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How to Relate to God

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This morning, Pastor Ed Allen continued his series on How to Relate to God.  And he began by having me (Sondy Eklund) tell my story.  I posted the write-up of what I said on my own blog.  I originally offered to speak to give a commercial for memorizing the Bible.  (Because it will do you good in spite of yourself!), but ended up telling my story and how God used His Word in my life.

(Pastor Ed has already promised that we're going to hear the stories of many more people from Gateway this year.)

The message summed up what we've been talking about in the past weeks as we discussed relating to God by Using our resources with wisdom and purpose and Practicing creative devotion.

He gave us this hypothesis:

If we dedicate an hour a day to doing business with God, our lives will be better.  We will be more in synch.  Our relationships will improve.  We will, in fact, over time become better people.

He rattled off six different options for spending an hour doing business with God.  There are many options, but he suggested an hour because it does take time to do business with God.

He looked at Psalm 63.

David uses the language of a lover.  "Seek early" or "earnestly seek" is from a word related to dawn.  The passion of his heart, but also first importance.

David has experienced God in corporate worship.

Look at David's habit.  He thinks of God through the watches of the night.

We need to throw our best efforts into building a daily habit.

What are we willing to do to test this hypothesis in our lives?

We ask for our daily bread, because we can't handle Thursday!

Take up your cross daily.

Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called "Today."

Possible responses:

1)  Attend the Ash Wednesday service this Wednesday.

2)  Give up something and replace it with doing business with God for Lent.

3)  Pray every day during Lent at 1:00 for 1 minute for our $1 million challenge.

4)  Sign up for the Beyond Bible Basics class.

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We finished the service by sharing together in the Lord's Supper.

How to Relate to God: Corporate Worship

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Last Sunday, Pastor Ed continued the series on "How to Relate to God" by talking about Corporate Worship.  The series is focusing on one of our core habits:  Practice creative devotion.

The service began with a joyful baby dedication of twins.

I am not healthily relating to God if I am not worshiping him gladly.

We're ordered to rejoice in the Lord, to delight in Him.  If there's no gladness, I may not know God.  I've got a connection problem.

We looked at John 4:19-24, where Jesus talked with the Samaritan woman.  The critical thing about worship is not the mechanics.  We need to worship in spirit and in truth.  Our heart needs to be engaged.

Worshiping isn't worship unless the heart's engaged.

Isaiah 29:13 -- It's possible to worship in vain.

Matthew 15:7-9  If our hearts aren't engaged, the form is meaningless.

Worship also engages our head.  We need a fully engaged understanding.

Idolatry is essentially to think wrongly about God.  Truth matters.  Sincerity isn't enough.

Real worship involves the heart and the head, spirit and truth.

Where does this come from?

When people experience God for who He is:

That experience drives them to confession.

That experience motivates them to offer themselves.

That experience launches them into praise.

This is the essence of Biblical worship.  It comes from seeing God for who He is.

How can we do this?  Offer ourselves to God, singing praying, bowing down, speaking truth about God.

 

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