When we obey the call, listen to God drawing us in, and choose to enter into a relationship with Him through faith, we must repent of our sins, seeking God’s forgiveness. The amazing thing is, God does forgive us every sin.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Repentance is an essential part of abounding in God’s grace. If we do not confess and repent of our sins, we are not forgiven, and we will grow or remain distant from God. When we allow ourselves to drift and become distant from God, letting unconfessed sin pile up, we are rejecting His grace and failing to live within it.
20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,
We need to confess our sins with a repentant heart, release our sins to our Heavenly Father, receive His forgiveness, and rest in right-standing with Him again. It is by His grace that we can come to Him, repent and confess, and receive His forgiveness which frees us from the bondage of sin.
13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, [a]to repentance.”
23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
In His grace, He is ever-present in our lives, revealing Himself in all of creation, providing for us, loving us, having mercy on us, and correcting us all the time. God’s grace pours out upon all of us as His creations whom He loves and desires to have a relationship with.
4 Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, 5 in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. 6 According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the proportion of one’s[a] faith; 7 if service, use it in service; if teaching, in teaching; 8 if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness.
In His grace, He equips us and provides for us throughout our lives. God has work He has prepared for us to do and whatever He calls us to do, He will equip and provide for us to do. In His grace, He lavishes us with Spiritual gifts, necessities like clothes and food, and countless other blessings throughout our lives.
31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
The Lord teaches, guides, and provides for us. It is up to us whether we obey the instructions or use the blessings for the work He has prepared for us, but it is by His grace that we receive any of it. Each of us has a part to play, work to do, and an impact to make for the Kingdom of God. Even when life hurts, circumstances are tough, or we are in a time of great suffering He will not leave us without anything we need and more to do what He calls on us to do.
24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
Ask others how you can pray for, help, or serve them
There are truly endless ways to serve God. It doesn’t have to be big elaborate things. Serving God is often done in the mundane daily tasks, turning those tasks into work for God versus for self. Not allowing ourselves to be distracted by the world, by the culture, by problems or contentment, but living in God’s grace allows us to see the world through His eyes and see everything as an opportunity to serve God.
9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
God’s grace uses us to display His love and share His truth
God equips us and provides for us so that we can serve God, fulfill our calling, and be good stewards of His Word. We are called to go out into the world, be examples of Christ, display His love, and share His Truth with the world around us. We are all members of the Body of Christ, each given our personal callings which God prepares us for, and also given a shared calling which He likewise provides and equips us for.
19 Go [a]therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [b]Amen.
All of us are called to share the grace, love, mercy, forgiveness, and salvation which we have received so that more people may know and trust in the Truth as well. We have a beautiful role in planting seeds in the lives and hearts of others that God may water and grow them, leading them also to be saved as we have been saved. The grace of God abounds when we display it to the world around us and share the Truth of His grace in the ways and opportunities which God will provide for us to do.
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,
By accepting God’s grace, having faith in Jesus as our Savior, and entering into a relationship with God we welcome the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. We then have the full grace, love, and power of God Almighty in us, and He begins a new work in us.
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament[a] shows [b]His handiwork.
God’s Spirit works in us, transforming us from the inside out, teaching us to live in God’s grace, how to please God, to become more like Christ, and to worship Him in Spirit and truth. We are justified through faith, and then sanctified by the Spirit of God living in us.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [a]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
The Holy Spirit takes root inside of us, and as we grow in our faith, continuing to live in the grace of God, we will display the evidence of our saving faith. This evidence will be seen in the way we choose to live. The fruits of the Holy Spirit will spring up in our lives, we will have true desires to please God, to reside in His grace and share His grace with others, and we will become more like Christ.
