Easter Praise!

EASTER IS COMING!!

I thought I’d blog on here next about what Easter means to me….I guess maybe I should have thought about this a long time ago, but what can I say….what’s Easter without candy and easter eggs, right?

To prepare myself I’ve been looking up different “Easter songs” if you will that keep me worshiping and thinking about what Easter really means. I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do 🙂

Alive Forever, Amen

 

Jesus Messiah – Chris Tomlin 

 

Mighty to Save – Hillsong United

 

I Will Rise – Chris Tomlin

 

 

And one for the Kids 🙂

Hope’s Song – VeggieTales

 

Advertisements

Here I Am To Worship

The idea of this study came from a quote I recently read…

“I am of the opinion that we should not be concerned about working for God until we have learned the meaning and the delight of worshiping Him. A worshiper can work with eternal quality in his work. But a worker who does not worship is only piling up wood, hay and stubble for the time when God sets the world on fire. I fear that there are many professing Christians who do not want to hear such statements about their “busy schedules,” but it is the truth. God is trying to call us back to that for which He created us – to worship Him and to enjoy Him forever! It is then, out of our deep worship, that we do His work.” || A.W. Tozer

 

This got me thinking….Why is worshiping God such a big deal? How do we even go about doing it? Is there a right or wrong way? I looked to the Bible for answers and this is what I found…..

DEFINITIONS OF WORSHIP

Hebrew for worship (shachah) means “to bow oneself down, to sink down, to be depressed, to prostrate oneself before anyone out of honor.

Greek for worship (proskuneo) means “to prostrate oneself before a person and kissing his feet, hem of garment, ground, etc.

Our English word worship is derived from the Saxon/Old English word “weorthscipe” which means worthship or worthiness.

WE MUST WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH!!!

John 4:23-24 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth”

*”As we can clearly see here, Jesus Himself said that we MUST worship God in spirit and truth. Now many professing Christians will have you believe that we can worship God any way we like. Does Jesus say that here? Does He say that the time has come when the true worshipers can worship God anyway they like? No. He says we MUST worship in spirit and truth. This means that any other way is unacceptable. So if Jesus said that we must worship this particular way, then why do so many professing Christians claim that we can worship God anyway we like, even in a worldly way?”

WORSHIPING IN SPIRIT

Worshiping God in spirit means we worship Him from the heart. Do you remember the first and greatest Bible Commandment that Jesus gave?

Mark 12:30 …”And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

*”God knows exactly what is going on in your heart. Singing in church isn’t the sole definition of true worship. Singing to God in church is a small part of our worship, but true worship in spirit goes much deeper. God searches your heart to see what you are really thinking and feeling. Do you give your heart in complete devotion to Christ each and every day? Is He on your mind constantly? He should be! True worship in spirit is to keep Christ in your heart and mind each day; to devote every thought to Him; to praise and glorify Him with all your heart and soul each day; to humbly devote all your time, possessions and self to Him as a living sacrifice each and every day.”

Romans 12:1 …”I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

There is only one way to worship, and God revealed from the beginning that He demands worship in a certain way when He accepted Abel’s worship, but rejected Cain’s. God rejected the offering of Cain because it was the wrong offering. Cain brought the wrong offering because he rejected the revealed word of God. He rejected the word of God because his heart was wicked. His heart was wicked because he refused to have faith in God. Without faith in God that comes from the heart, our worship (offerings) are insincere and worthless before our Holy God.

WORSHIPING IN TRUTH

Worshiping God in truth means to worship Him according to His Word in the Bible.

John 17:17 …”Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

One of the very first clues that you may not be worshiping God in truth is sitting through a sermon where there are no open Bibles and no verses being read. If there is no message directly from God then where is the truth?

Jeremiah 10:23 …”O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”

*”We are not to direct our own steps. We are not to decide ourselves how we want to worship God, but must worship Him in spirit and truth, and the truth being according to His Word in the Holy Bible. Let God direct your steps and your worship, according to the truth of His Word. What is the truth found in God’s word?

