Tag Archives: Christian

Where we have been

Through out the first two chapters of Ephesians, we have been seeing Paul go back and forth between what we are in Christ and what we were before Christ.

1 v. 3-14 reminds us of who we are in Christ

1 v.15-17 Paul hopes for us to understand more deeply who we are in Christ and what his desire for us is.

1 v. 18-23 he shows us this power that will help us understand and know Him better, which is the same power that exalts Christ.

2 v. 1-4 reminds us of who we were before Christ, using phrases and words, such as dead, passions of our flesh and children of wrath.

2 v. 4-10 shows us the work that God did and all things we now take part in because of being in Christ.

2 v. 11-12 calls us to remember who we were before Christ, as we were once in the flesh, separated, alienated, strangers, hopeless and without God.

2 v. 13-22 shows us because of Christ, what we are now. We were once far off and now brought close. We were once hostile and now we have peace. We are now one with Him, with the Spirit of God living in us, joining us to the family of God in both heaven and earth. We are no longer strangers and aliens but fellow citizens.

Ephesians 1-2

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Life

Peace Established. Hostility Destroyed.

We need to remember previous verses:

1 v.3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

1 v.13-14 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

2 v.1-12 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ,alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

When reading through Ephesians there are some important words that come up. Specifically in this case, the word “but”. This is now the second time it has come up and if we look back in vs.4 we will see how important it is. Imagine, if that “but” was not there. And that was it. What if there was no “But God” in Ephesians?

We have remember who we once were before Christ. We should never forget but now that we are in Christ, we have been brought near to Him. We were once separated, strangers, and alienated from the one who cares for us and is in control of all things. But for those who have received Christ, we have been brought close to him. Important thing to see is that the reason we have been brought near is not because of anything we have done or will do. It is not because of a priest, a prayer, communion, nothing. It was only because of Christ and His blood that was poured out on the cross. That’s it! Only the blood of Jesus can bring us close.

More specifically it says that Christ was our peace and is our peace. Those who are far from God are not at peace with God and will truly never have peace unless they are brought close to Him through the blood of Jesus Christ. Christ became man so that He would proved and be the peace between God and man. This also made those of us who are close to God, through the blood of Christ, one with God and broke down any barriers that were dividing us from God and creating hostility. So, when Christ provided peace between man and God, He also provided a way to become one with Him. When God looks at those who have come close, He sees the blood of His Son, which kills any hostility and brings true peace.

This peace that Jesus brought was not just for a certain people group, or a certain class of people. This peace is meant for all who are close and all who are far. People that could be close could be those who are under the preaching of the Word every week and active in their church but yet have never been brought close to God, through the blood of Jesus Christ. Those who are far off could be someone who knows nothing about God and has no interested in knowing about Him. Some could be far off who were once appeared close to God but yet as life moved on and trials came, they are now far from Him. Many of us could easily think of people in both these categories. Those who are close, yet are far off. Those who are far off, yet have know thought or knowledge of Him. And those who were once close, but yet are now very far, proving they were never truly close to begin with.

We have been brought close to God, through His Son, who provided peace and destroyed the hostility between God and man, and He is inviting those who are close and those who are far away to truly come near and receive peace.

My mind wanders and aches for those who I know that are far. Bring them to yourself O God of Peace!

We need to remember 1 v. 13-14 when reading 2 v. 18. Because being drawn close, the peace, being one with Christ, we now have access by the power of the Holy Spirit, through the Son and what He did for us, to worship and praise God for what He has done, for who He is, and for what He is going to do for rest of our human lives and also the rest of eternity!

Ephesians 2:13-18 ESV

Leave a comment

Filed under Life

God the giver…

We need to remember past verses:

1 v. 3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

v. 7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

v. 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

v. 13-14 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

v. 20-21  that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

2 v.1-3 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

We have to realize how sinful we are as a human. Even though we try to understand, I do not think we can fully understand how sinful we really are, compared to a holy and righteous God. But even then, God stills shows up! He is the one that works in us and for us. Without “But God” where would we be today? Where would the human race be if God did not step in and act for us? What if God gave up on us? What if there was not flood that took place and God just let us go? In light of those questions, it should develop a deeper sense of awe and silence. God stepped in with His mercy and love, even when we wanted nothing to do with Him….What? Even when we were walking in sin and wanted nothing to do with Him, He actively worked His mercy and love, to the point of His only Son, nailed to a cross and killed?

