Exalting God, Edifying Believers, Evangelizing the Lost

O Come Let Us Worship

There are many people who claim to worship God but only step foot inside a church on Christmas and Easter, and maybe for funerals and weddings.

Obviously, we who frequent church on a regular basis wouldn’t call that worship. But true worship is not defined how often we are in church anyway.

Psalm 95:6 tells us,

“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”

While the terms “bowing down” and “kneeling,” describe the physical actions of worship, these terms also describe the inner attitude of worship as well.  Bowing down and kneeling show an attitude of submission to a higher authority, which is exactly what our attitude before God should be if we are to worship Him in “spirit and in truth.”

The real question is whether we only demonstrate that attitude on Sundays, if even then, or if that attitude is prevalent in our lives every day of the week.

The answer to that question is answered by the things we value most and which we expend the most time and effort trying to achieve in our lives. Do our daily choices and lifestyle show that God truly is the most important and valuable thing to us? Or is He just someone we have added to our weekly routine to appear religious?

True worship is about bowing before Him in everything you do, not just what you do on Sundays.

God With Us

Have you ever experienced loneliness in your life?  If so, you are not alone (pun intended).

According to Medical News Today, just in the last 2 years, there has been an “alarming increase” in the number of people who have experienced severe loneliness in their lives. The alleged cause is, of course, the COVID pandemic.  But we don’t need a pandemic to experience loneliness.  All we need is an absence of God.

When God created humans, He created us with an inherent need for Him. We need other people, but people cannot fill the spiritual void that can only be filled by God.  And that is why He sent Jesus Christ to earth in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago.  As the angel told Joseph in Matthew 1:23,

“and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

Jesus was sent to be GOD WITH US. He became God in the flesh to reconcile our relationship with God which we had broken. Through Him, we can finally experience the purpose for which He created us in the first place–fellowship with Himself.

But to have fellowship, you have to be WITH the other person.  And that is exactly what Jesus accomplishes—He is GOD WITH US all the time.  He is the best and only cure for loneliness and one which will last for eternity.

Christmas Past

In Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol,” Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts, the first of which is the Ghost of Christmas Past.

The purpose of this visit was to show Scrooge how he had changed for the worse over the years and to remind him of merry Christmases that he had celebrated previously in his life. If only Scrooge could remember what he used to be, maybe he could become the right kind of man in the present.

If there is one specific Christmas of which we need to be reminded as believers, it is the very first Christmas, the night that Jesus was born. When the angel announced the impending birth of Jesus to Joseph, he made it very clear what would be important about Christmas:

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

While many of our past Christmases may include wonderful memories of family and friends and even joyful fellowship and celebration, Christmas would not exist without Christ as our Savior. He is what we should celebrate and remember at Christmas time. And let us not just remember that He was born in a manger, but that He came to save us from our sins.

So, this Christmas, and every Christmas, may we celebrate the Savior and not just the season.

Lame Ducks

Every four years in the United States, we have a Presidential election that decides who the next President will be. Yet, even though the next President is chosen at the beginning of November, he is not sworn into office until the third week of January.

During that time between the election and the installation of the new President, the current President is referred to as a “lame duck,” meaning that he really has little power to accomplish anything even though he still holds office.

Sometimes, as believers, we can begin to feel like lame ducks. We know from Scripture that the world is going to get worse, that Satan’s attacks are going to get stronger, and that many millions of people will reject God, even though they have easier access to God’s truth than at any other time in history. Why do we keep fighting what seems to be a losing battle?  Why don’t we just hole ourselves up in a safe little space and wait for Christ to come back?

Paul answers that question in 1 Corinthians 15:58—

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

Even though it seems that we can do little for God in our current environment, even our smallest witness for Christ is worth it.  If we can keep just one more soul from going to hell, then our life is not wasted.

Don’t be a lame duck. Be“more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

Naked and Ashamed

Many of us have heard the tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes.  The story tells of an Emperor who thought much of himself and his clothing.

One day band of swindlers came to his kingdom, claiming to be great weavers of the finest cloth that could only be seen by the noblest and intelligent people of the land. Using the Emperor’s pride against him, they made him the grandest set of new “clothes” which would set him apart from everyone else. The Emperor’s pride kept him from admitting that he could not see the clothes, which, of course, did not exist. And so he proceeded to don the invisible clothing and walk naked in front of his subjects. In their pride, everyone else also pretended that these new clothes were splendid so that they would not be labeled as simple or stupid. In the end, it was the wisdom of a child that revealed the truth that the Emperor had nothing on at all.

In Revelation 16:15, Jesus tells us,

“Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”

Those who “watch” are those who are looking for Jesus’ return, for they know He is coming.  These are the “overcomers” who will not be ashamed when He returns, for they will be clothed in the robes of the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

But all others, who resist the Truth in pride will be spiritually naked and ashamed at the day of His appearance.

Do you have your “robes” on, watching for the return of the Lord?

He is coming soon. Do not be caught off guard.

