Monday, May 23, 2011

Hog Island

So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow-of those who are in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-11 HCSB

Hog Island is a short distance from the Port of Nassau. For years, it was a farming island where many Bahamians raised their hogs. When investors purchased the island, hoping to convert it into an upscale tourist destination, they realized no one would want to spend money to stay on “Hog” Island. So, in 1962, the Bahamian Parliament changed the name to “Paradise” Island. Today, it is home to the world-renowned Atlantis resort.

Sometimes, a name changes everything.

The name of Jesus is powerful. There is salvation in His name. Saying His name adds power to our prayers. When we speak it aloud or sing it in a praise song or hymn, everything changes. His name is a strong and mighty tower when we are under spiritual attack. When we are weary from the battle, the name of Jesus is a refuge where we can rest. His name transforms lives forever.

Jesus, Your name changes everything. We worship You.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly, there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains came loose. Acts 16:25-26 HCSB

The day could have been better for Paul and Silas. They were dragged to the authorities, accused of disrupting the peace, beaten with rods, and thrown into prison with their feet secured in stocks. Most people would call that a very unproductive day. However, Paul and Silas reacted quite differently. In fact, in a moment that should have been filled with despair, they opted to spend their time in prayer and worship.

If it had been me, I probably would have said, “What? Pray? Excuse me! My arms are bruised from where they dragged me, my back is covered with welps from the rods, and these stocks are very uncomfortable on my feet. You go ahead. And by the way, it’s midnight. I just don’t feel like praising Him right now.”

No wonder I haven’t experienced many earthquakes lately.

Lord, when we find ourselves in pain and in trouble, remind us that it’s time to worship You.

Friday, May 13, 2011

This Cup

Then He said to them, "My soul is swallowed up in sorrow —to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with Me." Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will." Matthew 26:38-39 HCSB

According to the above scripture passage, before Jesus was arrested, He was overcome with sorrow. He knew the beatings and the cruel death that awaited Him. The stress He was experiencing must have been overwhelming. So, Jesus did the right thing. He cried out to His Father.

Jesus’ prayer showed His humanity, but it also showed the ultimate act of worship – obedience. He fell before God and asked to be released from the task before Him, but immediately responded in obedience and agreed to do the will of the Father.

Jesus continued to worship the Lord in obedience as He was arrested, tried, flogged, beaten, spit upon, and crucified. His extraordinary act of worship was enduring the pain of death on a cross so that you and I could one day have a relationship with Him.

Lord, help us to worship You through our obedience to You.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Front Line Worship

Then he consulted with the people and appointed some to sing for the Lord and some to praise the splendor of His holiness. When they went up in front of the armed forces, they kept singing: Give thanks to the Lord, for His faithful love endures forever. 2 Chronicles 20:21 HCSB

I don’t know about you, but when problems arise in my life, my first thought is not usually worship and praise. Unfortunately, most often I try to “fix” these situations in my own strength and ability, only to later come crawling to the Lord when I’ve come to the end of myself.

Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, tried a better technique when the people of Judah went out to battle with the Ammonites, Moabites, and Meunites. Instead of assigning his largest and fiercest men to the front lines, he placed several worshipers who sang continually about the faithfulness of the Lord.

Fighting battles through strategic praise and worship is not a strategy that has caught on with most modern armies in our world. However, it is the best strategy for Christ followers when we are preparing for our own battles.

Lord, when we are faced with seemingly insurmountable situations, help us to respond with worship.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


You do not have to fight this battle. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. 2 Chronicles 20:17 HCSB

When I was in first grade, I played t-ball for the Sherwood Sharks. On the first day of practice, our coach watched us catch, throw, hit, and run. On the second day of practice, he assigned us our positions. Much to my dismay, I was placed in left field. Left field doesn’t see a lot of action in first grade t-ball. I hated it and thought about quitting. However, as the season continued, I realized that left field was the best position for me and for the entire team.

When the inhabitants of Judah were about to be attacked by a massive army, the Lord instructed them to position themselves for battle by standing still and watching. This assigned position certainly did not seem appropriate for the nation on the eve of their destruction, but it was the Lord’s instructions for them, which meant it was the best position for Judah at the time. Therefore, when they heard the Lord’s instructions, they fell before the Him in worship.

Lord, when we don’t understand Your instructions, help us to worship You all the more.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

God's Fight

This is what the Lord says: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 2 Chronicles 20:15b HCSB

Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was afraid, so he called his people together for prayer. The Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites had joined forces against the people of Judah. All seemed hopeless as the massive army came closer. So, Jehoshaphat led his people to seek the Lord. As they were praying, the Lord spoke to them through a Levite named Jahaziel and told them not to be afraid because the battle they were about to fight actually belonged to God.

So many times, life seems overwhelming. Troubles come and multiply on our doorsteps. Enemies come out of nowhere to accuse us. When we focus on the problems, all we can see is the enormity of our hopelessness to endure. However, God doesn’t want us to focus on our forecasted disaster. He wants us to focus on Him. He doesn’t desire for us to be dismayed by the bad things happening around us. Instead, He desires for us to seek Him and worship Him through the battle.

Lord, help us to worship You even when it seems that all is lost.

Friday, May 6, 2011

What To Do When You're Afraid

Jehoshaphat was afraid, so he resolved to seek the Lord. So he proclaimed a fast for all Judah, who gathered to seek the Lord. They even came from all the cities of Judah to seek Him. 2 Chronicles 20:3-4 HCSB

What would you do if you heard that someone wanted to hurt you? What if you discovered that it was your neighbors joining forces to attack you? Would you be afraid?

When Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, heard the reports that the Moabites, the Ammonites, and the Meunites had come to fight against him, he was afraid. However, he chose not to run, hide, or to attack them. Instead, he chose to seek the Lord. He declared a fast for the entire nation and residents from every city of Judah joined him in seeking the Lord.

What should we do when we are afraid? Should we run away? Should we hide in our closets? Should we rush out to face the source of our fear? Or should we seek the Lord?

When evil comes our way, we should pray. When we are afraid, we should pray. When it seems that all is lost, we should pray.

Lord, remind us to seek You when we are afraid.