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Welcome to the 40 Days of Worship!

The challenge will be to spend 15 minutes a day in personal worship. When we talk about revitalizing worship, we believe this applies not just to our worshiping together, but also to our personal worship.


We encourage you to join us in this life-changing journey!


Scroll down and you will find each week's worth of worship devotionals. Click on the day and the devotional will pop up. All 40 Days are available so keep scrolling as you enter a new week.

40 Days of Worship Devotionals

Scripture: Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:33-36

Meditation: I’m terrible with directions. I’ve lived in the Bay Area practically my whole life, and I still often get lost and struggle finding my way around. In thinking about the wisdom and knowledge of God, the apostle Paul is quite lost. He said God’s paths are beyond tracing out. They’re beyond human exploration. There’s no way anyone can fathom the depths of God or fully comprehend his mind. Furthermore, there’s nothing we could give to God that he doesn't already own or have in abundance. God is the originator and the sustainer of all things. C. S. Lewis wrote, "To argue with God is to argue with the very power that makes it possible to argue at all!" And not only are all things from him, but all things are for him! All things will find their culmination in him. Therefore, "To him be the glory forever! Amen."

Worship Practice: Take a few moments and reflect on the greatness of God. Isaiah once asked, “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand?” (Isaiah 40:12a). Try to picture all the vast waters of the earth in the hollow of God’s hand. How big is your God? Now take some time, on your knees, to praise and worship him for his greatness.

By Mark Mitchell

Scripture: Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death. Psalm 68:19-20

Mediation: Praising our Lord for all He has done for us should be like breathing. It happens without much effort. If you don’t know what to praise Him for, start with remembering Jesus died so we could live. God saved us by having Jesus bear our sins on the cross. In addition, we should praise Him because He bears our burdens daily. Everyday He takes our burdens on Himself. At times we may not feel like He is taking on our burdens, but if you take time to reflect on your day, it won’t be hard to see Him at work in your life. One thing is clear, everyday we can praise Him for saving us from eternal death.

Worship Practice: Start the day by praising God for His saving grace. During the day, take a few moments to reflect on what has happened and ask God to reveal what burden He has taken from you.

By Charlie Royce

Scripture: You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11

Meditation: I have a sketch of Jesus I keep in my bedroom. It shows Jesus laughing hard, like cracking up. Does that surprise you? Sometimes we think of God as a cosmic killjoy, always mad, or at least in a bad mood. But, here, the psalmist tells us there is fullness of joy in God’s presence and eternal pleasures at his right hand. God is joyful! The greatest pleasure you’ve ever experienced is nothing compared to what is at God’s right hand! And consider this: YOU are one of the things that brings him joy! In fact, the prophet Zephaniah said that God “will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17b). God has joy and love in his heart when he looks upon you. You add to his pleasure!

Worship Practice: Sit or kneel before the Lord and imagine him full of joy, even laughing (I believe God does laugh!). Now imagine him rejoicing over you, even singing over you with delight. Take a deep breath and soak it in. Respond to him with gratitude and joy of your own!

By Mark Mitchell

Scripture: And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Meditation: My dog loves to stare at me. I’m not kidding. She just loves to sit on my lap and look right at me. Someone recently told me that this is the way dogs hug us! Worship is all about staring at God. As we do this, contemplating the Lord’s glory, we will begin to be transformed into his image. Exodus 34 tells us how Moses’ face shone with God’s glory after he’d met with the Lord face to face. People will notice when you’ve been in God’s presence! Most importantly, when we spend time worshipping the Lord, we’re really hugging him and our heart is being transformed. More and more, we will reflect his character.

Worship Practice: Find a comfortable place to sit or kneel. Spend a few moments just meditating on the Lord’s glory, reflecting on who he is, and hugging him in your heart. Ask yourself, what did the Holy Spirit reveal to me about ways I might reflect his glory today?

By Mark Mitchell

Scripture: I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. Psalm 34:1-3

Meditation: Notice the psalmist said he would extol the Lord at all times, and that the afflicted hear and rejoice. Sometimes we get so focused on our problems and afflictions that we fail to praise and worship him. But consider this: if I put my hand directly in front of my face and look at it, my hand becomes the only thing I see in my field of vision. But if I intentionally take my eyes off my hand and look beyond it, I see a bigger picture. It also helps when we can bring others into our sights just as the psalmist invites others to join him in exalting the Lord.

Worship Practice: Take a few moments and write down the biggest challenges you’re facing in life right now. One by one, bring them before the Lord, thank him for them and praise him for bringing these things into your life, even though they’re hard.

By Mark Mitchell

Scripture: After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 2 Chronicles 20:21-22

Meditation: If I were a military General, I’d surely send the most well equipped troops at the head of my army. But the Lord’s strategy was to put the most well equipped worshippers at the head of the army, praising him for his holiness and thanking him for his faithful love. As these worshippers began to worship, the Lord set ambushes against Judah’s enemies and they were defeated. Worship is a key strategy in our warfare against what the apostle Paul called, “the rulers…the authorities…the powers of this dark world…the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesian 6:12). What might seem to others a foolish battle strategy, is the very thing the Lord uses to fight on our behalf!

Worship Practice: Make a mental list of the biggest battles you’ll face today. Now write down on a piece on a 3x5 card these words: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” Each time you face one of those battles, repeat this line to yourself. Later, before you fall asleep, ask yourself, “How did God fight for me today?”

