The main prayer I’ve been praying for myself this year is that I would be a true worshiper.
Verbal praise and singing is only one aspect of worship, though it’s a very important one. It also seems (to me at least) to be a confusing one.
The Bible doesn’t give us a clear description of what music meets His standard and what doesn’t. What is a matter of preference and taste and what has to conform to His will. What mix of instruments is glorifying, and whether there are styles He does not accept. Continue reading Worship in Heaven→
It’s come to my attention I may not have the perfect view of theology. ;o)
You know how we often ask each other what has God been showing you lately?
Well to sum up the main point from my last year or so, the answer would be: to stop being so hard headed!
I knew I was wrong about some of my beliefs. (Chances that I had the perfect view of theology were pretty slim! And there was always plenty that plain confused me.) But I didn’t have much time for people who varied very far from my view point.
God used someone else’s error to show me mine. When I got upset with someone else being divisive I realised how restrictive my view of Christianity was.
Regulations v. Treasures
I used to wish that the Bible was an instruction manual/rule book. Then we wouldn’t be confused about anything, we wouldn’t debate different viewpoints, and we wouldn’t have to wrestle with it.
While it would make life simple, it obviously wasn’t the best for us. God could have written the Bible any way He wanted. And He wanted it just how it is. Detailed and nuanced and sometimes confusing. But also deep and rich and full of treasure that we would need the Holy Spirit to understand.
Yesterday was the most jaw dropping amazing day ever, for me.
We climbed Mount Ruapehu (one of the “world’s most active volcanos” and the highest mountain on New Zealand’s North Island), and explored the peaks and glaciers around the crater lake.
I can’t describe how epic it was, and the photos and video we took don’t do it any justice.
On top of the mountain I was almost sad that most people wouldn’t get to see the sights I was seeing, but so grateful that I got to see God’s handiwork.
Isn’t it amazing the things God makes that will never be seen?
The other day my little brothers were watching Bear Grylls, and I saw a bit where he came across a beautiful flower in the jungle. He called it nature’s extravagance and talked about how God places beautiful things out there that no one will ever see.
There’s no scarcity with God. He can make beautiful things out in the wild that no one will ever know about, and it doesn’t deplete His supplies at all.
In church today it helped me worship God when I thought about the mountain. It was majestic, and awe inspiring, and in a way powerful. Yet God made it so easily. He spoke it into existence. Its complexity pales compared to some things He’s made and the things He’s done.
Some cultures worship mountains. But we worship the mountain breather.1
God didn’t need to make the mountain, but He loves to show us His glory. And in days to come He’s going to show us much more.
I’m currently reading The Joy of Fearing God by Jerry Bridges, and it’s a great book so far.
At the moment he’s talking about how awesome God is. He quoted these verses…
Who has understood the mind of the Lord, or instructed Him as His counselor?
Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten Him, and who taught Him the right way?
Who was it that taught Him knowledge, or showed Him the path of understanding?
– Isaiah 40:13-14
He points out how amazing things are that God has done. Look at the incredible things He has made. Could we have helped God out as a consultant? Could we have given advice on how to make things better?
Yet we continually want to give God advice on the providential working of things.
I guess we would never actually say it, but we seem to think God could use a bit of our wisdom to better plan things that are going wrong in our lives.
Those thoughts woke me up. It’s so easy to think about how things could be better managed. But to think we could run things better than God is the dumbest idea going.
Last weekend was the Impact Bible conference. The theme was eternity. It was great to get the focus off all our short term goals and think about the real stuff… God’s Kingdom and glorifying Him forever.
A Trip To Hell
One sermon was called A Trip To Hell, and it was horrifying. It was preached with you imagining that you died and found out you’d been deceived, that you weren’t actually saved. The description was vivid and shocking. Hell fire burning you, and then going before the throne of judgement, and then being cast screaming into the lake of fire… FOREVER.
The Good Shepherd is kind. He gives us rest. He pours out so much love and grace on us.
When you think of what we deserve versus what we get, you marvel at how kind He is. We were His enemies. And yet He takes us to the best of His pastures.
“The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice!” (Psalm 97:1)
The best news is that God is in charge. There is no better scenario than having God in control. You couldn’t nominate a being who would be better at reigning than God. You couldn’t even imagine a being who would be better.
That’s what we mean when we say God is good. God has His attributes in perfection. So He defines good. He is ‘the goodest.’
He is the most loving, the most gracious, the most merciful.
The whole earth ought to rejoice that God is reigning, there’s no better news.
He gives us rest, He gives us food, He gives us everything we could need.
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love towards those who fear Him.” (Psalm 103:11)
Encouraging Christian young people to get serious about serving the Lord.