Saturday, December 29, 2012

Chronological New Testament Bible Reading Plan in 92 Days

OK - so I know many of my friends haven't read 'the entire Bible" - well now's your chance to read at least the New Testament - and in Chronological order - I want to encourage everyone to read the New Testament first, then maybe tackle the Old Testament later. The key is to be in the Word everyday. And don't worry about the 92 Day schedule, and trying to read too much all at once. Go for it if you want, but it is probably more beneficial to take your time.

So instead of thinking in terms of 92 days, just think that the numbers 1-92 represent the order in which you are to read the New Testament. Even a paragraph a day is fine, no matter how long it takes you.

The neat thing about reading the New Testament in Chronological Order is that it groups the books and chapters in historical order. For example, in reading about the life of Jesus, instead of reading Matthew, then Mark, then Luke, then John - a Chronological reading plan will mix up the chapters from all four Gospels and place them in order corresponding to the events in the life of Christ.

Another example would be reading through the books of Acts, which is basically the history book of the early church. Instead of reading all the chapters of Acts in order, a Chronological plan will insert parts of the Epistles (letters to Christians or Christian churches) that correspond with the events in Acts, in between some of the chapters in Acts.

Now understand that this reading plan isn't in perfect chronological order, otherwise it would mix up actual verses from different chapters in the Bible. It's more general - more by chapters than by verses. But it will give you a feel of historical order in which events are taking place.

May you be blessed by reading the Word - I know you will.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Sparkle Of Christmas

The word sparkle is a fascinating word for me. It brings several images to mind. For instance, I still remember as a boy, going outside one Christmas Eve after a fresh snowfall, and seeing the surface of the snow sparkle in the reflection of our porch light. Growing up in upstate New York brought plenty of white Christmases. I remember the sparkle of all the Christmas lights that were on the bushes outside our house, as they glimmered across the surface of the white snow. Christmas was and still is, a special time of year for me.

To me, Christmas is about family. It’s a time when most people want to be together with the ones they love. Remember the song, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas?” There’s a line in the song that says something like, “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.” It’s such a high priority for most people to be with family that the Christmas season is one of the most busiest travel times of the year. “Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go.”

Many have what they call family traditions on Christmas. A family tradition is a particular way of doing things that is repeated each year. You probably are involved in one yourself. My family has a tradition of making homemade gifts. We started in 2005. Each person must make a gift for each person in the family. It’s turned into so much fun, mainly because we usually aren’t very good at it. Before we open our gifts, there is usually a disclaimer - sometimes the gift is unfinished, or didn’t turn out right, and is a flop. Regardless, we laugh and have such a good time opening our gifts. I suppose the sparkle of Christmas can be seen in my family’s eyes as we share such good times together. And if you look really close, you’ll see a sparkle in my eyes, as I reflect on such wonderful, fond memories.

Yes, Christmas is about family, and just as we as parents are fond of our family, God the Father is fond of His family. He sees us as His children, His family. That’s because God chose to adopt us! He chose to adopt us as His very own children. Here’s a great Christmas verse, even though it’s not in the Christmas story, that teaches what God has done......

Galatians 4:4-7
But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”

According to this verse, when the right time came (Christmas), God sent His Son (Jesus), born of a woman (Mary). He sent Him to buy freedom for us (redemption) - so that He could adopt us as His “very own children”, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”  This word “Abba” is an Aramaic word. Aramaic was the common language of the day for Jews, and Abba is an intimate, affection expression for Father. It’s like saying Daddy. It’s the type of relationship God wants with us - a father/child relationship. And He is the perfect father.

So I suppose the real sparkle of Christmas is the sparkle that is in God’s eyes when He looks at His family, His children. Just as the sparkle is in a mother’s eyes when she first sees her new born child, or the sparkle is in a couple’s eyes as they are reciting their marriage vows, there is a sparkle in God’s eyes as he looks upon us as His children, Yes, God’s eyes glisten when He looks upon us, His children, His family. We are the “apple of His eye.” In His sight, we are to Him, most highly valued, most cherished, most treasured, and most loved.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1).

