Monday, August 29, 2005

Old Has Gone, New Has Come

This is a great picture of our three girls all ready for their first day of school today! So here we are to say, "Goodbye, Summer and Hello, Fall!" The old has gone and the new has come! It's been a blessed summer for us all as family together. I totally believe God intended this summer to be a family summer. Normally, I would be on travel to the National Workshop and on a mission to Romania. But this year, God seem to close both doors and say, "You need to focus on your family, Mark." And He is right, as always! We're so blessed to spend the whole summer together in the Williamsburg, Outer Banks (OBX - North Carolina) and in the Virginia area.

Now, summer is gone, it has aged, and it is in the past. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 (niv)

You will also notice a "For Sale" sign behind the girls on our lawn. Lord willing, this house will be old and we will enter a new home soon. We're very excited about it. If it is still the Lord's will, we will reside near the historic town of Leesburg and closer to the Shennadoah Mountains! Leesburg appears to be the "central" point of all points: you can travel north on 15 toward Frederick (MD) where there's a deaf church on Market Street, you can drive east toward D.C./Maryland on Route 7 and other highways or you can drive south toward Fairfax, Manassas, Centreville, Warrenton where there are deaf populants in the area. Change is always exciting. It's a lot of work to do a change but we can make the hard work exciting! This is very similar to our walk with God. God desires us to always be on the "changing mode" for the better, not for the worse (evil). The Holy Spirit does His work in the very core of our lives and molds us into the likeness of His Son, Jesus!

"..who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." Philippians 3:21 (niv)

We must always be on the "changing mode" for eternity! God isn't finished with us until life ends or His Son, Jesus, comes to bring us home. We know that will happen someday, soon I hope. But there are so many people in the world without Christ. They don't know who Jesus is. Jesus isn't interested in the "I know "of" Him." He wants us to "know" Him as a friend (relational intimacy)! Jesus wants us to "grow" all the more to love Him! Jesus has already shown His love for you: DEATH ON THE CROSS! That's their expression of LOVE!

So, everyday, we need to keep our life on the "changing mode". When we get up in the morning, it's a new day. Whatever happened yesterday or last night is old. Say a prayer of confession to God,

"Lord, we admire You and Your presence among us. Please forgive the wrong I have done against You! Help me live through this day as a "change person" ready to reflect Your love among those around me. You're an inspiration to me and I know You're still working in me to change me (talk, walk and thought). In Jesus' Name, Amen!"

Remember, you're not you, you're Jesus. Jesus lives in you (Gal. 2:20)! Make room for Christ in your heart and let Him be the guide in how you live your life among others and before God!

Friday, August 26, 2005

What Have You Done With My Son, Jesus?

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (niv)

They must comfort or encourage themselves and one another. And we may see, as those are most able and likely to comfort others who can comfort themselves, so the way to have comfort ourselves, or to give comfort to others, is in agreement with the exhortation of the word (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Note, we should not only be careful about our own comfort and welfare, but to promote the comfort and welfare of others also. He was a Cain that said, "Am I my brother's keeper?" We must bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ ("Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ"Galatians 6:2 (niv)

They must edify one another, by following after those things whereby one may edify another, "Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." Romans 14:19 (niv). It is Christ's law that we edify His church (others and self). As Christians are lively stones built up together a spiritual house, each of us ought to be on his/her journey to promote the good of the whole church by promoting the work of grace in one another. So how are you doing? Is sitting at home and "assuming that growing in Christ" is working? I don't think so. And that's not what the Lord has in mind. Those "disconnected from" or has "severed ties" with His church has violated Christ's law, not being present to "bear one another's burdens"! Per James 2:14-17 (niv), James pointed out that there will be people wishing others the best without helping them, "'Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed.' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?"

And it is the duty of every one of us to study that which is for the edification of those with whom we converse, to meet all people for their real needs, especially babes in Christ!. We should communicate our knowledge and experiences one to another. We should join in prayer and praise one with another. We should set a good example one before another. And it is the duty of those especially who live in the same area and family thus to comfort and edify one another. You have the greatest opportunity, as so are under the greatest obligation, to do this kindness one to another.

