Monthly Archives: April 2011

WORSHIP: Part 11 (Final) “Worship Puts Glory Into Life”

How does worship benefit our life?

Worship makes our faith stronger and more vibrant

No distrust made (Abraham) waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Romans 4:20-21

Faith is trust that we act on; and strong faith trusts God implicitly. Worship is what caused Abraham’s faith to be strong and unwavering. Worship fills our thoughts with the greatness of God.  As we see God in the light of His true character, doubt becomes foolish and unreasonable

Worship answers everything life throws at us

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17-18

Habakkuk’s words came out his knowing that his nation was soon to be conquered by the brutal Chaldeans.  His worship is both a recognition that hard times were coming AND a proclamation that God is still praiseworthy

We will have things go wrong, and sometimes life will be hard!  Worship brings hope, and then joy into our burdens, because it declares God’s amazing and undiminished works for us.  Our salvation far outweighs anything life can throw at us.  Worship helps us to live that way.

Worship transforms how we experience life

When they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison . . about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them Acts 16: 23 & 25

Through worship, Paul and Silas were not in a human dungeon, they were in the middle God’s plan and care for them.  Worship lifts our eye from the muck and mire of this world, to the grace and glory of God.  Worship brings water into deserts and streams of light into dark places (to borrow an album title from Larry Norman). Worship turns whatever is happening into an opportunity for God to be glorious in us and glorified through us!

The Greener Grass Conspiracy

 

I have not read the book yet, but just watching this video trailer is very helpful!

FOR THOSE WHO STRUGGLE TO READ

I love books!  But if you struggle to read, here are some new uses for your books.  But I think I’ll remain a traditionalist.

Well, I have contemplated this last idea

WHERE DO WE FIND HOPE?

Psalm 62:5-8

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress;

I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

When I am troubled, what are my expectations for finding HOPE?

. . . I will have hope when I can find a way through by figuring out the answer in myself or from others;

. . . or I will have hope when God shows me what He will do to fix my problems;

. . . or I will have hope because God has saved me, He is perfect in all He does, and He has shown Himself to be faithful

I automatically start with the initial response.  Then as a Christian I move along to thinking I have made complete progress by coming to the next response.  But I find it very hard to actually arrive at that final place where God has called me.  To have hope, because He has me!

It is not that I never “wait in silence” before God; I just don’t like to wait very long, and I am not very silent.  Too often I want my hope tied to God show me why I should have hope.

Yet how can God show us any more clearly than the bloody cross and the empty tomb.  Add to those powerful proofs the fact that when He saved me, I cared only for myself.  I did nothing to earn these drastic measures taken to save me.  In fact, I considered God’s rule an intrusion rather than a blessing.  And still He persisted in being my salvation.

Contemplate the cross.  Enter the refuge that is His sovereign plan for you.  Take a seat on the rock that is His unchanging perfection and faithfulness.  In that place, silently place your arms around the hope He has already given.  Wrap your arms around the One whose embrace already holds you.

WORSHIP: Part 10 “The Glory of Worship”

 

Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing! I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.   Revelation 5:11-14

 

In our perfection, we will be worshipers like the rest of heaven

Being a devoted worshipper will be mark of our perfection.  Worship is responding to God as He deserves.  In eternity we will see God with unpolluted eyes.  God cannot be seen with clarity without producing worship

Worship will be like the hunger and satisfaction of good meal. 

We will desire it and it will satisfy us.  Worship will flow from joy not from duty.  All that God is, and everything He displays calls for worship. To have life with God and not worship is perverse.  That is how Satan became evil

All true worship is glorious

True worship is the pathway to fulfilling our highest purpose.  Every part of life that we make worshipful will be more satisfying.  We make life worshipful, by turning all that we do into a response to God.  We recognize His ownership of all thing and situations.  We trust His goodness is being manifested at all times 

In John 4:23 Jesus said the Father is “seeking” true worshippers.  This is because our worship is glorious to Him!  As Christians we are very aware of our deficiencies in serving God.  What joy to know we have a way even in our weakness to give God joy!  Life becomes more at rest, when we know we are ‘getting it right’; and worship is getting life right

Are you looking for life to become more fulfilling?  Do you want to introduce a taste of heaven into your day?  Then turn your life each day into opportunities for worship!         

SERMON LEFTOVERS: 4/25/11

Mark 16:1-8 ‘Does Jesus touch lives today’

There are those who think talk of Jesus bodily resurrection is foolish

These people prefer what they would consider to be reason and fact. Here are some thoughts for them to consider

No one has disproved Jesus resurrection.  From the standpoint of being reasonable, what happened to Jesus body?

If God exists (creation itself and the fact that mankind has always known there is a God, are strong indicators), it is reasonable that he will hold mankind accountable on his terms.  Have you given thought to this?

We should be able to accept the fact that we are sinners, since we have all sinned thousands of times.  No one but Jesus claims to solve our sin problem.  Only Jesus did something about our sin, by paying the penalty our guilt requires through his death.  If Jesus did come out of the grave, then it proves that he overcame sin, because he died to pay for our sin.

