Worship: All or Nothing

This is my first time reading the New Testament through in The Message. And I have to admit, every day I’m blown away as I see things I’ve read many times differently. This day was no exception:

Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee,
headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion.
The moment they saw Him they worshiped Him.
Some, though, held back,
not sure about worship,
about risking themselves totally.
Matthew 28:16-17 MSG – emphasis mine

A gasp escapes as I set the Bible on my lap. Unsure if I can read any further.

Held back…not sure about worship..
about risking themselves totally…

It’s as if these verses were written by one looking straight into my eyes.

Instinctively I reach for my treasured one. The Bible I’ve had since I was 16. For I needed to see why I’ve missed this.

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw Him they worshiped Him, but some doubted.

Ah, now I see what I look like when I don’t worship fully. When I hold a bit of myself back while praising Him…

Father, forgive me for this doubting heart of mine. Please take it. I give it to You. I don’t want it to hold me back from proclaiming You fully anymore. Because You are worth the risk. Jesus, You’ve done more for me than You will ever ask me to do for You. What a fool I would be to not give all of me to You. Every day. Yes, I’m all in. To You be all glory and honor…

I pick the Bible back up and read what was to follow. And smile wide when I see Jesus’ response:

“Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave His charge…”
(the Great Commission follows)

Curiosity got the better of me as I reached for my dictionary. Friends, have you ever looked up the definition for ‘undeterred’? Here are the words that jumped out to me:

Undeterred: unshakable faith.

This series of events happened after Christ’s crucifixion. After He had paid for my debt — my doubting heart — with His own life. And to think…He didn’t even regret it. Even after seeing how we still held back from Him, He remained undeterred in His goal of saving us.

Isn’t that just like our Redeemer? What grace…

Yes, this is what I will do this week. I’m not going to hold back. I’ll give my all for His glory. I’ll get out of His way and allow Him to work His wonder. With my hands held high. What have I got to lose?

Will you join me?

On this Music Monday, instead of focusing on one song, I want to focus on one thing: Worship. Friends, might I challenge you to worship Him fully this week? Don’t hold back.

Go ahead — risk yourself totally. For Him.
If not for the love of Him, then do it for His love of you.

I’m ready to begin worshiping fully. And seeing the gifts He has given me this week is a great way to start. May I share some things that filled my praise journal this week with you?

  • Nothing can separate me from His love. So I have nothing to fear.
  • My flowers are still alive! Even after all this heat and my not-so-green thumb…
  • Don’t need to pretend to be anything but a sinner saved by grace.
  • Corn on the cob
  • Only love empowers the leap in trust
  • Family game night saturated with laughter
  • Madeline L’Engle. Truly, I’m captivated.
  • Watermelon dripping from elbows
  • Another glimpse of grace while reading Matthew 28:16-17 MSG
  • God loves us even when we don’t want Him to love us…

How about you? How are you striving to worship Him fully? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,


Linking up with:
The Grace Cafe as well as:


26 thoughts on “Worship: All or Nothing

  1. I love this post! Being Presbyterian, we generally don’t worship fully and it has taken me a long time to be comfortable with that – but how wonderful it feels when I do! I really enjoy reading The Message as an alternative translation. I feel like I glean details that I usually would skip over!

    PS – Tagged you in my post today 🙂

    • I see ways you worship outside of church, Aurie, even states away! So glad you understand the concept of praising our Savior your own way. 🙂

      And I’m so humbled….honored… flabbergasted to be mentioned in your post today, friend. THANK YOU! Oh how you bless me…

  2. I haven’t read The Message at all, but I’m thinking of asking for it for Christmas. Every time I see scripture quoted from that version, it’s eye opening. I’m so missing worship. We haven’t been able to go to church for 3 weeks now because of illness in our home. Now it’s me that’s sick. Ugh! But I needed the worship so desperately that I actually raised my hands to God while standing in the shower in heartfelt prayer. I sure hope He doesn’t mind those “weird” moments where the circumstances aren’t exactly ideal, but it’s quiet and I’m alone and I can really focus my heart on Him and Him alone. 🙂

    • It changes the entire last passage of Matthew for me, Joy. This discovery of how undeterred I make Him…. What a gift! Thanks for reading my ramblings and praising along with me!

