Archives For Worship

These articles are written to encourage and equip you and your people to honor and depend on God.

Topics include: a leader’s heart, Faith, surrender, tithing, singing, corporate worship services, etc.

Jesus Defines Love in Uncompromising Terms

“But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44 GNT)

“Had Jesus only told us to love our brethren, we might have misunderstood what he meant by love, but now he leaves us in no doubt whatever as to his meaning.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Jesus is absolutely relentless in pushing the standards of the law to a higher level—in truth, the level at which they’ve always been in the kingdom of heaven. In this case, he speaks about the law of love, insisting it must be a love that is extraordinary and remarkable.

He calls us, Bonhoeffer notes, to a sacrificial love where we love our enemies in exactly the same way we love our friends. Yet Bonhoeffer adds, “By our enemies Jesus means those who are quite intractable and utterly unresponsive to our love, who forgive us nothing when we forgive them all, who requite our love with hatred and our service with derision.”

Our enemies may reject our love; they may waste our love, discount our love, and react angrily to our love. They may…

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dogPurify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. (Psalms 51:7 NLT)

Jasmine is my beautiful and tenderhearted cockapoo. She knows it is wrong to go near an old barn that’s on the edge of my property, but she saw a black cat run behind it and took off for a playful chase.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a cat. It was a skunk, and Jasmine was quite surprised to get a face full of stink. She smelled so bad that I didn’t even want to bring her into the house, but I sequestered her in the bathroom while I figured out how to get her clean.

On the Internet, I found several home remedies for removing skunk stink. The recipes called for ingredients such as tomato juice or a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, and I think one listed dark chocolate (Okay, I made that up. The dark chocolate was for me).

These mixtures removed the bite of the skunk stink, an eye-watering, garlic-like perfume, but the overall smell was still there. By then it was…

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brokenglassLet me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. (Psalm 51:8 NIV)

In the school of Christ, brokenness is a good thing.

Here’s why: It’s impossible to become intimate with God unless we are broken of our independence, broken of our pride, and broken of our insistence that our way is better than God’s.

We must be broken of the illusion that we bring anything to the peace talks when we seek to end our war with God; the only surrender God requires is unconditional.

  • Brokenness is the last stop before we finally confess, “I can’t; God can.”
  • Brokenness is the apostle Paul confessing, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24 NIV).
  • Brokenness is the prodigal fighting with the pigs over food (Luke 15:11–32).
  • Brokenness is Joseph, still in prison, forgotten by the cupbearer (Genesis 40:23).
  • Brokenness is Jonah in the belly of a whale, confessing the consequences of running from God: “I know that it is my fault that this great storm has…

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The Jesus Model of Ministry: Meditation

Luke 5:15-16 says, “The news about Him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (NIV). No matter how busy Jesus got, he took time to get alone with God to pray.

You’re not ready to tell the world anything until first you’ve heard from God. Unfortunately, most of us are so busy telling that we don’t have time to hear. We’re in such a hurry doing ministry that we’re like a hamster on a wheel; we’re rolling around and around but making no progress. We need to get alone with God so we can hear from him personally.

Pascal said a lot of man’s problems come from his inability to sit still. The Bible says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). I find that if I short-change my time alone with God, I begin to feel frazzled.Anchor

We must meet God every day

In 1 Timothy 4:7, the apostle Paul says, “rain yourself to be godly.” In other words, it’s a never-ending battle. How quickly…

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Why Your Members Must Learn Doctrine

Here are nine ways to clearly explain to your church members why they need to learn doctrine.

1. Because knowing the truth about God helps me know God better.

“Listen carefully to wisdom; set your mind on understanding. Cry out for wisdom, and beg for understanding. Search for it like silver, and hunt for it like hidden treasure. Then you will understand respect for the Lord, and you will find that you know God” (Proverbs 2:2-5 NCV).

J. I. Packer once said, “We are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing the God whose world it is and who runs it. The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place … for those who do not know about God.”

Living in this world without knowing God is like driving a car with the windows blacked out. It doesn’t matter how hard you step on the accelerator or what direction you steer, you keep running into things and you never get anywhere. If you’re going to get to know God, you have to know the truth about him. You cannot develop a relationship with God…

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Start a New Sermon Series This Easter

Easter is usually one of the best-attended Sundays of the year. Hopefully, many of your guests will be making significant spiritual decisions. Don’t waste what God’s going to do through your church. Start a new sermon series that will encourage your guests to come back to hear the rest of the series.

What do you preach on? That’s the wrong question. Instead, ask yourself who you are preaching to. What do the people who will sit in your church on Easter Sunday need to hear? How can you help them take their next spiritual step?

A few years back I started a series on Easter called “Running on Empty.” I’d just had a close encounter“running on empty”as I coasted down a hill and into a gas station.

But the people in Orange County were running on a different kind of empty. A few weeks earlier I had preached on dealing with secret hurts and I had the congregation write down their “secret hurts” for only myself and two other pastors to read. The congregation was very honest…

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