Wednesday, June 30, 2010

God's view of modern worship

I wonder how God views the way the modern church worships: Welcome, announcements, three hymns, offering, special music, message. I wonder if He gets bored with our rote and ritual and heartless worship. Matt Redman has a book out entitled "Facedown." It's worth reading as he speaks about the awesome power, majesty, holiness, and strength of God. Worship of this God has always caused people of the Bible to fall facedown.
Moses, John, Paul, Isaiah and so many others when they were confronted by the Holy God. Yet when modern day believers come to worship they want it short and sweet without much cost. No knee bending, no face down, no repenting, no confession of sin, no freely opening of the heart to what God might want to say to them. The preacher has become a star rather than a leader of our people to reverence, respect, adore, love, and fall facedown before our mighty God.
To many Pastor's try to please people and encourage church attendance and giving rather than encouraging people to fall in love with Jesus and give Him the adoration He deserves. Teaching a culturally acceptable gospel rather than a life-changing, radical moving away from the old lifestyles we once adhered to. Following Christ is a slap in Satan's face. It makes the ungodly mad. The truth sets people free though and thats what we must teach. God is moving around the world and convicting hearts and revival is breaking out in many places but not the U.S. We have lost that sense of God's power and holiness. We must recapture it if there is to revival.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What Do I Know of Holy

A recent song asks the question, "What Do I Know of Holy?" I began to think that God calls us to be holy, but what do we know of holy? God is holy (I Peter 1: 15-16; Romans 1:7; I Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 1:4). When we speak of the 'Holy Spirit", we're saying the Spirit is holy. If we are 'indwelt' and even 'filled' with the Spirit, does it mean holiness is in us? But what is holiness? Following the law? A saintly countenance? Churchly achievement? Excellent performance? Good deeds? Being super nice to everyone?
The holy life is simply living as someone who belongs to God and who lives by the vision of the Kingdom of God. Were it only that simple. For we, on our own, don't have much to work with. We can't rightly envision what a life of holiness is, and even if we could, we couldn't get ourselves to be that way. So, the Spirit brings us into the holiness of Jesus. Thanks to the Spirit working through your faith, Jesus is really there with you and within you, giving you Jesus' holiness. It is given to us by God's grace.
Some emphasize biblical standards of holiness. Sometimes it becomes legalism. Firmer roots come when we admit we are broken creatures. Even our vision of what makes for holiness is marred and twisted. We are strangers to God's ways. We must pray for the Spirit's leading. Without the Spirit's work, we not only cannot know God, but we also fail to discover our true selves. The Spirit, through the Bible, shows us what a God-pleasing life is, and leads us to want to live it and treasure it.
If you need Godliness, only God has it, so only God can give it to you. It's all because of what Christ has done. Else what would I know about holy.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Time Off

Well Monday begins a two week vacation. I will be in Gulf Shores Alabama just in time to see all the oil floating into the beaches. Our condo is right on the beach and I enjoy walking early in the morning and late evening on the beach. Hope the oil does not ruin that possibility but I feel it will.
Man has a way of ruining the planet it seems. Mostly its done in our efforts to make money. Many companies and entrepreneurs don't take into consideration the possible damage done to the planet due to their efforts. But also some areas of TX look like a dump because careless people throw trash out their automobile windows with no regard for the land.
But man's activities don't end with the planet. Lives are ruined because of selfisness and sin. We have a tendency to think only of ourselves unless God enters our lives through faith in Christ. I think that is the best definition of sin: Each man doing his own thing in his own way regardless of what our Creator has said in the Bible.
Our prisons are full because we kill, steal, use other means to get what we want regardless of who else it hurts. Man is a pretty small package without the life changing truth of God guiding his life. We are incapable of genuine unselfish love apart from knowing the love of God. We can't be graceful unless we have experienced God's grace. We won't be merciful unless we have experienced the mercy of God. Get into your Bible and discover the love, grace and mercy of God in Christ Jesus.