Most Important Ingredient in Worship

Posted in Attitude, Worship by PCraig on June 30, 2011

What is the most important ingredient in worship? As I was pondering this question, here’s what I came up with: unselfishness. To me, worship is all about the OTHER person. It is so not about YOU – at all!

There is a battle for worship. People want our worship, we want our worship, God desires our worship and Satan would like our worship. The most difficult person to keep away from stealing God’s worship is YOU.

Here’s what people say, “I wish they would sing the songs I like to hear.” Or, “I just can’t worship to that kind of music.” Let me ask, what does style have to do with content? In other words, why do you have to have a certain song, or style of music to worship the Creator? What did the people of God do to worship before your favorite composer was born? Could you have worshiped with David when all he had was a little harp and his voice and sang some of the repetitive Psalms? (Read how many times a phrase is repeated in Psalm 136 and try singing it in worship)

The bottom line in worship is that it is not about you, it is all about Him. I can worship God in silence, or loud music, soft music, rock style, jazz, southern gospel, modern and even country styles. Styles come and go, but true worship is directed to the object that is worthy of praise. There are all kinds of styles mentioned in the Bible of worship, so let’s not get caught up in the minors and instead major on the One who alone is worthy of all our worship.

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Moldy Christians

Posted in Character, Christian Lifestyle, Mind, Victorious Living by PCraig on June 23, 2011

It pains me to see statistics that reveal that believers and non-believers have nearly the same sexual ethics, spending habits, and lifestyle choices. With all the churches in America, why do so many Christians resemble the world?

The question that keeps coming to my mind is how should we respond to a Savior who died for us? What impact should that make on our decisions and attitudes? How do we allow spiritual formation to grip our lives in the way God intended?

The apostle Paul addressed this issue in a letter he wrote in one of the worldliest cities of its day: Rome. Paul calls for a response to what Christ has done for us: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:1-2)

Paul says, “There are too many moldy Christians around that are being molded into the pattern of this world instead of being transformed by the living Christ.”

Are you a moldy Christian? What forces are trying to mold you? Do you have difficulty staying true to God at work? Is it your free time that gives you problems? How about the shows you watch and entertainment you engage in?

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Q&A Series

Posted in Culture, Evangelism, witnessing by PCraig on June 16, 2011

We’re getting ready for a new series called Q&A that will address hot topics in our culture.  Among these will be homosexuality, tattoos, suicide, gambling, along with others.  Jesus discussed many of the topics of his day and would say, “You have heard it said…but, I say…”  That’s exactly what we’re doing with this series.  We’re going to look at what the culture says and then see what God says.

This is a great series to invite lost friends and co-workers to attend.  As a matter of fact, they can even help decide the topics.  Currently, we have brochures at the iCenter and on posters in the lobby that explain how to text in your vote for a particular subject.  Be sure to pick up some of these brochures to hand to your unsaved friends and co-workers.  Let them know that if they think church is boring, they haven’t been to Crossroads.

It takes an unselfish Christian to allow topics to be discussed on Sundays that don’t necessary cover areas of personal struggle or need.  Jesus said, “I came to seek and to save that which was lost,” and when we reach out to those who are lost, we are accomplishing his desire.  Let’s leverage this to grow God’s Kingdom and to see people come to faith in Christ.

The Q&A series begins August 14th for 3 weeks.

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God Is A Rewarder

Posted in Character, Victorious Living by PCraig on June 8, 2011

God is a rewarder.  How do I know?  To start with, it says so in Hebrews 10:6 “He (God) is a rewarder…”  It also is demonstrated throughout Scripture in the lives of people.  Solomon claimed that God was “wonderfully kind” to his father because David was “honest…true…and faithful” to God.  Not only did Solomon declare that God’s blessing on his dad was a direct result of his dad’s character, but he also believed that he was being blessed for his father’s sake as well.  In other words, God will even reward generations after us because of our honesty, truthfulness and faithfulness. 

What more incentive do you need to be a person of character?  The Scripture reveals that God not only will reward you for your behavior, but he will reward generations after you. 

Why does God do this?  Because He is all about you reflecting Him to others.  When He sees you acting like Him, responding like Him, making choices and decisions like Him, He gets all excited and wants to show it. 

So, how do you find the favor of God?  Just start showing honesty, truthfulness, and faithfulness then God will find you to share His reward.   

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You’ve Graduated

Posted in Attitude, Choice, Opportunity, Perspective by PCraig on June 2, 2011

It’s graduation season and it can come with mixed emotions.  First there can be a sense of pride and accomplishment.  Yet at the same time, there can be a feeling of concern or even fear for the future.  We can be full of excitement for the potential opportunities or filled with anxiety at all the options.

One of the best things about graduation is that it can serve as a launch pad to new beginnings.  For those leaving high school, it means the prospect of new friends in a new school or a new boss at new job.

What if we looked at every day as a graduation?  In a sense, we graduated from yesterday to today.  This brings us to a new day with new possibilities, dreams, contacts and potential.

Yesterday may have been filled with pain, difficulties, hurts, habits and heartache, but it doesn’t mean today will be more of the same.  You may have had struggles in high school, overweight, bored, lonely, and isolated, but in college you changed!  As a result, your experience was totally different.

God has a plan for our lives… “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Today can be a new day, new experience, new adventure for you because you’ve graduated – yesterday is gone!

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