Sunday, July 15, 2012

Why We Do What We Do in Worship--Vestments


·       As I have mentioned before, as the image of God, human beings speak in symbols. 
·       Look around in the world and see how we use clothing to speak of who we are: medical people wear white coats, policeman wear uniforms, judges wear black robes, many jobs have a special uniform, brides wear white dresses, business men and lawyers wear suits, and clergy wear clothes that represent spiritual truths.
·       The alb or white robe is white to symbolize the holiness and self-denial of those who serve in the sanctuary of God.
·       It hangs down to the ankles, reminding us that we are bound to practice good works to life's end—from top to bottom.
·       The early church based their wearing of white vestments on passages like this from The Book of Revelation:

Revelation 7:9
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Having a Christian Family

Ever wonder what having a Christian Family really means? Sure we have these visions in our heads of the polite but quiet children who don't speak often, but when they do they quote bible verses.  The mother is the meek Proverbs 31 woman with a fierce protective streak over her children.  The dad looks like the hard working athletic man wearing preacher's clothes who reminds us of Christ and has blue eyes letting you know he really "hears" you.

Oh, and everyone is carrying a bible and wearing a cross around their necks.

Wow, what a picture. No wonder it's easy to get down on ourselves for not having the "Christian" family that God wants for us.

This series of blog posts will introduce what the Bible says about family and will provide three tips that you can do to help bring your family into a closer walk with Jesus.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Why We Do What We Do in Worship--Enter The Presence


Passage John 14:6:
  6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

A CRUCIFER carries Christ’s cross like Simon of Cyrene. Take up the cross and follow me—Jesus Christ.

Then as we prepare to enter God’s presence, God wants to wash us of our sins so we can enter with joy, not guilt.

Stuart Briscoe: When our children were small and we were trying to teach them to pray, we had three kinds of prayer: "Please prayers," Thank you prayers," and "Sorry prayers."

Confession is our “sorry prayer and please prayer.  I am sorry for my sins, please forgive me.”

God is faithful and just to forgive our sins when we confess (1 John 1:7)

Then we enter God’s presence with songs of thanksgiving!

Being in worship on time as we enter God’s presence is important
as you will miss the whole time of forgiveness and praising God for his goodness!

Why We Do What We Do in Worship--Gathering


Psalm 95:1-2:
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;  let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

The call to God’s people is to COME and worship. We go into the world to evangelize the lost!  Sunday is about worship, not evangelism.

The Church at worship is called to come together in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day to:

To find Sabbath rest from our labors.

To be healed and strengthened.

To ascend the Holy Mountain to be with God in his presence.

To sing and celebrate that we are gathering together in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.

Is it in your heart to be glad and rejoice when we come?  Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Core Discipleship: 3 Strands 3 Stages 3 People

Regarding discipleship, noted Christian researcher George Barna writes, "Among the barriers to spiritual growth are the tendencies to focus on Bible knowledge (i.e., memorize verses, know the stories of key biblical personalities) but not character development; the lack of a clear and specific idea of what meaningful discipleship is; and unrealistic expectations regarding the role of small groups in the disciple-making process.” Barna acknowledged that most churches have many programs and classes that represent the discipleship effort. "Offering programs is not the issue. We discovered that surprisingly few churches have a well-conceived model of discipleship that they implement. The result is that churches feel they have fulfilled their obligation if they provide a broad menu of courses, events, and other experiences, but such a well-intentioned but disjointed approach leaves people confused and imbalanced."

3 Strands

Strand 1: Crowd (majority of churches have "Sunday" services)

Size: Typically the large gathering in most churches for corporate worship
Purpose: To bring about a change in knowledgeFocus: celebration - worship

Strand 2: Cell (growing number of churches have cell or life groups)

Size: 5-16 people
Purpose: To bring about behavioral change; characterFocus: community - fellowship--after you have been through discipleship--this takes place long term.

Strand 3: Core (few churches engage in up-close and personal discipleship as modeled by Jesus)

Size: 3 people - no more than 4
Purpose: To bring about a change of direction, heart and position; knowledge, character and conductFocus: committment - discipleship