Our Father looks upon us with a gleam in His eye - that’s because He loves His family. Nobody loves his family more than God loves His. Nobody loves his children more than God loves His. And our Father shows His love by His mercy, His grace, His forgiveness, and His salvation.

And He is such a gift-giver! Every good and perfect gift is from above.” (James 1:17). He gives us Grace.......“Because of the overflowing grace God has given to you, thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!” (2 Cor 9:14-15).

He gives us Peace........“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27).

And ultimately, He gives us Eternal Life........“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).

So why is God such a gift-giver? The answer: LOVE. “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10). 

God's most precious gift to us is His Son. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

There’s a common saying for Christians around this time of year. It’s this: “Jesus is the reason for the season.” That’s very true, but I want to take that one step further. Looking at the big picture, the real reason for the season is.... YOU!  For you are the reason that God sent His son to earth. You are the reason for Christmas. God wants to adopt you as His son, so He can be your Father - your Abba Father, and it took Jesus to come to earth to do it. In the world’s eyes, Christmas is about a lot of different things, but in God’s eyes, you are what Christmas is all about. You are the reason Jesus came to earth, therefore, “You are the reason for the season”. And if you are one of His, when God looks at you, there is a sparkle in His eye. That’s the sparkle of Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Don’t Tell Me The Star Was Just A Star!

So what exactly was the “star” that the Magi saw? Was it a star? Was it Jupiter? Was it a particular constellation? Was it a comet? Was it the northern lights? Was it an optical illusion? There has been all kinds of speculation regarding the star because the Bible does not give us much detail. Only 12 verses in the entire Bible are devoted to the story of the Wise Men. (Matthew 2:1-12)

Three separate people in the past week approached me, asking if I’ve heard how it’s been proven that the star which the Magi followed was a natural occurrence. What really drives me crazy is how man always tries to rely on human reasoning in an attempt to explain things that are inexplicable. Man goes through great lengths to give a scientific explanation to a miraculous event. However, scientific explanations are impossible because a miraculous event cannot be explained! According to scientific reasoning, a miracle is impossible. A miracle is an event that alters or defies the laws of nature and the laws of science. Science says that it’s impossible for a bush to burn without burning up. Science says it’s impossible that a flood covered the entire earth. Science says that it’s impossible to walk on water. Science says that it’s impossible to immediately heal someone born blind, or deaf, or deformed. Science says it’s impossible to bring someone back from the dead. According to science, there is some natural explanation to all this.

Using human reasoning and scientific theory to explain a miraculous event ultimately results in one thing - removing God from the picture. This can be seen most clearly in the evolution verses creation debate. Similarly, I’ve heard of scientists explaining, with all seriousness, how the Jordan River was parted by Joshua (Joshua 3:13) - that is was not by a miracle, but by a combination of wind and water levels. Once I heard a radio show which focused on the power of prayer. Yes, they admitted there is power in prayer. But do you know why they said prayer worked? It was simply because of the power of the mind and not the power of God at all. Their explanation was that the power of prayer had nothing to do with the spiritual, but the mental instead. You see, they took God out of the picture. Don’t fall for it. Don’t be persuaded by some smooth talking, intelligent sounding, self-proclaimed expert.

So every Christmas, I hear of someone falling for a scientist who claims that after extensive research, he can prove without a doubt that the star of Bethlehem was a naturally occurring celestial event. Don’t believe it! Don’t be deceived by fine sounding arguments. God shall not be mocked. Regardless of the books impressively written, the smoothly produced TV shows, and the extensive internet sites saying otherwise, the Christmas story was totally a God-thing. His hand is all over it. Nine times in the Christmas story, angels are involved. Several Old Testament prophecies come to fulfillment in the Christmas story. Providence is demonstrated throughout the timeline of the birth of Jesus.

