Are We Worshiping?

There are so many things vying for our attention these days. There is the cry of the baby, the phone call during dinner, the invitation to a gathering, the advertisement around every corner, trying to sow the seed of want. Advertising is a huge business that works to turn your wants into needs and attempts to make you a promise that it can’t fulfill. If you buy this, you will feel/look/become that. If you dedicate your attention to this “thing”, you will get what you “need”. Jesus was offered this same promise in the desert:

Then the Devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. The Devil told him, “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them—because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will bow down and worship me.” 

Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God; serve only him.’” Luke 4:5-8, NLT

Satan wanted that dedication of attention. He wanted that worship. He wanted that which is to be for God, and God alone.

This implies that worship can be directed to something other than God. As we are called to obedience, there is a choice that has to be made. And it is ongoing.

Are we worshipping? Of course we are! That’s what we were made for. So, the real question is “What are we worshiping?”

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Adopt or Adapt?

It’s amazing how one letter can change the meaning of things. It’s easy to mix up words like affect and effect, alter and altar, compliment and complement, desert and dessert. But we probably don’t have trouble keeping straight adopt and adapt. Or do we?

Have you been adopted into God’s family? Or are you just trying to adapt to the church environment around you?

God went to great lengths to make available to us salvation. It cost him a great deal. But with Christ’s sacrifice and the Holy Spirit’s indwelling upon our acceptance of this free and priceless gift, God sealed the deal.

God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. Galatians 4:5 NLT

As adopted children, we’ve been given the important command of loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, strength and loving our neighbors as ourselves. And Christ called us to go and make disciples of all nations.

Of course, the Apostle Paul made it a point to find common ground with everyone. But why? To fit in? To be popular? No. He did it so that he could save some. (read 1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

Now even within the family of God, there is a need to adapt. There are times when someone is in need. There are times when we mourn and rejoice along with our brothers and sisters. There are times when we disappoint each other. But again, Paul calls us to something else.

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Romans 12:18 NLT

As we serve alongside each other, let us be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry (James 1:19). We will do well to humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts (adapt), for it has the power to save your souls (adopt). Then we may become adept at living for Christ.

Looking Forward?

If you’re like me, there’s probably something you’re looking forward to. Maybe it’s the premiere of a long-awaited sequel to your favorite movie franchise. How about a family reunion where “everyone” will be there. Or it could be an appointment where the doctor says the tests are “clear”.

We’re looking forward to a family vacation. We’ve made many plans, bought the tickets, kept (and finally revealed) great secrets, packed the bags. Our departure is soon. So soon, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else. It’s been a little consuming and I’ve become a little anxious about it. Of course there are great expectations. And hopes that there are no disappointments.

Memories will be made. There’s no doubt about that. Even if there be problems or trials. Romans 5 reminds us that even though those problem and trials WILL happen. But they lead us to something else, then something else, and finally…

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:3-5 NLT

God is fashioning us, molding us (if we let Him) to be more and more like His glorious Son. And that certainly will NEVER disappoint and is the greatest thing we could EVER look forward to.