” God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.” Psalms 89:7

“….let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29

We must come to worship our Heavenly Father with Godly fear and reverence, which as we can see from Hebrews above, is the acceptable way to worship God. We should be in the right frame of mind to worship our Lord in spirit and truth. How many Christians are eager for the service to be over, so they can get home for dinner, or rush off to see the football match, or watch a television program? This isn’t acceptable to our God. This isn’t worshiping in spirit and truth. Insincere worship that is not from the heart in full reverent devotion to God is vain, useless and unacceptable.

A big factor with Christians these days seem to be, “what can I get out of the service?” This must be music to Satan’s ears! He has managed to turn Christians from focusing on God and what they can GIVE to God, to focusing on themselves and what they can GET out of it. Self, self, self! What do I get!  This sadly the age and world we live in.

Mark 7:6 …”This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.”

We need to fully surrender our hearts in worship to God and Christ Jesus our Savior, and start thinking what we can do for God and His kingdom, rather than only thinking what we can get out of it.”

WITH REVERENCE AND GODLY FEAR!!

A healthy fear of the Lord is essential and yet so many are lacking it in today’s world (much like so many lack a healthy fear of their parents). Why? Well, not all, but many churches are more concerned with telling people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear. Telling people that God should be feared just wouldn’t fill the church pews! *”If we are more concerned with people when we come together to worship God, then we deceive ourselves. God MUST be the main and only focus of our worship. But unfortunately, as we come nearer to the end times, more and more churches will wander from the truth of God’s Word and decide themselves how they should worship to draw more worldly people in. They are more focused on pleasing people than God.” People want to hear that God loves them no matter what they choose to do in this life (even if it is wrong), they want to hear that they are all going to heaven, that there are no consequences for their actions, that they are forgiven, etc, etc. While some of this may or may not be true it is NOT in these messages that “the fear of God” is instilled in us.

I personally would like my children to have a healthy fear of me (maybe you do or do not agree). Consider this….There are certain situations in our daily life where I simply need my children to obey. When I tell them not to talk to strangers, not to play with the oven or electrical outlets, when I tell them not to cross the street without looking, not to do drugs, etc, etc. If they choose not to obey me they may suffer the consequences. Why do I tell my children these things? Obviously because I love them. What makes a healthy fear of parents healthy is that the child knows that the orders/warnings are made out of love and further more the child wants to heed their parents warnings because they trust that the parent is looking out for their best interest. Now, in the same way God wants us to have that healthy fear of Him!! How silly is it to rebel against a God who wants nothing but the best for us?

This revelation from the Lord has two sides to it. It is like looking at a two sided coin. This two sided coin represent the two sides to the personality of God the Father. On the one side of the coin is the loving, merciful, gracious, and tender side to God’s personality. On the other side of the coin is the righteous judgment, wrath, and anger side of the Lord.

A healthy fear of that “other side” of our Lord should keep us humble, repenting of our sins, and most importantly worshiping the King of Kings; our God who can and save us all from His just wrath against sin.

WHAT DO YOU WORSHIP?

God created man and this world and He wants what is best for us, so much so that He sacrificed his own son to save us from an eternity in hell; He is worthy of our worship!!! Yet, still so many of us (Christians and Non-Christians alike) refuse to give God the worship He deserves. God commands us to worship him. Why would He do that? Let’s consider this….

We all worship something!!!! What do you worship? What do you hold dear to you? What is of high “worth”? Is it your job? Your position of authority? Someone or something? Why do you miss church and the opportunity to worship God? Is it because there’s a game on TV? Hunting or fishing to do? What is more important than God in your life. You see, God knows if we do not continually strive to place Him number one in our lives something else (someone else) will slip into His place. This is a very BIG sin!!! The most basic reason why we worship God is that He commands it and forbids the worship of others. Therefore, anyone who does not worship God and Him only is by default worshiping something other and lesser than He is. Such a person will fail to reach the highest and greatest in life because the true God is supreme over all.

