At the very heart of the gospel is the idea of influence. The word gospel means good news, good news is worth sharing! Jesus introduced the Kingdom of God here on earth. With a crash the Kingdom of Heaven, as Matthew calls it burst onto the earth. The superior reality of the Kings dominion colliding with the reality on earth. A new influence had begun to invade the the planet and its impact would spread across the globe within a few short centuries. Today that influence continues and I would love to spend a few minutes exploring what it means to bring healthy influence to our society today.
We all have a tendency to worry about things from time to time. That is probably why Jesus said “Do not worry” in various ways and at various times. He knew that as we faced up to how little of our surroundings we actually had control over in life we would tend to worry. What will they think of me? What if this goes horribly wrong?
I would like to suggest that we are called to live differently as believers. Worry need not define us and in fact a different perspective on it might lead to greater freedom.
It might sound like a bit of self promotion for a worship leader to tell you that Congregational worship is a big deal! Today I want to focus on one particular part of worship that I have been thinking on lately.
What we sing in church really matters. I don’t just mean that what we sing is good theology and doctrine, though that is obviously vital. In this post I want to explore some of the important things to remember in choosing and writing worship songs.
In the first two parts of this series (Part 1, Part 2) I set the scene by exploring the topic of God’s presence throughout the bible. It is a story of huge importance to us as believers. We are now dwelling places of God, carriers of his presence and partners in sharing him with the world around us. So in this post I want to explore some of the ways we can steward the immense gift of God’s presence and share some of my journey in this area.
In the first part of this series we began to explore the story of God’s presence in the Old Testament. God chose to be amongst his people Israel, it was an incredible privilege and yet we were meant for something more. It required a lot of regulations and ceremony to facilitate God’s dwelling place in the tabernacle and temple.
Enter the new Testament and everything changes. God with us takes on a whole new meaning as Jesus, God in the flesh, comes and dwells amongst us.
The bible opens with such a stunning scene. The God of the universe creates a magnificent universe full of wonder and delight. He creates a planet full of so much life and as His greatest creation He makes man. A creature unlike all the other living beings he has taken the time to make. This creature will made in His image. It will be shaped by God’s very nature and character. God made man in His image. What is even more surprising is that He pursued relationship with his creation.
The older I get the more I have realised that there is not much “pure” in life that we come across. There are mixed motives, hidden intentions, mixed messages and half truths at every turn. I used to take the approach of throwing out information that I was suspicious of very quickly. I used to call it discerning, especially when related to my faith. What I have come to realise is that maturity demands that we can hear any message or messenger and eat the meat, spit out the bones.