Of course the best way to be certain about Jesus is through personal experience.  Jesus offers that to us:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”  John 6:37

Take Jesus at his word see if Jesus really does live today.  Ask him to forgive your sin and give you new life.

There are those who are confident the resurrection is true

If you believe in Jesus resurrection, then remember it is not the end of the gospel story.

The death and resurrection of Christ is how our story begins.  Those actions by Jesus cleared the way for us to have new life.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Christ changes everything!

Is that an accurate assessment of your life?  Is Christ working ain all areas, or are you keeping him to the areas that you deem are safe for him to prod?

The risen Christ is also our ruling king. Jesus purpose is not to be our “get out of hell card”, He came to bring his kingdom to reign over us.  Do we live as if we are under his rule?  Do our purposes reflect the agenda of his kingdom?

Jesus lives so that we can have life!

  • Life is following the One who created and understands life
  • Life is serving the only kingdom that will last
  • Life is to know and enjoy the One who perfectly fulfills and satisfies

You may live as if Jesus died for sin, do you live as if he is alive?

If Christ restores the life that sin ruined, why would we allow ourselves to neglect him in any way?

To live for Christ, is to follow him; which requires us to know him, and fully submit to him.

Has the death and resurrection kindled a new heart for Christ in you?  That is his desire.  Pursue him and you will find he is already waiting for you.

51 Years Ago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is my 51st birthday.  This is the only known photo of me as a baby.  I am with my maternal grandmother, Carolyn Root

“YOU WILL BE WITH ME” Part 2

 

“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:39-43

When Jesus offered those words, he was agonizing in pain that was as brutal as any man has suffered; And he was being “crushed” by a burden of guilt beyond what any man will ever know.

He had been abused, horribly beaten, mocked, humiliated, and the worst was yet to come.  This was the setting for Jesus loving and gracious response to the repentant thief.  These words did not come cheap.  For that promise to be fulfilled, Jesus had to take upon himself, that man’s guilt and the wrath that his sins deserved. All of this Jesus did gladly.

Believer, is it possible for you to ever doubt how deeply your savior cares for you?  Regardless of the trials your are enduring, Jesus right now is being perfectly faithful to you.

Robert Rollack, who preached over 400 years ago wrote of this moment; “never was there a king so ready to hear from a subject, as was Jesus.”

Take those words to heart.  Your King and Savior is eager to hear from you, he rejoices in you being his beloved.  Will he care for you today?  He has already cared for you in the greatest of burdens.  He will not stop or hesitate to meet you in your present need. He listens to the burdens of your heart that do not even make it into words.  Those cries of your heart are immediately in his heart.  You do not have to convince him to be gracious, for that is his character; and for all whose sins he bore, it is his covenant with you.


“YOU WILL BE WITH ME”

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?  We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:39-43


What wonderful words of promise and expectation. Who would not want those words to be true for them?  A promise by Christ that the day would not end without you being in his eternal and glorious presence!  Yet, in order for that thief to hear those words, it was necessary that he was caught, found guilty and crucified!

We may not have all been thieves, but we all started assertively running our own course, which was separate from Jesus path.  There had to be a moment when he revealed himself to us, and gave us eyes to see our sin and his glory.

Now you are on the path that God has placed before you.  You know you are his, but this path has had its share of burdens.  Some you can see are the fault of your own sins, others came out of nowhere – but all have been hard.  At times you are tempted to be bothered by the way God is leading the events of your life.  So it is important to remember, that if you have placed your trust in Christ, then know that your path is his path.  Jesus has joined your path to his own.  For that reason, your path must lead to where he is; and it must end according to his glorious purposes; and you will be “with him in paradise”!

ALL FOR HIM

Whenever God calls us to be separated from the world or from even good things, His motivation is not to bring sterility into our existence.  Isolation from other things in itself is not holiness, neither is it God’s goal for us.

God’s call for us to practice separation from lesser things is so that we can give ourselves more fully to Him.  Do we grasp the incredible principle of this fact.  Whenever God wants you to push something away, it is so in its place you can pull closer to Him.  Andrew Murray put it this way;

God wants us all to Himself, that He may give Himself all to us

This reality should radically change how we think about holiness – separation – sacrifice – self discipline and any other word that we tend to regard with negative undertones as if God is taking something precious and good from us.  Beloved child of God, can we not see that God is seeking to give Himself to us so that we may be filled with glory – love – peace – contentment – perfection!  God wants us to push out whatever will allow Him to fill us to the brim and overflowing!

The goal of separating ourselves from the world is that we will be filled with the Spirit, as we are less distracted by sin and temporal attractions.

The motivation for separating ourselves is love. We love God so we want to experience Him more fully than we now do.  This love and desire for God makes separating ourselves from other things a joyful step not a form of suffering. For we take these steps knowing we will be even closer and more pleasing to Christ our Savior!