Saturday, May 25, 2013

I'm afraid of God - so I avoid Him

God is holy and I am not. When I read the bible I find that it is hard to face the fact that God is perfect and expects it of me as well. It is easier to ignore the bible and believe that God loves me as I am -  a sinner in rebellion against God. It is easier to think that God understands my circumstances and will look the other way because he loves me. It is easier to believe that it takes an expert to interpret the bible and I must be misreading the parts that talk of God's expectations for me. It is easier to say that I am too busy with work and family than to be too extreme as a Christian. It is easier to think that God wants me to be comfortable and not have problems. It is easier to believe that God does not want me to be persecuted and looked down upon for teaching and acting upon His Word. It is easier to agree with unbelievers and not shove my religion in their face. I should just show them my faith by my works but I really shouldn't do anything differently than unbelievers and make myself look like some religious nut. It is easier to believe that God loves all people as long as they are sincere. It is easier until you stand before God. Pure absolute terror!!!
Don't avoid the plain hard truth of God. Go to Him in humility knowing that he does forgive. He is God supreme! He will not only save you from the penalty of your wickedness but he has the power to help change you from your wickedness to righteousness. He will make a son or daughter of you. You will represent his name by your thoughts and actions. It is not easy. You will be persecuted but He was killed. You will suffer but you can pray to your father as Jesus did. You will feel guilty and shameful but it will drive you to holiness. You will stand before God almighty with an unbearable sense of His absolute greatness without fear because you are forgiven and He can say truthfully with meaning "well done my son my good and faithful servant who has endured and bore my Name well."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Worship - The most abused word in the Christian language

Worship..... This word has caused more fighting, division, resentment, bickering and just plain silliness than anything else in modern church history. While by definition "Worship" is a putting aside of yourself and all else for the glory of another (God) it is hardly the case that this is true of modern Christianity. You can see the contradiction just by listing to people's comments about perceived worship. They speak of how they liked or disliked the music or how worship made them feel such as a sense of feeling alive or dead in worship. Everyone has their own ideal of how worship should be with complete disregard for the one whose opinion matters most. I have been in dozens of church splits over music style where young people forsake the dignity and authority of those elder to them and openly rebel for the sake of a song or drum set. I have seen older believers so set in tradition so as to no longer have a mind for others or their wishes in things of no consequence. I have seen families divided, churches split and a disunity of Christianity over selfish desires on how to preform a selfless act.
  When my wife and I got married I tried to use the golden rule in all things. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That did not all. The problem was we had different wants and dreams and desires. I treated her how I wanted to be treated and she treated me how she wanted to be treated. We both missed out on who the other person was. We were being selfish in our love by promoting our own wishes rather than discovering the wishes of the other. Some of the things my wife likes me to do for her would have no meaning if she did them for me. Some of the things I want from my wife have never even crossed her mind as having value. You cannot worship another based on your own desires.
  God would have a worship based on obedience, brotherly love, humility with each other, and respect for each other.Worship is not singing a song I like and waving my hands about in the air but living in a way that honors and cherishes our brothers and sisters in Christ. Are they not God's children as well. Are we not loving Him as we love each other? Did God not say to not enter into worship if you are having an an argument with another believer? Have you ever considered if your songs or beliefs are actually describing the God of the Bible or just one of your imagination?
  I think God must often be repulsed by our gift of worship because it meets our desires rather than His. We are not like Him! Discover what God wants in worship and sacrifice your desires for the sake of Him and His children.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Nation in Constant Mourning

I have noticed over the past year that most flags have remained at half staff for the majority of the year. We jump from one tragedy to the next with  no break in between. This week a school shooting  the next a plant explosion, the next a tornado, the next a hurricane, and on and on it goes.Memorial day is soon approaching with yet another reason to stay in mourning. If lowering the flag signifies the distinction of a nation in mourning then America is a very sad place to live. I think there was only about 20 days last year that I saw all flags in town flying high. In some cases it was due to neglect such as the McDonald's that never remembers to raise it back up after an appropriate time. In other cases I think it has become more of a marketing scheme. All churches jump on any occasion to show how much they care. Businesses want to be known as sympathetic to draw in customers. Does this symbol mean anything anymore. There are 7 billion people in this world which makes the likelihood of tragedy very high. With that number of people I wonder that these catastrophic events are not even more frequent. When I hear my friend tell his story of fighting in Vietnam, or my mother and father in law telling of the Pol-pot  regime in Cambodia where millions died or my friend who grew up in Nazi Germany these modern tragedies seem small in comparison. Life is full of death and suffering and I think most people would do well to celebrate the good things in life and accept the risks that these good things come with. They would do well to stop worrying that they are the next one to suffer hardship. They would do well to focus on the good and not on he bad. They would do well to see what they still have after a loss. Who has not heard the inspirational story of those who have lost much and still celebrate life! They would do well to raise he flag and celebrate life and America. Thank God for each day no matter the circumstance knowing that even in hardship He is there and in control.