Jul 30 2015

Mitch McVicker – FREE Concert!

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Mitch McVicker is an amazing, unique performer with folk-rock songwriting and a love for Christ. His music career has consisted of over 1500 concerts and 10 albums taking him to 49 states and 12 countries. His ministry partner and friend was the late Rich Mullins. He won a Dove Award for co-writing the song, “My Deliverer” with Mullins on the Jesus Record and was featured in the movie “Ragamuffin,” available on Netflix or DVD. Mitch’s latest record is, The Grey – When Black & White Fade, and is full of beautiful and deep lyrical writing and musical talent. It’s available to purchase here: mitchmcvicker.com. “The Love of God is beyond calculation,” he says, “yet, we tend to try to measure life in black and white.” Mitch will be performing at Grove’s First Baptist Church, 501 E 13th St, Grove, OK 74344. (918) 786-4419, free admission, all ages welcome! No childcare provided. Mark this on your calendars – you won’t want to miss this unique, inspiring performance! Who will YOU invite? Join the event on Facebook by clicking ‘here’ and give $5 or more to bless Mitch for his time and performance by clicking www.gofundme.com/mcvickergroveok

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Jul 17 2013

Heal My Heart

Guest writer Mary Roberts lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband Zachary and their son.

Guest writer Mary Roberts lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband Zachary and their son.

Today I was thinking about things… I was raised to respect others and treat others the way I would want them to treat me. I was taught wrong is always wrong no matter how many people are doing it. I was taught no matter what someone does to you, never stoop down to their low. Always be nice even when they are far from it. I may not have very many close friends but that’s OK. My dad was my best friend and I’ve learn so much from him in the 21yrs I had with him. I am a lot like him today because I spent so much time learning how to treat others by the way he treated others. I may have a delicate heart. I will always look for the good in others. I will always be truthful. I will always try and help others and never look for something in return. I will do my best to do as I am asked, and do it without complaining. Unfortunately, I have been taken advantage of and been called naive because of some of the things I have just listed. I have a gentle spirit and sometimes get my feelings hurt easy or get upset because of the way people treat each other. I feel like God has always given me compassion for others because no matter what they’ve done or what has been done to them I feel their pain or my heart hurts for what they have went through.

Hillsong’s song Hosanna says it perfectly:

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity

This is the compassion for people God has laid on my heart from an early age. I was blessed to have such a loving home that I never understood why people are so hateful.

I remember one night I was placed in a situation I had never seen first hand. And it was someone being brutally, verbally abused and I didn’t know what to do. I remember driving home bawling because my heart hurt so much for that person and I didn’t understand how someone could be so hateful. And then later when that person treats you just as bad as they were treated, you realize you are not sorry for yourself, you are sorry for them. They have been hurt so much all they know to do know is hurt others and hold hate in their hearts when things don’t go as planned. But I still forgave them even though they tried to publicly humiliate me and hurt me just because they were feeling hurt. I still wonder how people hold so much hate and unforgiveness in their hearts because it would tear me apart. But again that is just who I am. This scripture hits home for me in this situation. “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44) I’ve realized that all I can do is pray for those who hurt me and let them go. Forgiveness is easy, trusting again is not. We can cannot help ourselves until we learn to forgive others and look past it. No matter who has hurt you in life you must forgive and move on.

Holding hate and unforgiveness will only cause you to hurt others as you have been hurt. It will keep you from a life of happiness. And you will become someone you never imagined you could become. In the end you will regret all the hurtful things you have done by simply choosing to not forgive. I pray that this touches someone and they learn to forgive what or who ever has come against them. Life is too short to hold on to things and live a life of unforgiveness. Learn to love others no matter what they have done. And live a life of love.

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Jun 22 2013

Have You Been to XXXChurch.com?

xxxchurchXXXChurch.com and StripChurch.com are ministry websites and blogs that provide God’s Word, accountability, support, resources, and unconditional love to those in the porn and strip dance industries as well as those who participate as customers.

