Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

  1. There are many passages in the Bible that give us God's definition oflove. The most well known verse is John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
  2. God Is Love
Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day

For God so lo V ed the world,
That he g A ve
His on L y
Begott E n
So N

T hat whosever
Believeth I n Him
Should N ot perish,
But have  E verlasting Life

God's Valentine Greeting
    John 3:16

Cognitive Dissonance 
"Temptation is the pull of man's own evil thoughts and wishes … that lead to evil actions."1
How true it is that "what the mind dwells on the body acts on!"
Consider, for example, how temptation works. A seemingly innocent thought comes to mind from anywhere of a number of directions or, at times, from seemingly nowhere. We decide (mostly unconsciously) to dwell on that thought and, as we do, it hooks our emotions; and the more we concentrate on that thought, the stronger we feel about it, and the stronger we feel about it, the more we think about it—and then we begin to visualize in our mind what we desire and want to do. And then, unless we make a conscious choice to stop thinking about it, we are just as likely to give in to and act out the temptation.
The battle is won or lost in the mind before we ever act out the temptation.

The battle is won or lost in the mind before we ever act out the temptation.

One of many dangers in consistently giving in to temptation is that, as another has pointed out, "If we don't live the life we believe, we will end up unhappily believing the life we live."

We do this because as long as we don't live consistently with what we believe, our mind experiences what is called "cognitive dissonance"; that is, mental disharmony. Because we can't tolerate this mental conflict, we change our beliefs to match our behavior and then rationalize and justify what we do—an extremely dangerous path to follow. The end result is what the Bible calls having a dead conscience which ultimately leads to death—spiritual death.2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the desire and good sense to live in harmony with your Word, the Bible, and never rationalize or justify anything that is contrary to your Word and your will. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. James 1:14-15 (TLB).
2. See James 1:15.


 NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon Click HERE.:

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Happy Valentine's Day!

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Music, Music, Music!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Music, Music, Music!

"Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord."1

One of the biggest areas of conflict in today's church is music. Older generation Christians tend to like the "good old hymns" while the younger generation lean more toward what Joy and I like to call "happy clappy" gospel songs. So whose music is the best for worship?

Allow me to answer in a roundabout way. A few years ago I had the opportunity to preach in the Sunday morning services at an Anglican (Episcopal) church in Perth, Western Australia. It was in the middle of winter and I was so cold that a doctor's wife loaned me her overcoat. So here I am sitting on the front pew dressed in a woman's overcoat waiting for the service to commence. The moment the congregation began to sing it hit me like a thunderbolt. "Wow," I said to myself, "surely the presence of the Lord is in this place!"

When I got up to preach, never in my life had I experienced such incredible liberty with such an overwhelming sense of God's presence.

Very interesting, too, that in that service was a professor from the University of Western Australia. This lady had recently emigrated from China where she grew up under Mao with the teaching that said there is no God. This was only the second time in her life she had ever been in a church. She told friends who were with me that when I was preaching, she saw me encircled by an aura of rainbow colored light. She also said she now knew that there was a God because she felt His presence so strongly in that service.

So what does this have to do with church music? Everything. It's not the form of music that matters but the attitude of the heart of those who are singing. When preaching, I can pretty much tell on the first line of the first song whether or not it will be easy or hard to preach in that service because one can easily sense whether God is in the music/singing or not. If God is not in the music/singing, you can be certain His Spirit is not in the rest of the service.

So the question is, is the music from the heart as Paul stated in today's Scripture? If not, it isn't worship—no matter how talented the singers may be. To put it another way, is our music a sweet smelling savor to God as an act of genuine worship, or is it nothing more than an obnoxious effluvium as were some of the sacrifices in the Old Testament era where the sacrifices were merely ritualistic and not from the heart?

Furthermore, sometimes I ask myself the question, "In today's church are we taking the church to Las Vegas or are we taking Las Vegas to the church?"

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me at all times to sing and make melody in my heart to You … whether alone at home or in a church worship service. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Ephesians 5:19 (NIV).

<:))))>< NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon Click HERE. Or if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, please click HERE

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