Author and pastor Craig Brian Larson shares this true story that illustrates the value and necessity of worship.
(In 1988), the world watched as three gray whales, icebound off Point Barrow, Alaska, floated battered and bloody, gasping for breath at a hole in the ice. Their only hope: somehow to be transported five miles past the ice pack to open sea.
Rescuers began cutting a string of breathing holes about 20 yards apart in the six-inch-thick ice. For eight days they coaxed the whales from one hole to the next, mile after mile. Along the way, one of the trio vanished and was presumed dead. But finally, with the help of Russian icebreakers, the whales Putu and Siku swam to freedom.
In a way, worship is a string of breathing holes the Lord provides His people. Battered and bruised in a world frozen over with greed, selfishness and hatred, we rise for air in church, a place to breathe again, to be loved and encouraged, until that day when the Lord forever shatters the ice cap.
How valuable is Worship and Praise? It is essential! (1) The Father is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23) and we can be the answer to His search. That is mind-boggling to me! (2) Plus it is a benefit to us. It is the “string of breathing holes the Lord provides” for us. This world can be a suffocating place spiritually. We can easily be strangled by all the “junk” that happens in life. Plus all the hustle and bustle of this holiday time can be overwhelming. We need the “oxygen” only the Holy Spirit can provide. Thankfully, that happens when we enter into Praise and Worship, both individually and with others.
I invite you to spend extra time worshipping the Lord this Christmas season. Give Him thanks. Give Him praise. Worship Him. Adore Him. Magnify and exalt His name! Do this throughout the day and every day. Approach the Christ as the wise men did – on their knees. Offer Him lavish gifts. Not of gold, frankincense and myrrh, but the continual sacrifice of praise, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name (Hebrews 13:15).
If Christmas shopping becomes stressful, praise the Lord. If each new day seems more hectic than the day before, magnify His name. If someone cuts you off in traffic, give Him thanks that you were not hurt. If you get to the point that you want all the “busyness” and the hustle & bustle to be over, rejoice that He is with you always. He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Rejoice in His incomparable love for you, that your name is written in His book of Life (Luke 10:20), and that we will rule and reign with Him for all eternity (Revelation 5:10). No matter what is happening in your life, give Him all the praise and all the honor and all the worship!
This Sunday, December 5, we will continue our Christmas series, “The Songs of Christmas”, with Mary’s exquisite song of Praise, the “Magnificat” (Luke 1:46-55). Please join us at 10:35am in the building (and enjoy the Christmas decorations and lights) or online for the Live broadcast on either Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). A link will be posted later that day to our website (honoluluag.org).
If you missed last Wednesday’s online Bible study on Vitamin T, I urge you to check it out. It is a touching reminder of the importance of giving thanks. I even choked up toward the end sharing the powerful story of Pastor Martin Rinkart. You will find the Bible study online at the above 3 sites (Facebook, YouTube, website).
A Big Mahalo goes to all those who helped decorate the building last Sunday. A wonderful group of hard workers stayed after the worship service and quickly transformed the sanctuary, entry and other places. It looks beautiful!
Coming Up: Our 10th annual Christmas Lunch and Treasure Trade outreach for Ladies & girls will take place this Saturday, December 4, at 11:30am. Please pray for those who will be coming that they will experience the presence and joy of the Lord and to choose Him as their Savior if they don’t already know Him. Our 2nd Drive-Through Prayer in the parking lot outreach will happen that same afternoon at 1pm. Please don’t miss it!
Aloha and Aloha ke Akua!