"God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation…Therefore let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose."
    -- John Piper

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  • James 2:14-17

    What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?

    In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

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Focus on Worship — Are we amazed?

I came across a song titled Amazed by Jared Anderson.  The lyrics really got me to thinking again on how we enter the presence of our HOLY God.  Take a look:
You dance over me,
While I am unaware.
You sing all around,
But I never hear the sound.
Lord I’m amazed by You.
Lord I’m amazed by You.
Lord I’m amazed by You.
How You love me.
How wide
How deep
How great
Is your love for me
My perspective these days is this:  One single sin separates us from God.  The simple fact of the matter is that when God sees the sin in our lives, he sees that his law has been broken.  The payment for breaking God’s law is death….eternal death.  Yet, when we trust in the blood of Christ poured out over our hearts and God sees our sin, instead of pouring out death on us, he is SATISFIED with the SACRIFICE of his perfect, sinless Son.  The payment for sin is poured out on him instead of us.  Read that again:  The payment for sin is poured out on JESUS INSTEAD OF US!!!!!  Somehow, this doesn’t overwhelm us like it should.  It doesn’t amaze us anymore.  Why it is that knowing that ALL OF GOD’S WRATH was poured out on JESUS CHRIST AND NOT YOU AND ME doesn’t knock our legs out from under us to where we have no choice but to fall on our face before him in worship?  Why doesn’t God’s love AMAZE us anymore?  Why Doesn’t Jesus’ sacrifice AMAZE us anymore?
Seriously, folks, do you think that Jesus sweat drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane in anticipation of the cross, or the flogging, or the nails?   Not a chance.  That torment was the direct result of anticipating ALL OF GOD’S WRATH being poured out on HIM!    This was the final sacrifice.  No ‘do overs’ with another lamb next month…no priests interceding again and again.  This was the final sacrifice.  Remember Jesus’  last words?  IT IS FINISHED.  (For some background go read Leviticus 16 and then read Hebrews 9)
GRACE, LOVE, and MERCY cannot just be something we pay lip-service to.  Very simply, we have been called (in part) to worship him.   For us, it is imperative that God’s grace, love, and mercy are hidden in our hearts and evident on our faces as we stand amazed before him. 


Inconsistent and confused

I received the following email recently:

Greatest ManThe Greatest Man in History Jesus had no servants , yet they called
Him Master. Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher. Had no
medicines , yet they called Him Healer. He had no army, yet kings
feared Him . He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.
He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a
tomb, yet He lives today . I feel honored to serve such a Leader who
loves us! If you believe in God and in Jesus Christ His Son . send this
to all on your buddy list .. if not just ignore it. If you ignore it,
just remember that Jesus said … “If you deny me before man, I will
deny you before my Father in Heaven.”

It was sent by a co-worker in my building who I have been praying for and witnessing to (including invitations to church) for the last several months. From what I could tell, she sent it to everyone on her buddy list.I find myself totally confused by her sending this email out. My co-worker has repeatedly told me that she has no interest in the things of God. She is totally turned off by “religion” especially because her parents “crammed it down her throat” for so many years. She clearly has no relationship with Jesus, and while I pray that her heart is softened, it is still closed to a relationship with God. My Co-worker is known to have major financial (debt) issues. She regularly participates in activities that are outside of God’s will (excessive drinking and partying, living with her boyfriend, etc). So, why would she forward and email that says: “If you believe in God and in Jesus Christ His Son, Send this to all on your buddy list”? More importantly, what do the other non-believers think when they get an email from her that says what this one says? Especially when they all know the way she lives her life? How do we, as Christians, “compete” for lost souls when we have to deal with non-believers acting like believers on paper, but not in word or in deed?