This is what the church in Thessalonica did (which also you do), imitate their example, do what they have done, love the love they loved, and this is what they are exhorted to continue and increase in doing. Note: those who do that which is good have need of further exhortations to excite them to do good, to do more good, as well as continue in doing what they do.

Otherwise, at the end of time (your death or Christ's coming), God will ask you one simple question, so simple that you may have a hard time answering because you may not be living the life of obedience to His commands:


Monday, August 22, 2005

Whirlwind Weekend

Man! What a weekend! I don't know how all this had happened. Even though, I was a bit behind with my studies for yesterday's lessons, God managed to help me through it all. It was a tough Friday helping the Flavin family move from one house to another. They have alot of heavy stuff, especially the dining room set which was extremely heavy. We just never thought we would accomplish all this heavy stuff. But with God's power and might, He prevailed!

Saturday was a busy day, too! Talking with one of our sis-in-Christ on VP (which is called a videophone that the deaf people uses to see each other as a phone call!). It's a neat way to be in touch with someone and literally seeing them. We talked a good hour or so about various issues that needs to be addressed. I pray as she walks through the "valley of the shadow of death", she will fear no evil for she ought to know His rod and staff will always be with her! (Ps. 23) Then I went to the store to get more groceries to feed our hungry children! In the meantime, I bought my wife a venti Chai, 6 pumps! Then we had to get our home cleaned, again and again, before a couple of people come and look around.

The men zoomed into the beautiful Shennadoah mountains to prepare for whitewater rafting. It was a fabulous day and we really enjoyed the time together as brothers! We were in awe of God's creation gazing at the tall trees on the mountains (it's actually a foothill). The water wasn't that rough due to lack of rain this month but it was extremely nice. Overall, it was a fun time together as men of God. So I didn't get home til 9ish and was already hitting the Bible getting ready for the anticipated Sunday services.

Sunday, time to get up and go to church. Not one bit was I tired but I was pumped up and ready to glorify God! Yesterday, we had a handful of visitors attending the deaf worship service. God bless them for being with us and wanted to assure them that God loves them! One interesting verse, in relation to my lesson on, "High/Low Maintenance" that I showed to all those in attendance is (in several translations) Proverbs 18:9. I have given a lot of thought about this blog (prayer and bible reading):

"A lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things." (NLT)

"Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys." (ESV)

"One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys." (NIV)

Regardless of all the pressures and plans we endured through the week, weekend, God expects everyone to be present to worship Him and be ready to serve. Sunday is a awesomely important time to come together and give Him the glory. Not only Sunday is a time we make ourselves available to serve Him among others (move, visitations, fellowship, preparations for Sunday and more...). God is and will always be disappointed with those whom He called have become a "slacker".

He warns us in His Word that such "slackers" are people who destroys not only themselves but His church. Their influence is a grave spiritual danger to other brothers and sisters in Christ. They are providing stumbling blocks to both, the weak and the strong, but more on the weak. They are hindering their friends and childrens' desire to know and serve God. They are hurting our chances of reaching out to others because they will know who attends church but do not set a good example to them (visitors) then questioned why they should go to church if it doesn't make a "difference"! Ouch! I have seen people tell me this after they have seen and learned whom some of you are (within the church) and your example isn't Christ-like! Therefore, slackers are people who tremendously HINDERS THE GROWTH OF HIS CHURCH!

Regardless of just about any kind of pressures you had struggled with, God expects your presence. If you've had a whirlwind weekend like mine, worship is a way of life and we're called to put ourselves in His presence!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

An Excuse That Won't Work On Jesus!

"As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." Luke 9:57-62 (niv)

What does this Scripture tells us that is divinely important!?

C O M M I T M E N T !

A man with a dying father said that he would follow Jesus wherever He goes. Then Jesus explained that He's always on travel and does not stay in one place. Then the man "changed his mind" giving Jesus an excuse that he couldn't follow because his father was dying. This doesn't mean Jesus doesn't care about his father, he cares if something will lead a man from seeing Jesus as the Lord! Jesus Himself attended funerals. Another man wanted to follow Jesus but he must remain with his family a little more longer before he makes a decision when he will follow. Would Jesus wait for them? The FIELD IS RIPE FOR HARVEST and time is critical here!