Our faith will be evident by the fruits we bear. If we are growing in the fruits of the Spirit, others will see this, sense it, and be drawn closer to God through your genuine faith, hope, and love of God. We will be more patient, more kind, gentle, loving, have self-control, be faithful to how God teaches us to live. We will be filled with God’s peace and joy even in times of pain and suffering.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
As we abound in grace, and God’s grace abounds in our lives, we will begin to delight in the Lord and our desires will match up with His desires. We will put off the old self and embrace the new creation God is working in us to become for His honor and glory.
To abound in grace we must live within the grace of God, allowing our very selves and lives to be transformed by Him. We must have a willing heart to be used by God for His works to bring Him glory and honor.
7 But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see that you abound in this grace also.
What areas of your life do you need to reside in the grace of God more?
Fellowship is an important part of every Christian’s life. Together we can learn, grow, and become more of what God is working in us to become. How can we encourage you and come alongside you in your faith journey? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, and hear from you how you have been encouraged in your faith to abide and abound in God’s grace.
11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
If you have not accepted the grace of God and chosen to believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I encourage you to pray to God now and invite Him in, accept Jesus as the sacrifice for your sins, and repent of your sins. Submit it all to God, lay it at His feet, seek the forgiveness of God, welcome Him into your life, and believe that Jesus died and rose again to save you from your sins.
If you would like to learn more aboutsalvation, you can find a couple of studies that may help here:
Have you ever been frustrated with someone over differences you have? Has anyone ever slandered, mocked, hated, or mistreated you because of a difference between you? Have you ever seen people divided over how each decides to worship? In John 4 Jesus teaches how God wants His people to worship Him. Jesus tells us that we should worship in spirit and truth. What does this mean? How do we worship in spirit and truth?
In John 4, Jesus traveled through Samaria with His disciples and a Samaritan woman brings up a key difference between the Jews and the Samaritans – that the Jews believe the only place to worship is in Jerusalem, and the Samaritans believe it is on the mountain (v. 20). This is something I think most of us can relate to in some way. We have our beliefs about worship; how to worship, when to worship, where to worship, how not to worship… but Jesus addresses this bluntly.
23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth.[a] Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.”
Jesus tells us that the “true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth.” When Jesus made this proclamation, He was saying that God the Father doesn’t want pompous displays of piousness. God does not want fancy displays. The Lord doesn’t want us to put on a show of worship.
Jesus was explaining to us that our Heavenly Father wants our hearts.
Worship in the Spirit
When we accept Christ as our Savior, we invite the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and for Him to lead and instruct us in how to live as reborn children of God. God’s Spirit dwells in us and teaches us, and also changes us, making us alive in the spirit, and leading us to worship God in the spirit, with our hearts, out of love and thankfulness to God through Christ. To worship in the spirit is to be transformed and led by the Holy Spirit and worship God with our whole heart and soul.
26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.
To worship in truth is to worship through Jesus, because of Jesus. Because of our faith in Jesus, we have been saved, and through His blood, we are free to worship God in the spirit, and in truth. We should worship through learning more about God through the Word of God, seeking to understand His truth and the Truth that is Jesus Christ.
6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
13 But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because from the beginning[f] God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, so that you might obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold to the traditions you were taught, whether by what we said or what we wrote.
To worship in spirit and truth, we must accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and then let God’s Holy Spirit guide our lives. As followers of Christ, we must learn more all the time about how to live as Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us to make us more like Him. Not only to learn but to apply what we learn.
Some of the best ways to commit to true worship are:
Develop a strong, honest, and real prayer life between you and God
What is some encouragement you would give to someone learning how to genuinely worship God? What are some questions you have about true worship? I invite you to share questions or encouragements you have for others, as well as how we can continue to encourage you to worship in spirit and truth as true worshipers of God.
“Sacrifice” is an uncomfortable word. Who wants to make sacrifices? Why would we want to give up what we want for the sake of someone else? Why should we? These are common questions, and sadly we are hearing them asked more and more as this COVID-19 pandemic wanes on, closely approaching the 2-year mark. Sacrifice is not something we seek to do, but it is something we should seek after for the sake of our God.