For all the scientific explanations saying that the star was some natural phenomena, there are mysteries still not sufficiently answered by science. Could it be that most of those who give scientific explanations don’t seem to know their Bible facts? According to the Bible, the star led the Magi twice, in different directions, and at separate times (see my earlier posts). How can a natural star first lead the Magi in a westerly direction toward Jerusalem. Then later, weeks or perhaps months, or maybe even a year later, appear again to lead them in another direction, from Jerusalem toward Bethlehem?  And get this - how can a natural star move ahead of them and then stop? - stopping right over the house Jesus was staying, acting as a beacon for the Wise Men? (Matthew 2:9)

So was the star of Bethlehem just a star? The answer.....NO! The two sightings of the star by the Magi were both miraculous events - in each case, a sign from heaven - a supernatural beacon. Don’t even try to persuade me otherwise! I’m done listening to all these natural explanations. That’s because I believe that there is a spiritual reality, that God is real, that He intervenes, that His providence is real, that His Word is true, and that miracles really happen.  And I’m sticking with it!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Celebrating Christmas In The Midst Of Tragedy

A Fox News alert came on my cell phone at 12:51pm today, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. Here's what it said, "A gunman opened fire Friday inside a Connecticut elementary school, and multiple people -- including the shooter -- are dead, according to officials. Reports also said children were shot but it remains unclear whether any were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown."

I was just pulling out of Wawa after getting gas. I can't fully describe what I felt. Shock, disbelief, sickening horror. I felt like crying. As a matter of fact, I don't mind admitting that Francie and I shed some tears over this. What is this world, our country, coming to? I thought of my family - Sarah, who works in a middle school in Missouri, DeRonte who works in a Bible College in Missouri, Loree who works at an after-school program in Silver Spring, MD. All involved in learning institutions. Then I thought about my missionary son Chris who lives in Tanzania, Africa with his wife Emily - is the society they live in actually more civilized than ours?

Of course, Facebook was immediately lit up. Many asking for prayer, many expressing shock and sadness. I'm sure all those friends of mine that have small children agree with what President Obama said - that every parent is going to hug their children a little more tightly tonight. But more than that, as fellow human beings, whether we have children or not, compassion for our fellow man is sparked by this tragedy. And even more terrible is that it happened so close to Christmas.

I'm reminded that the Christmas story itself has tragedy linked with it. In Matthew chapter two, we are told that just after the Magi visited Jesus, they were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, but to return to their country by another route. When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” (Matthew 2:12-13)

Now this is where the tragedy happens: When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious. Hoping to kill Jesus in the process, he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. (Matthew 2:16)

Jesus entered a nasty world - a world back then that was just as bad as it is now. He came at a time when every kind of evil existed. He came at a time when a wooden cross was used to torture people to death. He knew His ultimate fate, or should I say, ultimate mission. You think the world is bad now? If He didn't come, we would not have an ounce of hope.

Doesn't it seem like we live in a world dominated by evil and darkness? But thankfully, God rescued us by sending His Son. "For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves." (Colossians 1:13)

So even though this Christmas season is marred with tragedy, it is time to celebrate. Celebrate His birth - that He came. Celebrate because only through the birth of our Savior and His ultimate sacrifice for our sins, can we find peace in a world that is full of chaos. Only through Him can we find joy in a season of sadness. And only through Christ can we attain salvation into a heaven where the dwelling of God is with men - where we will live forever with Him.  And He will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. (Revelation 21:3-4)

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Angel Gabriel - Christmas Messenger

"I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God"  Whoa!!! That is clout. "I stand in the presence of God!" If this particular angel stands in the presence of God, and he has a message to deliver, we listen. And for an angel to have a name? That doesn't happen often. In the entire Bible, we find only 2 angels that have names - one is Gabriel, the other is Michael the Archangel (Jude 1:9). We find Gabriel appearing in Luke 1:19, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news." His announcement initiates the Christmas story. I imagine that Gabriel, standing in the presence of God, received instructions that the time was right to begin the process of sending God's Son to earth (Galatians 4:4-5, "But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.") So God sent not just an ordinary angel, if there is such a thing, but the angel Gabriel to Zechariah, a Jewish priest, to announce that his wife Elizabeth would bear his son, who would become John the Baptist, forerunner of Christ. 

