Sunday, January 31, 2016

Designed & Created to Worship – Part 2

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


Pastor Obie continues that two characteristics of Biblical worship are glory and sacrifice. “Glory” is defined as praise ascribed in adoration; honor and our portion of exaltation of our Creator Father God on the throne of our heart. “Sacrifice” is defined as thing offered to God, or immolated by an act of religion, offered either as an atonement for sin, or to procure favor, or to express thankfulness. A godly sacrifice differs from an oblation; the latter being an offering of a thing entire or without change, as tithes or first fruits; whereas sacrifice implies a holy and purposeful loss.


Psalm 96:9Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth!”


Idolatry is anything that we glory and sacrifice to other than Almighty God. Our number one problem is a “worship” problem. An idol is defined as anything on which we set our affections; that to which we indulge an excessive and sinful attachment. Anything which usurps the place of God in the hearts of his rational creatures. Our god competing with God for our heart. We are sacrificing to idols.   

Mark 12:30 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.”


The root of true worship is love. What are your thoughts consumed by? Worship is expressing our love and affection towards God. Any bitterness takes away affections. Take every thought captive, loving God with all your mind and strength. Worship is focusing our attention towards God. There is an affect called “target fixation”, where whatever we fix our eyes upon, we tend to drive towards. Fix your eyes upon the Lord and have no competition for your love towards Him. God doesn’t want our stuff; God doesn’t want our stuff to have us.


Psalm 99:9 Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His holy hill; For the Lord our God is holy.”

Worship is using our abilities for God. (1) Humble yourself because pride will not change and won’t let go. (2) Pray. You have to get on your knees and ask the Holy Spirit to give you Devine direction. (3) Repent and focus. Repentance is a change of mind, or a conversion from sin to God. It is the relinquishment of any practice, from conviction that it has offended God, and is accompanied and followed by amendment of life. It is real penitence; sorrow or deep contrition for sin, as an offense and dishonor to God, a violation of His holy law, and the basest ingratitude towards a Being of infinite benevolence. To repent is to make a 180 degree turn from sin and walk towards God.

We are purposed to love God – worship is my expression of love to God. Our Father God, in love for us, sent Jesus, while we were sinners, for our forgiveness and salvation. Our lord, our God is able. We were make with an intention, with a purpose, and with a plan. He wants your love and obedience with your entire life … every breath. Who am I? I am loved by God.

In Christ, Brian

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Designed & Created to Worship – Part 1

Ephesians 1:11-12In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,  that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.”

Last week, our church’s Associate Pastor Obie preached at the Sunday worship service on the subject of “Purpose”. He pointed out that everything is designed for a purpose and things go much better when those things are used for the purpose intended. I remember seeing some pretty funny photos of people using regular items for some crazy purposes. Obie spoke of the time as kids that his brother and him made a tree rope swing in their backyard using an electrical extension cord, which snap and he came crashing down. The cord wasn’t designed to be a rope swing. 

Well, we were design and created by intentionally God for a purpose also and that purpose matters. When we do not live for the purpose in which we were design and created then (1) our full potential is not met, and (2) our desired outcome is not met either. The Westminster confession states that mankind’s chief end is to glory God and enjoy Him forever. Our greatest designed purpose is that we were created to “worship” God, bringing Him praise and glory in adoration. We are wired to worship. Not that everyone is supposed to quit their job and worship only, but, foundationally, worship the Lord, your God in everything you do, so your heart can connect to God’s heart.

Romans 11:36-12:1 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable spiritual worship.”


The word “worship” is derived from the Old English word “weorþscipe”, meaning worship, honor shown to God in communion, for His worthiness-ship. Webster’s Dictionary defines “worship” as chiefly and eminently, the act of paying divine honors to the Supreme Being; or the reverence and homage paid to him in religious exercises, consisting in adoration, confession, prayer, thanksgiving and the like. But, there are some misconceptions about worship today, which need to be brought to light and cleared. (1) Worship is not music. Music is an expression of worship to God, but not the only means of expression. Even though the number one subject matter of world music is Jesus and a Christian singer is current the most listened to recording artist in the world, worshiping in music is really only one of many ways to worship. For example, “prayer” is a chief part of worship. The Bible tells us that there is music in Heaven and we know that music reaches into our heart and soul. But, we must understand that Satan reduces music down to mere entertainment. (2) Worship does not start nor stop. Worship is not an event and not just on Sunday. What do you do Monday thru Saturday? Worship is continuous. It’s not a question of when we are worshiping, but what we are worshiping.  

