Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy. Psalm 99:9.
Not by seeking a holy mountain or a sacred temple are men brought into communion with heaven. Religion is not to be confined to external forms and ceremonies. The religion that comes from God is the only religion that will lead to God. In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us a willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship. It is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit. By the Spirit every sincere prayer is indited, and such prayer is acceptable to God. Wherever a soul reaches out after God, there the Spirit’s working is manifest, and God will reveal Himself to that soul. For such worshipers He is seeking. He waits to receive them, and to make them His sons and daughters.—The Desire of Ages, 189.
Our meetings for worship should be sacred, precious occasions…. Nothing that savors of an unchristian, unloving spirit should be permitted to enter; for do we not assemble to seek mercy and forgiveness from the Lord? and the Saviour has plainly said, “With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged….” Who can stand before God, and plead a faultless character, a blameless life? …
Our meetings should be made intensely interesting. They should be pervaded with the very atmosphere of heaven. Let there be no long, dry speeches and formal prayers, merely for the sake of occupying the time. All should be ready to act their part with promptness, and when their duty is done, the meetings should be closed…. This is offering to God acceptable worship.—Testimonies for the Church 5:607-609.
With God at Dawn p. 101
—-Please pray for my neighbor, Kim, who is having surgery today. Also please pray for Larry who is in rehab and is getting a roommate today. Pray that they will get along well and that Larry can soon recover and be able to go home. Rose
—-Cindy’s brother-in-law had emergency open heart surgery on Thursday. Please keep him, the family, and the surgeons in your prayers. Amy
—–Moving 300 miles for job for my daughter I live with. Pray we find a home there quickly and easy transition (I am handicapped) Ann
—-Please pray for my coworker a frontliner who is sick with COVID. Emerson
When my children were little, they often brought me little things that thought was especially nice. Sometimes it was a pretty flower or a colorful stone. Sometimes it would be a piece of candy that they had bought with their small allowance. Sometimes is was some cherished toy. As I received their gifts, I cuddled the giver and thanked them profusely. Often I would ask my child if they would take care of that cherished toy for me because it was so special. Delighted that the gift was appreciated and returned, they would hug it tightly to their heart.
Although the various gifts, large and small, were special to me because they were given from a heart filled with love, there was one gift that far exceeded them all. Those times when my children would surprise me by doing the dishes, cleaning their room, or some other menial task without being asked meant a great deal to me. They were giving of themselves, of their time, of their energy.
So it is with our Heavenly Father, Whose Great Heart of Love yearns for us to love Him with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our might. (Deut 6:5) God “loveth a cheerful giver.” 2 Cor 9:7 Indeed, it is only the offering or obedience that is given from a love-filled heart that means anything to him. He pleads, “Give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” Prov 23:26 “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” 1 Sam 15:22 “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.” Ps 4:5
The gift He counts the greatest is when we give Him our time, our love, our thoughts, doing those things which please Him because we love Him. Indeed, unless we do all and give all from a loving heart, the gift is worthless. Here is a song that illustrates the importance of giving to our Dear Saviour the gift that He wants most of all. They Brought Their Gifts to Jesus by E E Rexford.
They brought their gifts to Jesus, And laid them at His feet, And love for this dear Saviour, Made every offering sweet; Good deeds and words of kindness, Help for the poor of earth, And not a gift among them Was thought of little worth. Wouldst bring a gift to Jesus that He would count most sweet? Say, “Lord, my heart I give Thee.” And lay it at His feet.
Apart from other givers A poor wayfarer stood; He saw the gifts they offered, The poorest counted good; And he was filled with longing, A gift, though poor, to bring; Alas! all empty handed He stood before the King. Wouldst bring a gift to Jesus that He would count most sweet? Say, “Lord, my heart I give Thee.” And lay it at His feet.
“Dear Lord,” he cried in sorrow, “I know how kind Thou art, Take all I have to give Thee, My sinful wayward heart.” Then Jesus answered softly, “Count not the gift as small, Though all of them are precious, Thine is the best of all.” Wouldst bring a gift to Jesus, That He will count most sweet? Say, “Lord, my heart I give Thee,” And lay it at His feet.
“Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” giving our all to our Master, Who gave His All for us is my prayer. Heb 13:5