How can our minds make sense of that? How radically different then our human sinful thinking! God actively shows mercy and love to the point of death, even though we do not deserve it, but actually deserve death. Humans may show mercy and love only if the other human deserves it and never to the point of death. Humans are  not even close to giving oneself up for another out of love or mercy. How glorious and praiseworthy is the King of Kings!

Why would God show us love and mercy? So that we could be made alive through His Son, who is the ultimate expression of true mercy and love. So that we could be raised up with Him and seat in heaven for the purpose of being able to show us His “immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness in Christ Jesus.” My mind is melting and the logic does not compute.

How is this all going to happen? By God’s grace through faith, which is also from God. This not anything we do, as it says “it is not my own doing.” It’s a gift, given by God! We did not do anything or give anything to get this! Because of this, we can not brag or boast in what we have done or will do, but we can only brag and boast in who He is and what He is doing in us!

What do we do now? God is still the one giving and has created and setup good works that will come our way, which we can do as a worship and to bring glory to Him, who is the giver of all. In all of this, we bring nothing to the table. We give nothing. We are the receiver of all these unfathomable gifts from God, while not wanting anything to do with Him in the beginning!

O may we be reminded of this every moment! Help us to fully understand how sinful we are so that we can begin to understand who You are, what You are doing and what You will do in our life! Let our life be of obedience, worship and humility to bring glory and honor to You, our God and King!

Ephesians 2:4-10

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Life

Life.

When it comes, it comes.

It does not stop for anything.

Sleep, work, play.

It’s always moving in a direction.

Many believe life just happens and then it’s over.

For others, it’s hell.

For some, it’s heaven.

Life.

Its direction is in the hand of the Maker, but how you travel the direction of life is up to you.

It does not wait for anybody and it does not avoid anyone.

Many find life empty and let the direction it is headed take them to destruction.

Some find Life but are distracted by the things that bring a life to destruction.

They live the Life but are sick and tired.

Some find Life and live this Life to abundance.

Abundantly enjoying the Life the Maker has designed for maximum enjoyment and fulfillment.

This life leads to life which does not know destruction.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life

2014 Bestselling Christian Books

Regarding 4, 7, and 9: if we swapped the few Bible verses in these books for Quran verses, could we then call them Muslim books?

http://adam4d.com/2014-bestsellers/

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Church Life

Who am I in Christ?

1 Comment

Filed under Church Life

Kate Shellnutt: Jesus Loves the Little Children… But I Don’t

A childless millennial’s quest to become a “kid person.”

To say I don’t have kids is an understatement. I barely interact with children, save for brief conversations with friends and fellow churchgoers with offspring in tow.

I can’t remember the last time I changed a diaper, pushed a stroller, or let a kid win at board games. When a friend passed her newborn to me this spring, I admitted it had been years since I held a baby.

And in 2014, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s no longer a given in our society that every woman, or even every married woman, will have kids or want to have kids.

Absolutely, marriage and family remain a priority in Christian and evangelical circles. It may seem like a week doesn’t go by without another pregnancy announcement popping up on Facebook or another desperate plea to help with the full church nursery, but in general, Americans are having fewer kids. Actually, fewer kids than ever.

Among us childbirth-delaying millennials, it’s not uncommon for whole circles of friends—20-somethings and 30-somethings—to be childfree. We live in a society where we have fewer opportunities to interact with children because, in general, everybody—our brothers and sisters (if we have siblings—more of us are only children than ever), our classmates, our coworkers, our neighbors—are less likely to have them.

Here’s how TIME outlined the numbers in its “The Childfree Life” cover story:

The birthrate in the U.S. is the lowest in recorded American history, which includes the fertility crash of the Great Depression. From 2007 to 2011, the most recent year for which there’s data, the fertility rate declined 9%.

A 2010 Pew Research report showed that childlessness has risen across all racial and ethnic groups, adding up to about 1 in 5 American women who end their childbearing years maternity-free, compared with 1 in 10 in the 1970s.

