Rest your soul through reflective journaling,
and worshiping the Creator who
longs for intimacy with each of us!
This Week's Journeys
Luke 1:46-50, 54-55
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed, because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and his name is holy. His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear Him.
He has helped his servant Israel, remembering his mercy to Abraham and his descendants forever…
Prayer Journal Entry
Yahweh, thank You for the beautiful lessons of true worship we have studied this week, and the reminder to pursue dwelling with You in quiet moments alone. You know that a heart focused on worship is a heart You are healing from sin. When I sing Your praises, God, my heart and mind are renewed as is my ability to pour into others.
Oh, Lord, You are so much more than any word or stroke of a pen could capture, but I am excited at the opportunities You graciously offer me to proclaim You. I long to be in Your presence, to fill my lungs with Your air, to feel Your light on my skin as You make Yourself known through Your Word and by Your Spirit. Flood my soul with Your love and peace that You always make available to me if I will simply sit and be still. Make me aware of opportunities to create these quiet moments so I can soak on truth and allow Your Word to feed my soul.
I will use my voice to sing for Joy to You, Lord, for You are my strength; I will shout in triumph to the God of Jacob who rescued me from the depths of hell and broke my chains of sin. (Psalm 81:1-2)
I praise You, my forgiving Lord, the One who abounds in faithful love.
I will praise You now and forever, for my heart is Yours and I will honor Your name forever.
You are a faithful God whose love for me is unsearchable. (Psalm 86:12-13)
With a full heart, and in Your Son’s name, I offer these words of prayer to You. Amen!
Worship Through Song
“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” is a beautiful story of our past, present, and future. Writer, Edmund Sears, begins by bringing us back to that first Christmas, referencing Luke 2:8-20 as he paints the story of the angels telling the shepherds of Jesus’ birth.
Their praise-filled message of peace on earth speaks of peace with God through the faith of Christ that reaches all nations. (Luke 1:79, Romans 5:1)
The lyrics, “Heaven’s all-gracious King” offer praise to the Lord, which recognize the wondrous glory He possesses forever. The angels declared the birth for which they, and all creation, had long awaited, for it signaled the soon-coming grand rescue of humanity from Satan’s power.
Soon, however, the skies grew dark again as the angel chorus sang only in the ears of the shepherds. The angels’ time to sing and declare on earth ceased, but, for the shepherds, as the first ambassadors of this good news, their declaration was just beginning.
The shepherds took to the streets following their in-person encounter with the Newborn King, telling everyone they met of the One who had come with goodwill to all people. (Luke 2:17-18) Like the shepherds, it’s the mission of all who have made Christ their personal Lord to keep singing the message of hope first sung by angels. Into the dark world around us, we are meant to sing the song of the Savior, until Christ returns and we see Him face to face!
Have you ever witnessed something so beautiful, perhaps a painting at a museum or the world below from a mountaintop, and all you could do was stop and stare? You had no words for none could do the vision justice; you could only offer breathless awe.
That’s how I picture encountering God one day in full. The idea of His glory is a vision so breathtaking that all I can do is sit silently in His presence, soaking in every second, letting love and praise fall from my lips to God’s ears.
God is not greedy; He does not vainly seek our praise to stroke His ego, nor does He need our love to be whole for He is love.
Just as one cannot have faith without good works (James 1:14-26), for true faith grows righteous living, you cannot experience the love of God in life without responding in adoring worship. He is so perfect there is nothing to offer Him except worship.
This message rings within the lyrics of “O Come All Ye Faithful”. The lyrics call us to do nothing but seek Christ and worship Him. It commands us to adore him alongside the angels with a joyful and triumphant countenance. The simplicity of these lyrics remind us God is worthy of our praise simply for who He is; this should be our motivation for worship that realigns our hearts when we face the struggles of this world.
For if our source of praise is God Himself, then we shall never run out of reasons to worship. Because God is good, worship benefits us. When we humble our hearts to the position of adoration, we open the door for Christ’s peace to surpass our understanding.
Worship leads to heart change and a new perspective, both of which allow us to better reflect God’s love to others.
Isaac Watts was a minister in the late 17th and early 18th century. As a young man, he would complain about the unhappy Christmas songs and poems in circulation. His father challenged him to compose something better. Eventually, he based his lyrics on Psalm 98 and it was set to tunes of common hymns at the time. Decades later, another man, who studied the works of Handel, put music to Watts’ poem “Joy to the World”. I always find the original lyrics interesting, especially the verses we don’t sing like verse three:
“No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground.
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.”
How often have you focused on the doing and planning of the holidays only to end up exhausted, overwhelmed, and realizing too late that you had inadvertently missed the meaning of Christmas. This busy is not worth it!
As we plan, prepare, and partake of all the wonderful traditions of the season, let’s determine together to start and finish with praise for the Person of Christ. Let’s intentionally be aware of our hurry and choose to reject the distractions caused by all the “doings” about Christmas.
Let us not become weary in trying to do all things well, and instead focus on intentionally being still and welcoming Christ’s Joy that will bring us peace.
(Written by Carol Graft)
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