Good Good Father – A Song Devotional

The Bible is not discreet about our relationship with God. It is clear. God is our Father; we are His children. In fact, God is identified as our Father 265 times in scripture. Most of those are found in the New Testament because through Christ, we have a new identity as an adopted child of God.

Romans 8:15 says, “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’” Galatians 4:7 says, “Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.”

You’re a good, good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

The word “father” invokes up all sorts of images for people. For some, “father” is associated with warm memories, laughter, family trips or long conversations on a front porch. For others the word is associated with absence, rejection, hurt, or pain. At times, we have greatly distorted what the role of a father was intended to be.

This is why it’s so important to understand that God is not only our Father, but He is a good Father.

You may believe you are a child of God, but do you believe, really believe to your very core, that you are loved by God? This can be a difficult truth to grasp, even for the most fervent believer. Guilt, shame and sin can prevent us from believing in and experiencing the love of God. Bitterness and past experiences remain in our hearts and minds and over the years, we grab hold of a lie that He wants good for others, but not for ourselves.

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night
And You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

This sort of thinking is counter to what scripture says about God as our Father. Think about how the Father figure of God is described and what this says about His character:

He embraces the prodigal son, and the older brother—He is loving, accepting and patient. (Luke 15)

He takes care of the sparrows but says He cares much more for his children than the sparrows—He provides and is attuned to our needs. (Matthew 10)

He goes after every single lost sheep until it is found—He pursues a relationship with us and doesn’t ever get tired of looking after the lost. (Luke 15)

The two truths that have the most transformative power in your life are that you are God’s child and God is a good Father. Tell yourself that today, over and over. It’s who you are, and it’s who He is.


Devotional by Andrea Lucado
“Good Good Father” Words and Music by Anthony Brown and Pat Barrett

From WorshipTogether.com

Whom Shall I Fear?

by Louie Giglio

REFLECTION

In the midst of the fray and fury, keep your eyes on Jesus. He is fighting for you. Emmanuel is near. Though accusations fly and the enemy assaults your thoughts, though people try to cut you down and drag your name through the mud, though schemes are launched and temptations roar, though your flesh fails and screams for revenge—your hope is in the One who fights for you. You are safe in God’s love and in the power of His mighty name.

MEDITATION

Fear Not to Trust Me in the Storm

Fear not to trust Me in the storm,
I’m always very near.
I come thy needless fears to calm,
Then, weary ones, don’t fear.

Refrain

Fear not, I am with thee,
Fear not, I am with thee,
Fear not, I am with thee,
Am with thee all the way.

I may not always seem so near
As thou wouldst have Me be;
But in the calm and in the storm,
I all thy dangers see.

Refrain

Fear not to trust My mighty arm;
It bro’t salvation down.
I suffered much to give thee life,
To give to thee a crown.

Refrain

J.W. Howe, Stanzas 1–3

PRAYER

Father, in the middle of the storm I am setting my hope on You. You fight for me and You are greater than all my enemies. Nothing I face today is more powerful than You. You are the solid ground beneath my feet. Thank You for surrounding those who surround me. Give me peace in the presence of my enemies, knowing that You see me and defend me in Your love. Amen.


Louie Giglio is the pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and founder of Passion Conferences—a global movement of college-aged people living for the fame of Jesus Christ. A dynamic and effective communicator, Louie holds a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Shelley, live in Atlanta.

Which Comes First: Praise or Worship?

by Sheri Tesar

praise-worshipThe words “Praise and Worship” are linked together so often that I wonder if many people really pay any attention to difference between the two words. “Praise and Worship” has become as common a phrase as “salt and pepper,” “peanut butter and jelly” or, if you’re Forrest Gump, “peas and carrots.” We use the phrase “Praise and Worship” to describe a specific musical genre or the musical portion of the Sunday morning gathering. It is helpful when leading others in praise and in worship to remember that “Praise and Worship” is not a genre of music but two different, but related concepts.

Praise is a part of worship, and worship is much larger than singing songs of praise. Have you ever thought much about the relationship between the two distinct words “praise” and “worship” and why they are usually linked together in that particular order? (I have seen these words linked together as “Worship and Praise” on occasion, but very seldom.)  The customary order is “Praise and Worship,” and I believe they are linked in this order for a reason. It is not because they fall this way alphabetically, but because this is the order in which these two events occur.

Praise always precedes worship. Until we praise God –that is, until we recognize and acknowledge how infinitely great and awesome He is, and until our hearts are filled with gratitude for all He has done for us, we will not worship Him –-that is, we will not bow down before Him as our Lord and offer our lives in service to Him. The acts of both praise and worship appear in Psalm 95, and they appear in that order.