Even before the recession hit, in 2008, the proportion of women ages 40 to 44 who had never given birth had grown by 80%, from 10% to 18%, since 1976, when a new vanguard began to question the reproductive imperative.

For married women who don’t have kids, or simply don’t have kids yet, an increasingly childless culture can take the pressure off. There are still people who badger, “When are you going to have kids?,” but that question doesn’t come up as much when surrounded by kid-free friends.

And not only do some childless folks not want kids of their own, they also don’t want to be around other people’s kids. Our worst kid-hatred comes out during travel (leading to a new airline class “for the child-intolerant” in Asia), but also atrestaurants, in movies, and on Facebook.

Some of the most unabashedly childfree won’t keep their preferences secret when faced with rambunctious offspring. They’ll tell you in a “no-offense,” joking tone: “That’s why I’m never having kids.” Or, “Aren’t you sick of them?” Deep down, they mean it.

Parents, of all people, are in on it too. Social media updates gripe about their kids of all ages, as if they’re a part of the anti-kid PR team: Pregnancy’s gross! Babies are a mess! Kids interfere with your plans! The whole thing is too expensive!

The most talked about parenting book of the year, Jennifer Senior’s New York Times bestseller, All Joy and No Fun, argued that happiness may be a misguided expectation for childrearing. “Senior scrupulously chronicles the lack of fun. The joy, she admits, is difficult to quantify,” writes onereview.

Parents also gush about their kids—but the conversation about children can so quickly skew negative, with rarely any pushback for the child-averse. No one dares to question a person who “just doesn’t like kids.”

There are plenty of single people and childless people who love kids, but for a while, I was not one of them. Never struck with baby fever, I distanced myself from children and occasionally repeated smug lines about the perks and freedoms of childlessness.

That changed once my best friend revealed to me earlier this year that she was going to have a baby. I didn’t have to fake my excitement; I started crying right in the baby section of Target, where I happened to be shopping for a gift when she called. I knew this was not going to be some tiny human that I could nod approvingly toward and then ignore. This was my best friend’s baby, and both of them were going to be a part of my life for a long time.

I started paying more attention to the mothers I knew and to their kids—no matter how sad their fussy faces, how sticky their fingers, how nonsensical their questions. I willed myself to like them. I reminded myself that there were many topics that Jesus was silent on in Scripture, but how we should treat children was not one of them.

In Mark, Jesus takes a child into his arms and tells the disciples, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me” (Mark 9:36-37, ESV). In Matthew, he says, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 19:14). The Savior of the world is not too busy or too holy for playtime. His call to care for children is as direct and straightforward as, “Love thy neighbor.” Even if your neighbor can’t quiet talk or walk or read yet.

Little by little, my fear and dismissal of parenting has grown into downright awe. I still find kids to be annoying and needy and cringe at wailing babies and dripping toddler noses, but I’m trying. There are lessons to be learned from the mouths of babes.

People may have a range of reasons for not wanting or not liking children, but I realized that my kid-aversion had its roots in a familiar, dark place: my desire for control. As every parent will tell you, and has told me, kids don’t come with a foolproof guide. From the littlest moments (Why are you crying?) to the biggest questions (How will you turn out?), we won’t always be able to figure them out, to program them, to raise them perfectly. Even as a non-parent, that frustrates me and scares me.

The childless-inept, perhaps, can remember that Christ is with us in the nursery and at babysitting time too. It is God who qualifies us, who takes our obedient, open-hearted not enoughs and multiplies them to more than we expect.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2014/september/jesus-loves-little-children-but-i-dont-.html?paging=off

Leave a comment

Filed under Life

Steve Matoren: Why No One in the NFL Wants Tim Tebow

I found this interesting article as the NFL starts up again.

You either love or hate him. When it comes to the polarizing football force named Tim Tebow, your feelings are verifiably black and white. Tebow knows no shades of gray. With the NFL set to kick-off another Tebowless season tonight, the reasons why the 27 year old cult hero and physical specimen has been relegated to reporting on football (as an SEC Network commentator), rather than playing football (in the NFL), have been discussed and debated like no other topic in sport the last few years.

