First, let me say that I was thinking about the post from yesterday and just wanted to share something about church. I do not go to church every Sunday. Should I? Yes, probably so. I’m sure in many ways, it would help our quality of life. We do have church at home quite a bit. I teach Hallie what is in God’s heart and the heart of Jesus through the teachings in the Bible (there are so many different teaching products at Christian bookstores, such as Lifeway, which is our favorite), but more than that – we all (or those of us with a conscience and know the difference between what is right and wrong) know in our heart when something we are about to do is the right thing. She actually gets this better than me. She always has. Hallie is a great kid. She’s so grounded and wise, beyond her years. God knew I needed her to learn and grow. She is always quick to apologize and even quicker to forgive. God wired her this way. I may have helped a little, but we all choose what kind of person we want to be, no matter how our parents raise us. (Believe me, I am no perfect parent. I have made plenty of mistakes. I try to improve every day in my parenting skills.) And God is always whispering to our hearts.
That said, even if you find reasons to not go to the building called church for reasons of not wanting to surround yourself with hypocrites, tired of always being asked for money you do or don’t have, for whatever reason – don’t let this stop you from learning the words and instructions he sent for our lives, for our guidance, and for sharing these words and lessons with others. Try to make time for him and learn about his ways. It will help you beyond your own understanding. I am also saying – I am not saying it is ok to not go to church. We probably should go, only for the fact of worshipping God – no matter what we think of some of the ways of others that attend and some of the rituals there that we don’t appreciate. The main reason is to worship. If going makes you uncomfortable and makes you want to turn from God, then perhaps you do need to find another way to worship him. (These are my thoughts and feelings, not that of the book’s.)
Now, for today’s chapter.
Mr. Warren states, “The moment you were born into the world, God was there as an unseen witness, smiling at your birth.” Do you question, every day, why you are here? God wanted you here. He created you for a purpose – a great and special purpose that only you can fulfill. We all have a purpose or we most certainly would not have been created by him. One purpose is for his pleasure. I wanted Hallie since I was 2, because I knew that it would bring my life more pleasure than I could hold in my heart. My heart spills over with pleasure for this child. God loves us even more than that. When you understand that he created you for his enjoyment, you will no longer feel that your life is insignificant. You matter to God. He not only loves you. He adores you.
One of God’s greatest gifts he has given us is the ability to enjoy pleasure – our senses and emotions (gifts) that help us experience this life (there are many gifts in this life on earth). “He wants you to enjoy life, not just endure it.” “…God made you in his image.”
When you read Paragraph 2 on Page 70, you will see part of his image – his feelings, senses, emotions – and just how much he is like us (without the sinful nature, of course).
“Bringing pleasure to God is called “worship.” “Anything you do that brings pleasure to God is an act of worship.” “Depending on your religious background, you may need to expand your understanding of “worship.” I am not the least bit religious. Some of you are probably thinking, “She’s doing a blog on this particular book (for now), explaining how she perceives it, explaining her understanding of God and she’s not religious?” And some of you will get right away that I’m not religious by reading that we are not in church every Sunday. I do not believe there is one true religion, one true church. I have never found a church that shares all that is in my heart about the true God and Jesus. I don’t know that there is that one certain church, and believe me, I’ve attending plenty of different churches and that of different faiths (Baptist, Methodist, Non-Denominational, Word of God, Catholic, Lutheran, Pentecostal, etc.) and they do not fit me. No, it is not about me, you might say. You are right. It’s not about me. You might say, “You go to church to worship God. You don’t have to go and believe in everything that they believe or worship the way they worship. You go for the right reasons – to worship.” I only want to learn, to teach, to share and try to understand God’s heart and what he wants from me. I will keep looking for the “right” church, but until I find one, I will continue to worship and learn and teach and grow anyway.
You can worship God in everything you do all the day long. Whatever you do, when you do it, if you are doing it to please God, you are worshipping. It’s that easy.
“God’s heart is not touched by tradition in worship, but by passion and commitment.” The Bible says, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.”
I love this: “How is it possible to do everything to the glory of God? By doing everything as if you were doing it for Jesus and by carrying on a continual conversation with him while you do it. The Bible says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
Even better: “The Message paraphrase says, “Take your everyday, ordinary life — your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life — and place it before God as an offering.” Work becomes worship when you dedicate it to God and perform it with an awareness of his presence.” A friend of mine (we work together and attend a life coaching class together) has tried to share this truth with me. Okay, I think I finally get it. Thanks.
I adore how Mr. Warren describes, in the last paragraph on page 74, how he thinks of his wife when they first fall in love and compares it to falling in love with Jesus. This is a sweet and loving and an easily understood comparison. Does it help you to understand worship any differently than you did?
I would love to hear from you if you would like to share your thoughts on this book, so far as we’ve read, especially if you have a different perception. Many need to hear from many. All of our voices are important, as well our perceptions. How we relate to others (the same or differently) makes a difference in people’s lives. You can affect how someone else sees something. Your sight can change someone’s life. If you don’t want your name or contact info shown, please let me know. I’ll be happy to post the comment as me and state that it’s from “a friend” or as whomever you choose.
Go out there and make it a completely terrifical (Hallie says this and got it from Ramona and Beezus) kind of day! Love you guys. *hug* 😉