COG 79: Worshipping God in November
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It’s almost November!
For some of us, November means cooler weather, the last few crunchy leaves on the ground, and potentially a lot more snow. For others, you’re experiencing a beautiful late spring. Summer is just around the corner, and you’re enjoying all the flowers.
But regardless of where you live, most nations have a day to memorialize their slain soldiers, and all Christians should be thankfully anticipating Advent.
But before we get too much further in today’s discussion, please take a moment to rate and review The Celebration of God on Apple Podcasts. You can also rate us on Facebook and any other podcast directory that allows you to leave a rating or review. But it’s the Apple Podcast and Facebook reviews that have the biggest impact.
I greatly appreciate all of you who have rated and/or reviewed us, but I’d love to see more.
And even though there won’t be episode notes for today’s show, a transcript and links to our November resources will be available on our blog at CelebrationOfGod.com.
And — with that — let’s talk about celebrating God in November.
Let’s start with a really important reminder that we are still in the Season of Mercy. That means we’re focusing on the infinite mercy of God that though we deserve so many negative consequences for our sin, He is merciful in that He doesn’t visit those consequences on us all the time.
This month in America we’re painfully aware that we deserve slavery, but God has mercifully allowed us to have a nation where our armed forces have valiantly fought for our freedom. Our sin and idolatry also means that we deserve hatred, but the sacrificial actions of our fallen heroes was a merciful act of love.
We also don’t deserve to be thankful. Have you ever thought about that? Our rebellion against God earns us nothing but torment and separation. We deserve to be discontent with the consequences of our sin — completely incapable of ever being thankful for them.
But God floods our lives with so many blessings, we are blessed to experience divine gratitude.
And we also deserve to be left in our sins. But God is merciful, and He doesn’t give us what we deserve. That why we can look backward to the Messiah’s first coming and look forward to His second coming.
And it’s this talk of the consequences of our sin and the coming of our Lord and Savior that should remind us of the salvation focus for this season . . . our desperation.
Most Christians know what justification, sanctification, and glorification are. But desperation is the first needful step before we will ever request justification, pursue sanctification, and enjoy glorification. It’s the stage of God’s glorious plan wherein we are convicted of our eternal need.
For those of us who are born again, we should praise God that He showed us how desperately needy we were. And our eyes should turn out to those around us who haven’t yet recognized their desperation. They don’t understand their sin and the place God should have in their lives.
That should motivate us not only to continue talking with them about their sin, but also God’s mercy and grace He offers in salvation.
I hope those realities, God’s mercy and our desperation, has been and will continue to be a focus in your home, church, school, and work this November.
And with that, I’d like to transition to a short explanation of how we can worship God this November better than we did last November.
First, you should check out CelebrationOfGod.com. The site is constantly growing and changing, and one of those changes is the ability to find our podcast episodes by series. And one of those series in particular is a series called Celebrating God in Daily Life.
Many of our episodes to date have been about reevaluating how we approach our holidays, and we will continue to focus on those glorious High Days in our calendar. But we also recognize that the majority of our years are spen in low moments — daily life lived in normalcy. But we need to worship God during those times as well.
That’s why — this year — we’re focusing more and more on those average activities of normal life.
For example, recently we’ve unpacked different ways we can worship God with the topics of death and recreation.
Now, I know that we hope to avoid death as much as possible, and though we’d love more recreation, it’s not the majority of what we do. Still, I hope you can see how God can and must be worshipped in every facet of our lives.
Whether we’re at church on Sunday, at school on Monday, at work on Tuesday, at rehearsal on Wednesday, enjoying friends on Thursday, traveling on Friday, or playing on Saturday . . . God is to have the preeminence.
November provides you thirty whole days to grow in your sanctification and become more like Christ in your submission to the Father.
Every situation we experience this month — enjoyable or otherwise — is designed by God to mature us. In the words of James 1:2-4, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
God wants our faith to grow as we exercise it, but He doesn’t just want it to grow, He wants it to persevere. Our lives shouldn’t just be punctuated by moments of extreme faith, it should be characterized by consistent faith.
And all of this is so that the Holy Spirit can perfect us and make us complete so that we have access to all of the spiritual blessings God’s promised us in His Word.
And — when you look at life that way — it should excited you to dedicate it to God. Not only will we actively seek to worship God in our low moments, when we recognize God’s mercy, we should want to set aside specific days to give Him our undistracted focus.
And that’s why we have holidays.
The world may view their holidays as time for themselves, but Christians know that Holy Days are times of intentional, undistracted joy in our God. They’re special days set aside to celebrate God’s character and deeds.
And — in November — there are three on which we want to focus.
And remember that this is merely an introduction to the November holidays. You can learn much more about each — including how to prepare for them, celebrate them, and disciple during them — at CelebrationOfGod.com and by using the links in the description.
The first of our November holidays is Veteran’s Day on the 11th.
The fact that Veteran’s Day wasn’t created as a religious holiday shouldn’t stop us from adorning God in light of the event. I would encourage you to listen to our Veteran’s Day episodes to learn some wonderful ways we can simultaneously honor those who have sacrificed for our national freedom and at the same time give God the glory for His work in them.
And then comes Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November.
Now, I try not to say anything in these episodes that would date them. Our discussions here are evergreen and eternally relevant because they’re based in the Scriptures and consumed with God’s glory.
But, the year this episode was published just so happened to be the 400th anniversary of what’s known as The First Thanksgiving.
And — as some of you know — my family’s ancestors were part of the First Thanksgiving. So, this particular Thanksgiving has a lot of significance for my family.
But you don’t have to be related to the pilgrims or even be an American to cherish a day like Thanksgiving.
I don’t care what day you celebrate Thanksgiving. In fact, God command that we be thankful all of the time and for all things. But the key is that Christians will show their gratitude to God.
So, I invite all followers of Christ to join me in setting aside a special day to revel in the supreme mercy and blessing of the Lord. We have so much for which to be thankful.
Again, we have a number of episode that will help you approach this special day with intentionality, worship God on the day, and help your disciplees do the same.
And the final holiday I want to mention is Advent. Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. That means that most years Advent will start on the last week of November.
Advent is over 20 days of a dual celebration. Most Christians not only look forward to Christ second coming, they also prepare for Christmas by looking back to His first coming.
And November starts off our adoration of Christ.
So that’s it. Well, actually, that’s just the beginning. There are so many millions of ways we can and should celebrate God this November. And I pray that you have an amazing experience of finding and participating in more and more of them.
And part of that experience will definitely involve you joining us next time as we start a series in how you can deepen your worship.
How does worship mature? We could ask, “How can we change our worship to glorify God better?”
Well, Lord willing, next time we’re going to start a discussion about just that.
In the meantime, check out CelebrationOfGod.com and share this episode on your favorite social media outlets so that disciples of Christ can better know, love, and worship God this November.
I’ll see you later.
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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.