By Mark Mitchell

Scripture: Read Revelation 4-5

Meditation: John saw heaven. Heaven fascinates and intrigues us. We (rightly) have so many questions. And John’s description of heaven is astounding with details that need to be slowly considered. To begin to make sense of heaven - and the worship of God that fills that sphere - we need to start where John started. We need to see. Read the passage again and take note of how often John sees (or hears). Worship starts with the call to see.

Sometimes the call to see is a fight to see. Our attention is captured by a myriad objects that beckon us to see. To see what matters most may mean you say no to things that don’t matter as much. To see more of God may mean you need to see less of the things that are not God-like. You are making a choice today on what gets your attention. What will you choose to see?

Worship Practice: Practice the art of training your attention. Take a walk and note what you see. Consider the question: How is this practice the starting point of worship?

By Dominic Rivera

Scripture: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, To receive glory and honor and power, For you created all things, And by your will they were created And have their being.” Revelation 4:11

Meditation: A popular song from several years ago included the line “I am a friend of God, He calls me friend.” While this sentiment is true, if we only think of God in this way, we miss a huge part of Him! John describes a scene in Revelation that should regularly affect the way we view God, and the way we worship Him. In John’s vision, the audience in heaven declare the works of the Lord and proclaim His power. The God who is your friend is also the Creator of the Universe. He is the One who holds all things together. He breathed life into your lungs. He sacrificed Himself for you. Your worship reflects all that He has done! We do not simply follow a God who rolled the dice and let the world fend for itself. We follow a God who formed us, saved us, and calls us to join the song of heaven that celebrates this truth forever.

Worship Practice: Make a list of what God has done for creation. Use Scripture to help (great examples can be found in Psalms). Think of general acts like creation, but also personal acts He has done for you. Pray through this list, and thank Him for being the God who created the universe, as well as the God who knows you personally. He alone is worthy of our praise because of who He is and what He has done!

By Megan Horvath

Scripture: On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:16-17

Meditation:The people of God lost sight of God. Gaps filled their relationship. They lived each day in a cycle of injustice and loss of trust. The effect was that an overwhelming sense of fear and anxiety - “hands hang limp.” Maybe you can remember a season when you felt the same way. Maybe you are in that season now, in need of a victory in what seems like one defeat after another.

Victory will come, says the prophet, through God who is with you. The relational distance will be conquered by the mighty power of God. Why would God do this? Why would God take the initiative to move toward people who have systematically moved away from Him? The reason is stunning, almost hard to believe - God delights in people.

Have you considered that God delights in you? It’s far easier to talk about God, debate theology, or immerse our minds in abstract ideas than to consider the personal declaration from God that you are more loved than you ever imagined. And if that seems hard to fathom, consider this: His delight of you leads Him to sing over you! You walk around today with a song being sung over you. All you need to do is listen.

Worship Practice: From wherever you purchase or stream music, find a still space and listen to the song, “The Father’s Song” by Matt Redman.

By Dominic Rivera

Scripture:  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:18-20

Meditation: Complaining is a huge part of our culture. We love to complain about everything from traffic to spouses to politics and everything in-between. Maybe you have felt a spirit of complaint in your office, with your family, or in your heart. Paul called the Ephesian church to yield to a different type of spirit. The Spirit of God drives speech that is marked by “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” Complaining, bitterness, envy and a myriad other spirits do not fit into those categories. He also tells the church to constantly give thanks to God for everything. When we view our world through the lens of thankfulness, our spirit is transformed by the Spirit of God. Everything we say has the opportunity to build others up or tear them down. We can either honor God with our speech or not. May we be people led by a new type of Spirit, to speak and act in a new type of way!

Worship Practice: Pray for the Holy Spirit to show you the spirit from which you tend to speak. When you are tempted to speak from any other spirit other than God’s Spirit, pause. Think before you speak. Allow God’s Spirit to root new speech in your heart and on your lips. At the end of the day, thank God for teaching you this new practice!

By Megan Horvath

Scripture: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

Meditation: Anxious thoughts seem to permeate our fast-paced lives. We believe that if we are not perfect, destruction is right around the corner. Relying on God should relieve those anxious moments. He is our strength and our stable foundation. This world is full of turmoil and change, but He will never change. He is calling us to find our joy in Him. Happiness is reliant upon our circumstances, but when we rejoice in the Lord, joy fills our hearts and calms us even in our darkest moments. We no longer have to strive for perfection, because He is perfect for us. He is in control and is a good Father who cares for His children well.

Worship Practice: In verse 6, Paul tells us to give our burdens to God with thanksgiving in our hearts. Make a list of 3-5 ways you have seen God working recently in your life, and then thank Him for each way. Doing so will remind you in your darkest moments to rejoice in Him who is able, attentive to the surprising ways He is at work for you today.

By Megan Horvath

Scripture: At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” Daniel 4:34-35

Meditation: Nebuchadnezzar was the King of Babylon during the Israelite exile. He was the king who forced the Israelites to bow to his statue, and condemned Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into a fiery furnace. God rescued the three men, and Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged the power of God was at work. Unfortunately, what he saw didn’t take root in him. Daniel warned the king to humble himself, but the king refused. As a result, King Nebuchadnezzar went through a season of despair and mental anguish. But in the midst of his despair, he cried out to God. Despite the chaos and stubbornness of his life to that point, it wasn’t too late for Nebuchadnezzar to turn to God. God was ready to listen.

Worship Practice: What is keeping you from turning to God today? What in your past do you need to turn away from in order to turn to God? Confess that to Him today. He is with you, and ready to listen.

