Saturday, October 21, 2017

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Remember the commercial "Where's the beef?" As Christians living in an increasingly complex world, do we need to ask ourselves "Where is the reverence in our worship today?"

Growing up in the church my family attended and served in with distinction, we had what some would call distinct church customs which I remember well such as donning a hat before entering the sanctuary several minutes early before the service started; sitting quietly in prayer until the congregation began its opening hymn; bowing before the cross when in procession or when we passed it; handing our hymnal to the new person seated next to us; wearing our best dress; kneeling during prayer; standing for the reading of God’s word; and departing the sanctuary only when the cross had receded down the aisle. My parents and grandparents were church leaders so they were either teaching a Sunday school class, ushering, reading Scripture, counting the attendees, or back in the kitchen preparing a fine meal to encourage others who were visiting. When my grandmother died there were over 150 cars in the funeral processional because she was so loved as a member of her church family with her selfless service! My grandfather would get up early every Wednesday to lead the Bible study lesson and be in church very early helping with Sunday worship.

 The heart behind of all those activities was a love of God, a worship of the One who is worthy of all praise, honor, respect, adoration and reverence. The subjective adoration of someone who exceeds personal excellence, who deserves deep acts of respect and praise, is still the same yesterday, today and tomorrow – Our Lord Jesus Christ.

"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6:17)

"Facing spiritual battles without the certainty of your own salvation is as foolish as fighting a physical battle without a helmet. God has given us the helmet of salvation to guard our minds from doubt and to give us confidence in every spiritual battle. Consider several times that the word “save” is mentioned in the New Testament: 1] We have been saved from perishing (John 3:16); 2] We have been saved from a perverse generation (Acts 2:40); 3] We have been saved from God’s wrath (Rom. 5:9); 4] We have been saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:5-8); 5] We have been saved according to His purpose not our works (II Tim. 1:9); 6] We have been saved according to his mercy (Titus 3:5)." (Andy Rupert)

'Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.' (I Samuel 2:30) -- "What are the differences between honoring God and honoring ourself? I. Honoring God Involves Presenting Our Best to the Lord; II. Honoring God Means That I Must Keep Him as the One I Please; III. Honoring God Involves an Acceptance of Life’s Challenges." (Dr. Jeff Redlin)

'And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.' (John 16:8)

"Why are there so many disbelievers? I believe the answer lies in three principle areas: 1] Lack of knowledge; 2] A cultural world-view; 3] Acceptance of sin by our peers...'Sin, righteousness and judgment.' Two centuries have passed since Jesus spoke those words, but they remain as true today as they did then. Society may laugh them off, ignore them, or think they applied only to those of Jesus’ time. But the day is coming when far too many will wish they had paid attention." (Chaplain Grant Wolf)

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. --II Timothy 4:2 ESV

"Much of today’s preaching is a lecture instead of a sermon. It is information without inspiration and facts without fire.

True preaching is Bible based and calls for a verdict. It is both exposition and exhortation. It is application oriented and helps the congregation take their next spiritual step to launch out for Christ." -- Dr. Tom Farrell

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations. --James 1:2

"Few of us have the privilege of enjoying problem-free lives. (If nothing else, we have to live with ourselves, and that might be our biggest problem!) Even if we could arrange to escape problems, we would probably be bored and experience little personal growth. 'All sunshine make a desert," states an Arabic proverb, and that statement rings true. Troubles and trials are a part of the furniture of life, no matter how you arrange the room." (Linzy Slayden)