Google+ 08/10/13 Here I Am To Worship! Part 1

Genesis 28:18-22

 

The next morning Jacob got up very early.

He took the stone he had rested his head against, and he set it upright as a memorial pillar.

Then he poured olive oil over it.

He named that place Bethel (which means “house of God”), although it was previously called Luz.

Then Jacob made this vow:

“If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey,

And if he will provide me with food and clothing, and if I return safely to my father’s home,

Then the Lord will certainly be my God.

And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God,

And I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me.”

 

This is part one of a two-part devotion series and sermon discussing worship.  In order for us to effectively worship God, we must understand that we were made to worship Him from the beginning of our lives.  Today, Moses tells us in our Scripture lesson about Jacob's vow to God.  God has just appeared to Jacob in a vision and explains that He will be with him always.  God tells Jacob that his seed will spread all over the world.  Jacob is in awe.  That part is easy.  Most of us at some point are in awe of God and the great things He has done.  Being in awe is not enough if we are to worship Him effectively.  We must all do what Jacob did.  Upon seeing God, Jacob proclaimed the place where he was standing Bethel, which means "House of God."  The worldly name for this spot was called Luz, which was located 12 miles north of Jerusalem.  Jacob rose early in the morning and took the stone of his resting place and made a memorial pillar to worship and honor God.  Jacob poured oil on the stone.  Let's understand what Jacob did first.  He identified who God was and set a place aside to worship Him.  For us, it can be anywhere God is, but we must make that special place holy.  For me, it is my office where I most often go to pray for my family of God.  I have "decorated" my office with things that would mean nothing to anyone but me and God.  There is the forbidden tree from the Garden of Eden that my ministry partner painted for the musical "Children of Eden."   It is a constant reminder of who God is and how easily we can fall away from Him if we listen to the world.  One entire wall is covered with graffiti panels from the musical "Godspell," signed by the entire cast.  Many of the names on these panels accepted Christ as their Savior during this musical.  These remind me why I worship God and why I am a minister to the Performing Arts.  There is a bear that sits in the middle of my desk that proclaims my 41 years of accepting Christ as my personal Savior on this very day, August 10th.  Like Jacob, this keeps God as the most important relationship in my life which helps me keep everything else in balance.  I am explaining this in great detail because we all need a place to truly worship God.  Churches are nice.  Unfortunately, most of them are over-done with things that really don't mean anything to anyone, personally, in their walk with God.   They weren't designed with Jacob in mind!  Step one of worshiping God is to identify a place where you will actually do it on a regular basis!  At our Friday worship last night, we had coffee, snacks, acoustic instruments and great songs, children sleeping on the floor, children singing with the adults, Scripture, prayer, and fellowship.  Those are the things we "adorned" the room with for worship.  We were not in our usual "space," but that didn't matter.  We declared our "space" holy and called it "Bethel!"   As we conclude part one of our two-part devotion on worship, let's identify a place to worship like Jacob did.  When we have done this, we need to look up at God and say, "Here I Am To Worship!"