By Megan Horvath

Scripture: For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. Psalm 40:1-3

Meditation: David’s early years were marked by trials, mostly notably he was constantly on the run from King Saul. Many of his psalms were written during that period of his life. He knew God had chosen him to be the next King of Israel, so David waited for God. In the midst of the chaos of his external world, he voiced the longing of his internal world to God.

Psalm 40 recounts David’s waiting for God to bring to fruition what God had promised. You might expect that David would be angry or filled with blame of God for his circumstance. Instead, David did something surprising - he sang! There are several Hebrew words we translate into the English word praise. In verse three, David used the word tehillah, which means a spontaneous song of praise. In his waiting for God to act, David found a reason to sing.

Worship Practice: Praise God in the waiting. When life does not seem to be moving forward, allow God to put a song of praise in your heart. He is working, but His timing does not always match our expectation. Rejoice in the opportunity to slow down and wait for Him to move!

By Megan Horvath

Scripture:  In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:1-8

Meditation: This is a beautiful picture of what it means to respond in worship. Isaiah was face to face with God. It was quite a sight. Isaiah saw the Lord seated on a His throne. He saw angels flying above him. It was quite a sound. Isaiah heard the angels calling to one another, “Holy Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” He heard the temple supports shaking at the sound of their singing. It was quite a smell.  Isaiah’s nostrils were filled with the holy smoke that filled the temple.

What is a man to do when confronted by such a holy exhibition? Isaiah saw how unholy he was in comparison to God. He saw how unholy his people were as well. I think Isaiah, before that day, probably saw himself as pretty spiritual, but in the presence of God, he saw his sin and his unworthiness. Being in the presence of God revealed to Isaiah who we really was. “I man with unclean lips who came from an unclean heart.” A man who needed his guilt taken away. A man who needed his sins atoned for.  

Isaiah could only be useful once he saw how useless he was until God cleansed his heart.  With his guilt taken away and his sins atoned for, he became a new man - God’s man. And his worship response? Send me Lord to do your work on earth!

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, said, “Blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3). Until we recognize how needy and hopeless we are without God. Until we look upon God and then look at ourselves and respond, “Woe is me!” I am ruined!” we will not be useful for what really matters for eternity. Confess your sin! Surrender! Turn around and follow a new path as a follower of Jesus. Accept God’s grace that takes away guilt, atones for our sins, and makes us useful. And if you truly mean it, say, “Here I am Lord, send me!”

Worship Practice: Sit in silence and reflect on God’s holiness and power revealed in Isaiah 6:1-8.  Respond in worship by asking God to reveal what is in you that isn’t from God. Respond in worship by confessing your sins and agreeing with God about those things that fall short. Thank him for his grace to take away your guilt and forgive your sin. Now sit in silence and listen for his call. He wants to use you. He wants to send you near or maybe even far to do his work. Get in the habit of sitting, waiting, and saying to Him, “Here I am Lord, send me!” And be ready to go.

By Dan Reid

Scripture: In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;  the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isaiah 6:1-3

Meditation: I imagine Isaiah to be a young man doing an assortment of mundane tasks around the temple. Maybe, he was sweeping up after a worship service. Or maybe he was blowing out the candles. Maybe he was getting ready to lock up for the night, when in a flash, God showed up in the temple with all his majesty and splendor on display. Isaiah received a vision of the Lord that day. He saw the Lord highly exalted. Seated on a throne. He saw the Lord so large that the train of his robe filled every corner of the temple. Above the Lord, Isaiah saw fiery angelic beings humbling themselves as they proclaimed to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty! The whole earth is full of his glory!

Authoritative… Omnipotent…. Revered…. Holy…. Glorious… These are attributes that describe God in Isaiah’s vision.

Worship Practice: Do you see any other attributes that describe God from this passage? Which particular attribute stands out as most meaningful for what is happening in your life right now? How might worshipping God for his attributes help you to respond to challenges in your life in a way that glorifies God?

By Dan Reid 

Scripture: Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29

Meditation: Most of us who have lived in California for any length of time experience the earthquakes. The feeling of the ground shaking under our feet can rattle the bravest souls.  We all want the security of standing on solid ground. The kingdoms of the world promise solid ground to stand on. But throughout history we see kingdoms rise and fall. History proves there is no solid ground in earthy kingdoms.

God’s kingdom is not like earthly kingdoms. God’s kingdom has a foundation that can never be shaken. God’s kingdom is forever because it is established by an eternal God.  God’s Son, Jesus Christ, rules God’s kingdom. God’s kingdom was established for us because God sent his son, Jesus, to earth to be born, live, die, and rise again from the grave on the third day. Citizenship in God’s kingdom is a gift to all who believe in Jesus Christ and receive him as their personal Savior from their sins.

Though the earth may shake, God’s kingdom remains solid. The writer of Hebrews reminds us to be grateful and offer worship because of the unshakeable foundation of God’s kingdom. There is good reason to be thankful when something solid and unchangeable is placed within our grasp. And being thankful should lead us to worship. Acceptable worship.

Acceptable worship demonstrates reverence.  It’s worship that acknowledges the greatness of God. Acceptable worship is filled with awe, because our God is a consuming fire that consumes all the earthly kingdoms that tempt us to bow down and worship other gods.  

Worship Practice: Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior? If you have, give thanks to God because your life rests on the solid foundation of God’s kingdom. How might the reality of your citizenship in God’s kingdom help you live differently within the earthly kingdom around you? How might resting on the solid foundation of God’s kingdom help you to offer acceptable worship?

