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Day 16

Day 16

Author: Bernie Gerstmayr
June 29, 2020

 

Every Day that Ends in “Y”


1 Chronicles 16:23-31 (NIV)
23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
    proclaim his salvation day after day.
24 Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
25 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens.
27 Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and joy are in his dwelling place.
28 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    bring an offering and come before him.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his[a] holiness.
30     Tremble before him, all the earth!
    The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
31 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
    let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”




I preached on this topic almost three years ago in our “Rooted” series and I think now is a good time to bring that idea back to the present day.  Romans 12:2 tells us to not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but for today’s devotional I am choosing a very “worldly” topic for the analogy to drive this point home, so bear with me.  We can all learn something here from how the world moved through pop culture and technology.

Do you remember “Must See TV”?   Thursday nights on NBC from 7 to 9 p.m. was the coveted time in the 1980’s to 90’s for families to gather and watch their favorite shows.  Everyone tuned in for lack of a better word “religiously” to be able to then gather around the proverbial water cooler to share a favorite quote, situation or in some cases family lesson or social issue that was discussed.  But an interesting aspect of then that is very different than now, is HOW you had to watch.  You HAD to watch on Thursday night.   When it all started, there was no way to record your favorite show.  You had to be there in person with family and friends to catch it.   But then technology happened and changed the way we viewed our “must see” show - the VCR, the DVR, and now in the present, the streaming services.  You can now watch your show whenever you want to and don’t HAVE to be there on the night it aired.  You can connect with friends about the content whenever you want to, or when you really need to watch it, it’s at your fingertips.

This is how I feel we continue to treat Sundays.  And in this pandemic, even more so.   

Sunday was the day we gathered together with family and friends to hear the Good News so that we could then spread it at the proverbial water cooler the next day.  Sunday was where we heard about an important family or social issue.  Sunday was where we sang worship songs with a worship team who connected and engaged us with our holy Father.   But what we have been inadvertently doing is turning Sunday into an idol itself.    And right now during this pandemic, it is easy to pick from one of two options:  either because there is no “building” for me to go to, I can’t worship on Sundays anymore, or I worship from home on Sunday online, but that’s where it stops. 

But what is God trying to tell us countless times throughout his word?  That we are to worship day after day as 1 Chronicles 16 tells us. While it is important to gather in a community of believers in a building made for us, is it not even MORE important to worship the God we hear about in 1 Chronicles 16 EVERY day that is given to us?  

John Piper says that “the reasons we go to church on Sunday is because we have been rescued from our sins, united with a risen, living Christ AND with each other through faith in Jesus.  And because of that union with Jesus and each other, the Word of God, calls us to regular, weekly expressions of our joy and thankfulness before God in worship, and not just isolated Christian individuals scattered around, but corporate gatherings praying and singing and hearing God’s word and celebrating the Lord’s Supper and Baptism of Jesus.

But what if it stops there?  What if you show up and focus on a Sunday, sing the right words, pray at the right time, confess when you are told to…..but then you leave Sunday and return to a way of thinking that is very Monday and not Sunday.  Because of our God's generosity toward us, God chooses to respond to us through our worship ALL THE TIME. When we worship God with an extravagant love and full submission, God will come and commune with us.  The promise isn’t that we will suddenly feel better or that our weight is gone, but that he will come to us in our time of worship.  And when God comes in his own time as a response to our worship, “then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Take time every day to lift ourselves up to Him in worship, giving him full permission to inspect our hearts.  We can be transformed, moving towards God’s likeness because he will reveal the truth about the condition of our hearts as we worship him.  When we worship God through song, through prayer, through shouts of thanks, through generosity, God responds to your worship by making your heart more like his.  Make yourself available to God every day in the same liturgical way you approach Him on Sunday - come and sing with praise, offer confession, learn to trust through assurance, lift up an offering, learn from His Word, and respond again with song. 

And you don’t have to do it alone - use the innovations of this world to reach out through call or text or FaceTime or Zoom.  Always remember: “when two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”  Let every day that ends in “Y” be a day that you proclaim His salvation and proclaim His glory.  Make this your routine every day and not just on Sunday.  

 

Prayer

 

Now church, hear this prayer:

God, let us focus on you day after day in a way that declares who you are to ourselves and those around us.  May all of our families and friends gather together each day to share how You have been found in the moments of our lives.  We confess that at times, we tend to forget that you are available to us every day and not just on Sunday.  We ask for forgiveness in this, and look for wisdom as we seek to change our routine from weekly to daily.  From a small approach of worship to a big every day proclamation that you are the God who saves us and is worthy of all our praises.  May we share the Good News with all who we come in contact with, be it through word or example.   We thank you for this day you have given us to worship You.  Amen.



Bernie Gerstmayr


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1330 S. Courtland Avenue | Park Ridge, IL 60068
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