Worship God through Our Words

As I was reading a book today, the author pointed Newton’s law as also effecting our spiritual lives. Newton’s law states, “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Think about that for a moment. Think about the words that you have spoken in the past 24 hours. Think of the social media posts you’ve written.
Too often we are more concerned with being right than being humble, being right than being loving, and being right than being the representation of Christ on earth. How we present ourselves in our speech (spoken or typed) shows much about or character. Often it highlights our flaws. Rather than letting a comment go, we react. Which in turn brings an equal and opposite reaction.
We fail to remember that our greatest purpose in this life is show people the way to Christ. God did not call us to win political arguments. He certainly did not call us to live in a constant state of offense and offensiveness. Rather, we are to exemplify the words of Paul. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Cor. 13:4-7 NLT
If our opinions become more important than the person next to use’s soul, we need to step back and reevaluate our priorities. If you struggle in this area, pray for the Lord to help you. Memorize the words of King Solomon, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Prov. 18:25 NLT
Bring honor and worship to God through your words. Use your words to bring life!

 

Pastor Darren Lewis

Worship through Teaching Our Children Godly Submission.

   Teaching Our Children Godly Submission

Too many of our children are growing up with a wrong and even ungodly understanding of Godly submission….or simply a lack of it all together. Godly submission applies to all areas of our lives. Often children think that they do not have to obey God, their parents, or their boss. I hear of students being fired from their job because they were texting.  Rather than submitting to the authority of their boss, they quit or chose to openly disregard the rules.

There is an ungodly selfishness that comes along with this attitude. A selfishness that says, “I am my own highest authority”. With this comes a breakdown of all aspects in our society. All mature adults know we will always be under some ones authority, a boss, the government, or a plethora of others. So we as Christian parents we must do a better job of teaching Godly submission to our kids.

First and foremost we must teach them from the word of God.

  • 6:1-4 “Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise:  If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”
  • 12:5-11 “And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?  If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”
  • 2 Tim. 3:14-17 “But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the Holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

Second, we must teach them by our own example. If we rebel constantly in front of our kids, they will rebel against us. We should be active in showing submission to God, one another, our boss. If wives do not show proper Godly submission to their husbands, kids pick up on this and rebel against the authority of both parents…I direct you to my teaching/blog from last week that covers this topic.

Consider for a moment if dad shreds his boss every day when he comes home from work, the ultimate result is a lack of respect for future bosses. If dad does not respect mom, kids will not either. If mom does not respect dad, kids will not either. If parents do not respect their pastor, kids will not either. If parents fail to live what they say as Godly parents, kids will learn to reject the authority of God. “Mom and dad don’t, so why should I.”

Third, from a very young age we must actively instill these principles in our kids. Encourage them to achieve whatever they put their mind to, but allow them to see the reality of continued authority. In our home we actively teach our girls what Godly submission to a husband looks like. We also teach our son how being a loving husband looks. We encourage all of them that the world owes them nothing. If they want something, it’s going to take work, and a lot of it. We remind them that authority is God’s plan. It will always be present in our lives…like it or not, learn it now and save yourself from major issues later.

Above all, we teach our kids that God and His Word is the ultimate authority. If any other authority tells them to do something that is against the authority of God, we are released from following those instructions. In this lies number four; our children must be taught from a young age to foster their relationship with Christ. This must be active. Teach them to live in the word and prayer, be in church, and cultivate Godly relationships. Here too, we must lead by example.

Worship through Prayer!

      “All I can do is pray!”

Have you ever experienced this in your life? One day things are great, the next you seem to have lost your way. It is unclear what has happened in the last twenty-four hours, yet the change is real, it is felt, it is palpable. Your heart and your mind try to gravitate to your daily tasks. You sit at your desk typing the many reports that are due by the end of the day. Or perhaps you see patients, moving in and out of rooms, present…but not there. Spiritually something seems out of sync. You may or may not know the cause, but the cure is always the same. All I can do is pray!

The Bible speaks a lot about prayer. As believers, this is a foundational practice of our faith. It is of most faiths in the world, the difference is, this may offend some; our God actually hears us. He is not a figment of some man’s imagination. Nor is He the creation of some man’s hand…as if a real God could be carved out of wood or stone. The knowledge that God hears you may help, but it does not always alleviate the urgency to be with Him in solitude. There is a union, a connection that we have with our God that can only be found through prayer.

Romans 12:12 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”. NIV This short verse hits the nail on the head. It is both the cause and the cure. When I lose my hope I lose my joy…this drives me to my knees. When I lose patience in the midst of affliction…we all can endure for a while…I am again driven to my knees. When I do not have faith to pray, I again am driven to my knees. The urgency is there. It is almost like God says “get back to your knees so I can heal the hurt, clear the confusion, and love you when you feel unloved.