By Dan Reid

Scripture: Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul,  and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins  and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit  and crowns you with love  and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5

Meditation: Years ago I went on a ski trip with some friends.  We drove from Southern California to Mt. Hood, Oregon. It seemed like one catastrophe after another. My friend left the oil cap off his engine and his engine seized up. My truck was damaged by a boulder that rolled down a hillside while driving through Yosemite Valley to pick up another friend. My skis were stolen. My door lock froze and I broke the key off inside it. Looking back, I remember we did a lot of praying. And we were so grateful to God that no one got hurt on our journey. And today, when I may be struggling to see God working or find his hand on my life, it helps me to look back on my life and not forget all his benefits. Even those I discovered on that ski trip.

David, the greatest worship leader that ever lived, urged his fellow worshippers to bless or speak well of the Lord because of his great generosity. To “forget not all his benefits,” is a crucial step to bless the Lord. And then David took the time to list out the benefits in order for the worshipper to sing back to God. All of these benefits express God’s steadfast love and mercy for us. He forgives. He heals. He saves. He restores.  

Worship Practice: It’s easy to forget his benefits. So we must be intentional to remember them one by one. Take a moment, look back, and worship God by remembering one by one the benefits God has shown you. If you have time, read the rest of Psalm 103 to see even more benefits listed. And after you have remembered to express your gratitude to God,  let these benefits carry you through the challenges you face today.  

By Dan Reid

Scripture: Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations,  his marvelous deeds among all peoples.  For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;  he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols,  but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place. 1 Chronicles 16:23-27

Meditation: These were the best of times for King David and Israel. Their enemies were in retreat. It could be argued that David reigned over the most powerful and prosperous kingdom in the world at that time. God was showing his favor on Israel. The Ark of the Covenant, which symbolized the presence of God, was with them. They gathered together before the Ark to worship regularly. They wanted every nation to know that the Lord was above all other gods. We see in Scripture examples of private worship and examples of corporate worship. I Chronicles 16: 23-27 is an example of corporate worship. Under David’s leadership, God’s people come together regularly to worship. David wrote a song for them to sing together. One line of David’s song says, “Let your praises ring and declare his glory among all the nations.” I love this. We are to gather as a church to worship together and then we are to take our worship out into all nations and declare his glory in our neighborhoods. We are worshippers for more than just an hour on Sunday, but seven days a week.

Worship Practice: I see a challenge for all of us. First, come together corporately at church to worship God regularly. Second, carry our worship out into the places where we live, work and play. Think of one thing that could change in your life for you to become a 24/7 worshipper. What does it look like for you to be a worshipper at home, at work, and at the gym? Imagine the impact you might have in your neighborhood if you lived out the hopeful words of David’s song?

By Dan Reid

Scripture: Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Revelation 14:6-7

Meditation: What a vivid picture of the future of God’s kingdom! We read about a flying angel in the final days before final the judgement, who preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ one final time to every nation, tribe, language and people. The angel’s message is the gospel, the good news of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus’ message is a call to believe the gospel. He says if you believe the gospel it should lead to a genuine heartfelt worship response. We worship because it’s God who holds eternity in His hands. We worship because God’s Son, Jesus, is the one who saves. We give him glory because only God is worthy to receive glory, honor, and praise. We worship God the creator and His Son Jesus who are about to begin their long awaited reign over heaven and earth for all eternity.

There are a lot of things that we do on earth that we won’t do in heaven. Worship isn’t one of them. We will worship God for eternity. What we do now is practice for what we will do for eternity.  

Worship Practice: Think about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The good news that was shared with you, that you received on faith is meant to be shared with others. On the days you have left on earth, let one of your worship responses be to tell others about what Jesus did for you. Think about worshipping God for eternity. It’s what we were created to do. Thank God because he is powerful and personal. He has reserved a place in heaven for you to worship him forever and ever.  

By Dan Reid

Scripture: One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4

Meditation: King David was a man after God’s own heart. He was as comfortable writing worship songs as we was fighting God’s enemies. He was as comfortable tending sheep as he was ruling over his kingdom. As King of Israel, I’m sure David was able to gaze on a lot of beautiful things. But nothing was more beautiful to him than the Lord.  

David learned the value of worshipping God in the toughest most challenging times.  As a man of faith he had many enemies who wanted to destroy him. But in the most challenging times, David asked for one thing. He asked that he would be able to be in God’s presence for the rest of his life. When he worshipped in the house of the Lord he wasn’t afraid. He was confident in the presence of God, because he discovered that God was so much bigger than his enemies. David loved the Lord. To David there was nothing as beautiful as the Lord.  

When we seek to be people after God’s own heart, we can expect to be attacked by enemies who seek to destroy us. There are spiritual forces against God that prey upon God’s people. Our defense is to seek after the Lord and spend time in his presence. It’s amazing that we can have the same experience as David. Our fears decrease, our confidence increases when we spend time in the presence of our beautiful Lord.  

Worship Practice: Ask the Lord to give you a heart like David’s heart. Ask God to give you the desire to make time with the Lord a priority. Ask God to make entering into worship services at CPC with your church family a priority. Come on time with your heart ready to worship.  Come expecting to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord. Encourage others to make regular worship in the house of the Lord a priority.

By Dan Reid

Scripture: “Woman,”Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:21-24

Meditation: In the early to mid-'80s, the worship wars had begun. Pipe organs, piano's, and hymns were slowly replaced with guitars, drums, keyboards, and "praise" music. As a student, I had a front row seat to these worship wars as our church moved from one style of worship to this new contemporary style.

I think what amazed me during this formative time in my life was how passionate people were about the style of worship they would participate in instead of who they would worship. Much like the woman at the well in John 4, I got a glimpse of their hearts.  

