. We were all praying in the Spirit. There was some passion and urgency in our prayers, I guess it was proportional to the amount of pressure we were all under (oh, the wisdom of pressure that can, if we choose, push us into the Father’s heart).

I remember I had this song bubble up in my heart and out of my mouth…

Praise Him, He is here!
Praise Him, He is here!
Praise Him, He is here!
Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise Him!

It was at this point that I woke up.

Then I started bumbling around with my smartphone, pressing wrong buttons and waking up my wife (always not a good thing). I was trying to write down the above  simple song that not only praises Jesus but acknowledges His presence. I knew I wouldn’t remember it in the morning. I finally succeeded.

It took me a while to go back to sleep but as I pondered and sang this song (in my head) I remembered the scripture where Jesus has a conversation with a Samaritan woman at a well.[Luke 4:1-26] In particular, Jesus, at one point says to the woman (verse 22)

…”You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know”…

As this woman found out, an encounter with Jesus radically transforms our praise and worship. We begin to praise and worship what we know, or rather, who we know, instead of who or what we don’t know. We go from worshiping in ignorance to worshiping in truth. What a great revelation and freedom this is!

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (not where but who) (not ignorance but truth):
…21 “Believe Me, woman,” Jesus replied, “a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him.…

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Thoughts about ‘Praise’:

(Inspired by a message given by Chrishan Jeyaratnam(Hillsong Church State Leader – Western Australia/Bali) entitled ‘The Leper King’ – Sunday 26/07/20)

Chrishan spoke about the story in the Bible of the 10 lepers and how 10 were healed but only one came back to praise and thank Jesus. Luke 17:11-19

I want to particularly focus on a quote Chrishan gave from C.S.Lewis which greatly spoke to me. This quote was originally taken from C.S.Lewis’ book ‘Reflections on the Psalms’ [P93-97] but is also reproduced here in a devotion from the C.S.Lewis Institute. Here is the C.S.Lewis quote…

“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed […] The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”. But we shall then know that these are the same thing. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.” – C.S.Lewis

There is a revelation moment here for me. There is something deeper here to be grasped. C.S.Lewis is able to form into words something quite profound about praise.

“Praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment” – praise is the completed work of enjoying God. It’s the end product of knowing Him!

“Praise is the appointed consummation” – what a marvelous way to describe praise! God isn’t demanding us bow and praise Him for some kind of vane reason – no! – God is not like that! – no, no – praise expresses the completed (and ongoing) revelation of enjoying Him and “we delight to praise what we enjoy”. 🙂

“In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him” – AMEN!

 

 

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Two verses came to me during worship yesterday (ie: before the message).

The first one is from part of Isaiah 53:10 (Note: the whole of Isaiah 53 is a prophecy about Jesus). I offer a few different Bible versions for perspective…

‘Yet it was the LORD’s WILL to CRUSH HIM and cause him to suffer’ NIV

‘But it was the LORD’S GOOD PLAN to CRUSH HIM and fill him with grief’ NLT

‘Yet IT PLEASED THE LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief’ NKJV

The other one is part of Hebrews 12:2. (Read Hebrews 12:1-3) It’s about Jesus and the cross…

‘who for the JOY set before him endured the cross’ NIV & NKJV

‘He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the JOY he knew would be his afterward’ NLT

We have a Heavenly Father who LOVES US SO MUCH that He would choose to CRUSH His one and only Son for our salvation. And we have His Son who IN HIS LOVE FOR US and OBEDIENCE TO HIS FATHER and THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM allowed Himself to be CRUSHED for our salvation. He was (HOLY) SPIRITUALLY MOTIVATED by THE FUTURE JOY OF OUR SALVATION and THE GLORIFICATION OF THE FATHER THROUGH THE SON.

What a radically different Kingdom is this Kingdom of God!

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