God is absolutely clear in His requirements for worship; we see this from Genesis to Revelation. He knows that in our worship we reveal the condition of our hearts. It is in our hearts where compromise with the world can start and it is in our hearts where true submission to our God begins.
Worship is one of the most misunderstood words used in churches. When we worship we are attributing worth to God. We are acknowledging his greatness, his power, his glory, and so much more. Let us remember that music is a tool.
The worship crisis many churches face today is not the style of music or that the preaching is paltry. The real crisis is that most believers today have no sense of the presence of God and no willingness to pursue its development. Too often we place more importance on our comfort, likes and dislikes, and what we want, rather than the opportunity God has placed before us.
We study for school, receive training for work, and routinely get ready for a day, but oftentimes, we approach one of the most important jobs we will ever be given-that of a parent-as something that will just work itself out.
A friend of mine once said that our first child should be sent home with a gallon of pink amoxicillin and a How-to-Fix-It-Book. Parenting. But what works for one family may not work for another.
So where is the peace the angel announced that first Christmas so long ago? Was it just wishful thinking or a made up story as some teachers of questionable theology would have us believe?
Why is the primary builder one man? Oh, others came and went, helping with the basic masonry, but the slightly stooped man with the thinning gray hair that blew randomly in the gusty autumn winds as fallen leaves swirled around him slowly wielded his tools mostly by himself.
The Jesus portrayed in the Gospels was not an easy mark to pin a label on. He was not middle-class or privileged and he was neither a political conservative nor a liberal radical. He was never a card carrying member of the Sadducees or known to have Zealot leanings.
Truth is not always connected to those who make the most noise or claim to represent the greatest numbers. So we are called to seek the truth, live in and by the truth, and speak the truth in love.
Carrying one’s cross has nothing to do with a servile submission to difficulty or disaster. It has nothing to do with a passive resignation to the pain and difficulties we all face in this life. Instead, it has everything to do with a joyful abandonment to doing the will of God.
True friends tell you the truth, even when you do not want to hear it, and they do this with love, always having your best interest at heart.
Sometimes God asks us to do the reverse of what we think He should ask. Sometimes, in our short-sighted humanity, He asks us to do nothing. But nothing is always something with God.
Our Creator intentionally sets our time measurements. Shouldn't we intention ourselves?
One of the things I like to do every new year is share some of the better books I have read. Find a cozy spot, grab a cup of tea and start the new year off right with a good book.