Tag Archives: Jesus
- We can hold it over their head. – Somehow we have allowed ourselves to be convinced that withholding forgiveness gives us power over the person who hurt us. That is a Lie! An unforgiving heart is not empowered, It’s imprisoned!
- Withholding forgiveness legitimizes my hurt. – No. It doesn’t. It only lengthens your hurt.
- They should suffer for what they did to me. – Ummm, I don’t know how to tell you this, but… They probably haven’t given it another thought. How much time have you wasted meditating on their crime and your pain?
Finally, when I got up to sing the song of response, I let it go, laid the rock down at the alter. I’d held it long enough that I could describe it in detail. I could go back later and among all the rocks, I could tell you which one was mine. The thought came to me after the final song to go back and pick it up. THAT would have been a mistake. I would not have wanted to answer the question later.
“What’cha doin’ with that rock?”
I would have answered honestly. “It is a reminder to me of the bad things people have done to me. And how I need to forgiven them.”
“Well, if you’ve forgiven them, then why do you want to be reminded about what they’ve done?”
Father, help me to forgive as you did. The same death you died on the cross for me is given to the ones who have hurt me. I have no room to stand and judge anyone. Thank you for forgiving me. I celebrate your forgiveness and pass it on to those whom I need to forgive.
Where do you stand on the subject of forgiveness? Have you been restored after a broken relationship?
Father, oh how easily my eyes drift from You. Forgive me when I’m more disheartened by the lack of singing than I am by missing the presence of Your Spirit. And when I’m more impressed by loud singing than by the greatness of You, please forgive me. I am humbled in Your presence and I am a beggar, desperate for a few crumbs from Your table, yet you are inviting me to pull up a chair and sit in the place of honor with You as Your beloved child. Thank You for what Your grace means in my life.
Do any of my thoughts here resonate with you? Are you needing a freshness to come back to your worship? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
- Me to self: I want to compliment this person. They’ve really been doing a great job!
- Sarcastic self says to me: Great idea, I’ll take it from here
- Me: Thanks for wiping down those tables. It make such a nice impression on people and shows that we care.
- Sarcastic self: You’re really good at that, ever consider a career as a bus boy?
- Sarcasm – We really want to say something nice, but our pride talks us out of it. Somehow we think that building others up will lower our worth in their eyes. Our desire to “build others up” gets polluted by our “tear others down so we look smarter” strategy. So Pride sends Sarcasm to the front line and allows us to safely give a compliment (sort of) and at the same time protect our “I’m better than you” falsely inflated ego that we can’t seem to live without.
- The Backhanded Compliment. Another detour from a real heartfelt compliment is the “backhanded compliment.” It’s a loophole in the “if you can’t say anything nice” strategy. It goes something like this; If you must say something rude at least disguise it as a compliment. Here are a few examples; “You really sound good when you just sing” “You look so pretty today, I almost didn’t recognize you.” “You clean up nice.” “You know, you’re pretty smart for a liberal arts major.”
I’ll say upfront that I’m much better than I used to be. There was a time when I felt guilty when taking a vacation. If I sat down to read a fiction novel I would get a pain in my gut because I wasn’t using my time to study. It was difficult for me to enjoy my time with my kids, though I loved them very much. During this time I poured myself into my job and wrongfully looked for approval from the church I served only to be disappointed over and over again.
I hid my disappointments from my wife and glued a fake smile on my face for my kids. This robbed Mel of the calling God had given her – supporting a husband in ministry. Being robbed of the opportunity to fulfill one of her callings was discouraging to her and made our marriage strain. My kids, I’m sure saw me more as worship pastor than as dad, and that is a mistake I can never undo.
My upside-down paradigm of leadership (work harder, longer – neglect family and self) also lead to professional frustration. I’m sure that most of my failings came not from lack of work, but rather from a lack of balance. It is not possible to be successful in ministry following a set of rules that are out of balance with God’s grace.
No one on their death bed ever says “I wish I would have made more money.” or “I wish I would have spent more hours at work and less with family.” On the contrary, more regret spending so little time with family or regret the selfishness of their lives. Ty Cobb, who achieved wealth and fame said this at the end of his life; “I wish I had more friends.” only 3 baseball players attended his funeral in 1961.
God has, more than once, brought it to my attention that, most of the time, I’m not the father, husband or Christ follower that I should be. Jesus died so that my life would be more than this. Why have I allowed status quo? Why have I bought into the “do more/try harder” nomenclature?
Father, help me stand secure in your grace. It is enough. My pride and insecurity lead me down a path of guilt. I feel guilty when I don’t produce the result I think I should, but you have simply called me to be faithful. I trust you for results that fit your plans. I will be faithful. I become defensive when I look to satisfy my insecurity with achievement or adulation from others. Help me to find all the security I need at the foot of your cross. It is enough. Help me to be humble enough to forgive others and courageous enough to seek forgiveness.
What does it mean to you do “Live Like You Were Dying?” In what ways do you want to see more of Jesus in the way you live? Please leave comments below.
Thank you for allowing me, this past Sunday to share with you about worship. I’ve heard it said about me that my passion is worship. Let me amend this assumption, by saying that my true passion is WHO I worship – Jesus.