Psalm 29:2 Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

Let's finish Pastor Obie's message on "Worship" tomorrow.
In Christ, brian

Friday, January 29, 2016

Grace to the Humble

1 Peter 5:5 All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

This week, Michael tells the story that there was a man who was successful by the standards of the world.  He started a popular and practical magazine. He also built and staffed dental centers as a profitable business venture. He decided to dedicate his life to Christ and became involved with Junior High children's ministry, directing camps at Hume Lake for about 10 years. After many years in ministry, He moved to Hawaii to start dental practices. He did not plug into a church and instead backslid, bought a Penthouse and joined a local tennis club.  At the club he started dabbling in the use of cocaine. Once someone came up to him and asked him if he would get him a bag of cocaine. He was eager to please and hated to say no, so he sold a bag to the person that asked him. The buyer turned out to be a narcotics officer. Although this was his first offense, He was convicted and spent two years in prison. Before his conviction, people perceived him as the life of the party...  gregarious, engaging, and an easy conversationalist. He wrote, "Please hear what I'm saying; you think that I'm confident and self assured, but I'm hiding behind a mask so that you won't think of me what I think about myself.  In reality, I'm insecure, hiding behind a facade of false bravado. I'm afraid that if you laugh at me, I'll be devastated because I need your validation. You alone can break down the wall and the mask behind which I'm hiding.  However, a lifetime of building tall, strong walls is difficult to penetrate."  He used his prison time as a time of solitude and reflection ... to set his heart upon the things that really matter in life. He found deliverance in an Alcoholics Anonymous twelve-step program at church and by returning to fellowship with other Christians who knew that they were sinners who were broken. Shame and humiliation produces humility to turn from the darkness of sin to the light of the Word and the fellowship of believers.

James 1:22-24  “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

People in times of true introspection, understand that "in my flesh dwells no good thing."  Many people who profess to believe often are burdened beneath a load of guilt and shame. Even though the Bible says we're worthy, our own hearts often condemn us. However, according to 1 John, "even if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and knows all things." Humility results from the brokenness in the sinful flesh desires of the natural man. God has made us as jars of clay, vessels that need to be broken in order for God to mend us and reconcile us back to Himself. Therefore, be sober, be vigilant for your adversary prowls about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. The question is not whether we will fall, but what we allow God to do in us and through us when we fall. God will allow the devil to bring us down when we allow pride to lift us up. Pride goes before the fall. God resists the proud but gives grace unto the humble. 

James 4:6 He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

May God richly bless you.
Your brother in Christ,


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thou Shalt Not

Exodus 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.”

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the word “Secular” as pertaining to the present time in the present world, or to things not spiritual or holy; relating to things not immediately or primarily respecting the soul, but the body; worldly. The secular concerns of life respect making provision for the support of life, the preservation of health, the temporal prosperity of men, of states, & Secular power is that which superintends and governs the temporal affairs of men, the civil or political power; and is contra-distinguished from spiritual or ecclesiastical power.

Many secularists criticize Christianity as being a religion of negativism filled with prohibitions. In a “do whatever you want, whenever you want” secular world, there seems to be no boundaries or boundary-making God. In response, Christians often try to blunt this criticism by stressing Christian love and freedom from the law. But, it’s well known that the fact is, however, that the New Testament also contains many prohibitions against things that are bad for us, including a restatement of all those in God's laws as expressed in the Ten Commandments. An article that I read points out that the first of these godly bans in verse above prohibits idolatry. Six others also begin with "thou shalt not." "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain"; "Thou shalt not kill"; "Thou shalt not commit adultery"; "Thou shalt not steal"; "Thou shalt not bear false witness"; "Thou shalt not covet" in Exodus 20. To disrespect Creator God, to murder, to lustfully violate others, to steal, to lie or to harmfully desire inordinately in thought, word or action could not be interpreted as godly, positive or life-improving.

Matthew 5:17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.

It is inappropriate for any Christian to ignore these commandments. Godly behavior is more important now than ever before in this increasingly dangerous world needing Christ. Not only are these prohibitions all repeated in the New Testament, but there are numerous other "shalt nots" as well, all directed to Christians saved by grace, apart from the works of the law, yet all designed for our benefit and well-being. For example: Ephesians 5:18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit;, Ephesians 4:26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath;, Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!”; and others.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.