Porn Addiction Recovery

Porn addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome, but XXXchurch.com is your resource online to fight porn addiction. We prevail through awareness, prevention, and recovery. Pornography addiction is threatening lives, families, and children. XXXchurch offers addiction recovery resources for men, women, parents, and couples. We have weekly articles on how to conquer difficult issues, as well as porn accountability and filtering software. Take a minute to take the sexual addiction test below. Break porn addiction and sexual addiction. Get treatment for pornography addiction if you are a sex addict or a porn addict. Quit porn today.

At Strip Church, we serve, teach, and equip women across the world who share a heart and calling to reach those in the sex industry. We provide 3-4 Training Conferences each year, developing 30-50 people each time, training new leaders to do strip club and sex industry ministry in their home cities. Our Strip Church Network is supported through monthly training conference calls, resources, networked websites, blogs, prayer, and branded materials to use inside the clubs.

Both of these fantastic ministries are founded by Fireproof Ministries which is headed by Craig Gross, author and speaker. He has many books available including The Gutter, which discusses the ministry of Jesus and how we exemplify that by ministering and loving people where they are, in the streets and the gutters.

strip-church-logoFrom Craig:

My name is Craig Gross and back in January of 1999 I left my job as a youth pastor and began Fireproof Ministries with my best friend Jake Larson. We started Craig and Jake LIVE, speaking at youth events and eventually put on our own events across the country. A few years later after seeing so many young people devastated by the effects of pornography I saw a need to create a safe place online where people could get help and the truth about pornography and in early 2002 launched XXXchurch.com.
The ministry of XXXchurch has gone all over the world. Over 100 million people have visited the website or read about the ministry online. We have over 1 million people using our FREE accountability software X3watch, and recently our X3Watch Pro product now includes filtering!

The ministry of Fireproof has become a launching pad for new ministry projects and ideas. In 2008, we launched Strip church, which is a ministry that reaches out to people who work amongst the sex industry in Nevada and in 2011, we expanded that vision to create the Strip Church Network which provides training and support for sex industry ministries across the world.

God Bless, Craig Gross

 

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May 18 2013

God’s Obsession with Virgins, Prostitutes and You

179865This might be the last devotion posted for a few weeks while my wife and I take a sabbatical from writing to work on our move across the country and prepare for the trip. We hope you will stay signed up to receive posts by email, twitter, and Facebook. If you have a testimony or devotion that you would like to submit for posting as a guest writer, please send it to us at cryofworship@gmail.com!

God’s Obsession with Virgins, Prostitutes and You:

The Bible isn’t shy about discussing almost any issue. When it comes to virgins and prostitutes it has plenty to say and plenty of historical figures whose stories are important. The reason I title this post as I do is not to be controversial, but to draw attention to the fact that God loves and accepts anyone who puts their faith in His Son, no matter which extreme or somewhere in between you may be. We were all at one time virgins if we are not anymore. We are not all prostitutes, selling our bodies for money. But I dare say many of us, even married, have used our bodies to get what we want – whether in fulfilling personal lusts, or as manipulation. Anyway, you and I may not fall into either category, but the point is God loves us all and Jesus died for each of us.

I think of Rehab, the prostitute who helped hide Joshua’s spys in Jericho and was rewarded with safety and acceptance. I think of Delilah who sold her body indirectly by accepting a bribe to discover the source of Samson’s strength. I think of Gomer the prostitute who married the prophet Hosea. I think of Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus. I think of the woman at the well who met Jesus, had been married to five different men and was seeing another. I think of Mary Magdalene, a prostitute who became a central disciple to Christ. I think of the prostitute who washed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfumes purchased with the money she made by selling sex no doubt. I think of the woman caught in adultery that Jesus refused to stone and released her from her sin and its consequences. I think of the parable of the 10 virgins, five of whom were accepted by the bridegroom because they were prepared. But virgins and prostitutes come in the male gender too!