Curious, do you picture yourselves like these two men? Are you so tied up with activities or mixed priorities that keeps you away from the place of assembly? Have you not only set a bad example to yourselves, but to your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and friends in the world?

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25 (niv)

Come to think of this interesting thought. Suppose Jesus appeared on the Sunday morning we're at church to worship God but another "Christian or two" are either doing nothing but sitting at home or busy with your children's activities on Sunday or teeing off with your friends (you are teaching your kids and friends that worship on Sunday is a choice!), or hundreds of other excuses, how would you feel? How can you explain your actions? You have given up meeting with other Christians in worship. Where's the habit? Where's the encouragement? Here are a couple of thought I received from the "uncommitted":

1. Too busy or tired with work or school
2. Rather do some work around the house
3. Rather go shopping
4. Christ is important, not the church
5. Rather sleep in; I overslept; I forgot to turn on my alarm
6. Weekly attendance is not important
7. Jesus doesn't expect me to attend
8. Guest visiting for the weekend
9. Hard to form a habit of assembling
10. Regular attendance causes family tension; my kids drives us up the wall!
11. Those in attendance are not my kind of people; don't get along with anyone
12. No one cares about me; no one is interested in me
13. I must work on Sunday
14. Too far to drive; gas price is high so can't waste it on my trip to church (save for other important trips)

"They follow the Lamb wherever he goes." Revelation 14:4 (niv)

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 (niv)

Do you have Jesus' sandals? If so, you're allowing Jesus to lead your life what He wants to do. Or does Jesus have to put his feet in your shoes and tell you which way is the way to go? It will be very uncomfortable. Christians will see one who is either 'committed' or 'uncommitted'. No matter how many times a fellow and faithful brother or sister try helping and encouraging other weak Christian, God knows what lies in the heart of such person. As James say, we must have working faith! Christians must not reject the words of Christ for the Word of God is the judge on those who misbehave and walk a faithless life. (John 12:48) Christians must surrender their all. A committed life to Christ does not come by accident. It is a life that is purposefully lived. We must realize that we must surrender our wills to the will of God. Look at this awesome verse Paul wrote to selfish Christians in Galatia!!

"Our sinful selves want what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit wants what is against our sinful selves. The two are against each other, so you cannot do just what you please." Galatians 5:17 (ncv)

You cannot do what your friends please. You cannot do what your boss please. You cannot do what your kids please. You cannot do what you please. Otherwise, any excuses you make will NOT work on Jesus! Believe me, He knows! Now, that's up to you!

Before I close, I want to assure you that no one is, in no way, perfect in this world. Only God and His Son, Jesus is perfect! It is only Christ that perfects us if we allow Him. I can be such an idiot or an ignorant person at times but thank God for our weaknesses! They help us become increasingly stronger day by day!

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Alpha and Omega!

Michelle and I just returned tonight after eating out at P.F. Chang (Chinese Bistro) then hurried from Fairfax to Sterling for the open-captioned movie, War Of The Worlds starring Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning. Man! It was an awesome movie!!! You know I love the old Orsen Wells movie, "War Of The Worlds". I don't know how many times I have seen it but it seems like a gazillion times that I clearly remember each scenes. Watching the newer version of "Worlds" gave me a firm prediction what will happen next. It is closely similar to the older version of "Worlds"..

As the movie began, they were showing things that cannot be seen with a naked eye. You'll have to use a microscope to be able to detect things like "parasites, DNA's, molecules, and whatever those scientist call those micros!". At first, I thought we were in the wrong movie section. "War of the Worlds" are in section 19 and it is open captioned. The scene went from micro to macro and it was "a drop of water" on a leaf. Then the title came, "WAR OF THE WORLDS". I was like, "Ok..." Let the movie begin!

