I once was lost but now am found. God’s grace found me. I wasn’t looking. He sought me out and found me. That’s definitely worth celebrating this Wednesday!
This week’s worship song spotlight is on “Your Grace Finds Me.”
We Americans are infatuated with sex. Perhaps not as much as our European cousins, but it nevertheless captures so much of the American fancy. Just look at the magazine covers of any checkout aisle. “32 Sex Moves that Will Blow His Mind.” Watch a few commercials. Do most folks even realize that GoDaddy.com is a web host? From their commercials, one could easily come to the conclusion that they are a porn site. Search the internet. On second thought, please don’t search the internet because things we can’t even imagine will be pulled up. We live in a sex-saturated society.
Undoubtedly God has created us as sexual beings, but our depravity has twisted our sexuality and our desire for it in serious ways. Much like a car whose front end has gotten misaligned will drift toward a ditch if you let go of the steering wheel, so goes our sexuality. Our sex easily ends up in a ditch.
Songs are powerful. As we often hear, music soothes the savage beast. They have the ability to affect us deeply on so many levels. They can capture and remind us of an intense moment in our life, bringing either joy or sorrow to the foreground of our hearts and faces. They can incite one to nearly every emotion imaginable. They are powerful indeed!
But on this Wednesday, we must be reminded that songs are also a powerful teaching tool. That’s one of the strongest reasons why Christianity is a singing religion. Through verse and melody, the faith is transmitted into the hearts and minds of Jesus followers. That’s why it’s so important for the Christian songs we sing to be biblically correct, but that’s another post I suppose.
A great example of how Christian songs teach is the Newboys recent release “We Believe.”
As laborers for Jesus, we are all working to reap a harvest through the gospel. We plant, we water, and we harvest. However, we don’t always get to do all three things with the same person. Sometimes we’re the one who plants the gospel in a person’s life. At other times we’re the one who waters that gospel so that it might take root, grow, bloom, and bear fruit. Still other times we are the one who gets to harvest that soul by leading them to faith in Jesus Christ. Of course, it’s God who brings the growth and the harvest, but He uses human agents to bring it about (Matthew 9:37-38). It’s a blessing to be part of all three phases with the same person, but I would guess that that’s actually fairly rare.
As many of you know, I’ve been a worship leader in some capacity since 1999. I’m passionate about music, especially music that magnifies the Lord!
Today I want to reintroduce a weekly series that I’ve taken about a year-long break from, but since moving to pastor at Eastwood Baptist Church and getting to sing to the Lord under the leadership of our worship pastors Mark and Dana, I’ve felt led to pick the series back up again. I pray it will be beneficial to you.
The series is called “Wednesday Is for Worship,” and each week I’ll post a worship song to God. I pray you’ll use it first to sing praise to our great God and then to introduce it to others, hopefully even your congregation. Some of the songs will be new. Some will be old. But, all of them will extol the name and glories of God.
Have you ever been locked up in jail? Whether we have or not, all of us have had the shackles of sin chaining us up. Today’s Wednesday Is for Worship song is a celebration of being released from the bondage of sin and condemnation. It’s called “I’m Going Free (Jailbreak).”
Polygamy is the next battleground for marriage in the United States. In fact, just last month a federal judge declared laws on the books in Utah that guard against polygamy to be unconstitutional. The state may still outlaw plural marriages, but it cannot prohibit polygamous cohabitating, thus weakening anti-polygamy law. The plaintiff in the case was none other than the “star” of The Learning Channel’s (TLC) polygamy reality show Sister Wives, Kody Brown. Mr. Brown, a fundamentalist Mormon, is an outspoken polygamist with four wives although he is only legally married to one of them. Undoubtedly, he or someone else will challenge the outright ban of polygamy in the near future.
Is anybody surprised that this decision was handed down? The cultural slippery slope that was predicted with the increasing legality of same-sex marriage is coming to bear. Many argued that redefining marriage to include homosexual marriage would open the door for marriage of all types, and the prediction is proving to be accurate.
At the center of this and every Christian season is the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. This mysterious bundle of joy is none other than the eternal Son of God who took on flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). That’s the very thing we celebrate here at Christmas—the enfleshing of the Son of God, the incarnation. He was sent on a mission from the Father to save sinners, and one of the absolutely necessary things Jesus had to do to complete His mission was take on a flesh and blood body just like we have. But, why was that so crucial? Why did Jesus take on flesh? The Bible gives us at least ten reasons.
It may have been lost on us who hang out in only Baptist circles that our brothers and sisters in the United Methodist Church (UMC) had a fairly serious dust up last month. For me, I have many friends in the UMC, some of whom are ordained by the church. In fact, it was one of my ordained friends that passively brought my attention to the situation when she posted on her Facebook page a request for people to pray for the situation. Furthermore, my wife and I have United Methodist ties in our past. So, I am always interested about what’s going on with that denomination. Indeed, all of us who are Christians should be concerned with what’s going on in the United Methodist Church because they are our brothers and sisters in Christ and stand as the largest mainline denomination in America.