In Ephesians 5:16 Paul encourages his fellow servants of Christ to “redeem the time by walking wisely.” There is a well-known poem called “The Dash.” It is a poem that was written in reference to the dash we see on tombstones between someone’s birth date and the date of death. The whole point is that none of us can control the date of our birth or the date of our death. Those dates are in the hands of God Almighty. However, God has granted us total control over everything we do in that dash. He has given us a will, a mind, and a body in which He calls us to glorify Him. But, we are prone to make selfish choices and end up wasting much of that dash. But we worship a loving and patient God. So redeem your time today and make it count for His glory.
One of the greatest quotes on worship I’ve ever heard came from T.W. Hunt in his book The Mind of Christ.He said: “If we praise the Lord on the mountaintops and don’t do it in the valleys, it’s not praise of the Lord at all, it’s just praise of our feelings. His worth doesn’t depend on our mood.” He is worthy all the time. And that means we worship the Lord in the good times and the bad. In fact when I look back, having been through many valleys myself, I’ve discovered I learned much more about worship in the bad times than I did in the good. Mountaintop experiences are awesome. But let’s be honest, we are rarely on a mountaintop. The valley is where we live and the valley is also where we learn. Worship Jesus in the valley. You will discover He is more than capable of carrying you through it.
Jordan Romero is a hero to me. By the time he was 16, he had already climbed the 7 tallest mountains in the world. That takes serious commitment, planning, and discipline. Very few of us have ever experienced the exhilaration of standing on top of one of the highest peaks in the world. But in a spiritual sense, many of us have had mountaintop experiences. These are unforgettable moments. Why? Because there are three things about the mountaintop that we remember: First – the view. From the mountaintop you can see what the big picture looks like. Second – the value. Mountaintops help us understand the value of discipline and diligence. It is through these things that we can experience thethird element – the Victory. The victory of living for Jesus, serving Him faithfully, and worshiping Him with all our hearts.
Have you ever been lonely? I asked that question one night while doing a concert, and for the first time all night, this little teenage girl sitting on the front row lifted her head up and looked me in the eye and shook her head “Yes.” Her look shook me to the core. Loneliness is a real issue for many people. But as God’s children, we can rest in the comfort of God’s promises. He never fails, and in Hebrews 13, God promises He will never leave us, nor forsake us. He will not turn His back on us. So, as a Christian, if you are feeling all alone, rest assured you are not. You have His spirit within you, and He holds you in His hands. And you want the best part? He will never let you go! Worship Him through this lonely time. He will carry you through it.
When it comes to corporate worship…or worship with others, it is always enjoyable to do so in the presence of friends. But we all know there are casual friends and then there are close friends. Most of us will only have a handful of what we refer to as “close” friends throughout our lifetime. The best of friends can often understand what we are thinking without a spoken word. So when we worship God, it is good to join with friends and to share our valleys and victories together. That’s why Paul reminds us to “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.” It is in these experiences that we find the encouragement we need to stay faithful. I love the words of Helen Keller when she said, “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”