    • Oh how He delights in your worship lately, Dolly. Your knees may be shaking, but you haven’t fallen down. Such an inspiration to me, friend! (and I’m holding you up in prayer….) Hugs and love to you!!

  3. I think our hearts are working on some similar things. My post I am working on for tomorrow night has some similarities…we should share notes:) Thanks for showing the two passages and pointing out that their doubt was them not giving themselves fully to Him in worship. Gives me much to think about. Can’t wait to hear who wins:)

    • Oh, I’m looking forward to that post, Christina — and we should share notes!:)
      Yes, I’ve really been looking at a lot of things. From what I consider worship to be all the way to how I personally surrender to it. Much to think about–and these verses are what got me started on my journey! Grateful to hear they stir your heart, too.
      (and thursday can’t come soon enough!):)

  4. It’s amazing to me that Joy said what I came here to say…she’s always amazing me with her thoughts, as you do, too. I’d also never read the Message as a go to version. I’ll add it to my other new and current favorite, God’s Word version, which I’m finding myself going to more and more frequently.

    • Oh, I love that, Donna. For Joy said exactly what I was trying to say in this post! It’s funny…I never thought I’d like The Message, but I am truly captivated by it. I might have to try “God’s Word Version” next! I hadn’t heard of it if you can believe that–thank you!

    • If there’s one thing the Bible has shown me is that I can read the same thing hundreds of time and gleam something new each and every time. Love how He talks through His Word! Amazes me each time I crack the binding open…

      So thrilled to be neighbors over at WIP Wednesday so I could meet you today!

  5. I’ve been convicted lately of not praying the prayers I really want to pray for fear God won’t do them. It’s not that I don’t believe He CAN, it’s that I don’t believe He WILL. Like I don’t trust His promise. I like how this phrased it as a risk–because that’s what it feels like. I’m with you though–I want to risk it all. Just for a taste of what the Lord can do!

    Thanks for linking up!
    Mary Beth

    • Oh, I’ve gone through that, Mary Beth. even have felt like I’m such a bother…I won’t make Him put up with me today kind of excuse. ::SIGH:: some day we’ll get this. That He sees right through us anyway. That He loves us regardless. That’s it’s worth the risk of letting ourselves go. Every day.

      Hugs to you, friend! Thank you for letting me link up!

  6. As always… you have such a deep insight and I love to read your blog posts! I have been enjoying worship when I wake in the night, when I rise in the morning, when I am on my way to work, while I am at work, at lunch time, after work… well, I think you get the picture! Just loving God! Thank you for sharing today!

  7. I grew up in a church that was reserved, but with parents whose hearts were so into worship. My husband is much more reserved (Baptist background, drums are bad sort of thing :D) but he and I have both grown together in our current church to learn to worship unashamed when the Spirit moves. But sometimes, yes, I hold back, either because I’m afraid of how I look, or because I feel I cannot b/c of what’s in my heart. But I need to/ want to deal with that and worship undeterred! GREAT post Nikki, love your heart and you!

    • I love how you’re striving to let nothing inhibit you from showing your heart before Him and others, Lauren. I think you’ve got it here…the key is to be unashamed/undeterred when you feel moved. Not hold back. Does that always mean your hands must be raised? I don’t think so…unless there’s an urge there you’re holding back…and only you can determine that. I struggle with this at church. because worship can look completely different for everyone. We should be able to praise unabashedly no matter what it looks like. And for some, including me, it’s sitting there with our heads bowed low. And for others, including me at times, it’s with our hands held high. Regardless, all He’s looking at is the heart. And our hearts know when our bodies aren’t reflecting what it feels…

      I’m rambling but am so passionate about figuring this out! 🙂 Thanks for sharing with me, friend!

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