Sunday, August 1, 2010

Jonathan Edwards Prayer

I read a great prayer from Jonathan Edwards today as we were driving:
 "Pray for me, that I may become fervent, as a flame of fire in my work, and may be abundantly succeeded, and that it would please God, however unworthy I am, to improve me as an instrument of His glory, and advancing the kingdom of Christ"

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sitting at the foot of the Cross

In his book Marks of the Messenger, J. Mack Stiles lays out four great examples of how we can "link our lives with the message of the cross":

1. Seeing the depth of our forgiveness by God at the foot of the cross allows us to forgive others and guards us from self-condemnation too.

2. Knowing that we have been reconciled to God by the cross calls us to be people of reconciliation.

3. Knowing that God did not spare even His own Son on the cross tells us we are deeply loved and that we can rely on God's will for our lives without fear.

4. Being accepted by God through the cross allows us to be obedient out of joyful gratitude, not out of duty.

5. Knowing that we have been adopted as sons and daughters as a result of the work on the cross guards us from living as independent orphans alone in the world.

Marks of the Messenger
J. Mack Stiles
p. 55

Kauflin's Faithful Worship Leader

"A faithful worship leader magnifies the greatness of God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit by skillfully combining God's Word with music, thereby motivating the gathered church to proclaim the gospel, to cherish God's presence, and to live for God's glory." Bob Kauflin

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Four Keys to Win the Battle for Worship

True and sincere worship of Jesus Christ is a battle. It is a fight that is fought in the depths of our hearts and it requires the soul to be submitted to the Saviour. The following four points are reminders for every worshipper to exercise in order to fight the good fight of worship...and win.

1. Worship is not a momentary experience, but a lifestyle (Matthew 4:1-11
Times of good spiritual growth in life or in ministry can be quickly followed and filled with temptation. It's during these times that we must maintain the fight for the worship of the Lord in our hearts. This fight for adoration is not for a moment of homage but for some decisive act of loyalty (Mt. 4:8)

2. The Gospel Empowers our worship (Hebrews 4:14-16
If we have a High Priest it means the Gospel is a functioning reality in our lives. Without Christ we don't have an Intercessor or Mediator, and without Him we cannot have sincere worship in our hearts. Therefore the Gospel is central to worship and it alone is the power in true worship.

3. How the Gospel functions in musical worship (Colossians 3:1-17
Music is one way of worshipping the Lord, and I think it functions as one of the primary means in which we can worship the Lord at any time. A simple reading of this passage shows that if the Gospel has made us alive (v.1), then we will put to death what is earthly (vv.5-11), and we will put on holiness (vv. 12-17). When those things are done some of how it is manifested in this life is in music! "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God." (v.16)

4. Where the Gospel must change us to worship. (2 Corinthians 3:18

The first place the Gospel changes us is in our heart attitude, because our hearts are made new in Him. The second place is in our relationships, because in the Cross we can relate to one another eternally. The third place is in our outward worship, because a heart that is white-hot for the God of the universe can help but be engaged in worship.

So we fight throughout our entire lives to live in worship and our goal in worship is to be sincere. We don't want it to be in vain (Mt. 15:8,9). We want to honour Him with our lips because our hearts are closely knit to His, and we want our lives to reflect the greatness of His salvation and the greatness of who He is.

Why This Blog is Here

This blog title stems from a weekend I had with the Lord back in 2001. I had just gotten done traveling around the States with a team that sang and served the church and I was at a point in my life where I had no idea what I was going to do and I knew I needed to seek the Lord about my direction and to renew my spiritual health.
During those three days of seeking the Lord He graciously led me to John 15, and as I meditated on those precious words my soul was restored by the great truth that apart from Him I could do nothing. Abiding in the sacrificial life of Christ was the key to fruitful Christian living and the key to a life of worship in spirit and in truth.
It was an eye opening time for me, and serves as the heart and soul of any ministry that God has or will bless me with. Realizing that through Jesus Christ's sacrificial life, death, and resurrection my life is lived for Him I can do no less than love Him and obey His commands in order to bring Him glory. This is a life of worship: ascribing worth to the great God of the universe, fully acknowledging that all of the fruit of my Christian life is from Him, springing up for His glory, and intended ultimately to bring Him honour (John 15:8).
Not many people can say things better than John Piper, and I love what he says about worship in his book Let The Nations Be Glad : "If the pursuit of God's glory is not ordered above the pursuit of man's good in the affections of the heart and the priorities of the church, man will not be well served, and God will not be duly honored." (p.17) And again: "All of history is moving toward one great goal, the white-hot worship of God and His Son among all the peoples of the earth." (p.20)
So I hope that this blog will serve to encourage the faithful to abide in Christ, trusting Him for any fruit and every comfort. I pray that it will also stir "white-hot" worship of the One who paid our debt and raised this life up from the dead.