That article concluded that there are numerous positive aspects to the Christian life, of course, but there are also things a Christian should not do. We do not work for our salvation, but we must work out our salvation, putting off the works of the flesh and putting on the works of a regenerate life. We do not do good works to get saved; we do godly works because we are saved, and we have “thou shalt nots” in our lives because we are children of God and a citizen of the kingdom of Heaven, May what we think, say and do always be pleasing in the eyes of the Lord,
In Christ, Brian

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Go and Make Disciples

Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

I read a challenging Christian article, which stated that, In their humble estimation, there are two great sins a Christian can commit: the greatest is to fail to love the Lord Jesus. The second greatest is not adultery, drunkenness, or murder, but it is the sin of silence—to refuse to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. The reason being that Jesus told us in Matthew 22:37-40: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Sharing the gospel of Jesus is loving your neighbor. The opening Bible passage is referred as: “The Great Commission and it is a commandment of Christ, not a suggestion. Christians are soul winners.

All those who have been saved by God’s plan of Salvation - repenting of their sin and accepting the gift of Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord - are commissioned to lead others in need of salvation to the foot of the cross. All of God’s children are commanded to witness to others who do not know the Savior of the world, about what the Lord has done for them. This is love and ministering to your lose neighbors with concern for the eternal home. Suppose you knew the cure for cancer. Would you not tell it? Suppose you were on an island where people were starving to death and you knew where there was a vast hoard of food. Would you not tell it? Suppose your next door neighbor’s house was on fire with them trapped inside and you had a fire ‘tanker truck’ in your driveway. Would you not save them?  Suppose someone you know dies and appears in front of Jesus at the “Great White Throne Judgment” and is sent to eternal separation and torment in hell for not accepting salvation through Christ and they replied that you never told them. Live and let die? That breaks my heart. Evangelism is a tremendous responsibility and privilege of the citizen of the kingdom of Heaven. Food and water sustains physical life, but Jesus Christ saves and sustains the soul unto eternal life.

 Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

A disciple is a "disciplined follower" of Jesus Christ, not just a convert to Christianity. Evangelism is not a program, but a lifestyle of all Christians. Ours is the greatest mission, the greatest message, the great Savior and Lord the world knows anything about. History, itself, is divided by the coming of the Savior of the world. Our mission is the Great Commission to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and advance the kingdom of God in this time and place. Our message is the saving Gospel of our Lord and Savior. Our master, Jesus Christ Himself, has told us we ought to take the gospel to every creature on earth by reaching those in our sphere of influence. Yet many Christians are ignoring this command. They're committing what I call “the sin of silence” and not right with God in this vital “love your neighbor” component of Christian living. Save a life.

John 20:21 Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

This challenging article concluded: I care not how faithfully you attend Sunday church worship services, how eloquently you teach Bible study, how liberally you give your talents and treasure to the work of the church and world missions, how circumspectly you walk or how beautifully you sing to the Lord. If you’re not witnessing for our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ to this lost and dying world, you’re not fulfilling the commandment of Jesus in His “Great Commission” to us and doing what is pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. Jesus’ mission is our commission. Go makes disciples.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

In Christ, Brian

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

His Glory

Daniel 9:17-18 Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate.  O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies."

I read that this prayer of Daniel is saying, “O God, please forgive us. Remove the guilt.” He’s also praying for the restoration of glory. Notice “for the Lord’s sake.” I remember my good friend Jim praying: “if there is anything in his heart and life that is not pleasing in God’s  sight, then, for Your sake, remove it completely and forgive the offense, because that which displeases the Lord, I want rid and replaced with that which pleases You. Change my ‘want to’ to be aligned with yours.”

Do you know what so many of us are praying for? For my sake. Or for our sake. That won’t get it done. I remember Pastor Sproul asking: “In an unrepentant life, how do you deal with your guilt and shame?” But Daniel is praying for not only the removal of guilt but the restoration of glory. When we get concerned for the glory of God, then we’re going to see our prayers answered. When our “desires” are the same as the Lord’s “desires” then He will grant the desires of our heart. Do you know what most of us want? We want revival so we can return to our own ways, once God gets us out of the difficulty we’re in.

1 Corinthians 10:31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

Do you have a burning, yearning in your heart for the glory of God? Do you pray for the glory of God? Do you want to see God’s glory spread over this land? I want to see God bring transformation and revival. And may the child of God be the message to His glory.

In Christ, Brian

Monday, January 25, 2016

God has everything under control

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”


1 Chronicles 29:1 “ Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.


1 Chronicles 29:11-12 “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all.  Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all."


Job 12:10 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.


Psalm 22:28 “For dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations."


Proverbs 16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.


Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”


Isaiah 14:24 “The Lord Almighty has sworn, "Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen."


Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."


Isaiah 45:5-7 I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.”


Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your  thoughts."


Jeremiah 32:27 I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?


Matthew 10:29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.


Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”


Ephesians 1:11-12 “ In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory."


Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”


Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.”

No worries. God has everything under control.
In Christ, Brian