A Heart of Unthankfulness

The holiday season is upon us. Everywhere you look, gift ideas and holiday specials dominate the landscape, focusing on all you can get at Christmas. Even Thanksgiving has degraded into nothing more than the start of Black Friday sales.

Although disappointed, I am not surprised that it is this way in a world full of people who put self above all else.  The “season of getting” has expanded so greatly in people’s priorities that they can no longer reserve even one day for thanking the One from Whom everything comes in the first place.

But God told us it would be that way. Romans 1:21 tells us,

When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

A lack of true thankfulness is a symptom of a life controlled by sin rather than by God.

Paul says these kinds of people are not thankful because they are “vain in their imaginations.” In other words, the only thing that they think of is themselves. And when you think more of yourself than you do of others, or of God, thankfulness dies.

Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. used to say that “when gratitude dies on the altar of a man’s heart, that man is well-nigh hopeless.” 

May none of us find ourselves in that category of hopeless people because we have lost our heart of thankfulness to the Lord. “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Real Global Warming Is Coming

God's global warming

Liberal environmentalists continue to “warn” us about making global warming a serious priority in government and in society.  They claim that our abuse of the environment has caused irreparable damage to the ozone layers, allowing more of the sun’s ultraviolet light to penetrate, raising temperatures around the world. Even though the average global temperature increase is less than one degree, we are all supposed to be as concerned as they are.

I am personally concerned about global warming but in a different context. Revelation 16:8 tells us about real global warming:

“The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire.”

Near the end of the Great Tribulation, God will judge sinners with a taste of hell on earth, literally. That judgment will include sores and boils, the contamination of all water on the earth, darkness, and heat so extreme that men will be “scorched.” The conditions on earth then will make today’s world seem like a utopia.

The worst part is that even as people suffer severely under God’s judgment, they will continue to reject His authority, just as many do now. But for those at the end of the Tribulation, there will be no recourse. God’s judgment will have been started on earth and will be completed when all unrepentant sinners are in hell.

The “global warming” we should be most concerned about is not what is happening on earth now, but what we will experience later if we continue to reject God.

God’s Pouring Out of Judgment

When I was a freshman in college, my roommates and I played a prank on our hall leader one evening.

At 10:59 pm, the warning bell rang, alerting everyone that we had one minute to be in bed with lights out. During that minute, two of my roommates quickly and carefully balanced a wastebasket full of water on top of the partially closed door to our room, and then quickly turned off the lights and jumped into bed. The second bell rang, after which several minutes elapsed while we waited for the door to open, culminating in a surprise shower for our Hall Leader.

Even though we could not see the main event unfold, we finally heard the door creak open, the loud splash of water, and the resulting groan of despair and disgust.

This reminds me of the final judgments of God at the end of the Tribulation, to be poured out of seven bowls described in Revelation 15:7 —

“And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God.”

Those vials are not like the test tubes we used in high school chemistry class.  They are more like large shallow saucers or bowls, and will not be poured out slowly. They will be dumped quickly and completely, inundating all mankind on the earth with God’s judgment, much like my Hall Leader was deluged with water.

The only escape from this outpouring of wrath is to repent and surrender to Christ now so that you might escape God’s wrath later.

For once He begins to pour out His wrath, there will be no escape.

The World is Ripe for Judgment

In Revelation 14:18, we read,

“And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.”

This passage is referring to the end of the Tribulation period, just before Jesus comes back to crush His enemies on the earth. The angel declares that the “clusters of the vine of the earth…are fully ripe.” He is saying that at that point in history, evil will have peaked in the hearts and lives of mankind, and it is time for Christ to execute judgment against them.

We may wonder, as we observe all the evil in the world today, how it could get any worse. Good is being called evil and evil is being called good. Sin is rampant all around us, and Christians are regularly being mocked and even being thrown in prison and killed in some places in the world. It is easy for us to think that the Rapture must be soon because it can’t get much worse in the world.

It will get worse, especially under the Antichrist in the Tribulation period. But we will be spared the worst if we are trusting Christ.

So, believers, no matter how bad things around us appear, keep looking up, for “your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28)

How Big Is Your God?

How big is your God?

I have asked this question to numerous people when they express doubt about God’s provision, His protection, or His control of our lives.

As believers, we shouldn’t have to struggle with doubt about God because we have His Spirit indwelling us, empowering us, teaching us and guiding us.  His Spirit is that personal assurance to each of us that God will always do what He promised He would do.

And yet, we all have those moments in our lives when things don’t seem to be working out the way we expect, and we wonder if God has forgotten about us. In those instances, we need to constantly remind ourselves of Job’s answer when God challenged him about his doubt –

I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2, NASB).

As much as we don’t want to admit it, our doubt is the result of unbelief.  We really don’t believe the Bible is true, otherwise we would trust God’s Word as reality and not what we see around us.  If we believe that God is in control, we wouldn’t worry about our circumstances and their outcome.

If we believe that God will provide all our needs, then we wouldn’t worry about not having enough money to cover our expenses. If we really believe that God is who He says He is, then we wouldn’t doubt.

So really, how big is your God?