The psalmist begins Psalm 95 with an invitation to praise God. “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation!” (Ps 95:1 NIV) We are invited to sing joyfully to the Lord, to shout triumphantly to the One who gives us victory. The psalmist goes on to invite us to “come before [the Lord] with thanksgiving; and extol Him with music and song” (vs 2). We are invited to continue our praise of God by offering Him thanks for all that He has done for us.

In verses 3-5, the psalmist offers us reasons as to why we are to praise the Lord. “For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods” (vs 3). He is greater than anyone or anything else. He is God. He is the King of all the earth. All of creation was crafted by Him and belongs to Him.

Once we acknowledge the unsurpassed greatness of our God and praise Him for who He is and what He has done for us, the psalmist invites us in verses 6-7 to worship the Lord. “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker” (vs 6). We are to bow down in worship before the King and Creator. As part of His creation, we are to kneel in reverence and obedience before Him because we belong to Him, and He is the One who tenderly cares for us and leads us as He sees best.

I have often struggled with how the final four verses fit with the first part of Psalm 95. It has always seemed to me to be a rather abrupt change, but in reflecting on this psalm recently, I now see that it fits very well.

The first seven verses are comprised of invitations and instructions from the psalmist. He invites us to praise God (vs 1-2), instructs us on the reasons why we should praise Him (vs 3-5), and then he invites us to worship (bow before) Him and instructs on the reasons why (vs 6-7).

The voice changes in the final three verses to a message from God. He warns us as to what will happen if we refuse to accept the invitations and instructions given to us in the first 7 verses. God lets us know what will happen if we refuse to worship Him or bow down before Him. He warns us not to “harden [our] hearts” or to test Him (vs 8-9). God advises us to remain firmly in His care and not to be prideful, stubborn, and insistent on doing things our own way. This is not a threat from an egotistical leader who wants all to bow before Him. This is a warning from a loving Father who wants His children to obey Him because He knows best. It is in our best interest to follow the psalmist’s instructions in the beginning of this psalm.

“Praise and Worship” is not a musical genre or just another inseparable pair of words. Praise is words that honor the Lord for who He is and what He has done, and worship is the ensuing attitude of humility, obedience, and willingness to submit to the King and Creator of the universe, the One who is infinitely greater than we are and loves us more than we can comprehend.

Engage in praising our God. Recognize and audibly acknowledge to everyone how great He is. Sing, shout, and praise His holy name. Then make the conscience decision to worship Him, to bow before Him and submit to Him in reverence, humility, and obedience.


Sheri Tesar has an M.A. in Worship Studies from Lincoln Christian Seminary and a B.S. in Worship Arts from Dallas Christian College. She has served as a Worship Minister and as an Adjunct Professor of Worship. She and her family currently live in Littleton, Colorado.

Stepford Worship

Here is what David W. Manner shared in his blog post today. I thought it was worth sharing:

It is often easier as worship leaders to imitate the worship habits, methods, styles, presentations and even attire of other artists or congregations. We mimic them without even considering our own gifts and calling or the calling and abilities of our players, singers and congregants. If the only version of worship songs you ever lead or your congregation ever expects must be exactly like that of the original artist (including: genre, key, tempo, instrumentation, vocal timbre, volume, attitude and even attire), then why do they need you?

Read the whole article here: http://kncsb.org/blogs/dmanner/stepford-worship/

Worship—Part 1

A Christian brother and good friend of mine posted this on my Facebook timeline this morning, and I think it’s well worth sharing!

Worship—Part 1 

In this text, Judah is about to be overwhelmed by a confederation of three opposing armies. Its armies are hopelessly outnumbered and face certain defeat, but God has a plan—Worship! 

Worship puts God in His proper place as Creator of the universe, Redeemer of our life, and Provider of everything we need. Because we know whom we worship, our worship releases the Lord to perform His purpose within us. Worship is not blissful ignorance or vain superstition in the face of present need. It is confirming God’s desire to work in the lives of His people. Spiritual power is released through praise! Here the enemies of Judah (literally “praise” in Hebrew) are confused and begin to slaughter each other as the people of God begin to sing and worship. Jehoshaphat, Judah’s king, never sends the army to fight, only the choir! In the same way, the Lord promises that as we face each challenge with praise, He will confuse and scatter the enemy. Whatever today may bring, no matter how large the obstacle, the beginning point of breakthrough is worship.

Thank you for leading us to worship our Great God in spite of our feelings and trials!

CHEMISTRY 101

I recently came across this article from Tim Sheppard, the Worship Pastor at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.  As we begin to enter into a new season in the Parkway Worship Ministry, I feel that the information in this article is valuable to our team as well.  The vision at Gateway Worship is to develop highly influential God-worshippers… something to think about!

http://gatewayworship.com/content/chemistry-101-ps-tim-sheppard