Following Jesus: Worship - A 24/7 Experience

, by Christopher D. Hudson

“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”
Psalm 95:6

Worship is more than singing songs about God. It’s more than a religious service at the church building up the street.

Our English word worship comes from the archaic word worthship (the state of having worth). Whatever we deem as worthy (or valuable) is what we worship. Whatever that thing, person, or goal is, we gladly give our time, money, attention, energy, and hearts to it. If we decide, “We won’t worship God,” we’ll find something else to focus on and devote ourselves to. We humans can’t not worship.

Christian teaching is that the Lord is the ultimate worth in the universe. This is why followers of Jesus spend their entire lives (not just their Sunday mornings) trying to make much of him. We do everything—live, work, drive, eat, exercise, give, parent, love our neighbors, and so on—to show how much we value Christ, his life, and his commands. Do you see now why worship is a 24/7 experience?

Reflection Question

What does worship look like in your life?

Prayer
Lord Jesus, I want to center my life on you. I want to value you above all else. I want to follow you and worship you every day. Amen.


This blog post has been adapted from my book Following Jesus Daily Devotional. You can learn more about it here.

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Following Jesus: Peace - Life as God Intended

, by Christopher D. Hudson

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7

The ancient Hebrew word for peace is shalom. And what a terrific word it is! Shalom doesn’t just mean the absence of tense conflict. It means completeness, soundness, security, and well-being. In a real sense, shalom is life the way God intended it to be.

The gospel says this: Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), came to reconcile sinners to God. He lived a perfect life and died a terrible death (in our place) so that we might have “peace with God” (Romans 5:1), and so that we might enjoy the “peace of God” (Philippians 4:7). From the new life and ultimate shalom he offers, Jesus wants his followers to live as peacemakers in the world: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).

Take a minute to think about your life and your relationships. Where is the peace of God needed?

Reflection Question

What steps could you take to restore peace to a tense relationship?

Prayer
Prince of Peace, may your Spirit give me a new passion to be a peacemaker in this fractured world. Amen.


This blog post has been adapted from my book Following Jesus Daily Devotional. You can learn more about it here.




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Following Jesus: Fear or Faith - It's Your Choice

, by Christopher D. Hudson

“He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ ”
Mark 4:40


For some, the great fear in life is an unknown future or being alone. For others, it’s being destitute or losing someone or something precious. Whatever the specifics, fear is a universal problem.

Crossing the Sea of Galilee one day with Jesus, the disciples—at least four of whom were experienced fishermen—encountered an especially violent storm. They weren’t merely worried—they were terrified. Jesus stilled the storm and then, by his questions, seemed to suggest that we will either live by fear or live by faith.

Will we cower through life thinking we’re on our own? Or will we move confidently through the world, trusting that the Master of the storms is with us and for us? It’s your choice today: either live scared or live secure in Christ’s love and care.

Reflection Question

What situations in your life tempt you to give in to fear?

Prayer
Lord, when I succumb to worries and fears, I’m not fully trusting in your protection, wisdom, and abilities. Forgive me. Strengthen my faith. Amen.


This blog post has been adapted from my book Following Jesus Daily Devotional. You can learn more about it here.

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Following Jesus: Generosity - Giving with No Strings Attached

, by Christopher D. Hudson

“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
Luke 6:38 NLT

God doesn’t honor selfish giving, as one bitter giver can attest:
I saw this preacher on TV, and he said God would bless me if I “sowed a seed of faith” in his ministry. So I called. Using my credit card, I pledged the amount he said: $77. A woman prayed for me and promised that if I just had faith, in seven days I would receive back $777. All I had to do was trust God and patiently wait. Well, I’ve been waiting seven weeks. All I’ve received so far is my credit card bill, plus about ten more requests for money from that preacher.
Though the Bible says God blesses us for being generous, it does not say when or how. And the reward will not always be financial. If we are giving only to get, we need to check our motives. If God doesn’t answer selfish prayer requests, why would he honor selfish giving? (See James 4:3.)

Reflection Question
How do you give without ulterior motives?

Prayer
Jesus, I want to give with no strings attached. Amen.

This blog post has been adapted from my book Following Jesus Daily Devotional. You can learn more about it here.

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