Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Don't All Religions Lead to the Same God?

This is a commonly held assumption.  On the surface, it seems to make a great deal of sense. Not all peoples and cultures have had the same exposure or opportunity.  Therefore, as long as they are making their best attempt at knowing and pleasing God, shouldn't that be acceptable?

For starters, we can all agree that not all roads lead to the same destination.  For example, Community Bible Church is located on State Route 18 / Tallmadge Road, in Rootstown township, in the State of Ohio.  As an individual travelling you could be on US Route 30, which extends all the way from Atlantic City in New Jersey, to Astoria, Oregon on the west coast. Though you could travel all the way across the United States, US Route 30 will not get you to Rootstown, Ohio.  If all roads led to the same place, there wouldn't be a need for maps, directions or GPS devices, like we have.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Genuine Worship

Summary / Wrap Up
Let’s end with the way we began.  Genuine worship involves:


W      Worthy Walk                                                
O        Offering                                                         Romans 12:1-2
R        Reconciliation                                              2 Cor 5: 18-21
S        Servant / Service                                          Col 3:12-24
H        Heart                                                              Eph 4:25-5:2
I          Integrity                                                          Psalm 15
P        Practicing Prayer                                         Col 4:2-6

So what can you expect from practicing Genuine Worship of Jesus?  Like the parables that Jesus told, allow yourself to be drawn in and then be amazed at the outcome.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Genuine Worship


P        Practicing Prayer                                         Col 4:2-6
It should come as no surprise that an aspect of Genuine Worship is Prayer.  Prayer is a means by which we declare our dependence on God by taking the time to speak to Him and also to listen to what He places on our heart that is important to Him.  And one of those important areas is described in Colossians 4:

“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.  Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains.   Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.  Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”

Some translations say our conversations should be “seasoned as it were with salt.”  You know what just the right amount of salt can do to the flavor of food.  Too little salt is not appetizing.   Too much salt is overwhelming.  Think of the right amount on popcorn and how it's hard to put the bowl down until it's all gone.  The same applies when we speak with others about Jesus.  Ron Hutchcraft recommends praying the 3-Open prayer from this passage in Colossians:
·         Lord open their heart to hear your Good News,
·         Lord open a door for me to share this news.
·         Lord open my mouth to be bold to take the opportunities you create.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Genuine Worship


Integrity                                                          Psalm 15
As we near the end of the consideration of Genuine Worship, Integrity is the next facet we need to consider.  We could simply define a life of integrity as one where what we say we believe is evidenced by the way we live, or simply our walk matches our talk.  In Psalm 15, it’s described this way:

“O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill?  He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;  In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, But who honors those who fear the Lord; He swears to his own hurt and does not change; He does not put out his money at interest, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.”

Integrity as an aspect of Genuine worship is a 24/7 commitment, because we spend more time and have greater opportunities to declare the worth of Jesus outside the church gathering.