Psalm 115: 3-11 addresses this concept…

*”But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of mens hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; eyes they have, but they do not see; they have ears, but they do not hear; noses they have, but they do not smell; they have hands, but they do not handle; feet they have, but they do not walk; nor do they mutter through their throat. Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them. O Israel, trust in the LORD; He is their help and shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD ; He is their help and shield.”

We worship Him because He commands it. We worship Him because He alone deserves it, knowing what He is and what He does. We worship Him because without so doing we cannot rise to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

I CAN WORSHIP GOD MY OWN WAY

*”Here stands God on the Day of Creation. He looks at Stars and He says “All you Stars move yourself to this Place and Start in this Order and Move in a Circle and Move Exactly as I tell you- until I give you another Word. Planets.. pick yourself up and whirl, make this Formation at My Command, until I give you another Word. He looks at Mountains and says “Be Lifted Up” and they Obey Him. He tells Valley’s “Be Cast Down” and they Obey Him. He looks at the Sea and says “You Will Come This Far”, and the Sea Obeys … Then, He looks at You and says “FOLLOW ME” and you say “NO, I’LL DO IT MY WAY!” Does that Bother anyone?”

What defiant children we can be! People base their beliefs on feelings and totally discard the Truth of God’s Word in the Bible. As it says  in…

Proverbs 14:12 …”There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

*”If you are not basing your worship on the truth of the Word, then it will lead to death! God gives us plenty of clear guidance in the Bible of how to worship Him in spirit and truth, and yet many Christians still try to make excuses of why they should do it another way. Remember the day of Pentecost? What did the apostles rely on to draw people to God? Did they rely on worldly music? Did they rely on putting on a show? Did they rely on telling a few jokes? No! They preached the true Word of God and let the Holy Spirit do it’s work in drawing three thousand people to God that day! Many pastors and church leaders turn their backs on the power of the Holy Spirit when they rely on their own efforts to bring people into church. So many churches these days are turning their backs on the truth of God’s Word in the Bible and it’s a tragic thing to see.”

CONCLUSION

Psalm 34:1 “I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

For me, worshiping God is a complete act of self sacrifice and humble reverence. It is understanding that I am not the center of my own universe; that I am merely a chess piece that needs constant guidance and direction to meet the King! I know now that worship can be done wrong when it is not done in faith (from the heart) and truth (by way of the Bible). I worship God not out of fear that He will rebuke me if I don’t, but that the world will lure me away from Him if I do not worship Him; keep Him number one in my heart and in my life at all times. God loves us all and wants the best for us. He knows and sees things that we cannot even imagine. If I am going to put my faith in something; worship something it is going to be an all knowing, all loving, just God who has my best interest at heart.

I leave you with this song….my favorite worship song thus far 🙂

 

 

 

*Excerpts taken from http://www.worshipinspiritandtruth.net

 

Why I Share God’s Word….Just for Laughs :)

 

 

Love it!!!

“I KNOCKS the PRIDE right out of ‘EM!!!”

My Issues with Biblical Love Resolved…

Recently I read an article by a Christian leader talking about Christianity’s Biggest Mistake; according to him the mistake was that we do not love with God’s love. We’ve adopted a “we” vs “them” mentality when it comes to our dealings with non-Christians. He even went so far to say that we should ask ourselves the following questions….

1. Do I act gently toward non-Christians?

2. Do I cherish them as a mother cherishes her own children?

3. Do I feel affectionate toward them?

4. Am I eager to, not only impart the gospel of God, but to sacrifice my own life for them?

5. Are non-Christians dear to me?

6. Do I desire to labor and toil for them and not be a burden to them?

Something about this did not set well with me, but I did not know enough about scriptures to know what exactly was eating at me. Then I did a little digging….

I’ve always known (thanks to an excellent Preacher) that Greek words and English words can be extremely different and it’s hard sometimes to translate one to the other. The English word for love encompasses 4 of the Greek words for love and this causes a bit of confusion when studying about God’s expectations of us to “love”.

In English we love our parents, we love our husband/wife, we love our friends, we love our new shoes!!! Love is so generic. But in the Greek language love is way more specific. I’ll start with the two least talked about kinds of love in the Bible.

