Okay, time to ask a strange question to a primarily Christian audience.
What do you worship?
I know your Sunday School answer. I don’t need to hear that. Of course, you worship God. But what else do you worship?
Let me define worship: You worship anything that you attach your ultimate happiness or identity to.
By that definition, you and I are tempted to worship a lot of things, aren’t we? Of course, there’s a natural joy we get out of the good things God gives, but when we over-desire something, it becomes sin. The Greek word is “epithumia” meaning “over-desire,” and is found in passages like 1 John 2:16: “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.”
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After a year and a half assessment process with Acts 29, I’ll officially be a member this week, making GraceLife Church an Acts 29 church. I wrote this story for the Acts 29 website about planting the church and thought you might enjoy the read.
By the year 2000, I’d been in full-time traveling ministry for six years. Growing up in the charismatic movement, I was a sought-after worship leader and speaker and had a ferocious passion for evangelism. I was the poster boy for spiritual disciplines and “revival,” yet I found my spiritual life strangely distant from the Lord.
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Had a lot of tweets this week about the things that “dechurch” kids. Got a lot of good responses! In case you missed the posts, here they are:
How to #dechurch a kid tip #1: Just turn Christianity into “gospel of do” instead of “gospel of done.”
How to #dechurch a kid tip #2: Be a hypocrite.
How to #dechurch a kid tip #3: When they sin, demand repentance. When you sin, don’t bother.
How to #dechurch a kid tip #4: Make your personal preferences like music and clothes issues of righteousness. Add them to the gospel!! Read more →
There has been much conversation in recent years about the “missional church.” What is it? To an outsider, it must sound like a church getting involved in communal living or nuclear disarmament! Others may be put off by what seems to be the trendiness of the whole thing. But when understood, the ideas are revolutionary and powerful, though not new. Some have called the missional church model “non-traditional.” Read more →
And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper (1 Kings 19:11-12, ESV). Read more →
Many in the church are now talking about being “gospel-centered” or “gospel-centrality.” What’s this all about? In Acts 29, the network our church is in (or at least will officially be in a few months), we’re often accused of having our own vocabulary. But the goal is not to be cool, but clear. Let’s break it down.
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:3, “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” Read more →
This past Sunday we heard a wonderful message from Pastor Kevin Maloney on Doctrine. As one of the leaders in our church I couldn’t be happier with the job he did. Pastor Kevin took a topic that is often controversial in our church culture and he made it understandable and applicable. When our community group in Lima got together on Monday to discuss this topic I realized something: Christ has entrusted to believers His true, pure Gospel knowing in full that we will sometimes not understand it, and maybe even distort it when we preach or teach. Read more →
When I lived under law, everything was driven by rules, principles, and duty. My spiritual disciplines were often empty, if not bankrupt, of delight. I remember praying repetitive prayers that sounded an awful lot like the prayers I’d prayed the day before. I remember extending prayer times, as if the length of the prayer made it more spiritual. I remember doing my Bible reading and then walking away asking, “What did I just read?” Read more →
In Matt 6:33 Jesus tells us, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things will be added to you.” (ESV) What did he mean when he commanded us to seek God’s righteousness? Often times I think we mistakenly interpret this verse, “seek first the kingdom of God and” be righteous, but that is not what it says. Jesus tells us to seek “his righteousness.” Read more →