We’ve heard everything from “he can’t throw” to “he’s not a good practice player” to “he’s a distraction.” Legendary Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi must be turning over in his grave. He’d be the first to remind us that “Winning isn’t everything — It’s the only thing.” And at every level, all Tebow did was win.

The only question worth asking when evaluating your QB, widely recognized as the most important position on the field, is, “Can I win a Championship with this guy?”

Tebow won a State Championship in High School, two National Championships in College and a Division Championship in the NFL.

In the 2007 College Football season Tebow threw for 29 TD’s and rushed for 21 more, the most in SEC history. He won the Heisman. In 14 career NFL regular season starts, Tebow is 8–6 with 17 passing TD’s and 12 rushing TD’s. That’s 29 total TD’s in his first 14 games! Keep in mind, Tebow has never entered an NFL season as a starting QB. No off-season program as the starter. No training camp reps as the starter. Never. Yet, other QB’s with far less credentials and far fewer wins, have been given years to develop as a starting NFL QB. YEARS! Tebow never even got ONE.

Tebow’s limitless heart, insatiable will-to-win, strong character, extraordinary work ethic, humility, countless charitable efforts and leadership skills have never been in question. You would think these off-the-chart intangibles alone should be enough to warrant a real opportunity.

After all, it’s not like he failed with the last team to employ him for a full season. The NY Jets never gave him the chance to. Not once did they allow him to start. They finished 6–10, and 30th in the league in scoring. Tebow was primarily relegated to holding a clip board, and rather inexplicably, asked to punt protect.

In 2013, then Cleveland Browns General Manager Michael Lombardi, was quoted as saying, “(Tebow’s) not the vision of where we’re headed.” What vision was that? Losing? Lombardi’s since been fired and replaced by Ray Farmer. Farmer’s vision apparently is in step with his predecessor’s. Also passing on Tebow, Farmer opted to draft Johnny Manziel this past year — perhaps the anti-Tebow. Off the field, Johnny Football is a partying train wreck — on it, NFL personnel are about as divided on him as they are with Tebow. By the way, the Browns, as a franchise, have started 20 different QB’s since 1999. So yeah, they’ve got great “vision” with that. No wonder they’ve only had 2 winning seasons since ‘99 and 6 consecutive 11 loss seasons. Some say — the Browns are cursed. Perhaps, they’re only cursed in their inability to pick a QB. However, I would argue they simply don’t know how to properly evaluate one.

In just 3 seasons in the NFL, Tebow managed to win as many playoff games, one, as current NFL starting QB’s Jay Cutler, Alex Smith, Andrew Luck, Tony Romo and Matt Ryan. Oh by the way, that one playoff win came in Tebow’s first career playoff appearance.

Tebow also has the same number of career playoff wins as former multi-year NFL starters, Matt Schaub, Jeff George, Bubby Brister, Rodney Peete, Steve Walsh, Steve Beuerlein, David Garrard Marc Bulger, Erik Kramer, Elvis Grbac, “Dandy” Don Meredith, Steve Barkowski, Steve DeBerg, Joe Ferguson and David Carr.

How about some notable QB’s who never won an NFL playoff game? On this undesirable list are Brian Sipe, Neil Lomax, Jon Kitna, Trent Green, Gus Frerotte, Steve Grogan, Bert Jones, YA Tittle, Ken O’Brien, Roman Gabriel, Vince Young, Sean Salisbury, Bobby Hebert and Doug Flutie.

If that’s not enough, Tebow has more playoff wins than 13 current NFL starting QB’s COMBINED — a group that includes: Matt Cassel, Nick Foles, Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, RG3, Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton, EJ Manuel, Shaun Hill, Chad Henne, Josh McCown, Jake Locker, Derek Carr and Brian Hoyer. You can also add the recently injured Rams starter, Sam Bradford, to this list.

If you still don’t think what Tebow did, in winning a playoff game, was truly special — then consider this omnious fact — Tebow became the first Hesiman winning QB in 26 years to win an NFL playoff game. The streak now stands at 28 years.

ESPN has a TV show called Numbers Never Lie. If that’s the case, here’s some eye-popping NFL numbers for Tebow, beyond just his wins and losses.