As I mentioned Sunday, our worship starts with Jesus. As we reach out with our worship – we find the One who first reached out to us – Jesus. To Jesus who poured out his blood, we pour out our worship! As God the Father raised Him from the dead, we raise our voices full of His praise!
We also can experience true freedom in worship. The Bible instructs us to worship in various ways.
1 Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
2 Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully,and shout for joy.
We should SING JOYFULLY. We should SHOUT for JOY!
We should PLAY SKILLFULLY on instruments such as a harp or ten-stringed lyre. (both very popular instruments in their day. We should sing A NEW SONG!
It’s no mystery that the most important worship verse Romans 12:1 is immediately followed in verse 2 by a verse that speaks of transformation.
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters,* I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.*2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
This is our TRUE worship! also put – This is your spiritual act of worship (NIV) or This is your reasonable service (NKJV) – regardless of your translation of choice, I was to do what is TRUE and what is SPIRITUAL and what is REASONABLE.
God, in Christ, changes us as we worship Him. Simply being in His presence is surely transformational. He will transform us if we let Him and change the way we think. For this to happen, we must make sure our worship is Romans 12:1 worship. TRUE-SPIRITUAL-REASONABLE-worship. This is us dying to self and turning it ALL over to Him, our body, our finances, our attitudes. Let Him use us as he sees fit. This takes humility-selflessness-sacrifice.
One could make the assumption that if He isn’t changing us, then perhaps there is still something we have laid claim to in our lives, something we have not yet given up.
The hardest thing for me to do, in this flesh, is to say these three words – “I am wrong.” But, in order for God to change the way I think, I have to turn over my thinking to Him.
8For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
I have to confess this verse often. It’s important. Not just when we don’t know the answers, in fact, it may be even more important to confess this verse when we are absolutely 100 percent sure that we have the answers. No matter how right we think we are – “His ways are not our ways.”
Father, change my mind and my heart and my will. Transform me until the only thing others see is Jesus reflected in me. Take all that I have, it’s Yours. In fact, take my whole body, here it is, it’s Yours. You gave it to me anyway and it’s purpose should be to honor You. My mouth, that’s a part of my body isn’t it? Let it always honor You and speak boldly the name of Jesus. My fingers, they are part of this body, let the write what is True-Spiritual-Reasonable. My feet, also a part of the body. Let them go places that You would go, but I am too often afraid to go. My eyes are Yours too. Help me to see others they way Jesus sees. My life, my whole self is Yours.
I didn’t mean for this post to be so lengthy. I’d love to read your comments. Are you discovering these same truths as you become more and more humble with your worship? Do you find God changing your mind? Have you ever had a thought that you just knew was right, only to find out that His thoughts are not your thoughts? Please post your comments below.
So many shows on television right now are built around the story of the main character/characters having some kind of super power. Chuck has downloaded a super spy database into his brain and can call upon special kung fu abilities he never learned, only downloaded. The Powell family gained their special powers from a plane crash, when a power giving serum was released into the air they breathed it in. Not long ago we were presented a show with the title Heroes.
Asa kid and even still, I love a good hero story. This summer we’ll see released at the box office, Thor, X-Men; First Class, Transformers; the Dark Side of the Moon, Green Lantern, Captain America, Kung Fu Panda 2, Cowboys and Aliens, Conan the Barbarian, the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie titled On Stranger Tides, and of course Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2.
So maybe I’m not the only one who loves a good story about a hero with extra special, supernatural abilities. But wouldn’t the worst story be one about a hero with super abilities that refused to use them. He/she was embarrassed and afraid people wouldn’t like them anymore or would talk bad about them. Perhaps they are proud and want to prove that they can do it all by themselves without their special powers. This is starting to sound familiar.
Don’t you and I live out this story everyday? When we try to do things on our own, when our heavenly Father is listening, waiting for us to call upon his name.
Romans 8:11 “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you! And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.“
There is power in the name of Jesus! There is healing in the name of Jesus! There is hope and life and deliverance in the name of Jesus! There is freedom, blessing, shelter, and peace in the name of Jesus!
Don’t forget it, don’t doubt it, don’t deny it, don’t suppress it.
Never be ashamed or embarrassed by His dwelling IN you.
Reject the notion that you have something to prove when you try and do it all by yourself. This is a foolish lie of our enemy, for he knows that where Jesus is at work (in YOU daily) that there Jesus will also be glorified. Our enemy is not interested in Jesus glory. When we do it all by ourselves, even when we succeed aren’t we glorifying ourselves? What’s the point of that?
Let’s glorify the One and only true Hero, the Savior, the Son of God, Christ Jesus, by letting Him live His life out through us. Let us embrace His indwelling Spirit that He might do all that He wills with our lives. Let’s put an end to this daydream of making ourselves the potter and get down to the business of being the clay.
(Is it just me or did that get too preachy?)
What do you think of this? Are you a hero fan too? Is Christ your ultimate Hero, worthy of the glory He earned by saving your life at the cross? Does He save you from something silly or serious everyday?