Prayer for the believer must be a way of life, not just some form or ritual we go through to make our God happy or to gain points. He is above this. He is sovereign and our salvation is not dependent on our actions. It is fully dependent on the acceptance of God’s great gift of love and mercy toward me through the sacrificial offering of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We all experience days of desperation, the key is to let them drive us to our knees. If you have a day that you feel all you can do is pray. Spend the time that you have in prayer. Allow God to restore your joy, your patience, and your faithfulness. Allow the living, breathing, loving God of the universe to hold you in the palm of his mighty hand; to lift you up and restore in you the desire for Him and His presence above all else. Maybe, just maybe, the Master wants to spend time with you. Count it a joy and a privilege when all you can do is pray!

A Falling Away

                                                         

                                      A Falling Away                       

 

NIV 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”*

KJV Thess. 2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”*

Paul tells us that the Lord will not return until there us a great falling away. This ideas is backed by a long held belief by the Church, that this falling away will be predicated by complacency in the church, rather than a sudden rejection of Christ. In other words, those who fall away will most likely not wake up one day and decide they are atheists; rather, it is a slow almost unnoticeable compromise within the church.

Jesus speaks of this many times in His own teachings. Look at the following parables.

The Parable of the Great Banquet: Luke 14:15-24 and The Parable of the Sower: Mark 4:1-20

In both of these accounts there are those who have faith in God, but the distractions of this life cause them to quit waiting on the promise of Christ’s return. In the parable of the Sower, the seed that grows among the thorns is symbolic of this. The word of the Lord is accepted and grows, but then life happens. Jesus says in verse 18 and 19 of Mark 4 “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” In the parable of the Great Banquet, many have been invited to a coming celebration, but as the preparations are being made, distractions enter.

Luke 14:18-20 ““But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’”*

You may notice that none of the activities are inherently sinful, they are in fact normal parts of this life. The problem is this…life becomes the focus. Our churches theme for 2014 is “Jesus at the Center”. In all that we do, this is a must. Life may be busy, life may bring challenges, but in all areas, Jesus must remain the center of our lives.

I believe these are the same people Jesus refers to in Matthew 7. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”* Note the parts I have underlined. These are not people that have no faith in God, but those who allow life to become more important than Christ. They are doing the work, but not with God (Christ) as the center of their lives and actions.

We are all at risk. We must all make sure that our number one goal is to be in Christ…all the time…in every situation. Christ must be and remain the center of our lives and families. Falling away for most will be a slow, almost unnoticeable process. I separate myself from the body, “is it really that important? Can’t I be a good Christian without being in a church?” Perhaps, but I’ve yet to see it. Eventually those who separate from the body go lukewarm with the things of God. Jesus says in the book of Revelation that lukewarm is sickening and He will spew them out of His mouth. You cannot stay hot if you are never in the fire.

Guard your own heart, guard your family, and stay connected to the body of Christ. Then you will not be easy prey for the enemy. His greatest tactic is deception, complacency, and busyness in this life.

*Emphasis and underlining is mine.

Worship Though Communication

           Worship Though Communication 

 

The best way we human being can share our feeling and needs is by communicating with others around us. And the most used method is by talking. As a parent, for example, my children often come to me asking for whatever they need not only they do it freely, but also with confident. They also share stories, show their gratitude, apologize when they make mistakes, ask for advice and more.

As children of God, we do the same with our heavenly father when we pray. Praying is talking to God. When praying, believers should open their heart freely to the Lord and seek him deeply. The book of 1 John 5: 14 – 15 says: This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. Our heavenly father loves interacting with us and is always ready to answer our prayers. When talking to him we need to give him the time to respond as well because he speaks back to us in different ways. When Elijah was in front of the prophets of Baal he prayed to God: Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. (1 King 18: 37-38).

We should not hold up your feeling in God’s presence for he only can heal you and change your situation.

As a Christian, we need to pray daily; no matter how our life condition may be, how busy we may be prayer should always be the first thing to do as the Lord recommend us in every situation to give him seek him.  

Esther Malonda

 

Worship through Identity

 

Worship Through Identity

 

A well known Christian speaker held up a $20.00 bill and asked if anyone in the room would take it. Many hands went up. Then he crumpled it up in his fists and threw it on the floor and crushed it under his foot. Then he asked if there was anyone there who still wanted it. Again, many hands went up. He spat on it and yelled at it, calling it a worthless plugged nickel. Then again, asked if anyone wanted it. You know there were still plenty of takers.

The worth of that bill was established by the maker….and no amount of abuse or misuse can change it’s worth….

Our worth was established forever on the cross and no amount of abuse or self hatred can change or diminish our value or our identity. Created in His image, we are beloved children of God.