We get a glimpse of the woman's heart as she interacted with Jesus. What Jesus said to the woman was revolutionary as she learned God could be her Father, through Jesus, and the Holy Spirit would empower her to be a worshiper. Did you notice what Jesus said to her? "The Father is seeking worshipers." How often do we come to worship as the initiator? God is the initiator with us, just as Jesus was the initiator with the woman at the well. So as you come to worship, remember the Father is seeking you out. How will you respond to Him through your worship?

Worship Practice: Write down how you felt about God seeking you out through worship. What did He say to you? How did you respond to Him through your worship?

By Sandy Hughes

Scripture:Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24

Meditation: As a high school student, I would often sneak into the dark, church auditorium after youth group and play the grand piano in the dark. Often it felt like God was seeking after me to spend time with me. I could sit there and play for hours if the custodians would let me! It was during those times I felt I was worshiping the Father in Spirit and in truth. I was fully engaged, and His presence often enveloped that very room while I sat and played for and to Him.

Jesus tells the woman at the well that worshipers must worship in Spirit and truth. We cannot separate the presence of Jesus in our worship from what the Holy Spirit contributes to our worship as distinct from what the truth provides. Jesus came to the well and met this woman where she was at and transformed her life. Like her, we can worship the Father, who intimately knows and loves us in spite of the sin in our lives. He offers us refreshing and invigorating water that provides a life of joy, love, peace, and forgiveness through His Son. As we worship Him in Spirit and Truth, we walk away filled up, convicted, forgiven, and have a more profound knowledge of who He is.

Worship Practice: Find a quiet, dark space and listen to the hymn, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.

By Sandy Hughes

Scripture: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Meditation: My mom passed away from cancer when I was 27. She was barely 50. Her death was unexpected. She and I were cleaning up Christmas, and in the blink of an eye, she passed out and was gone. As my dad was calling 911, I did CPR until the paramedics arrived hoping and praying that she wasn't really gone, although in my heart of hearts, I knew she was, and there wasn't anything I could do to save her. My dad and I hopped in the car and followed the ambulance to the hospital a short distance away, where she was pronounced dead. That day changed my life and my families life. But it was that day, the weeks, months, and years to follow that I would learn about and experience the God of all comfort.

Through that time period in my life, I experienced God's comfort and peace in a way that I can't describe. Almost 25 years later I still don't have words to describe God's comfort. The word comfort is a strong biblical word that means "come alongside and help." Comfort goes beyond compassion or sympathy and puts strength into our hearts.

As I look back at that time, God was preparing me to comfort others, especially students in our ministry who would lose a parent to cancer. God uses comforted people to enter into the lives of those who are suffering to bring comfort to them.

So take comfort in your suffering or troubles right now. The God of comfort is strengthening you and maturing you for something more, and He is there to come alongside and help by putting strength into your heart.

Worship Practice: Today, when you ask someone, “How are you?” take the time to be present. Listen to them without any pressure to give advice or solve a problem. Sometimes all another person needs is the comfort of being listened to.

By Sandy Hughes

Scripture: Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison. Deuteronomy 29:18

Meditation: As a youth pastor for several decades, I've seen my share of students turn their hearts away from the Lord. It's heartbreaking to watch as they go and worship other "gods." Moses had a similar issue with the Israelites. Throughout his time of leading the Israelites out of Egypt, he dealt with hearts that had turned away from the one true God. The Israelites thought they knew better than God and were disobedient to Him. Over time they turned their hearts from God, and the result was bitterness towards God. At this juncture, Moses was renewing God's covenant with the Israelites hoping they had learned from their disobedience.

When we decide to do what is wrong in God's eyes, because we think we know better or we feel like we are missing out on life by being obedient, we too are planting a "bitter root" that can grow out of control producing sorrow and pain. Because of Jesus, we also have a new covenant with God. Our sin is washed away, and the Holy Spirit can heal that root of bitterness.

Hows your heart? Are you worshiping something other than Jesus? Do you have bitterness growing within you due to disobedience? Spend some time confessing that to God. Don’t miss out on His grace. He is faithful and just to forgive.

Worship Practice: Take some time to confess to God. Be bold and take a next step and confess your sin to a trusted friend and have them pray with and for you.

By Sandy Hughes

Scripture:Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18

Meditation: How hard is it for you to worship God when it seems like your world is falling apart? That is where the prophet Habakkuk was. Habakkuk is known as the weeping prophet because he served the Southern Kingdom of Judah in the lowest, darkest point of their history. The New Testament counterpart would be Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane as Jesus prayed let this cup pass from me, but also prayed, "Your will be done."

So when Habakkuk wrote these verses, He saw that God must do His work and that God will bring him through it. So if and when your world falls apart, remember the Lord knows. He has something good for you amid the pain and suffering. And He will be your strength all the way through. It's a spiritually mature person who can, amid the darkness, "rejoice in the Lord and be joyful in God." That is where God wants each of us, as everything else is taken away, but it is God who remains. It is there we learn of God’s strength, where our faith lies, and how He has given us the strength to stand. Rejoice in that!

Worship Practice: Take a moment to reflect on the hard times in your life. Write down where you have seen God work and the good He had for you during that time. What keeps you from being able to rejoice when everything is stripped away. Offer that to God.