The Old Testament has a lot of rules concerning sex, marriage, prostitution, divorce, and the treatment of women for the Hebrews. Those rules don’t apply to Christians, because that law was for a time and place before the New Covenant was made through Jesus. Don’t let college professors and atheistic teachers make you think God discriminates against women. He doesn’t. Male and female were both made in God’s image by His own intent. The New Testament is a better example of this. But that really isn’t the point, just something I wanted to mention.

John 3:16 is famous, “For God so loved the world that He have His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” Have you taken time to read verses 17-18? “He did not send His Son into the world to condemn its people, but so that through Him we might be saved…”

Here’s what I’m thinking, friends:

1. God doesn’t love you based on your goodness or badness. ANYONE who puts their faith in Jesus is saved and God accepts them as His own.

2. God can use anyone to accomplish His plan, even virgins and prostitutes. Don’t limit yourself. God wants to use you!

7ca7c9d352e779fdc92367c25810943b3. God hates sin, but that doesn’t mean He hates you. Just because you are gay doesn’t mean He hates you. Just because you lie doesn’t mean He hates you. Just because you are broken, awkward, addicted, imprisoned, or sad or whatever… doesn’t mean God doesn’t want you! He loves you and wants you to be saved.

4. God’s people shouldn’t discriminate against anyone – virgins or prostitutes (for example). We must love, accept and pray for those people who are in need of God even more than those who have accepted Jesus already. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”

5. God is obsessed with His creation and passionately yearns that you belong to His Kingdom by receiving Jesus – because He wants right relationship with you. He doesn’t want to see your sins’ consequences overcome you. He wants to deliver you and He wants you to know His magnificent love for you – not just as part of the human race, but you individually – because you are you!

This week I hope we all remember these points and are persuaded and reminded to receive and share the reckless, raging fury that they call the love of God – with everyone we come into contact with, speak about, or think about. Whether at home or on the street, in church or in prison, in Taiwan or in Detroit, whether the person beside you is Delilah or Rehab… God’s love is needed. Let’s allow His obsession to capture as many of us as possible into His merciful arms!

– Richie

John 16:27, “No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” – Jesus

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Feb 11 2013

The Quest for Perfection

RESPECT. The word leaves a bitter taste on my tongue and I spit it out like too much salt in cookie dough. What should be the spice and glory of a well-seasoned marriage is, instead, only something I can hope to grasp and one day capture. It’s not the receiving of respect that bothers me so much but the mess I make when trying to give it to the one person I love more than life itself. Have you ever felt that way about something? That one thing that you can never seem to get right? How many times have I spent the morning on my knees begging God to refine me and change my heart, to soften me and to become in tune to the needs of my dear husband? And how many times have I thrown it back in his face with another harsh word or disrespectful glare? Trying and grasping and reaching and pushing so hard to achieve perfection. If you’re like me, and I’m guessing some of you are… then you know that this ideal you hold so fast to, is impossible. And yet we keep running to it, focusing on the quest for perfection as if our very life depends on it. Over and over I fall short, and of course I will, for true perfection is found only in the Life and Person and Godliness of our Lord and Savior.

coffee picFunny thing is… it’s my imperfections that keep me clinging to the Cross. Huddled at Jesus’ feet awaiting a fresh touch and His peace, I am thankful for my sinfulness, I am thankful for my need of Him. Yes, I am grateful that I screw up over and over again, needing to depend on Him for my life, my eternal future, and for the mercy He so lovingly bestows time and time again. If I dig deep into the pulsing desires of my soul I see that my quest for perfection is not the root of the issue. Neither is disrespecting my husband. There is something in me that has been growing since I was a little girl. Diseased and twisted, I have allowed it to take root in me and its repercussions are swift and deadly: INSECURITY. A word I hate even more than respect.  From the little girl on the playground made fun of for being overweight to the young woman in high school who wasn’t so great at math or sports and the college student who disguised herself as unwanted and unloved, I soaked my insecurities in. Like a ball and chain they have followed me around for too many years.