Six months later, God sends the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God." (Luke 2:26-37)

This interaction between Gabriel and Mary is the last we hear of Gabriel. His mission is accomplished. But this isn't the last we hear of angels being used as messengers in the Christmas story. The next instance we find an angel involved in the Christmas story is with Joseph. As you can imagine, when Joseph finds out that Mary is pregnant and he knows that he isn't the father, there is some major turmoil going on! God decides to intervene to calm things down. An angel is sent to Joseph with a message before it's too late and he divorces Mary. So an angel appears to Joseph in a dream and says, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. (Matthew 1:20-25)

The next time God sends angels as messengers comes on the night Jesus is born in Bethlehem. There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. (Luke 2:8-12)

As soon as that angel is done speaking with the shepherds, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” (Luke 2:13-15)

The next time a messenger angel is sent by God, as far as the Christmas story is concerned, involves the Wise Men. Although it's not specifically mentioned that it's an angel who is involved, when the Wise Men were warned in a dream to leave Bethlehem after they had visited Jesus and worshiped Him, it's logical to assume this warning was delivered by an angel. ( "On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route." - Matthew 2:11-12)

As soon as the Wise Men are gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”  So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt." (Matthew 2:13-14)

The next time an angel appears comes after quite some time - after Herod died. An angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” (Matthew 2:19-20)

The last time a messenger angel is used in the Christmas story, or at least we can assume it was an angel, was in Joseph's dream. When Joseph left Egypt with Mary and Jesus, and headed back to the land of Israel and heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. (Matthew 2:22-23)

So as you can see, angels were used in the Christmas story nine times! To Zechariah, to Mary, to Joseph, twice with the Shepherds, to the Wise Men, to Joseph three more times.

Angels were certainly active in the Christmas story. Angels are used frequently throughout the entire Bible. If you search the word 'angel' in the NIV, you will find it used in one form or another 294 times. It makes you wonder... are angels active today? Do we forget that angels exist? Does God still use angels? Just because angels are invisible, do we disregard their reality? Consider this verse, a rhetorical question about angels....."Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14)

A rhetorical question is a question that requires no answer, but is done for effect. The answer is obvious. For example, a rhetorical question would be, "Is the Pope Catholic?" So in the case of Hebrews 1:14, what this verse is saying is this:  Angels are ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation. Christians, that's us! Maybe you don't realize it, but angels minister to us, sent by God. It may not be always obvious or evident, but as you look back on your life, maybe you can see it. Do you know what it makes me realize? God is an interactive God who can intervene in our lives, real-time. God is all knowing and all powerful, and He loves those who are His. And when necessary, he may not send a visible angel, but He surely is able to send 'ministering spirits' to serve us somehow, someway. That's our God! Hallelujah for His providence.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Wise Men - Teach Us About Worship

The role of the Wise Men adds an almost mystical dimension to the Christmas story. Their identity as magicians, astrologers, and astronomers adds mystery. No one knows exactly where they are from. There is certainly not nearly enough Bible detail as we would like regarding their long journey through dangerous desert, or how many were in the caravan, or what motivated them, as non-Jews, to make such pilgrimage.

We do know one thing: if the story of the Wise Men is in the Bible, it is of extreme importance. And even though there is limited information, there is a lot we can learn from them - in this case, worship. That's good because it seems today, many don't even know what worship is. So here are four observations from the story of the Wise Men that can help us to become better worshipers.

OBSERVATION #1 - The Wise Men were Seekers
It doesn't matter if you've been a Christian for decades, or if you are just beginning a quest to find out who this Jesus is, Jesus draws us to Him, and the closer we get, the closer we want to be. Jesus said, "I will draw all men to myself." (John 12:32). There was something powerfully compelling about the Wise Men's decision to find this new King. Obviously there was a supernatural beacon, some call a star, (see my last post), that got their attention. But I'm astonished by their undaunted determination to find Him. They were drawn to Him. They were deliberate in their pursuit. They were relentless in their expedition. Nothing seemed to deter them. The long and treacherous journey, their life circumstances and distractions, their unanswered questions - it didn't matter, they went all-out to find Jesus. Each morning, each day, that was their mission. As worshipers, we must do the same - constantly seek Him on a daily basis. Be deliberate in your pursuit of Him - go all-out in finding out more of who this Jesus is. Desire to have an encounter with Him - a worship encounter.  
LESSON #1: Worship is Intentional. We worship on purpose.

