Welcome back to The Year Long Celebration of God where we seek to better know, understand, and love God while also trying to help the people in our lives do the same.
On our inaugural year we introduced the holidays in the Celebration of God, and so far this year we’ve been spending the majority of our time looking at the rest of the days.
Holidays are those High Days of special emphasis, and they are gorgeous and wonderful and necessary. We definitely serve a God of feasts and celebrations and special times. But we also serve a God of the Low Moments — the non-holidays. And — let’s be honest — there are far more Low Moments in our lives than there are High Days.
So, we’ve been looking a lot at the weekly line-items that fill our days. We started most broadly looking at worship and discipleship in general, and then we discussed how to give God the preeminence at work and school. Then after we studied the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, we got super nitty-gritty with discussions about the food we eat and the vacations we take. And most recently we just finished a short three-part study on worshipping God with our sleep and rest.
Of course, there’s still a lot to talk about. For example, a big one is learning to worship God with our finances. As a biblical counselor, this one comes up a lot in our sessions.
So, let’s take a few minutes to look at an average July and talk about the many opportunities we have to worship the Lord.
Then — after the show — follow the link in the description to access our transcript and tons of July resources.
Let’s start by remembering that July is the second month in the Season of Power. We’re spending a focused time meditating on God’s omnipotence and the infinite implications of serving an all-powerful God. And we’re also studying a specific application of that power in our Sanctification.
It’s my desire in the upcoming years to dedicate short series to each of the four character traits we highlight during the year as well as work through the four facets of our salvation.
So, if you’re listening to or reading this in the future, be sure to look for those studies. But if we haven’t done them yet, I encourage you to make God’s power and your sanctification a focus of your study in your personal devotions.
Learning more about God’s power and the access we have to it can dispel so much fear, instill so much trust, and actually make us really excited about our potential in Christ. And as we dig deeper into our sanctification, it should convict us that we’re not more mature, but also drive us to work in the power of the Holy Spirit to grow more.
And that’s something we can pursue all through the month of July.
However, when it comes to July High Days, we don’t have too many on the schedule. In fact, the only holiday on the calendar was inspired by the American observation of the 4th of July.
Now, if you’re new to The Year Long Celebration of God, please know that this is a discipleship experience geared toward worshipping God better. It’s not about patriotism or anything like that. I’m not saying that patriotism is inherently bad . . . in fact, I’d argue that it’s not if you live in an amazing country, but that’s not our focus here.
We want to approach our holidays by turning our gaze to our Creator and giving Him the preeminence. So, for that reason, The Celebration of God utilizes Independence Day to focus on the freedom and liberty we have in Christ. Whether it’s national or spiritual, whether it’s the freedom we have to obey God or the freedom we have to publicly worship Him, this is a great time of year to celebrate it.
Liberty is powerful. In my counseling ministry, change often really starts to happen when people get past the hopeless and the lie that they won’t be able to change. God’s truth sets us free, and His power helps us to thrive in that liberty.
At the same time, Independence Day is a very interesting time to recognize that though we may be independent from many terrible things, humans are never completely independent. Everyone — believer and unbeliever alike — is completely dependent on God for life and the experiences in it. There may be people who hate to acknowledge that fact, but it doesn’t change the reality.
So, regardless of when your nation has an organized Independence Day, we encourage disciples of Christ to take that time to be thankful to God for the nation in which you live, but — even more important than that — use that time to reflect on the beauty of spiritual freedom from sin and dependence on God.
And if your nation doesn’t have a good day to set aside for such contemplation and celebration, we invite you to join us on July 4th — not for a celebration of America — but for a celebration of the freedom that comes through God’s truth.
I look forward to the day that we’re able to add some new holidays to the month of July, but for now we’re thankful for what we have.
Now, there are some of you have that have birthdays and anniversaries in July, so those are also wonderful times to celebrate God, and I look forward to doing future episode about how to worship God on your anniversary and/or birthday.
So, that means that the remaining 30 or so days of the month could be considered those Low Moments. They’re the average days filled with the normal schedule. And it’s these days that are most easy to forget that they too should all be about God.
And that’s why we’ve been working on the episodes we have, so that every day of the week you have at least one celebratory focus.
For example, we have a foundational series for worshipping God on Sunday called Celebrating God at Church.
For your weekly Monday through Friday, we have Celebrating God at Work. But that’s not the only thing going on during the week. In the Northern Hemisphere there’s a lot of vacationing and sporting events, so you can check Celebrating God with Recreation and one of our newest episodes, Celebrating God on Vacation.
And of course, whether you choose to take a Day of Rest on Saturday, Sunday, or Anyday, our Celebrating God with Rest series should get you going in the right direction.
But if you only have time for a handful of episodes, I would strongly encourage you to listen to the What is Worship series, the Grow Your Worship series, or the Discipleship Spiral series.
Each of those presents foundational truths that will guide and inform any and all of the activities in which you participate any day of the week.
And though life always goes the way God plans, it often does’t go the way we plan. For moments like those, I recommend the episodes “Celebrating God when the Holiday is Over” and “Use Death to Celebrate God.”
God’s desire for us — every waking moment of every day — is to grow in our discipleship, help others to grow in their’s, and introduce those who are not yet disciples to our Creator, Savior, and King. So I hope you’ll familiarize yourself with our growing library of discipleship resources.
Whether your July is piping hot or covered in snow, I pray that you will continue to grow in your knowledge, understanding, and love for God. I pray that you will teach what you’re learning to the world around you. And I pray that you experience joy, peace, contentment, and thanksgiving through it all.
Please share this episode on your favorite social media outlets so that your friends can learn more about The Year Long Celebration of God, and join us next time as we seek to better know, love, and worship God and help the people in our lives do the same.
To that end, we’ll be starting a series called “What is True Christian Friendship?”
This topic has far more daily import that most of us realize, and I’m very exited to learn what the Scriptures have to say about our friends.
I’ll see you then.
The Year Long Celebration of God is a dynamic, holistic resource that utilizes the Bible, our holiday calendars, and even the most average moments of the most normal days to equip Christians to worship God all year long
and disciple others to do the same.
AMBrewster is the creator and host of the Celebration of God. He originally designed the COG to be a discipleship tool for Christian parents to train their children to know and love God, but he quickly realized how valuable it is for all Christians. Whether it's a small group, church, classroom, one-on-one, or community relationship, this resource is guaranteed to draw people closer together as they draw closer to God.
Aaron is the President of Truth.Love.Parent. and host of its podcast.