Like any person trying to become perfect, once I found out how insecure I was and that this was hindering me in relationships and confidence and work, I sat down and made a list of what I could do to become secure. Why? Because I couldn’t stand that my insecurities made me imperfect. Why do I beat myself up every time my husband and I have a disagreement and I disrespect him with my attitude and words? Because I can’t stand that my disrespectful nature makes me imperfect.

I am broken.

And that’s ok.

I’m a bit of a mess.

But grace is a pretty awesome gift.

Jesus says, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened 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.” Matthew 11:28-29

pic chalkboardIt is not through perfection that we are saved or brought right with God, is it? No, it is because of our weakness, our imperfections, our insecurities, and our failures that we NEED God. My brokenness leads me to the foot of the Cross to remember why Jesus died.

“But God shows His love for us in this that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

We don’t have to be perfect! And because of God’s unending grace, compassion and mercy, we have life everlasting! I hope this is as encouraging to you as it is to me. I’m sure I will still keep trying to be a better wife, mommy, daughter, sister, friend, and child of God, but it’s so good to know that if I don’t get any closer to “perfection” than where I am today, that’s ok.  I have full security in my Savior and what He has done for me and for you. He paid the price of our sins and imperfection and insecurities and removed them as far as the east is from the west. That’s good news.

Live free and secure in your brokenness with me!! You are who God has called you to be.

– Kathy

(Pictures courtesy of Ann Voskamp at www.aholyexperience.com)

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Dec 21 2012

Pure in Heart

Jesus seemed to enjoy mountains, but we’ll talk about that some other time. One of His first sermons is spoken while He stands on a mountain in front of a large crowd of gatherers. He speaks of being poor in spirit, hungering for righteousness, the meek inheriting the earth, those who need comfort, and more. His points are brief but incredibly powerful and one of them centers on the pure in heart. He says they will see God.

What does that mean? Can you ever see God? And how can I ever be pure enough? I don’t believe Jesus was stating that only the ‘perfect’ could see God. And I don’t believe He was saying that they would see God face to face with their physical eyes in this life. I believe it is clear that Jesus was speaking to those who want to encounter or experience God in this life, in any way possible. He was speaking of those who desire Him. G.K. Chesterton believed to be pure in heart meant that God was your one true, foremost desire in this life. And that could be true. My perspective is that to be pure in heart isn’t an accomplishment or even a life void of unfaithfulness in our relationship with Him. I believe with my whole heart that to be pure of heart means my focus is entirely on Him at a particular moment in time and in those moments I encounter God intimately. The encounter may be during a moment of great appreciation for my wife or my son. The encounter may be while I am in my car with my heart focused entirely on worshiping Him with song and prayer. Or the moment I encounter God intimately may be when I am broken, facing a sin and the guilt it brings, and crying for His mercy though it is already present.

Being pure in heart isn’t life-long, but if a life is filled with moments of purity of heart then it is a life that has been touched by the love of God, has felt His embrace one way or another, and has seen His face by encountering His grace. I desire not to be pure in heart, but to see God. To do this I must focus on Him, love Him, appreciate Him, and enjoy Him without focusing on my sin, my inept attempts at perfection, and my unfaithfulness. I cannot be pure in heart while focusing on desires of the flesh either. In the moment when He is my everything that is when I am free to see my Creator. But if I get distracted by trying too hard, if my focus gets off of Him and onto what I am doing or how I am doing it, then my heart is shaken and I’m not experiencing the fullness of Him. Both virtues and vices can get in our way. Most simply put, to be ‘pure in heart’ is to enjoy God fully in the moment.

Here is a conversation between singer-songwriter Rich Mullins and a close friend named Pamela Richards. I think it illustrates a terrific perspective on Jesus’ sermon… This is her account:

Rich Mullins 1955-1997

“I’m having trouble with the sixth Beatitude, Richard. ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’ Any given day my heart is so corrupt, how could I even want to see God? I’d far rather run and hide. I have no idea how I’m going to learn to be pure in heart!”

