What Qualifies As Worship Today?

Posted in Worship by PCraig on May 30, 2013

Is the beating of drums, whining of guitars, and synthesizers really worship?  What happened to pipe organs and robed choirs?  Can you worship without singing a hymn from a hymnal?

If there’s anything that gets people wired up these days – it’s what many refer to as worship.  But, are we really talking about true worship or is it more about personal styles?

Let’s first look for a biblical definition of worship.   This gets a little complicated because the word worship is mentioned in over 200 passages of the New King James Version of the Bible.  It covers everything from bowing down, bowing heads, gladness, drawing near, standing, serving, falling on your face, making sacrifice, and many other references.  Because of the breadth of position, we can assume that there is more than one way to worship.  In other words, it seems possible to stand, sit or lay and worship God.

If this is the case in position, then it might be the same in song choice as well.  Next time we’ll look into that and see what we can learn.  Stay tuned.

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The Help of Hurts

Posted in Attitude, Choice, Victorious Living by PCraig on May 23, 2013

Pain is a great teacher.  Remember how it worked when you were learning to ride a bike?  How about when you touched the hot stove that you were warned about?  Perhaps you learned about taking better care of relationships when someone walked out on you?

That doesn’t mean we like the teacher though, does it?

What if instead of looking at pain as something to be avoided, we instead look at it as an opportunity?  Again, that doesn’t mean I want to sign up for the class, but I think pain will come either way.  We will experience the pain of regret (trying to avoid risk and pain) or we will experience hurt, misunderstanding, rejection, weariness, and other painful occurrences.

The Bible never promises that if you come to Jesus you will never have pain or sorrow.  As a matter of fact, it really reveals the opposite.  Often, the followers of God experienced all kinds of pressure, hurt, abuse, and distress.

Instead of trying to run from pain, let’s seek to learn from it.  It is human nature to run from difficulty.  There are many ways to escape today, you can get drunk, take drugs, have an affair, watch TV or play video games.  We are experts at escaping.  The problem with escape is when you come back you still have the hurt.  Instead of solving the problem, you get to repeat the class.

Instead of giving up, I can choose to give it over.  I go to a higher power that is greater than myself to help me handle it.  Setbacks can just be setups for God to show what He is able to do.  Tests are just a part of life, however learning from tests is optional.

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A Wrong Spirit Hinders

Posted in Attitude, Criticism, Heart, Used of God, Victorious Living by PCraig on May 16, 2013

The Bible emphasizes that while man may look at the outside, God looks at the inside.  Jesus said it is not what “goes into a man” that corrupts him, but what “comes out” of him.

Having a good spirit is huge in moving forward in life.  I can think of people with incredible talent, intelligence, gifts and abilities that stymie their own success by having a negative spirit.

Some have a hypocritical spirit that says, “you ought to be like this, but I’ll do whatever I want.”  Jesus said to focus on the beam in your own eye before trying to remove the speck in someone else’s eye.  The cure for being a hypocrite is to focus more on fixing yourself instead of excusing yourself.  Trust me, you and I have enough to work on for ourselves to be overly concerned about others.

Others have a hypercritical spirit that is judgmental and looks at others with contempt while giving grace to ourselves.  In other words, we can point out all the bad things about someone without providing any assistance.  These are people that go around pointing out what’s wrong with a person or project without giving solutions.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t need a lot of help finding problems, but I can always use some help in discovering solutions.

If you suffer from a wrong spirit, it won’t just hinder others – it will hinder you.  So, how do you fix your heart?   Psalm 51:10 says to pray and ask God to, “renew a right spirit within me.”  David also went on to say that once we get our spirit right, then God can use us to reach and teach others.

If you want to be used of God – pay attention to your spirit.

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You’re Valuable

Posted in Attitude, Perspective, Victorious Living by PCraig on May 9, 2013

How do I know?  Jesus said so in Luke 12:24 when He was talking about the value of birds, He stated that you are more valuable.  So not only does God accept you, He values you.  So, what’s the big deal?  It means your significance is not based upon your performance.  God doesn’t love you because you’re valuable, you are valuable because He loves you.

Too many of us get our self-worth confused with our net worth.  Value has nothing to do with your valuables.

Because of the fact that you are so valuable, don’t ever think less of yourself than God does.  You matter to God, so live today as the pride and joy of His creation that you truly are.

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Posted in Attitude, Mind, Mistakes, Perspective, Victorious Living by PCraig on May 3, 2013

Ever go through a Fun House with those distorted, curved mirrors?  I used to love looking in them when I was a kid.  Something about seeing my head look elongated by several feet or my body looking like it had been squished was really amusing.  All of that is imaginary fun, but some of us carry distorted images of ourselves on the inside.  “I’m stupid”, “I’m ugly”, or “I’m unlovable.”  Perhaps it started with comments from others, past bad choices, or current tough conditions.  Whatever the case, distorted messages inside and lead us to false conclusions.  Therefore, we might tailor our lives around the distortion.

Jesus said, “When you know the truth, the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).  Nowhere is this more important than when it comes to our self-image.  We  each want to be accepted.  We work hard at it by buying things, wearing certain things, and joining or doing things.

I want to help you to be free of the distortions of past mistakes, words of others, and your own opinions.  Here’s some good news: God has accepted you, according to Romans 15:7.  Nowhere in Scripture does Jesus say that it’s based upon you.  Instead, He emphatically declares that we are accepted unconditionally.

God accepts you, so begin a process today of accepting yourself.  Your Heavenly Father loves you right where you are and just as you are.  That gives me a lot of confidence, how about you?

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