By Sandy Hughes

Scripture: Sing to the Lord! Give praise to the Lord! He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked. Jeremiah 20:13

Meditation: I turned 50 last summer. It's that mid-life reflection of where my life has been and where it's going. I took some time to reflect on my walk with God. I've been a follower of Jesus since I was 10 and like many of you, I've had my ups and downs with my faith. I've doubted Him, cursed at Him, loved Him with my whole heart, and have served Him. Maybe you have had a similar experience. Perhaps you have found yourself second-guessing God's plan for your life or over your circumstances? Maybe you wonder if your faith is strong enough to withstand a difficulty or struggle. That is where we find the prophet, Jeremiah. When he wrote these two verses, he was literally in the stocks and a collar in the temple square for speaking truth to the people of Israel. If you read verses 7-12, you see Jeremiah was complaining to God! But then something happened, there was a shift in Jeremiah's focus in verse 11. Jeremiah turned from his feelings to the reality of who God is and what He has said. The word of God comes to the rescue, and it will strengthen Jeremiah. It's Jeremiah's faith in God's Word that reassured him. If you continue to read the passage, you find Jeremiah's doubts on full display.

The good news is that God's faithfulness is more potent than our doubt. He can protect us from our weak faith. He can deliver us from the evil coming at us, and He can save us from fear and disappointment.

Worship Practice: It’s tempting to abandon reading God’s word when you doubt, but focusing on prayer, worship, and Bible study can keep you grounded. Spend some time in prayer, worship, and in God’s Word. Need a passage to read? Check out 2 Timothy 1:1-13.

By Sandy Hughes

Scripture: You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1

Meditation: Growing up, our family did a lot of gardening and yard maintenance. Usually, about this time of year, we were off to get the bags of manure. Yes, I said it, manure! And it stinks! I can still smell it when I think about it. But the nitrogen in the manure helps our trees and gardens grow. The parallel is that the stinky stuff in life helps us grow. King David was in the middle of a pile of manure when he wrote this Psalm. He fled Jerusalem because his son Absalom wanted to kill him and become king himself. David was in a stinky situation.

In the middle of his stinky situation, David longs to worship the Lord. David sought after God. He was pursuing God. He had a personal relationship with God. He longed to go deeper with God. He knew there was more and David's whole being was craving after God, like a thirsty man in the desert.

What strikes me about this Psalm is that David isn't praying he will get his throne back. In the middle of his stinky situation, he is begging for more of God. David's worship of God was formative; it changed and shaped him; it was essential for him, and became a lifestyle.

Are you like David? Have you been driven to the desert due to a stinky situation? Do you desire more of God? More than life itself? Talk with God about it!

Worship Practice: Read Psalm 63 several times. Reflect on how personal and corporate worship can sustain you during the stinky times of life.

By Sandy Hughes

Scripture: “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice, “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did. For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” Psalm 95

Meditation: I talked to a friend of mine who I grew up with at church. My dad was a pastor at church so our whole family had to be early every Sunday. As we grew older, I joined the worship team. As we recounted the past, I told her that I’m now a worship leader at a church, to which she responded, “Wow, I’ve never heard you play music!” I was surprised, since I knew she attended our little church way back, and I played keyboard or drums nearly every Sunday. That’s when she told me that her family seldom made it to the musical portion of the service. It wasn’t really their thing. The 15-20 minutes of music became a sort of buffer period for their family to get to church.

I don’t tell this story to somehow shame my friend, but to say that in my experience leading worship, this mentality is not uncommon. If you really look at it, it is odd. There is almost no other place in the world where adults gather and sing songs. If we’re not aware of what we’re doing, it can be an alienating, and fairly meaningless experience best left to “feelers” or “artist” types.

However, the Psalmist in chapter 95 tells that worship is far more than just singing or hearing a message. At its core, it requires an engaged heart. We’re declaring the greatness of our God. We’re lifting in unison the truths of what God has done. We’re proclaiming his truth. Notice it’s about you offering yourself. If your posture of worship is more about what you receive than what you give, that might be keeping you from engaging.

Worship Practice: Today, you’ll meet with other believers from across the bay area. Show up early, and prepare your heart to meet with God. Change the question today from, “How did the worship affect me?” to “How did I bring my worship today?”

By Brandon Pasion

Scripture: Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Psalm 95:6-7

Meditation: I rented a car a few months back and stumbled upon an interesting feature. Every time I would try to change lanes, the car would vibrate the wheel to subtly steer me back into the center of the lane. I found this feature to be quite infuriating, until I realized it was a safety feature that could easily be turned off by doing one simple thing: use the turning signal. Upon further thought, it became clear this clever feature was designed to help people who aren’t paying attention. A sort of “wake up call” to someone dangerously drifting into unsuspecting traffic.

Drifting seems to be a uniquely human condition. We worship what we value most, which is great if our priorities are always in order. But on this side of heaven, the drift away from God is real. The lyrics to one of my favorite hymns says it like this: “Prone to wander Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.” There’s an inherit drift in all of us if we stop paying attention. A drift towards our own devices, or thoughts and plans, and away from the God we seek to know.

I believe God glorifying worship can serve as an “anti-drift” feature for Jesus’ followers. Worshipping God re-aligns our hearts and puts things back into perspective. Specifically, He is God and we are not. The Psalmist is beckoning you to worship a God who actually cares for you!

Worship Practice: Trust is an act of worship. List out 1 or 2 ways you have seen God care for you or someone you love in the past. Spend time thanking Him for his care and provision. Ask Him to bring to mind areas where you might be drifting and to help you realign with Him. Remember, He is God, you are not.