Richard just laughs in his easy way. “Congratulations!” he says. “A natural fear of God… that’s the beginning of wisdom.”

He smiles. He knows me quite well. He thinks about my question seriously for a moment, then his face lights up.

Richard says, “God knows you’re not ready to look him in the eye. That’s why he shows Himself to you in a sunset, or when someone makes an extra effort to show you are loved. Is your heart pure enough to see God then?”

He continues, “Those are the moments when you are pure in heart. God won’t show up somewhere in our peripheral vision while we are staring at our own hearts. A heart can be a pretty dark place, and self-absorption is only one of the barriers that can keep us from seeing Him. The more we look only at God, the more of Him we will see. Focus on God, not your own barriers to seeing Him: that’s when He’ll show up.”

Thanks for reading my post, friends. I hope you have a moment today where you experience God and know it.

Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

Love,

Richie

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Dec 08 2012

Are You Sick of Religion?

Guest Writer Jennifer Maggio, author of Church & the Single Mom and Overwhelmed.

Are you sick of traditional, ritualistic religion? Are you tired of church-as-usual? What does that mean anyway? I cannot, for the life of me, understand why some Christians are okay just purchasing their fire hazard insurance (you know, the kind that keeps them out of Hell), strapping in, hunkering down, and waiting on Jesus’ return. I mean, seriously?! Aren’t we supposed to be busy about our Father’s business? Looking for the lost? Creating environments for the Holy Spirit to minister to the lives of those around us? I honestly cannot sit through a church service where the Holy Spirit is hindered and squelched for fear someone may do something out of the ordinary.

Maybe church isn’t even supposed to look like it did when you were a boy. Maybe Jesus will be just fine if we don’t sing 2.5 songs from the middle of the hymnal this Sunday. Maybe your denomination isn’t the most accurate to the original Hebrew/Greek translation of the Bible. I was raised in a traditional, small church where raising one’s hands in worship, shouting “amen” or something similar in support of the pastor, or clapping in church were all grossly frowned upon. It wasn’t considered reverent. Imagine my surprise when I visited other churches and saw various forms of worship and service order. Today, I am thoroughly convinced that whether your church chooses to sing from the hymnal, a sheet of paper, or the big screen, the Lord receives it as a fragrant aroma, when done with a pure heart of worship.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:15-17

Here’s a riveting, ground-breaking thought…what if we put aside our preconceived ideas of what church should look like, stop bickering over whether Baptists are more right than Methodists, or whether we should sing 3 or 4 stanzas of “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus,” or whether we should buy pizza or hamburgers with the church fund on family fun night, and truly get free. Let’s step aside and let the Holy Spirit move in lives. Let’s be quiet and still before the altar and truly “hear” the voice of God in our lives. Let’s lock arms with other denominations focused not on what separates us, but rather what unites us — the love of Jesus. Let’s enter into worship this Sunday morning with great expectation that we may actually encounter the King there.

Jennifer Maggio is an award-winning author and speaker who is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on single parents’ and women’s issues. She is founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries and Overwhelmed: The Single Moms Magazine. For more information, visit thelifeofasinglemom.com.

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Oct 16 2012

‘Choosing Joy’ from Kathy

Being 39 weeks pregnant with our first little baby, I find myself often blaming my bad attitude, mood swings, and short temper on my raging hormones and the fact that “I don’t feel well.” Perhaps I do have a bit of an excuse, but that’s no reason for me to act out against my ever patient and loving husband. The last thing I want to do is suck him dry and exhaust him by thinking only of myself and keep him on his toes just trying to keep me happy. I was convicted of this the other day when the Lord spoke softly into my heart, “in all things, my daughter, choose joy.” I realized again in that moment that I don’t have to be consumed by my emotions or by the way I feel. Yes, there are times when my body aches and I cry at nearly everything – that is part of being pregnant and being a woman – but in those moments I am striving to remind myself that I can still choose my attitude. I can still choose inner peace and joy amidst chaos and stress. This, I know, will bless my husband and provide security for my family.