OBSERVATION #2 - The Wise Men desired to be in His Presence
I love that the Wise Men approached King Herod, who was arrogant, powerful, and terrible, with boldness, asking him, "Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews?" To even mention that there was another "king" in the area no doubt infuriated Herod deeply, even though he didn't show it. How dare they ask such a question? Herod knew right on the spot what he would do - use the Wise Men to lead him to Jesus so he could kill Him. But the Wise Men were so focused and so convinced of a new King, they weren't hiding the fact they were trying to find Him so they could worship Him. Some scholars believe the Wise Men were actually kings themselves. If that's true, it adds even more amazement to the fact that they left their respective kingdoms behind, risked their lives and the lives of those traveling with them, in order to be in the presence of Jesus. They were determined, against all odds, to personally meet and worship the King. After all, they could have sent representatives. They could have sent ambassadors. But instead, they sought to find Jesus themselves. 
LESSON #2: Worship is Spiritual. In John 4:24, Jesus said that "God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." When we worship, it is a spiritual encounter. It's when we come into God's presence. Worship is spiritual, and our worship is based on the truth of who God is, and who Christ is, based on scripture.

OBSERVATION #3 - The Wise Men had the right Attitude
Just think of the moment when they first encountered Jesus - their admiration and their awe. Filled with wonder, they must have marveled at the Christ child. The Bible gives us very little detail about this initial encounter. It doesn't tell us what they said. It does, however, tell us what the Wise Men did - they "bowed down and worshiped." (Matthew 2:11). Unlike Herod, the Wise Men were sincere in their desire to worship Jesus. They had an attitude of reverence and humility. They were men of high regard themselves, highly respected, yet the Bible says they bowed down. In a sense, they laid down their crowns in that moment of worship.
LESSON #3: Worship is Emotional. It's emotional in a sense that it's about the heart. Real worship is from the heart, and our heart needs to be right.  Our worship moments must be similar to theirs - full of wonder and awe - full of admiration and reverence. God is full of glory and splendor. We should approach Him in that fashion. Our worship should include an expression of sincere praise, awe, wonder, humility, and thanksgiving. Certainly we can't be in sin and expect our worship to be acceptable. After all, if we are just going through the motions and our heart is not right, our worship is worthless. When He spoke about people whose hearts weren't sincere, Jesus said, "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me," (Matthew 15:8).

OBSERVATION #4 - The Wise Men gave Gifts.
"On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh." (Matthew 2:11-12). Look at the order of their actions. They didn't present Him gifts first, and then worship Him second. The scripture says they worshiped Him first, "then" they presented Him with gifts. This is a good model for us to follow because true worshipers will naturally become givers, not only of their treasures, but of their services. Serving God, living for Him, is a natural by-product of worshiping Him. Jesus said, "Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only." (Luke 4:8). 
LESSON #4: Worshipers Give. They give of their treasures. They give of their lives to God. True worshipers live for God. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:15, "And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."

The Wise Men demonstrate several critical components of worship. They teach us that worship is intentional, spiritual, and emotional. When all three of those components are engaged, we are truly worshiping God. Another way to describe those three components of worship are 1. the mind (worship is intentional), 2. the heart (worship is emotional), and 3. the soul (worship is spiritual). In other words, when we engage the heart, the mind, and the soul in worship, we are, what I call, "worshiping in the zone." All three of these components must be engaged to be "worshiping in the zone" - the heart, the mind, and the soul. This is the true form of worship. It can happen anywhere, at anytime. It can happen in a brief moment or an extended time period. It can be prompted by a song, or a sunset, or a sermon, or anything that reminds us of God. When we are worshiping, we are demonstrating or expressing something to the Lord: like praise, thanksgiving, or adoration. This expression can be done through words, through prayer, or through action, as long as our heart is right, we are intentional about it, and we are spiritually connecting with God.

Here is my simplified one sentence definition of worship: "Worship is a deliberate moment when we spiritually bow down before the Lord and express our sincere praise, thanksgiving and adoration."

In this one-sentence definition, the heart ("sincere praise....."), the mind ("deliberate moment...."), and the soul ("spiritually bow down....") are engaged. One more thing: worship leads to serving God. Worshipers give - of themselves and of their treasures. These are the types of worshipers God seeks.
John 4:23-24: "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”