A LONG time ago (when I was in college) two women came to the tiny Methodist church where I worked as a youth pastor, and they taught me how to worship. Their instruction would affect my life for years to come. The message was simple: “Worship God intentionally everyday in every mundane detail whether you feel like it or not.“
I took their words to heart. I even started raising my hands when I sang! Even though I lost a year searching for my faith after college, when I returned to it, I also returned to this outward, intentional daily worship.
As a young mom, worshiping God kept my children alive.(Smile). It also kept me sane and drew me into His presence in the midst of strewn cheerios, sleepless nights, and stinky diapers. I’d turn off the television at 9:00 AM and turn on Twila Paris and Amy Grant (Don’t judge. Contemporary music was sparse.) I was also strict about nap time so I could do my Bible study while they slept.
Worshiping God is more than music. It’s also found our daily obedience and our study of His Word. In Jewish culture, studying the Torah is their worship.
Learning to Worship Again
Although I learned this very important precept years ago, I find myself needing to relearn how to be intentional in my praise during difficult days. Though I’m thankful for Christian radio, sometimes it makes the songs too familiar. I need a fresh spirit to fall on my worship to Christ the King.
What better time to strengthen our praise muscles than Christmas? If you feel your worship to God is in need of a pick-me-up this season, won’t you join me in using this week’s Bite of Bread reading plan. It’s our last chapter in our study of the book of Ruth. (We are on page 259, if you are using the book.)
Below is a peek at the reading plan and the prompts. You’ll see that Ruth plays a role in our Christmas celebration, and you’ll also discover the very important meaning of her son’s name. Click on the links to download or print the printable available. (It’s free!)
Bite of Bread Reading Plan on Worship
Monday: Ruth 4: 14-15
The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”
Prompt: When you dig past our translations, “restore” has replaced the Hebrew word shuwb. This is a powerful word. It means to “turn around and is often used in the context of repentance. The women praised God for the kinsman redeemer birth who would “turn Naomi’s life around.” I wrote in my study, “Please don’t miss this part. The kinsman-redeemer will turn her life around or return her life or renew her life . . . she cannot” (p. 261). What have you been trying to turn around or renew? Write a prayer of repentance and trust that God will provide.
Tuesday: Ruth 4: 16-17
Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. 17 The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Prompt: Obed’s name meant “worshiper.” Isn’t that rich? How does his name reveal the hearts of Boaz, Ruth, and Naomi? And what significance does his name hold for you?
Wednesday: Luke 1: 38
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Prompt: “Servant” in Hebrew is ebed. It is a root word of Obed. “As Mary knelt down before Gabriel accepting her assignment, her words threaded back through generations to the birth if Ruth and Boaz’s son—the one they named “servant” or ‘worshiper” of God. Obed would become the grandfather of David” (p. 264). List ways you worship Jesus while serving Him.
Thursday: Acts 13:22
After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
Prompt: What makes David a man after God’s own heart? Write down something you feel God is telling you to do.
Friday: Philippians 2: 5-11
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted
him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Prompt: Christ was a servant who gave everything, His Godhood and His life. He is our example and our King. Oh, what a King. Write a few lines of praise and thanksgiving to the humble servant now exalted to the highest place. Spend some time worshiping Him today.
Wednesday Night Live
Just follow me on Facebook, park out on my timeline at 7:30 PM ET, and join us! Be sure to say hi! I’ll try to say hello back. Here’s the last teaching about how God uses the most ordinary people in extraordinary ways. Hallelujah!