The first is the Greek word for love is Storge (STOR-jay). This type of love refers to family love; love between brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers and their children, and even love between brothers and sisters in Christ (spiritual family). This love is God given and should come naturally.

The second Greek word for love is Eros (AIR-ose). This word describes the sensual love between husband and wife and is reserved only for that relationship (since the Greeks also believed in the sacredness of marriage).

Then we come to the two Greek words for love that are so commonly used in the Bible (over 500 times in the NIV) that they are exchanged as being one in the same, but they are not!!! This is where the confusion comes in. I can handle people telling me to love my mother and father, to love God with all my heart, to love my neighbor even, but love my enemy? How can all this love be the same!!???!?!! IT’S NOT!

The Greek word for love Agape (uh-GAH-pay) is most commonly used in the Bible. This kind of love is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional, and the highest of all 4 types of love. Agape love is the love that God expresses to the world. It is the love we are called to share; the love that does not come naturally. This love is dispassionate. It is expressed in action not in feelings. This kind of love is based on obedience; we agape others because God first agaped us!!!

The Greek word for love Phileo (fil-A-O) is the kind of love that is based on friendship. It is brotherly love; there is emotion tied to it. This kind of love is easy for us because we like the person that we are loving.

Are things clearer now?

I was studying John 21:15-17…see if you catch the different meaning of this verse when you read it first with the English translation “love” then with the Greek translations “agape” and “phileo”

English word for love….

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

Now with the Greek words for love….

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you agape me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I phileo you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you agape me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I phileo you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you phileo me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you phileo me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I phileo you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

WOW!!! I hope you are like me and that verse comes more alive to you. No wonder Peter was hurt. Jesus lowered his standard for the kind of love he was expecting from Peter. Pretty harsh to hear if you are Peter!!

So, I guess my conclusion from all this is…

I eros my husband

I storge my children, my parents, and my sister, along with all of my brothers and sisters in Christ

I phileo my many friends!!

and I agape my enemies.

Watch this video and enjoy. This guy does an amazing job of explaining this concept!!

Can you guess the kind of love that God is describing here?

 

Man’s Law -vs- God’s Law

One of the most common ways that God teaches me about the truths of His word comes through the mouths of my children. I know family knows this and probably anybody who has had a daughter that is the oldest of the siblings knows this, but my daughter tends to be bossy and take control of all situations.

So today, like normal, I was getting ready to take a shower and before I did I gave my children warning on the kind of behavior I expected from them while I had my shower time. I reminded them to play nice, no fighting, and not to play in the closet; things of that nature. I also reminded them that when I come out of the shower we will get ready to go to the park. To which my daughter replied, “Ok, if we listen we can go to the park…if we don’t listen we cannot go to the park with you. So I will listen.” I told her that sounded like a great idea and I continued to go for my shower. While showering it hit me.

My daughter put a restriction on herself!!! I did not threaten her, she threatened herself!! Why would she do that? Then I got to thinking. I wonder how many laws of the Bible we have placed on ourselves…I mean Jesus was a lawbreaker!!! Remember? He broke many of man’s laws while keeping ALL THE LAWS of God.

Man’s law may or may not have good intentions. Was my daughter making her own law just to be “in charge” or was she making the law because she seriously desired to do what was right by me?

Because I feel God is speaking this message to me I’m going to now approach the Bible in this manner (at least regarding the laws of the OT). What was their intentions when making those laws? We’re the laws truly inspired by God, or were they laws that God allowed them to write in just because it did not hurt his cause? I just keep thinking that God sees the bigger picture.

If my daughter would have made a law that contradicted my cause this would have been a different story. And many of times in the Bible Jesus does condemn those who practice customs that do not bring glory to God. Idol worshiping being one of the biggest!!

So when I hear fellow Christians preaching about obeying ALL the laws of the bible and taking each one seriously or we are hell doomed my initial reaction is to reject it. This will be an ongoing research project for me. I do believe that the Bible is God inspired truth, and I do believe that God allowed men to write things such as women must not wear this or that…and the like, but my question is…how does it fit in to our world now? Could it be that God doesn’t necessarily care if we follow all man’s rules; He just needs us to follow all of His!!