What does sacrifice mean?
In the Old Testament, we see Abel offering a sacrifice that is acceptable to God. In Hebrews, we see that it was acceptable because it was offered in faith. This kind of sacrifice is a minḥâ, a gift or present offered to God.
4 And Abel also presented an offering—some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions.(A) The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering,(B)
4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was approved as a righteous man, because God approved his gifts, and even though he is dead, he still speaks through his faith.(A)
6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little leaven[a](A) leavens the whole batch of dough?(B)7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new unleavened batch, as indeed you are. For Christ our Passover lamb(C) has been sacrificed.[b]8 Therefore, let us observe the feast, not with old leaven or with the leaven of malice and evil,(D) but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Jesus fulfilled the Mosaic Law’s requirement for a blood sacrifice for the atonement of sins. When we accept Jesus’s sacrifice for our sake, in faith believing He died on the cross and rose from the dead, defeating sin and death, and accept the salvation He now offers us because of this sacrifice, we are redeemed, saved from the penalty of our sin. Blood sacrifice was paid by Jesus Christ Himself on our behalf.
25 He did not do this to offer himself many times, as the high priest enters the sanctuary yearly with the blood of another.(A)26 Otherwise, he would have had to suffer many times since the foundation of the world. But now he has appeared one time, at the end of the ages,(B) for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of himself.(C)27 And just as it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment(D)— 28 so also Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many,(E) will appear a second time,(F) not to bear sin, but[a] to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.(G)
17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit[a](A) that is increasing to your account. 18 But I have received everything in full,(B) and I have an abundance. I am fully supplied,[b] having received from Epaphroditus(C) what you provided—a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing(D) to God. 19 And my God(E) will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Our lives are no longer our own. We have been bought and paid for by the precious blood of Jesus, and we are now called to present our bodies as a holy sacrifice to God. We are to become a new creation in Christ Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit which God has given to us.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you(A) to present your bodies as a living sacrifice,(B) holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship.[a]2 Do not be conformed(C) to this age,(D) but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,(E) so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will(F) of God. 3 For by the grace(G) given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think.(H) Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith(I) to each one.
Living a life worthy of the calling we have received when we accepted Jesus as our Saviour is how we worship God, bring Him honor and glory, in the way we live, grow in faith, love others, serve God, provide hospitality, and live as godly stewards of this precious gift. We worship God when we dedicate our life as a sacrifice for the glory of God.
Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord,(A) urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received,
Seek to grow in the image of God every day, being imitators of Christ, growing in the likeness of our Creator. Live the life He calls you to live, drawing nearer to the throne of God, and please God with this beautiful sacrificial worship. It is a precious gift to be able to serve God with our whole life, in all we do, to bring Him honor, glory, and praise, to thank Him with our lives for who He is, what He has done, is doing, and will do. Our God is worthy of all honor and praise and we get to commit to living a life that pleases God, sacrificing the earthly wants and desires that once enthralled us.
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.(A)
The more time we spend with God, in His Word, in prayer, in fellowship with His people to more we learn, grow, and display God in our lives, giving Him honor and glory in all we do.
How are you worshiping God through a life of faithful sacrifice? In what areas have you experienced this kind of sacrificial living for the sake of God’s glory? How has your life been blessed and your faith grown through this form of worship?
Want to dive deeper into God’s Word and learn how to pray more deeply and intentionally?
Check out our Bible study tools, specifically and prayerfully designed, tested, and used to help Christians grow into a stronger faith and relationship with Christ.
40 But everything is to be done decently(A) and in order.
As we pointed out last week, most of the time worship is thought of as music before the Sunday morning sermon. We don’t often think about how else we are called to worship our Lord, but this is an incredibly important question we should ask daily. Worship applies to every area of life. How can we possibly worship God in every area of our lives? How do we live a life of worship?
16 For by[a] him all things were created, (A)in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether (B)thrones or (C)dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created (D)through him and for him.
