Month: March 2014

The Jesus Factor

Often times when people make decisions concerning their attitude toward the church, their sin, their lifestyle, their prayer life and their eternal destiny they do so without considering the “Jesus factor” into the equation.

Many try to seek God without considering the church – the Jesus factor says that it can’t happen (Matthew 16:18).

Many try to seek God without considering the necessary atonement for their sins – the Jesus factor says that it can’t happen (Matthew 26:26-28).

Many try to seek an avenue to God without considering any constraint in their life choices – the Jesus factor says that it can’t happen (Matthew 7:13-14).

Many try to seek God through various mediators without considering the medium – the Jesus factor says that it can’t happen (1 Timothy 2:5).

Many try to seek an eternity with God without considering his eternal word – the Jesus factor says that it can’t happen (John 1:1; 14:6).

If we fail to add the “Jesus factor” into any equation of spiritual problems we will fail regardless of the problem we’re trying to solve. EA

Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matthew 17:4-5)

Making Melody In Our Hearts To The Lord

Sing, sang, sung or singing – when it comes to worshipping God through it, it’s a verb no matter how you say it.

When it comes to worshipping God in song there’s one thing that the religious world has either forgotten or it never knew and that’s that singing to God in worship is not meant to be entertainment any more than prayer, preaching or partaking of communion with the Lord. It’s meant to have a purpose, a direction and a result…from us to God. And looking for a beat that soothes His soul is the last thing that God is looking for from us as we sing to Him.

But before our worship in song can reach its goal it has to have a starting place – namely our heart!

It is true that there is also an aspect of singing in worship that is meant to capture, curtail and correct the wandering hearts of our brothers and sisters much like preaching, but even that aspect must begin and end with the Lord in our heart. According to the scriptures we are to: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16) The heart-strings of our brethren cannot be pulled in any direction unless we are already using our own (Ephesians 5:19). And twiddling our thumbs during the time that we should be singing does not constitute either.

Lastly, when it comes to singing in worship, our “talent” or the lack thereof to the ears of our neighbor does not do away with the admonishment or the desire of the Lord to hear us sing to Him. We don’t have to be “front and center” when the Lord is there. I mean think about it, have you ever thought about how the one who could solely listen to the voices of angels finds great delight in us singing to him? Just a thought.

Making melody in our hearts to the Lord will happen when He’s the Lord of our heart in life and in worship, for we cannot have one without the other. EA

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

Renovated by God

Renovations done the right way are hard work! Planning, moving out the furniture, tearing out the old, putting up the new and bringing the furniture back in can be exhausting – but when it’s needed it’s worth it! This is important to remember because it’s easy to get disillusioned in mid-renovation, but the motivation to continue can from remembering the goal, looking at how far you’ve come and by finding a little help along the way. Come to think of it, a renovation is a lot like Christianity.

When someone believes in the gospel of Christ and they are baptized into Jesus, the Spirit of God begins renovating our soul. Paul said this much when he told Titus that our salvation came, “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). We are washed, justified and sanctified from our old life by the work of Jesus upon the cross and work of the Spirit in our soul (1 Corinthians 6:11).

Once God begins this renovation we have to remember to make room for the improvements that he has in mind. A refusal to let go of the old can halt a renovation fast! God is patient with us, and he will even help us with the heavy lifting, but God will not provide new doors by kicking down the old ones! Just remember what Revelation 3:20 says. We have to keep our heart and mind open as God completes his renewal or the old will become ugly in a whole new way (Matthew 12:43-45). When we keep the goal in sight we can find the energy, finances and encouragement we need to get spiritually renovated. EA

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavensTherefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

(2 Corinthians 5:1, 17)