 

Carol Agee

Worship through Teaching

                                                            

                         Worship Through Teaching , Ephesians 4

 Almost without exception, everything you have in your head you learned from someone or something. Every one of our lives have been changed by the teachers we have encountered. When I first moved to Kentucky at the age of 10, I had little interaction with people of other races (moving from small-town MO). My 5th grade teacher, an African-American woman, to this day is a hero. From day one I had run-ins with the same boy in my class. Over time I began to associate my angst with the his race. My teacher pulled me aside one day after my lip was busted. She simply reminded me that she loved me and that not all that were of different races behaved in that way. I credit her for keeping me from becoming hateful and reactionary toward other races. Today I have the privilege of Pastoring a church with 20 nations and races. The devil tried to thwart the plan of God for my life.

Ephesians 4:11:13 reminds us that there are all kinds of teaching (winds) that blow through our churches. We must be careful to maintain right teaching. Right teaching comes from right teachers. Teaching is an act of worship to our God. From the woman who teaches a toddler in the nursery to the elder who proclaims the goodness of God to other seniors. We all teach. So, we must be mindful of what we are teaching.

Worship through teaching leads us to think of our actions, our attitudes, and our motivations. When I have had a bad day and I worship anyway, I am others teaching to press into God even when I don’t feel like it. When I pray, I am teaching someone else how to put their faith in God. The world is watching. What are you teaching? Worship God through teaching.

Pastor Darren

Worship through Eternity

                              Worship Through Eternity

     Ecclesiastes 3

 

How would you define eternity? Maybe long or forever. Can you grasp that concept? Most of us cannot. We are surrounded by beginnings and endings. Buildings are built and they are torn down. Babies are born and grandparents are buried. Eternity is a hard concept to grasp because everything in our world begins and ends…that is except God.

John reminds us that our Triune (three-in-one) God has always been and always will be. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are eternal. This is what separates us from “Christian” cults. We affirm their eternality, specifically, of Christ. John says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Adam and Eve had a beginning, but they should have had no end. They were created to be eternal. Ecc. 3:11 tells us, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Did you catch that? Eternity is set in your heart. You were created to be eternal. Following Adam and Eve’s sin (separation from God) we needed one that could restore that relationship. That one was Christ….fully God and fully man.

So, through the forgiveness of our sins we are granted eternal life, WITH Christ. Forever in His presence. The picture I have in my mind of eternity is one great and continuous act of worship. For all of eternity we will look on Christ and remember what He has done and we will worship. We will see the Father in all His holiness and worship. We will see the Spirit and know His power and worship. Worship is an eternal act for those who are in Christ Jesus. Do you know Him? Do you know where you will spend eternity? Choose Christ and Worship through Eternity

Worship through Giving

 

                                       Worship through Giving

 

 

[1Ch 16:29 NIV] 29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.

 

1967 Plymouth Barracuda coupe with a V8 318 4 barrel was my first car.  Back in those days we drove cars to work, Sunday drives and the occasional rally race.  My Cuda could really move and when I punched it; wow, what a feeling of power.  Early on I remember using special finishing rub to remove the paint oxidation followed by a good wax.  The transformation was incredible and I do believe the car drove better after that.  To this day, I think our cars drive better when clean.

 

Through the blood of Jesus our oxidation is removed, spiritual transformation changes our mindset and we drive better in the power of the Holy Spirit.  God’s generosity shines through as we are restored!  We are generous because we have His character in us.

 

Paul wrote in Rom 12:2, “Do not conform 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.”

 

King David said it best when his people were transformed from slave to free, “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.”

 

Give to God all what is due him. Make God look good through shining bright His brilliant character. Bring to him your best, the offering of your possessions, your mind and your soul.  Worship God in the radiance of His sacredness.

 

We are given all, now let us give all.

Dave Burnette

 

 

Worship through Fasting

               Worship Through Fasting

When I married my husband, I was completely unprepared for the huge MacGyver fan that he is.  He has all of the seasons on DVD and still enjoys watching them.  He gains great enjoyment from watching a man in his mid-30s, with a great 80’s style haircut, high tops, and a bomber jacket diffuse bombs using a paperclip and duct tape.  But every MacGyver fan knows what the most important tool is because it has so many uses—the Swiss Army Knife.  This small but effective tool is a whole arsenal with many uses.

Much like the Swiss Army Knife, God has given us a tool with many uses and purposes for our lives… Fasting.  Those purposes include seeking intervention from God; repenting from sin; guidance; mourning; spiritual warfare, and of course, worship.

When we fast, we give God the worship and the glory for what He has done and also what we look to Him to do in our lives.  We take the focus off of ourselves and our needs, and place them on our heavenly Father and having communion with Him.  In worshipping God through fasting, we grow in our intimacy with Him.  I encourage you to make fasting a regular part of your spiritual life and see how God uses this “tool” to bring you into an even closer relationship with Him.

 

Maria Gocke