Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Monday, December 26, 2016

Today's Scripture

"Jesus replied, 'You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."'" (Mark 7:6 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

God wants us to worship him passionately. But what does that look like? Do you ever look around your church during a worship service and think, Is this God working, or is this just a show? There may even be times you see things that seem inappropriate. 

While we don't want to participate in insincere worship, at the same time we do not want to quench the Holy Spirit and what he may be doing. This week we will look at some ways we can worship God in spirit and in truth.

Consider this … 

Second Samuel 6 offers an interesting story of a conversation between King David and his wife Michal. A great celebration and time of worship filled the streets because the Ark of the Covenant had been returned to Jerusalem. David was exuberantly dancing. Was it appropriate? Was God in their midst? David and Michal had different viewpoints. Here is the gist of their argument.

Michal: How wonderfully the king has distinguished himself today—exposing himself to the eyes of the servants' maids like some burlesque street dancer!
David: In God's presence, I'll dance all I want! He chose me over your father and the rest of our family and made me prince over God's people. . . . Oh yes, I'll dance to God's glory—more recklessly even than this! And as far as I'm concerned . . . I'll gladly look like a fool . . . but among these maids you're so worried about, I'll be honored to no end (2 Samuel 6:20-22 MSG)!
Michal's jealousy and rude behavior toward her husband seem obvious. David was indeed worshipping God, passionately and unashamedly, but perhaps even he needed a bit of an attitude check. Do you sense spiritual pride and even selfishness?
Do you ever wonder if you are worshipping in spirit and in truth? Are you seeking to honor God rather than impress others? This week we will look at finding balance in our worship and some components that make up worship that pleases him.

Prayer

Father, help me to always worship you freely in spirit and truth. May my motives and attitude be pure. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …


A Passionate Pursuit of God: Drawing Nearer to Him
by Dr. Mike Chapman. This study teaches participant how to move into God's inner circle, how to listen for the voice of God, how to enjoy the freedom of worship, and how to embrace the mission of worship. This 45-minute format will accommodate groups with limited meeting times. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


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©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Today's Scripture

"But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (Words of Jesus in John 4:23-24 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Worship and the Word must go together. The key to effective worship is balance. This does not mean trying to exert some kind of external control. Balance should be the result of our attempt to apply the counsel of the Word of God. Psalm 149:6 expresses this well (remember that God's Word is referred to as a double-edged sword in Hebrews 4:12).


"Let the praises of God be in their mouths, and a sharp sword in their hands. (Psalm 149:6 NLT)

Consider this …

Today's scripture says worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. The Spirit and the truth run like parallel railroad tracks on which the train of worship must run. When worship is separated from truth . . . when it is just an experience . . . when it is just an emotional outflow or routine not connected to truth, the experience becomes the barometer of spirituality.

Is your worship (in both congregational settings and in your quiet times at home) based on the truth in God's Word? Is it only emotion or show? Is it a routine? Or is the Spirit of God flowing through you?

Prayer

Father, please forgive me for the times my worship has been routine. The times I've been thinking more about those around me than focusing on you. The times I've been so easily distracted. May all my worship be based on your Word and the leading of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …


A Passionate Pursuit of God: Drawing Nearer to Him
by Dr. Mike Chapman. This study teaches participant how to move into God's inner circle, how to listen for the voice of God, how to enjoy the freedom of worship, and how to embrace the mission of worship. This 45-minute format will accommodate groups with limited meeting times. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Today's Scripture

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:1-2 NIV)

Thoughts for Today

Yesterday we discussed two foundational biblical truths that must shape our understanding of worship: The character of God and Christ's leadership. Today we will look at two more: the covenant of grace and the biblical vision of the Church. 

The Covenant of Grace
Grace is undeserved favor. God showers us with his grace. The greatest example of that, of course, is giving his son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross, paying the penalty for our sins. Did any of us deserve that? Absolutely not! But he offered forgiveness because of his unconditional love for us. 
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) (Ephesians 2:4-5 NLT)
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT)

Think about it! Jesus suffered a horrendous death on the cross for us. He offers us eternal life with him in a perfect place called heaven. Eternal. Forever. Let's not ever reach the point where we don't get excited about that. When we just think about how much Jesus loves us and what he has done, we should be drawn immediately into passionate worship.

