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Made to Worship

What is the true worship of God, and what does it look like? Now let us face facts, we are all going to worship something; if it is not God, it will be something else (Romans 1:22-25; Colossians 3:5; Matthew 6:24). Also, even if people claim to be worshiping God, it can be a distorted picture of God (2 Corinthians 11:1-4; Isaiah 43:10; Matthew 4:10). But given these limits, there are those who jump to the opposite extreme. They develop questionable boundaries as to what constitutes correct worship. They can say that everyone who does not worship exactly the way they do is doing it wrong. So we need to ask what constitutes genuine worship. This is worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23,24).


God's Faithfulness

God keeps His promises. But we may not always see them when we want them. Abraham waited many years to obtain the promise of a son (Genesis 15:1-6; Hebrews 11:11,12; Romans 4:18-21). But he never saw the promise fulfilled that he would become a great nation (Genesis 12:1-3; Hebrews 11:8-10; Acts 7:2-5). David prepared for the building of the temple (Psalm 132:1-5; 2 Samuel 7:1-7; 1 Chronicles 29:1,2). But it was his son, Solomon, that actually built it (2 Samuel 7:8-17; 1 Kings 7:51; Acts 7:46-50). However, the promises to Abraham (Galatians 3:6-16; Romans 4:13-17; Hebrews 11:13-16) and David (Isaiah 11:1-5; Jeremiah 23:5,6; Romans 1:1-6) were ultimately fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ long after their times. In the same way, God can be at work in our lives in ways we do not understand and may not even see in our lifetime.


Victorious in Christ

Scripture says that Christians are victorious (Psalm 91:3-13; Romans 8:37; 2 Corinthians 2:14). But it also says we shall have troubles in this life (John 16:33; Acts 14:22; 1 Peter 4:12,13). How do we put these two together? There are those who claim that if we are just good enough or have enough faith, we will not have any trials in this life. This is clearly contrary to Scripture (Job 1,2; John 9:1-3; Hebrews 11:35-40). But it is easy to fall into a watered-down form of this idea. If we follow God, we will not have any real problems and will be able to easily take the ones we do get in stride. But this again does not fit the picture given in Scripture (2 Corinthians 1:9; 12:7-10; Romans 8:35,36). What then does it mean that we are victors?


Facing Death

Death is not a pleasant subject to contemplate. But sometimes we need to face reality. We live in a society that wants to pretend it does not exist. We use all sorts of methods to stay fit and remain healthy, in hopes of delaying death. We use all manner of cosmetic accessories or surgery to look younger. But life remains nearly 100% fatal. (For the two Biblical exceptions, it had nothing to do with their attempts to remain healthy and fit.) Living in denial does not help. But there is One who has conquered death (1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Romans 1:6; Revelation 1:18) and who offers to do the same for those who put their faith in Him (John 14:19; 1 Corinthians 15:50-57; Romans 8:11). Sin, death, and hell are 100% curable, if you have the right physician.


Trusting God Through Trouble

The Christian life is not always easy. God takes us in, forgives us, and makes us His children (Romans 8:14-17; Ephesians 1:5-8; Galatians 4:4-7), But we soon learn that we must experience difficult times to reach our goal (Acts 14:22; John 16:33; Romans 18:1). And we need to be willing to trust God to get us through (Proverbs 3:5,6; Psalm 37:3-6; 127:1,2). What applies to individual Christians also applies to us as a group. The nation of Israel and its king were given promises by God (Psalm 89:19-29). But they went through tribulations (Psalm 89:38-51) and had to trust God through them (Psalm 89:1-18). The Christian church in this country has been going through difficulties in recent times. How should we respond to this?


Loving the Law

Do we as Christians delight in God’s commandments? And if not, how can we come to do so? Scripture does speak of delighting in God’s law (Psalm 119:97-104; 19:7-10; 1:1,2). Granted, this probably implies the Old Testament as a whole and not just the commandments. But these are clearly included. However, this is not the standard human response to any commandment. Our natural response is to disobey. That is because we are sinners (Romans 3:23; Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 64:6) and cannot keep God’s law (Romans 3:19,20; 7:14-25; Galatians 3:10-14). I recall the first time I tried to read the Bible and started in Matthew and reached the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). My immediate reaction was, “I cannot live up to this,” and I closed the Bible for many years. How do I get from there to delighting in God’s law?


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