Sincere spiritual leadership can produce only the appearance of revival, never its reality. Stirring music and passionate preaching, though good, have no power in themselves to change what is wrong in people. Only death destroys evil. Only death opens the door to resurrection, to a new way to live. Without the Holy Spirit’s work, our “exciting” religious gatherings (and the boring ones too) do little that excites the heart of God. He wants us to see beneath appearances to the problem that only the Son can solve.
Surface change is often mistaken for deep change. When the medication of exciting worship and inspiring preaching relieves the symptoms of sin, the need for the surgery of brokenness is no longer recognized.
If we “follow Jesus,” believing that instruction, discipline, and inspiration are enough to keep us on track, we will see Jesus as merely our “religious cheerleader,” and not the holy Savior we so desperately need.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel receives beer shower from hapless waiter.
Check out this video from the weekend. Sure it’s a meaningless game to most of us but in it’s 4 minutes you’ll be fascinated at the turn of events. This is the last 17 seconds of the 2nd overtime of the Cal Poly Pomona vs. Cal State Dominguez Hills game. 9 points in the last 9 seconds!
In John’s gospel, Jesus gives himself seven names.
- I am the bread of life (6:25-58).
- I am the light of the world (8:12).
- I am the door for the sheep (10:1-10).
- I am the good shepherd (10:11-18).
- I am the resurrection and the life (11:17-44).
- I am the way, the truth, and the life (14:5-14).
- I am the true vine. (15:1-17).
The many names of Jesus indicate a variety of human needs he can meet.
Do you need guidance? Go the Good Shepherd. Do you need spiritual resources to bear much fruit? Talk to the True Vine. Do you need comfort for your grieving heart? Ask the Resurrection and the Life for a shoulder to lean on.
Here’s today’s set list at FCC. This will be linked to The Worship Community.com blogwhere other worship bloggers post their setlists.
Here’s what we did:
Shout for Joy
Christ is Risen
Message: Second message in a series on the 7 Last Words of Jesus. Today: Assurance (as we looked at the Thief on the cross)
Thief by Third Day (Special Music for time of commitment)
Lead Me to the Cross (during communion)
Greater is He
Check out James 2:17-24. Here’s what I learned:
1) Faith without action is dead. PERIOD. You trust God? …then act like it. Help those in need. Obey His commands. But don’t simply rely on your church attendance or your Christian heritage.
2) Demons even know who God is. I hate it when I hear people say, “Well, I believe in God.” Yeah? So does the devil! But do you trust in God? Do you obey God?
3) A person is justified by FAITH…working outwards (i.e. obedience, compassion, love). We don’t work, serve, obey to please God. We do that out of God’s approval and love.
We should worship the Lord simply because He demands, desires, and deserves it. However, there are some fantastic “perks” to loving and knowing our heavenly Father.
- Character development: We always become what we worship. If we focus on the world or other individuals, we’ll become like them. If we focus on God, we’ll become more like Him.
- Freedom from intimidation: See Colossians 2:6-10.
- Compassion: We naturally develop compassion for the world as we learn to look through God’s eyes.
- True satisfaction (in God): Once we’ve feasted on the bread of God, nothing else is nearly as tempting. Indeed, we can do anything! See Philippians 4:10-13.