Consider this … 

The Biblical Vision of the Church
As a church, our worship should flow together. We should all worship him as individuals. But we should also worship him together as a corporate body . . . in unity.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. (Colossians 3:16 NLT)
May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6 NLT)
As believers, we form the body of Christ. Together let us honor him in all we do. May we teach and encourage one another and worship him in unity.

Prayer

Father, please forgive me for the times I have taken your grace for granted. As I worship, help me keep my eyes on Jesus and the grace that abounds because of your unconditional love and sacrifice. May I join others in the body of Christ as we honor and worship you with one voice. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …


A Passionate Pursuit of God: Drawing Nearer to Him
by Dr. Mike Chapman. This study teaches participant how to move into God's inner circle, how to listen for the voice of God, how to enjoy the freedom of worship, and how to embrace the mission of worship. This 45-minute format will accommodate groups with limited meeting times. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Today's Scripture

"Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven! Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!" (Psalm 150 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

To worship God passionately, we must base our understanding of worship on four foundational biblical truths: the character of God, Christ's leadership, the covenant of grace, and the biblical vision of the church. A discussion of these truths could fill volumes; indeed, they do flow throughout God's Word. Today and tomorrow we will touch very briefly on each one with the hope you will be motivated to grow in your understand as you continue pursuing these truths in God's Word.

Worship in spirit and truth. Grow to know God better through his Word. Trust the Holy Spirit to reveal more depth of truth from God's Word to you.

Consider this … 

The Character of God

Without knowledge of God's character, worship is noise without substance. But as we grow in intimacy with him, we come to know him better. And as we come to know him better, how can we help but erupt in passionate worship?
They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3 NLT)
Christ's Leadership
Without Jesus' Lordship, worship will be misguided intentions and zeal.
But for us, There is one God, the Father, by whom all things were created, and for whom we live. And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created, and through whom we live. (1 Corinthians 8:6 NLT)

Prayer

Lord, help me know you better that I may worship you more freely and passionately. Help me be more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit as I follow Jesus as my Lord and Savior. In his name I pray . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …


A Passionate Pursuit of God: Drawing Nearer to Him
by Dr. Mike Chapman. This study teaches participant how to move into God's inner circle, how to listen for the voice of God, how to enjoy the freedom of worship, and how to embrace the mission of worship. This 45-minute format will accommodate groups with limited meeting times. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Friday, December 30, 2016

Today's Scripture

"For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” (Words of Jesus in Luke 19:10 NLT) 

Thoughts for Today

Worship and witness go together. The God whom we passionately worship is passionate about lost humanity. In today's Scripture, Jesus explains that he came to earth to save the lost. To reach out to them. To teach them. And to die on the cross for everyone who has ever lived or will live. 

Lost people matter to God. What does that tell us about our worship services? Worship must be God centered and seeker sensitive

Consider this …

First Corinthians 10:31 (NLT) says, "So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

God is not glorified when we show no sensitivity to the sincere seekers among us. We need to seek to accomplish two goals in our mission of worship:

1. Serve God with our praise.
2. Serve people with God's sufficiency.

In a nutshell, what is worship that pleases God? Worship that pleases God attracts the lost and does not confuse or repel them.

Corporate worship can either make unbelievers say, "You're nuts" and leave as fast as they can . . . or make them fall on their face and say, "God is truly among you."

Which is happening in your church?

Prayer

Father, help us worship you by being sensitive to the lost. By reaching out to them with your love. By being a funnel for your light to shine on them to the point they will worship Jesus passionately. In his name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …


A Passionate Pursuit of God: Drawing Nearer to Him
by Dr. Mike Chapman. This study teaches participant how to move into God's inner circle, how to listen for the voice of God, how to enjoy the freedom of worship, and how to embrace the mission of worship. This 45-minute format will accommodate groups with limited meeting times. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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