The Hour is Coming
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him, God is Spirit and those who worship in spirit and truth.
Everyone seems to know the story of the Samaritan woman (vs. 1-20). We pick up there. Jesus and the Samaritan woman are still talking. He had already told her everything about her life right there at that well, in the middle of town, at noon. He told her, it really doesn’t matter where you worship. Just worship. You think you know about worship and salvation but you really don’t. The time is coming, aka now, to worship in spirit and truth. He looks to and fro for those who will worship Him, true worship. Not the show that we sometimes see on Sunday morning. Remind me to tell you how I feel about our need to be entertained at church. When we worship Him in spirit and in truth, we give everything to Him. There is no barrier between us and Him. True, honest, wholesome, no wall between us. Even though He told her everything about her, she still said, ‘I know the Messiah is coming.’ She believed but she wasn’t completely sold on the idea that He was truly the Messiah. We believe but we resist His power. We aren’t really sold. How many times have you said to God, wait…not said, begged God to unleash His full power? What if you begged, He answered and you experienced Him fully? Just rest in that a moment. Experience Him fully? Honestly, I don’t think any of us know what that is like. I’m not sure that we could handle His full power. He tells her v.26, I AM the Messiah. You see, He is everything. Even things that we don’t understand. We fail to give Him full and total praise. Life seems to get in the way. Even at church, during worship, we aren’t fully there. Our minds are elsewhere. It is so important to clear our minds and prepare for worship long before we show up at church. Of course, worship can happen anywhere, therefore; constantly having our minds on Him will allow us to worship without inhibitions. He really wants that from us. True, honest, unadulterated worship simply because He IS the Messiah.
10 characteristics of God to encourage and strengthen you.
God can’t get tired.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.
God can’t take on a job he can’t handle.
Ah, Lord God! Behold, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for you.
God can’t be unholy.
And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
God can’t be prejudiced.
In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears him and works righteousness is accepted by him.
God can’t break a promise.
My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of my lips.
God can’t remember sins he’s chosen to forget.
I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake; and I will not remember your sins.
God can’t make a loser.
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.
—2 Corinthians 2:14
God can’t abandon you.
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, he is the one who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
God can’t stop thinking about you.
How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with you.
God can’t stop loving you.
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
Are you spiritually bankrupt? Have you gotten to the end of your rope only to find that the know is untied? Are you fighting an uphill battle with no end in sight? Here’s hope…. Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Our lives are like a car wreck. Sometimes we spin out of control. Our worlds are flipped upside down. We lose control of the wheel because we didn’t see another car coming. Sometimes the music is too loud that we cannot focus on the road. Stopping the spinning is what God does best. He can make sure the seat belt is tightened and readjust our focus. Sometimes we must have the wreck so that He can get our attention. We must rest in the promise that no matter what happens, God is still in control. He doesn’t want to be the co-pilot but rather the pilot. He doesn’t want us drifting around on the water but rather He wants us to anchor to Him. Once we stop and sit at His feet for a while, we can see the other car coming and we can focus on the path that we are on so that the distractions of life do not get in the way of our worship. Because of this, we can have hope in Him. We place our hope in many things. Our family (they will always disappoint us), our friends (some have their own agenda), our jobs (everyone is replaceable). What if we placed our hope in Someone who truly deserves it? Fire, earthquakes, famine, war…. after these take place, what is left? Put your faith and hope in God Almighty. Put your faith and hope in the One who truly deserves of our time and energy. He created us to worship Him. He created us to have hope in Him.
I Will Sing Praise
“I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord.” The Psalms are full of versus proclaiming how we should praise, how often we should praise and how genuine we should praise.
1. How we should praise? Praise can be defined as gratefulness in words or song. You don’t have to be great singer to sing praise. God wants us to admonish Him with our voices. Just simply recognizing that a blessing situation or experience came from Him is praise. In all things praise Him for He gives us things to bless us and strengthen us.
2. How often should we praise? One word…. continuously. Everything we have everything we feel, everything…. comes from Him. He created us to be able to work to supply our basic needs like food, shelter and clothing. He created us to be strong in Him no matter our situation in life if we lean on Him. Every moment of everyday we should praise in some way shape or form.
3. How genuine should our praise be? Don’t straddle the fence. 1 Kings 18 talks about Elijah and Ahab. There was a famine in Samaria possibly caused by Ahab and his family’s practice of idolatry. Elijah stood on Mt. Carmel proclaiming God and His provision. IN the face of adversity, Elijah stood firm and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him”. V21 The people didn’t answer. It is so easy to straddle the fence. We are caught in a world where we flip from one side to another. The pressures of life can easily find us on the “greener” AKA easier side. So, what does this fence story have to do with genuine praise? Everything! Elijah, in the middle of a struggle, in the middle of pain, in the middle of heartbreak; or on the fence, so to speak, spoke out for God! His praise was proclaiming the source of his strength. Ours may be the same. Ours could be teaching, singing, writing, raising your hands, building, giving…. if you believe with all your heart that you are living on the right side of the fence all the time and every time. With God, there is no in-between. Honestly, praise doesn’t come natural. Praise and thanksgiving should bookend our days. First thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. We should thank Him and praise Him for everything. Our praise is music to His ears and He rejoices when we rejoice. Others need to see His love through us. Drink in His spirit from the well of Living Water and find rest and freedom in His peace.
“I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; Yes, I will praise Him among the multitude.” David was under attack by his adversaries. They spoke against him and lied about him with words of hatred without any just cause. In my opinion, David could have done a couple of things here and he did both. He turned to prayer v4 and he petitioned the court for justice and requested that his enemies be punished. V6-v20
- Turning to prayer – In that battle, prayer is our first defense. No matter where you are, what you are going through or how someone is persecuting you, prayer is first. Before speaking to our enemy, we should speak to God first. In prayer, we can be completely first. In prayer, we can be completely transparent with God. He knows how we feel anyway. There are no curtains up with God. If He dwells in your heart, He knows what is in your brain. He knows your tears, puts them in a bottle and records them in His book. Psalm 56:8 When we cry out to Him, our enemies turn back because God is for you. Psalm 56:9
- He petitioned for justice – The humanity of the psalmist is revealed. Don’t we do this? Let our anger take over or our frustrations take root? We get angry and our anger translates to harsh prayers. The truth is that we all do it. Someone harms us or our family and we ask God to send His wrath just as the psalmist did. Anger is a part of life.
- The praise – v21 But You, O God the Lord. He turned his prayer back to praise and asked God to deal with him. Save him according to God’s mercy. V28 “Let them curse, but You bless.” You see, God sees our pain and knows what we need. Yes, we can take our anger to God but we are still to praise. V30 I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; Yes, I will praise Him among the multitude. Lord, I will lift my eyes to the hills, knowing my help is coming from You, your peace you give me in time of the storm, You are the source of my strength, You are the strength of my life, I lift my hands in total praise to You.