By Brandon Pasion

Scripture: And the Levites—Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah—said: “Stand up and praise the Lord your God,who is from everlasting to everlasting.” “Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you. Nehemiah 9:5-6

Meditation: One of my most vivid childhood memories is when I stole something while shopping with my dad. I had been playing with a top while my dad was looking at books. When it was time to go, my six-year-old brain decided it would be a good idea to claim the toy as my own. Little did I know my dad had been watching me the whole time. He stopped me just as I thought I was going to get away with it, and explained to me what a seriously wrong thing I was doing. The worst part, however, was going to the cashier, giving him back the top, and confessing what I had done. I never stole again.

Just a few verses prior to this passage, the city had spent days hearing the law and confessing their sins. The wall had been rebuilt, and there was reason to celebrate and still people had been wandering away from God. The Levites worked in the temple teaching scripture, leading worship, and admonishing when necessary to help align people with God and his law. Their wise prescription for a wandering group was confession and worship.

Worship is our response to who God is and what He’s done. Without confession our response is limited. With confession, our response is cloaked in humility as we are face to face with our brokenness. It can be so easy to accept God’s forgiveness, and miss the importance of admitting where we have failed God.

Worship Practice: When is the last time you confessed your sins to God? Begin your worship today with a time of confession. What are you doing that needs to stop? What needs to start? Make sure you make time to move from grieving your brokenness, to celebrating God’s faithfulness.

By Brandon Pasion

Scripture: Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. 1 Samuel 2:1-2

Meditation: If you have ever experienced what it’s like to lose hope, you know just how dark it can get. In many cases, it feels like your dreams are crumbling in front of you. It may be a broken relationship, a heart longing for something to change, or just feeling stuck. This was Hanna’s life for many years. As she watched her rival have child after child, she prayed fervently to have even one. For years the answer seemed to be no. Chapter 1 describes a breaking point, where she wept and could no longer eat. Her husband was feeling neglected. It seemed like Hanna’s world was falling apart as her dream drifted further away.

The reality is, most of us are familiar with this loss of hope. You may be experiencing something like it now. When we start to lose hope, it’s so easy to run to our preferred coping mechanism. Hannah runs to God. Even in the midst of anguish and grief, she never stops seeking and worshipping God. And after years of prayer and worship, God gives Hannah her heart’s desire, and Samuel is born. Hannah’s prayer is a prayer of victory, but her victory prayer started years before she saw any change.

There’s a new worship song that sings the phrase, “This is how I fight my battles,” over and over. God is our strength, and worship is our weapon for any battle we face. It may seem passive, but it’s our declaration that God’s will always prevails. And just like Hannah, God sees you.

Worship Practice: What battle are you facing? Are you waiting for God to answer a prayer? Bring your desire to the Lord today and ask him to fight your battle. Relinquish your strength, and call upon His. Giving your battle to God doesn’t mean you give up the fight. Giving it to God is the only effective way to fight. Trust that God’s will is going to prevail.

By Brandon Pasion

Scripture: Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” 1 Chronicles 16:28-31

Meditation: As a songwriter I’ve written a lot of songs by myself. It’s easier that way. Writing with others can be great for a change of pace, but I don’t do it a lot. If the two writers can negotiate writing together apart from their ego, it can usually result in a song that neither would have written on their own. But everyone is concerned about credit. I’ve spent hours pouring over a song just to have it sit on a shelf because we can’t get to the bottom of who wrote which line and who deserves more credit. It’s in all of us to want credit for what we’ve done. And sometimes, we want credit for what we haven’t done.

This word, ascribe, in the passage above could be thought of in terms of credit. It’s almost as if the author is saying, “Stop trying to take the credit! All of this was and is His doing not yours!” It’s humbling because I often live my life as if it all belongs to me. My bank account, my job, my relationships, and my stuff. Once I take a closer look, I realize, anything I have is because of and for God. It’s for His glory, and we’re designed and most happy when we give it all to Him!

Much like songwriting, when you relinquish the glory you think you deserve to something, or in this case someone so much bigger than yourself, the world wins.

Worship Practice: Gratefulness serves as a very accurate barometer for where your heart is. A grateful heart is a heart that understands all great things come from an even greater God. Spend time listing everything you are grateful for. Then thank God for all the blessings he’s given you. It will change the way you view your day!

By Brandon Pasion

Scripture:  The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:22-25

Meditation: I remember sitting around a table at a conference. I had managed to bring a few friends of mine who served in ministry with me. The table leader asked us to go around and talk about a person who had impacted them greatly. We all took turns sharing inspiring stories, and then it got to my friend Ian. I’d know Ian for over fifteen years. He was one of the most reliable, dedicated people I had ever served with. He was very quiet, honest, and unrelentingly loyal. We grew up in similar social circles, so I was excited to hear who He would bring up. I was shocked when I heard him say my name. He brought up things from a decade ago that I had forgotten about. It was actually a bit terrifying how much he had noticed over the years, always quietly in the background.

The reality is, we seldom know our impact. Ian taught me that day you never know who’s watching you. It’s a powerful reminder that our actions, positive and negative have an affect far greater than just ourselves, which is another reason staying connected to God is so important.

It’s mind blowing to me that in the midst of flogging, shame, and prison, Paul and Silas were praying and worshipping. It tells me so much about their character. This passage tells us the other prisoners were listening. What a powerful testament to their faith in God.

Worship Practice: Take a few minutes and examine your character in regards to worship. Who are you when you think no one is watching? Does it fluctuate depending on who you are around? Do you worship when you’re around the right people, or in every circumstance?

By Brandon Pasion

Scripture: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18

Meditation: I remember getting my first new car. My daughter Olivia had just turned six and we had another one on the way. It was pristine with that new car smell and the dash was untouched by human hands. I was crazy enough to think I could keep it that way. I created rules about food, and did my best to make sure kids didn’t climb on the seats. Despite all my efforts, bottles still got lost under the car seats and I’ve come to the conclusion that kids actually exude crumbs out of the pores of their bodies. It took a long road trip for me to realize I needed to choose what was more important; My family eating, or me keeping my car nice.

