devotion

Short on Worship for Nominal Christians

Today's Worship Quote is a reminder that we are often tempted to worship the trappings of Christianity, rather than the person of Jesus Christ.

WORSHIP FOR THE NOMINAL CHRISTIAN
The nominal Christian, then, will see Jesus as a name, a representative, a symbol, a personification, a prototype, a figure, a model, an exemplar for something else. The nominal Christian pays homage to something about Jesus, rather than worshipping the man himself. For this reason, nominal Christians will extol the moral teachings of Jesus, the faith of Jesus, the personality of Jesus, the compassion of Jesus, the world view of Jesus, the self-understanding of Jesus, etc. None of these worships Jesus as the Christ, but only something about him, something peripheral to the actual flesh-and-blood man. This is why when the almighty God came into the world in Jesus, he came as the lowest of the low, as weakness itself, as a complete and utter nothing, in order that men would be forced into the crucial decision about him alone and would not be able to worship anything about him.

- Robert L. Short, The Parables of Peanuts, Harper and Row, 1968.


CHIP’S THOUGHTS

Lord Jesus Christ, show us yourself. Help us to worship you in spirit and in truth. Amen.

Have a great week!


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Swenson on God Time

Do you have time in your life for God? Is there enough quiet to hear the voice of the Almighty? Today's Worship Quote offers a challenge to our hectic, clock-watching, often Godless schedules.

EVERYONE NEEDS GOD TIME
Because He is not temporally pushy about His agenda, God is too easy to forget. He just waits... and waits. What does He think of "efficient" prayers? What happened to the "Be still and know that I am God" times? Societies that have the accelerator to the floor are doomed to become God-less. Speed does not yield devotion... The clock and Christ are not close friends. Imagine what God thinks of us now that we are so locked into schedules that we have locked ourselves out of the Sermon on the Mount - it is hardly possible to walk a second mile today without offending one's pocket calendar. We jump at the alarm of a Seiko but sleep through the call of the Almighty.

- Richard M. Swenson, Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, NavPress, 1992, 154.


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Tozer on Spiritual Nourishment

Today's Worship Quote is another from the pen of A. W. Tozer. He was the pastor of Chicago's Southside Alliance Church from 1928 to 1959. He never went to be a Bible school, seminary or university, but his many writings consistently and powerfully direct the reader's attention to the amazing God who desires our love, devotion and worship.

The Pursuit of God
By A.W. Tozer

SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT
Sound Bible exposition is an imperative must in the Church of the Living God. Without it no church can be a New Testament church in any strict meaning of that term. But exposition may be carried on in such a way as to leave the hearers devoid of any true spiritual nourishment whatever. For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.

- A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, (Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1948).


CHIP’S THOUGHTS

Lord, thank you for the Scriptures. Thank you that through them we can come to know you, inter into you, and delight in you. Amen!

Have a great week!


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Schaffer's "Only You"

Today's Worship Quote of the Week is another prayer/poem by Ulrich Schaffer. Perhaps we could call this a modern-day psalm. Have you written a psalm lately?

ONLY YOU
My wish is
to come only to You,
to put aside and reject everything else
to stand before You
and to wait.

Not to waste my time anymore
with words and actions
that don't count before You
and make me dishonest.

To order my life in a new way,
to consider what forms me,
and how others are formed through me
and then to reject or emphasize more.

Let it become visible in my life
that you are the pearl
for which I will give up everything.

That in You is my treasure
And my heart.

- Ulrich Schaffer, Greater Than Our Hearts: Prayers and Reflections (New York City: Harper and Row, 1981).


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

Do you hear the words of the scriptures in this poem? Of course, the "pearl" and the "treasure" come from Matthew 13:45-46 and Matthew 6:21, but which lines are echoes of these other passages: Psalm 25:5, Psalm 27:14, Psalm 100:3, Matthew 5:16, Luke 14:26, John 12:25, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and Philippians 3:7-8? The list could go on and on.

Far too often, for me, Jesus is only one of my treasures. He's a pearl of great price among many other wonderful possessions that compete for my attention, affection and worship. This poem/prayer/psalm gives me a bold challenge to "reject or emphasize more."

Have a great week!


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Chambers on Worshiping God with the Best

Today's Worship Quote of the Week is another from Oswald Chambers' devotional classic, My Utmost for His Highest.

WORSHIP GOD WITH THE BEST
Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be careful what you do with the best you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift. Take time to meditate before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship. If you hoard a thing of blessing for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot, as the manna did when it was hoarded [Exodus 16]. God will never let you hold a spiritual thing for yourself, it has to be given back to Him that he may make it a blessing to others.

- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Barbour & Company (http://www.barbourbooks.com). Selected mostly from talks given during the years 1911-1915, these devotionals were first published in 1935 by Dodd, Mead & Co., renewed in 1963 by Oswald Chambers Publication Association, Ltd.


CHIP’S THOUGHTS

Lord, help us to respond to your goodness with deliberated acts of worship - worship that pleases you and is a blessing to others. Amen!

Have a great week!


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Temple on the Definition of Worship

Have you ever tried to come up with a one-sentence definition of worship? Here's one by a noted English cleric of the last century.

A DEFINITION OF WORSHIP
To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.

-William Temple (1881-1944), Archbishop of Canterbury from 1942 to 1944.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

Holy Lord, quicken my conscience, feed my mind, purge my imagination, and open my heart to your love as I devote my will to your purpose. Amen!

Have a great week!


To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.