In living this calling, and walking worthy, we worship God with our life. We are honoring our Heavenly Father in the details of the day-to-day, in loving others, serving God in the ways He provides, how we help, encourage, evangelize, fellowship, teach, learn, and grow. As we spend more time with God, in His word, in prayer, and with His people, we learn more about God, the life we are called to, become more like Him in every area of our life and worship Him better every day with the glory we bring Him.
Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord,(A) urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, 2 with all humility(B) and gentleness, with patience,(C) bearing(D) with one another in love,(E)3 making every effort to keep the unity(F) of the Spirit(G) through the bond of peace.
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, (A)“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And (B)a second is like it: (C)You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
We are His creations, made for Him and His purposes, and called to worship God with a life that brings Him glory. Learning to live as Christ, bear the fruit of the Spirit, and worship God all require contentment with our circumstances and that which God provides through it. If we fail to be content regardless of our circumstances, we fail to honor God in our circumstances. When we allow Christ to strengthen us through all circumstances we are able to endure it all in His strength, not relying on ourselves, and glorify Him by trusting in His power and strength to lead us through. This contentment comes from trusting to Christ’s strength and will over our own, acknowledging His way is better, and that He is worthy of worshiping with our trust and obedience.
11 I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. 12 I know how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot.(A) In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. 13 I am able to do all things through him[a] who strengthens me.(B)
What areas of your life do you need to rest in the hands of God and allow Him to be your strength? Where in your life are you not worshiping God in the way you love, live, and serve? How are you worshiping the Lord in the minor and the major aspects of daily life? How can your life be an example to others of worshiping God with your life?
23 Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people,
When you hear the word “worship”, what comes to your mind? More than likely your mind went directly to music in church before the Sunday sermon begins. Worship at church has become classified as singing praises to God before the pastor comes to the pulpit, but is this what God means when He calls on us to worship Him? What is worship, really, and when should we worship God?
Worship is to give honor, to pay homage, to God, recognizing His worthiness of such special honor. To worship God is to acknowledge His divine perfection and supremacy (1). Throughout scripture, we have many examples of worship.
In the Early Church, Christians would gather together and worship God through many of these means and more. They usually gathered on the Sabbath Day, which is a day dedicated to rest from work and focused on the worship of the Lord. We, too, are called to hold a Sabbath day.
Worship for these early Christians, and for us as well, is acknowledging how worthy God is of honor and praise, and giving Him that due honor and praise for who He is, what He has done for us, and what He promises to do for us. Sabbath Day is not the only time we should be giving God praises and honor, though.
When should we worship God?
Not only does God teach us what worshipping Him is, and why we should worship Him, but He also provides many examples and instructions throughout all of scripture for when to worship Him.
The answer to when we should worship God is very simple, actually. We should worship God always. As scripture says, “forever and ever”. The beautiful thing about worship is we should be seeking to worship God in all we do; bringing God honor, praise, and glory throughout our days.
16 But I will sing of your strength;
I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
From the moment we wake to the moment we go to sleep, worship God in prayer, in spending time with Him in His Word, in fellowship with other believers, in sharing the Gospel, in singing praises. These are all practical things we can and should be doing every day, and each will help us grow in our personal relationships with the Lord as well as grow in our understanding of who God is.
Over the coming weeks, we will explore how to worship God in these ways more deeply. My prayer is to help each of us come to understand both in our heads as well as in our hearts the true meaning of worshipping God and learn how to practically and naturally grow in our worship of God and therefore develop stronger personal relationships with Him.
How do you worship the Lord? I would love to hear what ways you praise God, acknowledge Him, and pay Him homage in your daily lives.
I am a wife, mom, writer, crafter, and above all, a Child of God. I love to study the Bible, fellowship with other Christians, and serve God. I am thrilled to invite you to join me in seeking to satisfy our thirsty souls with the Living Water of Christ, which is what Water On Thirsty Land is here to do.