Browsing "Worship"
Aug 12, 2015 - Faith, Worship    4 Comments

WHAT’S YOUR SUNDAY’S BEST?

Several months ago I was sitting in a booth at Bruegger’s with my wife, Amy, and our youngest daughter, Ella.  A waitress named Sue Ellen commented on the black Fedora hat that I was wearing.  As Sue Ellen continued wiping down the tables around us, she shared how she remember the times when men wore Fedoras and how she loved that.  These days, people dress any old way they please, she continued.  Sue Ellen went on to share how she saw a lady in church one Easter Sunday wearing an Easter hat. After service she followed this young lady outside.  Sue Ellen told the woman how great she looked and how she so much appreciated seeing people coming to church dressed in their Sunday best.

I knew exactly what she meant by Sunday’s best.  I, too, grew up in an era where when you entered into the House of God you wore your best.  Everyone had at least one set of dress clothes that they wore to church known as “your Sunday’s best.”  Even though it was the same outfit every Sunday, it was the best you had.  It wasn’t a matter of looking better then someone else, you just wanted to honor God with what you had.  Even if it wasn’t much … like hand-me-downs from another family member or friend.

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I guess times have changed and with it comes our new value system in what one believes will bring honor to God.  The truth of the matter is some of us no longer care how we dress or look. There seems to be now a loose dress code that we put under the pretense that we don’t want to make others feel uncomfortable when they come to worship.

I would that we all felt the same way about our sins towards Jesus and how we affect other people when our behavior doesn’t match our faith.  We have great freedom in the Spirit. But, our freedom should never allow us to become so lax, just to make others feel more comfortable by lowering the standard (bar) just for the sake of it.  What cause or occasion would they then have to raise the bar (standard) if we have grown so lax?  Don’t get me wrong, this is not about clothing or a dress code at all, it’s about the condition of our hearts.

APOSTLE PAUL’S USE OF HIS FREEDOM.

I don’t believe that’s what apostle Paul meant when he said, “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.  To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.  To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.  To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

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Mar 6, 2015 - Faith, Leadership, Prayer, Worship    2 Comments

TRIED AND TRUE

Just recently I was having a phone conversation with my wife Amy as she was driving to work.  And yes, she had me on speaker phone … safety first!  As we were talking, Amy wanted to know if I had already developed a message for my up coming blog post.  The Lord is never short on giving me messages and He always seems to place a message on my heart at just the right time.  But, He’s also given me a wife, as a helper, and I’ve learned the importances of tapping into her wisdom as often as possible.  So needless to say, I was excited to hear what she had on her mind.  She said she thought I should continue with a finale post on the Standardbearer … Why not give your readers a Biblical example of a man  upholding the standards of God?  Made sense to me.  But then came the hard part, deciding which Biblical example to use.

APPLICATION IS FAITH SET IN MOTION

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So what does it look like in practice?  What will you do as a man when all eyes are upon you.  What will you do when no one is there to watch you?  Will the standard remain intact or will it be compromised?  Will you lower the standard to fit in or to satisfy your own desires or to satisfy the desires of those around you?  Think about these questions as you read and study the Book of Daniel with me.

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Oct 28, 2014 - Faith, Worship    4 Comments

WHAT CAUSES YOU TO CELEBRATE?

While I was studying the book of Matthew, for my last two posts, I was struck by something I hadn’t noticed before. As I read the account given by Matthew, of Jesus’ baptism, I was somewhat puzzled by the people’s reaction or should I say lack there of?

Matthew 3:16-17
After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like imagea dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.

This portion of scripture ends chapter three of Matthew and then we go right into chapter four where Jesus is lead into the wilderness to be tempted. I don’t know about you but it seems like this was a great occasion to worship almighty God. And yet, there is no mention of anything resembling worship in this account from Matthew, or for that matter, any of the other gospels.

Let me see if I got this right, I said to myself as I was studying this out. You mean to tell me that … Jesus rises up out of the water and the people witness the Holy Spirit descending upon Him as a Dove … the heavens open up to acknowledge it … and the very voice of Almighty God speaks … yet there is no mentioning of anybody falling to their knees in awe of God? There is no mention of John or anyone else’s reaction to this miraculous event? Did the crowd of witnesses just go on about their merry way as if this was no big deal?

Now, perhaps the people there were confused by all they had just seen. They thought that John the Baptist might be the Messiah. Luke 3:15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah.

But even so, to see something so powerful, so supernatural, and not be taken over by the sheer awe of it … how can that be? How do we miss what’s right in front of us? Oh! How we would all do well to read the scriptures with the fullness of heart so that we may truly know what to celebrate and when to celebrate. Maybe if one or two people had fallen on their knees others might have followed suit. I say this because isn’t that just what happens for most us? We wait to see what others will do. Or, we miss what’s right in front of us. Let’s take a look at an Old Testament scripture from the book of Jeremiah.

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