Again, an awesome movie. The special effects. The suspense. The graphics. The scenery. Everything in the movie was heart-pounding!!! Mankind on earth were immaculately powerless against the Martians! No weapon can destroy them. No missiles. Not even a laser. Blackhawks flew against it but couldn't prevail against it. Howitzers rolled with some of the most powerful ammo known to man couldn't conquer them. The army, navy, air force, marines were annihilated! The aliens continue to snatch people and destroyed them. Mankind were on the brink of total annihilation; in other words, mankind would be wiped out from the world! But the aliens were dying inside their protective shield. After taking in air, people (blood), and whatever is nature, the aliens were dying. They became powerless! People were wondering why and how the aliens died. It wasn't the weapons of the world! They were all, like me, very puzzled. Until the end, the narrator talked about something that blew me away!

The scene came in showing NY in ashes but on a tree, a green bud was budding. Life begins again. As the cam drew near the fresh green bud, the narrator explained that the aliens died because of what God had created. Nature destroyed them: air, blood, water. Whatever God had created destroyed whatever was evil! It only took whatever is micro to annihilate evil! In other words, the aliens were infected with the good God provided! Evil was wiped out!

This movie reminds me of our Lord Jesus! It only takes a pure blood to wipe away the evil in us. Sin, has or still is, alienated in our lives and we're without peace! But God sent Jesus into the world to condemn sin in us and to give us the peace we're looking for and have. He became sin for us so that we be made right with God:

"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21 (nas)

I believe Orsen Wells created this movie out of his understanding of God's powerful potential! Only God possesses the weapon against evil (Ephesians 6:10-17).

Bow down before the One that is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega!

13 years and still on our journey!

Happy anniversary, wifey!! It's really amazing that we've been married 13 years, TODAY! We don't have time to be "fed up" with each other. Our love hasn't corroded, instead continues to shine so brightly that you'll need your Oakleys! Our marriage isn't build on the foundation of sand but on the foundation of our mighty Lord Jesus Christ and His Father in Heaven! The kind of marriage that is powered by the Spirit which is eternal!

There are people who get married will agree and say, "Let's hope we're right for each other". "We'll see how it is as time goes. If it doesn't work, we'll agree to call it quits!" Do you hear/see such comments from your friends or your love ones in the family? This kind of marriage is built on sand. It is not firm. It doesn't prevail against hardships. Whatever or whenever the strong winds of negatives come their way, they're easily blown away. Instead, we ought to say, "We were made for each other. God brought us together for a purpose. Our marriage has been witnessed by our Great Father in Heaven." The right foundation every marriage should be is on the rock whom is Christ Jesus!

Anniversaries are a wonderful reminder of the beginning of our journey. A Christian journey. A marital journey. A Gold's (gym) journey (a healthy lifestyle). It would be an excellent idea to keep several "anniversary dates" noted, especially the beginning of your spiritual journey with God! You will be able to reflect back the years you've endured through and through!

Any kind of journey lives and dies. Marriage dies (it's what Satan wants, not God). A friendship journey dies. A healthy journey dies. A journey with God dies. But I want to point out that a journey with God is the most critical part we must examine. It's a matter of life and death, eternity with God or eternity with Satan, heaven or hell.

"For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." Romans 8:13-14 (niv)

Paul wrote to the church (Christians) in Rome warning them with extreme caution that if they "live" according to the nature of sin (living in sin), they will be cut off from the lifeline of God! The love between such person and God has been severed! The love has died. The person has returned to "square one" by becoming, again, a sinful person. God has not regarded such person as one of the sons of God. So we ought to live with the help of the Spirit (Word) and put to death the sin that so severed the love between himself/herself and God!

If we continue to sin (intentionally), beware when Christ comes, He will say this,

"Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love." Revelation 2:4 (niv)

I pray that the journey you began with your wife, your husband and with God continues on forever! Indeed, death is the only thing that ends the marital journey and that's the way it should be! It is God's way! Many end their marital journey for selfish reasons. And many end their journey with God for foolish reasons. The journey you have with God ought to continue for eternity! Regardless of all the obstacles we face and stumble, overcome them and move on! And you will be blessed!

