Tuesday, December 30, 2014

In Spirit and Truth

John 4:23-24 (NLT) But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
As we are facing another new year by the grace of God, let’s be found worshiping in spirit and in truth. That pure and honest worship that pours forth from a devoted heart is what God desires. In that holy place where all flesh burns away, we can commune with God in the presence of Jesus Christ (THE Truth). We must be the worshipers that the Father seeks.
Worship is more than a church service or a song. Worship is living your life every day to the glory of God, following the example of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Worship is a life of service to the Father and to one another in love. Worship is a life of willful obedience to God’s Word. Worship is living in awe of the Most High by breathing His very presence into the depths of our souls.
Worship is not being inaccessible to our neighbors. Worship is not harboring unforgiveness in our hearts. Worship is not holding people to different standards based on our prejudices and stereotypes. Worship is not placing more value on church membership than the love of Christ.
Worship is loving God with all that we are, and allowing Him to love others through us.
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Ambassadors for Christ

While you are about the hectic business of shopping, baking, cooking, cleaning, wrapping, and planning your perfect Christmas day celebrations, don’t fail to reflect on the original Christmas day. There was a child born in the City of David, whose name was Jesus, who came to save his people from their sins. Although the Savior is the most precious gift we could ever receive, there are people who are nothing but depressed at this time of year.

If you have the opportunity to spread some Christmas cheer to your neighbors, please do. Sometimes all people need is a smile and a kind word. Make a special effort to be patient and friendly in the department stores or grocery stores this week. As you remember that Jesus gave up His heavenly throne to give us hope, extend that grace to someone else today. With the commercialization, financial constraints, and excessive travel of the Christmas holiday, the levels of frustration and weariness can be very high. 

We often worry about getting all the presents, getting them wrapped, and if the people who receive them will like them. Jesus was born in a stable – a nasty, smelly shelter for animals. His first bed was a feeding trough. He was born, not into a royal family, but into a carpenter’s. Take some time this holiday season to imagine the emotions of Mary and Joseph as they had to deliver their child away from home. Put yourself in the sandals of the wise men, who followed a star to the bedside of the Messiah.

Recognize this year that Christmas is not about us. Christmas is about God becoming man and dwelling with us. The best gift that anyone can receive this season is Jesus Christ. We need to make sure that everything we say and do reflects the light of Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:20 (NASB) Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.