I will admit to you, in all honesty, that this is something that is often difficult for me. I tend to indulge my emotions of the moment and ride the feelings of inadequacy and insecurity, sometimes looking for ways to blame others for how I’m feeling.  It takes being reminded of Whom I belong to and who I am in Christ, as a beloved daughter, to stop me in my tracks and change my attitude.

“I will sing for joy in God, explode in praise from deep in my soul! He dressed me up in a suit of salvation, he outfitted me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom who puts on a tuxedo and a bride a jeweled tiara. For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers, and as a garden cascades with blossoms, so the Master, GOD, brings righteousness into full bloom and puts praise on display before the nations.” Isaiah 61:10-11 from The Message

Today, I am choosing joy. I am choosing to be reminded that my strength and purpose and passion come from my joy in the Lord. I am putting Him first and allowing Him to work miraculously in and through me, each day. And I am praying that you, dear friends, will choose to allow Him to mold you and make you more into His likeness; in the fullness of His joy and strength.

In His love,

Kathy Castaldo

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Aug 13 2012

Where Are You, Lord?

Becky Ward is a guest writer who lives in Billings, MT.

My thoughts are suddenly jolted back to the sermon as I realize that I have been staring across the rows in church at the girls sitting three rows down from me. I am ashamed and admit to no one but God that I have been daydreaming and scheming about the “perfect lives” they seem to have. Anger grows as I mentally start to count off the good things I think they have. Number one, a godly man who loves her and a marriage on the way, a job she really enjoys, people who really care about her and want to be around her, and the list goes on. Meanwhile, the list rolls over to what I think I don’t have, which includes first and foremost a man who loves me, and oh would it be too much to ask if he were godly?? I don’t own a house, have children to carry on my legacy and am not in the position of life I thought I would automatically be in at this age.

In the midst of the chaos and madness of my thoughts and emotions which pull me in so many different directions until I want to scream, a still voice echoes into the recesses of my mind. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart,” Jeremiah 29:11-13. My rebellious heart and mind scoffs at the seemingly showy promise as I struggle to define what my life means on this earth to others, myself, and God. As this summer moves through each endless week, my heart cries out to God as he slowly starts to peel back the empty layers of my soul, bringing me into the story of Joseph.

He was a man who seemed to have it all, the adoration of a father, an inheritance, and the promise of all good things life has to offer, until one day the rug was pulled out from beneath him. His brothers sold him into slavery, he toiled for a man whose wife tried to seduce him, ran away and ended up in prison for years on end. He had everything then nothing! I read the story with fresh horror and empathy, pitying Joseph as God seemed to have left him alone to fend for himself with no purpose. However, as with Joseph, the Lord has continued to make my heart tender to his presence and the Holy Spirit started to reveal His truth, which was that God has been, was always with and would always be there for Joseph and for me. In Joseph’s story, the Lord revealed that not only would He be there for him, but would bless Joseph in the midst of his best and worst circumstances, whether he was at his father’s right hand or alone in the darkest dungeon of Egypt. The glory of God is coming alive for me while reflecting on this story, providing hope that, “The Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love,” Genesis 40: 21. He would be with me to shine into my life and into the lives of others for His glory just as he was with Joseph. I realize what I have been missing this summer and struggle with in the course of life is donning a mask of self-centerdness and self-righteousness, expecting the good life when God has been breaking and molding me to be his daughter all along. Like Joseph, God smashes my idols and desires that my heart be confirmed into His likeness that I may glory in what He has done for me and serve others. Breaking down idols may be painful but produces wonderful fruit, such as a desire to read His word, a love for others and a desire to pray for them, enabled only by Christ. He, who sustains and holds me in the palm of his hand, not allowing me to self-destruct when I fall into jealousy and anger, loves me in spite of my sins, that in my moments of utter weakness He may be magnified!