Happy anniversary, wifey! Our journey continues and Lord willing, we'll pass the mile (year) marker 15, 20, 25, 50! I love you with the love of Christ!

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Good evening, bloggers!

I am really excited about this Sunday's lesson, VaPoRiZeD! It is based on James 4:14 but I encourage you to read the whole chapter of James 4.. However, James 3 is even more powerful that everyone in the world ought to read, re-read and apply to their own lives!!

"Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away." James 4:14 (nas)

A question we should ask ourselves is this, "What Is Your Life Anyway?"

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Faithfulness (Men's Edition)

Have you seen this song, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." What a wonderful song. The words come from the book of Lamentations 3:22-23. Jeremiah had an achy-breaky-prophetic-heart. He was singing the blues. But I am gong to tell you something. Jeremiah, in the midst of mourning over Israel, says these words. “His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.” Jeremiah said that. If you study the life of David, he had some hair-raising adventures early in his life. As he got older, he began to write the book of Psalms.

One of the major themes of the book of Psalms is the faithfulness of God. The people who would really sing this with passion were the elderly in the church. They would sing from the depths of their souls, “Great is thy faithfulness, thy hand hath provided.” I wondered why they would sing so loud and with such conviction. These elderly saints had experienced thousands and thousands of answers to prayer. They had experienced the Holy Spirit comforting them and loving them in times of divorce, in times of struggle, in times of trial. So they had a lot of God’s trustworthiness under their belts, so to speak. They could sing it with real unction because they knew God was someone they could trust.

Frankly, that is one of the reasons that I am so optimistic and fired up about the church at Fairfax! Do you realize that most of us here only have a year, two or three of God’s trustworthiness under our belts? We have traced God’s faithfulness for only a couple of months, but give us ten years and we will be able to sing that with such power that we could blow the roof off the top of the building and its walls with our hands! That fires me up! I cannot wait to see what God is going to do in my life and your lives. The Holy Spirit is faithful. We will experience a new supernatural power to be faithful.

It is tempting to stop right here and to just shut it down. But I can’t do that because I would leave us hanging. We have got to understand the take home, the application, and the relevancy. Now let’s see how faithfulness plays out.

Faithfulness is becoming a man of your word! You say something, you keep it! You give a promise, you keep that promise. That is what the Holy Spirit will do. He will keep telling you and me to become a man of our word of our word, especially in the area of relationships. The Holy Spirit will help me to become a man and help you to become a man of your word in your relational world.

I want to say a word to the husbands here. If you are a husband, please slip your hand up right quick. Years ago or maybe just months ago, you stood in a shiny polyester suit before God, a preacher and a group of family and friends and you made a vow. You gave your word, men, to honor, to love, to cherish, to submit, to hold your spouse in high esteem. Yes, you might have been mouthing the words just to get to the honeymoon in Jamaica, but you said the words. Guess what. Guess what. God holds you to your word. You can’t mess around with vows and covenants especially in the marital domain with a holy God. And if we cooperate with the Holy Spirit of God, we will find a supernatural infusion of faithfulness to love. We will experience a new desire to cherish, a new desire to court and to romance and to love and to pray with our wives.

Are you a man of your word in marriage? Ain't faithfulness a great feeling?!!

6 Days

Michelle and I have been doing a (full-blown) cleaning, painting, trimming, discarding, arranging, dusting, and finishing-touches on our home before we put it on the market (MLS) tomorrow!! It took us approximately 2 weeks to really get things done in such a small house! And our energy level dropped to an all-time low and we surely received a good beating: body aches, headaches, back spasms, cramped arms and scrapes and bruises. As a result of all this abuse, the house is just as good as new, spanking clean and ready to sell!

During the whole 2 weeks (could be a whole lot more), naturally, I think of God! I think of the "6 Days" God created the world, everything in the world and us! From light to darkness, from expanse to land to seas, from plants to trees to various kinds of fruit, from night and day, from living creatures to man in the image of God, He did it in "6 Days!" It took us over 2 weeks to bring our "tiny home" to a "near perfection" (it will never be perfect)! But it took God 6 days to bring the vastness of the earth and sky to an absolute perfection! What kind of an intelligence would build such a rock in the universe, including the complexity of all creatures and living things!

