All posts by PastorBob

Busyness, Busybodies, and Worship

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This is a call to not be deterred from the simplicity and joy of worshipping Jesus.

Busy, busy, busy. These words could easily describe the twenty-first century. Running to and fro, with lists, texts, and pedal to the metal. In such a fast-paced life how does one find a way to slow down and recharge your soul with the peace of worship.

Bossy, overbearing, and grating . Unfortunately, such a description fits a few people in every church. How do you take your attention away from such busybodies and the distractions that they cause. How do we move beyond the dread of the next disruptive remark, to satisfy our longing for the peace of worship?

Here are seven steps that will help us back to sincere and joyful worship.

1. Acknowledge that excuses abound. It may be impossible to completely step back from the stress and pace of our frenetic world. But if there is a way to calm ourselves for sincere worship, it starts with realizing that we need to get there. There are innumerable excuses that we could use to keep us away. For now, list the things that have you going so fast that you can’t stop for worship.

2. Realize that obstacles exist. There are things and people that can derail our best intentions to worship. Walking into the front door of the church and immediately encountering a caustic comment, can easily destroy a carefully cultivated peace in preparation for worship. Acknowledge that there will always be such situations. Since you will never be able to totally eliminate or avoid them, come prepared to shed them as quickly as you encounter them.

3. Jesus is Worth it! Here is the key to sincere and joyful worship. It is not about us. It is about Him. God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die in our place. Jesus loved us so much that He left the beauty and joys of heaven to walk in this world of excuses. He experienced the worst of people, so that He could open the way, for the worst of sinners into the joys of His kingdom. He is so worth it! He is so worthy! Keep your focus on Him. Prepare to give Him the worship that He deserves.

4. Clear the clutter. Remember that list of excuses? Now that we have focused on the preciousness of Jesus and His worthiness of worship, take that list and evaluate it in light of His glory and grace. How can we let anything stand between us and pure worship of His majesty. Turn off the phone. Clear the calendar. Kill the TV. Shutdown the computer. Prepare to worship the Master. Try starting the evening before. The Sabbath started at sundown. Maybe our day of worship needs to have a head start as well.

5. Pray for the obstacles. Remember those unavoidable obstacles we talked about. The only effective way to shed them is to pray for them. Yes, we should be polite and gracious in our words and actions to abrasive and disruptive people, but ultimately you can’t change them. Only God can change people! Just as He changed you, He can change others. When you hear the caustic comment, pray for God’s blessing to be so abundant and bountiful that they would not be able to contain the joy that flows from God through them. Will this happen in every case? Does it matter? You have done all you can do. We pray and wish for them the best. The rest is between them and God. Ours should be peace to worship.

6. Serve and Worship Him. When it comes right down to the time of worship in a church, it is all about God. Worship means worth + ship and He is so worth it. Take your mind off what happened yesterday, the cares of tomorrow, the incident just encountered, and focus on Him. Take a moment to calm your spirit, breath His air, and say a few words of thanks and praise. It is time to worship the One who is worthy of all our love!

7. Let His peace calm your troubled soul. The beauty of worship is that if we get to a place where we truly encounter Jesus, it is the most rewarding and soul deep satisfying of encounters. He has EVERYTHING under control. His blood covers yesterday, His presence will sustain tomorrow, and every knee shall bow before Him. Worship Him. Rest in Him. Let no excuse or obstacle deter you from the simplicity and joy of worshipping Jesus.

He is Risen Indeed!

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Easter is a victory celebration. Death could not hold the only begotten Son of God. In reality, death could never rightfully claim Him in the first place. Since He was sinless, since He is the Son of God, there was no reason that He should die except one. The one reason that caused Jesus to lay down His life was love.

Make no mistake, Jesus did lay down His life. No one could take it from Him unless He willingly let them. He was willing. The reason was because He loved sinners. Sinners just like you and me. The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life a ransom for many.

Having willingly laid down His life while paying the full penalty for our sin, the grave could not hold Him any longer. He rose from the dead just as He said He would, never to die again. Now He ever lives to make intercession for those who come to God the Father through Him. What a victory!

Have You Made Your Bed?

There is an old expression: "You have made your bed, now lie in it." It means in effect that you will get what you deserve. For example, if you take your paycheck and go blow it at the bar or the casino, you are not going to have much to live on until the next paycheck. What’s more, you will be reaping exactly what you deserve for such a foolish action.

This principle is stated pretty explicitly in God’s word with the expression: "you will reap what you sow." If you sow to the flesh, you can expect to reap corruption. If you sow to the Spirit in seeking and serving God, you will reap peace and blessing. External circumstances may still be grim, but inwardly you will have a peace that is beyond comprehension.

Thankfully, there is one exception to the rule that if you have made your bed, you must lie in it. You may have served sin and self all you life and deserve an eternity in hell separated from God. However it is not too late to get into the other bed that God has made for you.

God’s Son, Jesus, died in your place on the cross. He paid the penalty for your sinful life. He rose from the dead to prove that He is the Son of God, and that the price for your salvation was fully paid. If you will change your mind about your sinful living and accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord, God will forgive your sins and change your life.

Which bed will you choose to lie in?