It may be stupid example, but what I was showing my family what was most important to me. Looking at my car now, beat up by the road, well lived in by a family in the busiest season of life, it seems foolish for me to have spent so much time valuing something that is so unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

In everything this passage has to say, I think the biggest statement is how it ends. It essentially tells us that if there is a choice between worshipping another god and death, these guys choose death. It’s a strong reminder that “true” worship is reserved for the one true God. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by things that ultimately, don’t matter.

Worship Practice: Take a mental inventory of those things most important to you. What are your false idols? Are you making something more important than it should be. If you find something, offer it to God. Allow him to dispose of it, or put it in its rightful place.

By Brandon Pasion

Scripture: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2

Meditation: Worship of our God involves our whole being. That includes every part of our body along with our mind. I like to have routine in my life, and it is very easy to fall into a schedule and activities that mirror more of the world than of God. In this bible passage, we are called to not be influenced by where we live, who are friends are, or what we choose to do each day. The change that we want starts in our mind and that is where we will understand how and where God is directing us. Praise God that he wants all of us in our worship to him.

Worship Practice: Find a quiet spot and close your eyes for a minute or two. Reflect on how your body is feeling. Take a deep breath. Thank God for his mercy over the last day. Ask God to change you and that it would start with your thoughts and how you view him. Thank God for the journey of transformation.

By Dave Vergara

Scripture: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2

Meditation: Renewing involves repeating and practicing. The Apostle Paul said that to renew our mind involves practice and discipline. How are you doing when it comes to presenting your thoughts to God? This practice has always challenged me. Too often, my schedule is full and I move from activity to activity without any transition - there is no time to give my thoughts to God. How will I know God’s will if I’m continually operating without margin? There will always be the challenge to offer God space in our schedule to hear his voice.

Worship Practice: Take your phone or computer and open to your calendar. Look at your last day and honestly review how you spent time with God. Review the past 24 hours from a perspective of gratitude and then look at the next 24 hours and ask God to give you wisdom as you seek his perfect will.

By Dave Vergara

Scripture:Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.  And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:15-16

Meditation: What we say reflects what is in our hearts. I can easily use my words to build up and encourage or to tear down. Communicating verbally is so different from when we type an email or send a text message. What we say and how we say it communicates so much mores versus what we write. The words we choose can be uplifting or cutting.  God wants to hear us continually call out his name. Combined with our sacrificial good works, our spoken praise to God is what he desires.

Worship Practice: Find a quiet place and on some paper write down praises to God. Reflect on his goodness in your life. Then allow God to hear your voice as you pray. Praise his name out loud and give thanks.

By Dave Vergara

Scripture: But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22

Meditation: On occasion, I will falsely think that I’m the one who will accomplish what God needs in the moment. I’ll think that my previous experience or self collected wisdom will get the job done. At times, I want to be accepted and want the approval of those I work with. God calls us uniquely to serve him and I at times would rather do it on my own terms. In this passage, Samuel is responding to the ill-fated King Saul who has been disobedient to God. Saul had been going through the motions following the right process for offerings and sacrifices instead of obeying the voice of the Lord. God does not need our religion, time, money, or whatever else we might offer to him. He delights in our obedience rather than in performance. Sometimes I think I’m the one who will accomplish what God needs.  

Worship Practice: Spend some time to think how you are obedient to God. Think about how God loves you and the joy that it brings God when you are obedient. Bring to God in prayer, those areas that God brings to mind where you need to take steps in obedience to him. Ask God for wisdom to understand that to obey is better than sacrifice.

By Dave Vergara

Scripture: You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Romans 14:10-12

Meditation: This passage challenges all of us the moment we read it. Today it seems very easy to be the judge and jury and we easily act this way even to those who share a common faith in Jesus Christ. I sometimes decide that it is fine to judge others and treat them with disrespect for very worthwhile reasons. I may think that I understand their movitives, but the reality is I can’t read their minds. Only God truly knows what they may be thinking or what is in their heart. I’m reminded that I will be the one at the judgement seat before my God and who am I to pass judgement on another brother or sister in Christ.   

Worship Practice: Coming to God to worship involves confession. Set aside some time to allow God to bring to your mind those people in your life where you have been critical and judgemental. Confess that you don’t know the full story of what is going on in their lives. Ask the Holy Spirit to change your heart and for patience when you are tempted to judge other believers in your life. Accept the freedom that God brings as you turn to him in full worship.

By Dave Vergara

Scripture: Rejoice always, pray continually. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17

Meditation: When our three kids were born, we rejoiced. God took us on a long journey to that day and we praised God that they had been born. However, they were premature and in critical condition. My wife and I were concerned and worried. We were unsure of what the future was going to look like. My wife and I gazed on these new precious babies with love for them and gratitude to God. We also prayed continually. That did not mean every single moment we were praying, but our prayers were frequent and regular (and that continues as all three are now young adults). God makes it clear that we are to always be rejoicing and praying.

Worship Practice: Spend some time in prayer with the Lord. Find a quiet place and begin to pray. Start by thanking God for his blessings in your life. Inventory those areas where you can rejoice in him. Pray that prayer would be a strong habit leading to full dependence on God and that you would grow in this discipline. There may be times where you don’t want to pray, but God yearns to hear from you. Don’t cease. Don’t give up.

By Dave Vergara