Praise and Worship: It’s All About God, Not Us

Much has been made over how to worship God, sparking controversy even about which instruments should be allowed in a service. Some churches try to make everyone happy by having two services, a contemporary one and a traditional one.  I’m not sure that this is a good idea.  Wouldn’t it be better to combine the best of both?  The Bible seems to suggest so.

It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp (Psalm 92: 1-3 NIV).

Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.  Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.   Praise the LORD (Psalm 150: 3-6 NIV).

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.  (Ephesians 5: 19 NIV).

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An Open Letter To Those Who Doubt or Deny God

To anyone who would say “I believe in a different deity,” I would like to add that God is supernatural. Satan is a counterfeiter. Don’t settle for the counterfeit when you can know the God of the universe

THE RIVER WALK

It has been a while since this most commented of posts has received much traffic. When I was read Psalm 53:1 in today’s scripture reading, I thought it might be time for a revisit…

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” Psalm 53:1

Read: Numbers 14:1 – 15:16, Mark 14:53-72, Psalm 53:1-6, Proverbs 11:4

To The Doubting Christian – If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things. – Rene’ Descartes Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith, it is an element of faith. – Paul Tillich

To The Agnostic – Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. – Thomas Jefferson

The Militant Atheist – Man is manifestly not the measure…

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Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Do earth-born animals go to heaven when they die?  I would like to think so, but I can’t find a single verse to support it.  Regardless, some appear to have a spiritual side.

I have four feral cats, but only one of them has a Biblical name:  Abigail (I Samuel 25: 23-42).  Actually, I did not give her a Biblical name deliberately.  As a feral kitten, she lived in the parking lot of a shopping center and hid in the bushes near Boston Market.  I caught her but didn’t know what to call her.  Someone said, “Name her Abigail after Abigail Adams from Boston since you found her near Boston Market.”  I nicknamed her “Abby.”  She answers to either name with a slight twitch of her ear–then returns to napping or making mischief.  (She has a passive-aggressive personality, which is why I’m the only adult that likes her.)

She loves computers and books.  Although she cannot read, Abby edits my work, and I have newsletters (published before I caught her typos) to prove it.  Spiritual or not, Abigail always ends up near–or on top of–the number one best-seller.

AbbySittingBible

Abigail

Acts 9: 32-35: Peter and Aeneas

I’ve been reading the Bible on a daily basis, with few exceptions, for the past 33 years.  I wonder how many times I’ve read Acts 9: 32-35 with glazed eyes? Several days ago, I read this passage and it sprang to life.  Read it carefully from the KJV:

32 And it came to pass, as Peter passed through all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwell at Lydda.

33 And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy.  (Some versions use the word “paralyzed.”)

34 And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed.  And he arose immediately.

35 And all that dwelt at Lydaa and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord.

This is reminiscent of Jesus telling the sick man at the pool of Bethesda to “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.”  Peter is emulating Christ.  Among the “sign gifts” listed in Mark 16: 17-18 that follow those who believe in Christ is “they shall lay hands on the sick and they will recover.”

When Aeneas was healed, all that saw him in  Lydaa and Saron “turned to the Lord.”  (What a revival!)  This suggests that the best way to evangelize the lost is to “demonstrate” the gospel.   Believers cannot do this in the flesh.  We must be plugged into the power source, the Holy Spirit, and follow His leading.

We are living in the last days.  It is time for those of us who are believers to step out of our comfort zones, seek God, and put His agenda first.  For He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3: 9).

Jerusalem, Pool of Bethesda Français : La Pisc...
Jerusalem, Pool of Bethesda Français : La Piscine de Bethesda à Jérusalem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a great article by Michael Gaither! In my opinion, he identifies the main problem facing the church today: watering down–and compromising–the Word of God. Are we willing to speak the truth in love or blend in like a chameleon with worldly standards? Diluting the Gospel is equivalent to being “lukewarm” (or worse), something that Christ condemned in Revelation 3: 16.

But there is hope. “If My people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7: 14 KJV).

Is the Gospel being Diluted (via http://www.dedicated2jesus.com)

Is it possible that in these last days the Gospel is being diluted within our churches? I believe their are Ministers that only preach the things that satisfies the congregation, rather than preaching the Whole Word of God as it was written. They do not want to preach any of God’s Words that might…

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ST. PAUL: Complex, Educated, Controversial

 

As I’ve stated before, I believe that the entire Bible is the Word of God, which includes Paul’s epistles.  Paul was highly educated and complex.  Even Peter wrote that “some things” in Paul’s letters are “hard to understand” (2 Peter 3: 15, 16).  For years, I have read and re-read St. Paul’s letters, trying to understand what he meant by “the law.”   At first glance, his statements about “the law” might seem contradictory; but they are not.  First, we need to know what he means by “the law” because sometimes he is talking about the Law of Moses and other times is referring to “the law of sin and death” and so on.

I will not attempt to present all of the material that intrigues me about Paul in one post; so, I will start with the basic controversy stated in Acts 21: 17-24 KJV.  The controversy is whether or not Paul told Jews to abandon the Law of Moses.  (NOTE: Luke wrote the Book of Acts; so, when he says “we,” he is including himself.)

17 And when we had come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.

18 On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present.

19 When he had greeted them, he told in detail those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.

20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord.  And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law;

21  “But they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. 22 “What then?  The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come.

23 “Therefore do what we tell you: We have four men who have taken a vow.

24  “Take them and be purified with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads, and that all may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you are nothing, but that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the law.”

From this passage, we see that Paul kept the Law of Moses and did not teach Jews to abandon the Law.  Yes, Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the sacrificial laws.  (He WAS the perfect sacrifice.)  God’s temple is in the heart of every believer. However, Paul kept the Ten Commandments and encouraged others to do the same (2 Corinthians 3: 3).  He also celebrated the Feasts of the LORD (a.k.a. God’s Appointed Times), which I plan to point out in a future post.

English: Their are thousands of artworks creat...
English: Their are thousands of artworks created in the art world depicting St Paul. This painting was created by the famous artist called Rembrandt. It hangs on the walls of the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

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