It awed the prophet Isaiah the creation God created! He wanted to remind us all that God has done!

"That they may see and recognize, And consider and gain insight as well, That the hand of the LORD has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it." Isaiah 41:20 (nas)

"Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk in it,.." Isaiah 42:5 (nas)

"It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands And I ordained all their host." Isaiah 45:12 (nas)

David, a man after God's own heart, wrote a song about God's marvelous creation in Psalm 148:

"Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies.
Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created.
He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away.
Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds,
kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth,
young men and maidens, old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens."
Psalms 148:1-13 (niv)

Concerning believing in God, if you believe that He created the earth and all that's in it, then you will not have any problem believing the rest of the historical accounts throughout the Bible. Otherwise, if you do not believe in the creation account, don't bother believing in anything the Bible says. In other words, if you do not believe God can create everything in 6 days, then it will be impossible for you to understand how God can raise His Son, Jesus from the dead after three days!

"For nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:37 (niv)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Who Are You?

Who are you? What is your name? I am sorry, but I really don't know you.

If you have a friend of 20, 30 or 40 years that suddenly says, "Who are you?", how would you feel? It would come to a shock to you at first. Then the second response would probably be this, "You gotta be kiddin' me! It's me, man! You've known me for 30 years, dude!" Yet, he still says, "I am really sorry, I don't know who you are." Then walks away. Your jaw will drop to the floor. A buddy of 30 years vanished without a trace! You're eternally banned from a friendship with him. After all the laughter, tears, hundreds of thousands of conversations, mutual support, sporting events, restaurants and hundreds of great times, the friendship dwindles to a complete end! You may be thinking, "What did I do to deserve this?" "What did other people say to him about me?" "Why, after 30 years, did this have to happen?"

Could this happen to you in your relationship with Jesus? Sure!

"Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" Matthew 7:23 (niv)

This is what we ought to fear the most. Jesus can end any relationship with God's children. If you read the whole chapter of Matthew 7, you will understand. Jesus expects God's children to bear fruit, stay away from false teachers, walk the narrow way (suffer for Him), and listen to Him. It really doesn't matter if you had some great times with Him to the point that you fell away from an intimate relationship with Jesus. You may still be thinking, "He's my Friend but I don't have time for church." "He's my Friend but I have other friends I fear to lose so I do what they want me to do." "He's my Friend but I still love to be like the world." "He's my Friend and I am saved then I go and play with sin a bit but He will understand because He is my Friend." I can give you hundreds of quotes thinking Jesus as your Friend, yet you "intentionally" sin against Him.

Then He may someday come to you and say, "Who are you? I am sorry, I don't know you." and walk away.

Does Jesus know who you are? He will if you listen to Him.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Got Worship?

Like the commercial, "Got Milk?". Now I say, "Got Worship?".

"Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise." Nehemiah 9:5

"Stand up and shout it if you love my Jesus..." That's a song our children love to sing!

But what happens to that youthful exuberance and joy at worshiping the Lord? God doesn't want us to lose it. Read through the Bible and highlight all the actions used to reverence and praise our awesome and eternal God. In a world which regularly uses God's name in vain, isn't it time we stood up and praised him -- not only in church (our private worship) and in our daily devotionals (our personal worship), but also in our lives every day (our public worship)?! In regard to worshipping the Holy God we ought to love, consider this powerful verse:

"Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money." Isaiah 43:24

Worshippers at the temple were required to bring presents of sweet perfumes to be burned upon the altar of God: but Israel, in the time of her backsliding, became ungenerous, and made but few minor offerings to her (Israel's) Lord: this was an evidence of coldness of heart towards God and his house. Remember, God does not judge on what is outside (you may show you love God but really you don't) but what goes on inside the heart. He is more interested in the heart. Remember how Samuel chose a young David to be a king. Remember Jesus rebuking the Pharisees calling them white-washed tombs (they are dead inside but shining with pride on the outside)!

Brothers and sisters, does this never occur with you? Might not the complaint of the text be occasionally, if not frequently, brought against you?