 

 

There are NO Unbelievers in Hell

Geez…if that title doesn’t grip you I don’t know what will!!!

“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” James 2:19

Why do I bring this up….well, looking back on my journey thus far I can remember this verse as being one of the first to really catch my attention and “wake me up” if you will. I had never thought of the fact that demons might have more belief in God than I did. Wow!! Logically thinking about it, it makes sense though. I mean demons know what God looks like; they’ve had visuals!! They do not depend on the Bible to tell them what is real. As a matter of fact Satan himself knew God, as real as you and I can know each other. He just chose to rebel against him and that is why he is where he is…..

Demons Believe:

1) There is only one true God (James 2:19)
2) Jesus is the way to salvation (Acts 16:17)
3) And know scriptures (Matthew 4:3-10)

Christian Believe:

1) There is only one true God (James 2:19)
2) Jesus is the way to salvation (Acts 16:17)
3) And know scriptures (Matthew 4:3-10)

How are we different? First, through our acts and obedience. We cannot just claim to believe without letting the word of God change us. If we are not moved by the Holy Spirit to pursue a life different from this world; away from sin, then we are part of it and we are not of God. Consider these verses…

But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” – James 2:14-24,26

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2

Particularly fond of the message found at 3:50 (3 min 50 sec); not sure about the message at 6:00; I’m sure there are ways to lose salvation, but I do not think it is as easy to do as he makes it seem (I need to study John 15, Romans 11:21, 2 Peter 2 20-21, Hebrews 6 and 2 Timothy 2:11-12 and address this issue again in a future post), like the message at 7:00, love the message at 8:20 and 9:20.

I’m showing this video simply because I love this kid’s enthusiasm!! However I do not agree with all of his points. I’ll do more studying on it because certainly if the gate is as narrow as he claims it to be I want to do everything I can to get through it (as you should too), but here is why I see things differently…

“If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” – Galatians 2: 17-21

When we come to the saving knowledge of Christ and realize we are sinners we should repent and be made new in the image of Christ, not go back to our old sinful ways (rebuild what should be destroyed). For then we are lawbreakers!

I want to read that last verse again… I DO NOT SET ASIDE THE GRACE OF GOD, FOR IF RIGHTEOUSNESS COULD BE GAINED THROUGH THE LAW, CHRIST DIED FOR NOTHING!

Meaning….Jesus died because we are imperfect and sinful and needed a perfect, sinless sacrifice for us to get into heaven period!!! This was freely given to us; not earned! For us to even try to uphold every single law that was ever mentioned in the Bible would be, in my opinion, impossible. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try; try to let God’s word change us through the convictions of the Holy Spirit.

But see that’s the added element that is not in this video. Obedience is not the only difference between Christians and demons. The other difference is the loving relationship we get to share with our Lord. It is in this relationship that we are forgiven. Because we are in this relationship with Him we don’t need to feel as though we “HAVE TO” change, but rather we “WANT TO” out of our love for Him. This is my motivator in living a Godly life….because I love my God with all my heart, mind, and soul I want to live a life that pleases Him and brings glory to His name.

Amen


 

 

A Message for Atheists…

I do not hate Atheist…on the contrary I think they are of most importance and interest to not just myself but to God!!!

“Which of you men, if you had one hundred sheep, and lost one of them, wouldn’t leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one that was lost, until he found it? When he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders, rejoicing. When he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.” – Luke 15: 3-7

I invite all atheist to join in on discussions. Ask questions. Tell your side of the story. I will do my best to rebuke it because of what I believe to be true, but I welcome it. I do request that all parties stay respectful. Nobody is crazy or idiots or anything of the like. We are all made in the image of God…Psalm 139:14 reads; “I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are your works and my soul knows very well.” In the original Hebrew text, the word ‘fearfully means: with great reverence and heart-felt interest and respect. The word ‘wonderfully’ means: unique, set apart, uniquely marvelous.

 

God rejoices in you!!!


Previous Older Entries