Monday, August 26, 2013

Unacceptable Worship

If your car starts once every three tries, is it reliable? If the postman skipped delivery every Monday and Thursday, is he trustworthy? If you don’t go to work once or twice a month, are you a reliable employee? If your fridge stops working for a day or two every now and then, do you say, “Oh well, it work most of the time.”? If your water heater provides an icy cold shower every now and then, is it dependable? If you skipped a couple of electricity bill payments do you think Western Power would mind? If you fail to worship God as He desires, would you expect to be called a faithful Christian?

We expect loyalty and reliability from things and other people; isn't it reasonable then that God just might expect the same from us?
God is passionate for us to have passion for Him.   Jesus as He spoke to the woman at the well in John 4:23-24 said, “But an hour is coming and now is when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  

Do we offer God worship that is acceptable and pleasing or unacceptable worship?  Worship of false gods, worship of God that is created to suit our desires, worship of God that is self-styled or worship of God that is done with a wrong attitude of the heart are all forms of UNACCEPTABLE WORSHIP.  Why then do we continue to worship in this way?  Is this Biblical worship?4

No matter how pure our motivation, how sincere we are in our attempt, God cannot and will not bless unacceptable worship.  Instead we receive the same indictment the Israelite received from God in Isaiah 1, 
“What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?  I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle; and I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs, or goats.  When you come to appear before Me, who requires of you this trampling of My courts?  Bring your worthless offerings no longer, incense is an abomination to Me.  New moon and Sabbath  the calling of assemblies – I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.  I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feast, they have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them.  So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen.”
 True worship is based in redemption; God’s redemption of you.  True Worship is not about you, it is about God.  You have been created to worship Him, redeemed to worship Him, called to worship Him… will you surrender yourself to worship Him?

For the full message shared on 08-25-13 at First Church of God, Racine, WI; go to:
Lifestyle Worship Part 2

Monday, August 19, 2013

What is Biblical Worship and are we doing it?

Over this past week I had the privilege of leading a conference on worship up at the Family Retreat.  As I prepared I received a stronger and stronger prompting to bring this subject to the attention of our congregational body. 

I’m not sure of the history here in this church, but a decade or two ago there were the worship wars.  The worship wars focused mainly on the various styles of music that dominate the service,  Some churches proudly stated that they held to a traditional view of worship which meant they sang only hymns.  Other churches boasted of their contemporary worship meaning they sang praise choruses.  Others (like our church) have settled in the middle blending hymns and choruses.

Worship is not based on what or how we sing.  It actually has little to do with us; worship is to be focused on the object being worshiped.  However, when our worship gets skewed, we must ask, is it because we have diverted from the worship of the One who deserves our worship.

As I prepared, I kept being drawn back to something Jesus said to the woman at the well, in John 4, beginning in vs. 21: “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

I bring this topic before you because I believe many churches and many believers have lost the true meaning of worship.  “The true calling of a Christian is to live in the ordinary but realize that through lifestyle worship life becomes extraordinary.” ~ David Adams

Are we worshiping God biblically?  

For the full message shared on 08-18-13 at First Church of God, Racine, WI; go to:

Monday, July 1, 2013

Living by Faith

This past Sunday our youth ran the service.  They played and sang leading our corporate song service and Chad Dillard, our Youth & Children's Intern, brought the message.  They all did a great job and I am looking forward to the next opportunity to let them shine for Jesus.

 It's hard to live by faith.  We each want certainty in our lives, but faith requires us to believe in that which we are not certain of; or does it?  Faith is not placing our hope in uncertain circumstances, but in the God who controls all things.

Faith, as defined in Hebrews 11:1 is: "...the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen."

God, the unseen Creator of all things, the Sustainer of all things, the Sovereign over all things, is the One in whom we are to place our trust.

Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us to "Trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."

He will direct your path... Sounds like our faith needs to be acted upon.  In fact, James tells us just that; "Faith without works is dead." (2:17).  The Israelite saw the truth when they chose not to act on their faith in God, but rather refused to enter into the land of Canaan.  God then sent them on a walk in the wilderness for forty years.

God wants you and I to walk with Him; if we don't He may send us walking.  Are you willing to live by faith and walk with Him?

For the full message shared on 06-30-13 at First Church of God, Racine, WI; go to:
(Coming Soon)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Global Gathering

A few weeks ago I had the privilege to attend the Church of God Global Gathering in Anderson, IN.  I took my family with the intent to have a brief vacation, since our last vacation was a whirlwind of activity surrounding my daughter's wedding; but to my surprise we were constantly going from one activity to the next.

Now, don't get me wrong.  The experience was fantastic, but exhausting.  I needed to come home, just to get some rest.

Global Gathering consisted of 63+ countries being represented, and speakers from a variety of backgrounds presenting messages focusing on the church "Standing Together".

Basically it was a call to unity.  Below I have provided links to the archived videos.

Archived Messages

Monday, June 10, 2013

Unity of the Body: Walking Worthy of the Call

Therefore as a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit— just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

For the full message shared on 06-09-13 at First Church of God, Racine, WI; go to:
Walk Worthy of the Call

Monday, June 3, 2013

Choose to Serve the Lord

I wish to thank my good friend Osmar Aguilar for filling in for me while I was away attending my daughter's wedding.

Osmar is the Executive Director of YFC (Youth for Christ) in SE Wisconsin.  I have had the opportunity to experience his passion for seeing Christ glorified in the ministry of reaching teens for Christ.  As he came to FCOG-Racine, he challenged us to "Choose to Serve the Lord."

For the full message shared on 06-02-13 at First Church of God, Racine, WI; go to:
Choose to Serve the Lord