— Becky

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Jun 23 2012

Well Watered Worship – Part 1

Luke 7:36-38 – And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

Guest writer Tony R. from the website wellwateredwoman.com

As I read about this woman I had an epiphany. This woman, simply described by Luke as a sinner was showing forth the epitome of well watered worship.

These verses tell us when “this woman” knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she came bringing with her an alabaster box filled with fragrant oil. As she stood behind the Lord she wept and in the midst of her weeping she got down and began to wash the Lord’s feet with her tears.

As I sat and observed this woman by way of the Word I saw this woman had an understanding that many of us lack. Although Luke describes her as a sinner there was something more to this woman… “this woman” had a heart for the Lord. You see this woman, even in the midst of her sinful condition, had the capacity to discern who was in her midst and to cry out in His presence. She recognized His presence and something about it pulled her in.

It did not matter that she was called a sinner, that those in the house knew who she was, who she had been or what her past was. She had one mission in mind and that was to get to Jesus. I’m not sure how many people were there that night but given what we know in the Word, anytime Jesus showed up a crowd was drawn. Based on that knowledge we can assume it was more than likely a crowd outside the house as well as inside, but still she pressed her way in.

As she entered into His presence she was overwhelmed and moved to weeping.

She didn’t have the cute misty eyed, pat away with pretty pink tissues cry, she CRIED, she WEPT, she was moved to a place of deep weeping. The kind of weeping we find in travail. The tears this woman shed were tears that could only have been pulled from the deepest most innermost parts of her being. She cried tears that were pulled from the core and essence of herself; from the very well of her soul. As her well filled up, it poured out in the purest form of worship: her tears.

In the midst of her brokenness and heart wrenching flow she humbled herself in the sight of the Lord and bowed completely at His feet. She brought herself subject to the Lord and washed his feet with the water from the well of her soul! John 4:23 -24 says: But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Worship in this passage is proskuneo which means to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand; to fawn over or crouch to, to prostrate oneself in homage, to do reverence to, to adore.

This woman, this sinner woman, although she didn’t know or understand the mechanics of it all still worshiped Him and she worshiped Him with all that was in her! As I read this my heart screamed how much more can I offer the Lord? How much more can I press my way through? How much more can I push past the crowd of my thoughts, my activities, my chaos and pain to make my way into His presence where I can pour out to Him and truly worship Him with all that is within me? How much more Lord, how much more?!?

After washing his feet she dried them with her hair. I saw a symbolism in this that I had not seen before. As she worshiped the Lord she laid “her” glory at his feet bringing it subject to HIS glory and covering.

1 Cor. 11:15 says: but if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. Glory in this reference is Doxa – meaning dignity, glory (-ious), honor, praise, worship. She laid her dignity down; she laid her flesh at His feet bringing it subject and into submission to HIM!

One thing you must look at is in that era women did not wear their hair uncovered. In order to wipe his feet with her hair she had to uncover it, she had to loose her hair, she had to let it down and in doing so she had to reveal herself!

She had to remove the covering, meaning she had to become transparent, get real, and become open to the Lord! She had to make her face like flint not caring what anyone thought or said, she had to take off vain glory! As believers we tend to wear masks, we cover up what’s really going on, we don’t like our image to be tarnished, we want to keep up appearances not knowing that all this really does is keep us bound and hinders us from truly engaging in His presence.

His presence; where He longs and beckons us to come. He wants us to come so we can truly be changed, freed, delivered from the anger, depression, disappointments, gossip, slander, envy, jealousy, wrong thoughts that plague the flesh. Freed from the very pain of the past and hurts of the present. He longs for transparent worship!

After drying His feet she kissed them! Having surrendered and submitted her will and glory to the Lord in exchange for His, it was right there at the kiss that she transitioned.

Psalm 2:12 says: Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

The verse Kiss the Son is telling us to worship Him. To Kiss Him is to worship Him, to worship him is to love Him, to love him is to kiss Him – KISS THE SON!!

– Tony Robinson

Well Watered Womaninternational ministry for women

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