In his first NFL career start back in 2010 vs Oakland, Tebow rushed for the longest TD run in Broncos history (40 yards) by a QB. In his 2nd start he threw for 308 yards and rallied past the Texans for a 24–23 win, after trailing 17–0 at the half. Tebow became the 1st QB in NFL history to rush for a TD in each of his first 3 starts. You’d think this would have been enough to warrant the starting job the following season, but new Head Coach John Fox, known for his conservative style, came in and promptly handed the job back to previous starter Kyle Orton without competition. We know how that story ended. Remember Kyle Orton — more on him later.

Bowing to public pressure and a dismal 1–4 start to the 2011 season, Fox reluctantly named Tebow his starting QB after week 5. A prominent Denver downtown billboard orchestrated by fans, practically begging Fox to give Tebow a shot, turned the tide.

Tebow went on to start the final 11 regular season games for the Broncos, winning 7 of them, en route to a Broncos AFC West Division Championship. In case you were living under a rock, here’s the highlights from that unlikely playoff run— a time that will forever be remembered as “Tebow Time.”

In his first start of 2011 vs the Dolphins in Week 6, Tebow and the Broncos found themselves down 15–0 with 3:30 minutes left. And then Tebow went to work. He led back to back scoring drives of 80 and 56 yards, before tying it on a 2-point conversion. The Broncos kicked the game winner in Overtime to win 18–15.

Here’s what former Florida teammate and current Miami Dolpins center Mike Pouncey had to say afterward: “It’s tough to say, but man, Timmy did a great job. Hopefully the critics will get off him about what he can’t do and talk about the things that he can do, and that’s figure out a way to win the game, no matter what.”

Two weeks later against the Raiders in Oakland, Tebow ran for 117 yards, threw for 124 yards and 2 TD’s. Denver won 38–24. The win was the first of 6 in a row for the Broncos.

On a cold Thursday night in Denver in front of a national TV audience, Tebow engineered a game-winning 95 yard drive with less than 6 minutes left to beat the Jets 17–13. Tebow scored the winning TD with a magnificent 20-yard scamper on 3rd down. I was at this game — It was, in single word — electric!

After his third comeback in a month Tebow simply said, “I like winning.”

Teammate Von Miller was a bit more loquatious. “I said before, I trust him. I trust him with everything. No matter how many interceptions he throws, no matter how many touchdowns he scores, that’s Tim Tebow and I’m going to ride with him to the end. I hope he shut up a whole bunch of critics today.”

Coach John Fox finally seemed impressed too, “He’s a competitive dude. He’s super competitive. He never lays his sword down. He’ll fight you to the death. That’s just his nature. He’s a great young man.”

The following week, once again, I witnessed more Tebow magic in person. This time in San Diego before a super charged-up crowd, Tebow led another late comeback and a 16–13 OT win.

Another road game. Another comeback win for Tebow. The week after defeating the Chargers, Denver beat Minnesota 35–32 in a raucous Metrodome with Tebow leading the way yet again.

Next up for T — the trash-talking Chicago Bears. Down 10–0 with just over 2 minutes to play, Tebow and the Broncos found a way. After tying it up, they won it in overtime 13–10. Even in defeat, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher was unimpressed. He called Tebow “a good running back.”

But after struggling over the final 3 weeks of the season, all the Tebow critics finally found their ammo. They cried and boasted loudly — “Tebow was lucky” or “it was the Denver defense that kept them in games.” Sure, Denver was winning, but not because of Tebow. Nevertheless, a team that began 1–4 without Tebow, then went 7–4 with Tebow and ended up with a division title.

The defending AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers brought the League’s #1 scoring defense into Denver for the opening playoff game. No one gave Tebow a chance of winning this one.

The Broncos beat the Steelers 29–23 in Overtime. And what about Tebow? The guy who couldn’t “throw” threw for 316 yards and 2 TD’s, including the 80-yard game-winner on the first play in OT. The Steelers vaunted defense had only given up 6 completions of 30+ yards all season — Tebow threw 5 in this game. Tebow was the first player to throw for 300 yards against the Steelers all season. Tebow also became the first player to have 4 completions of more than 30 yards in one quarter of a playoff game in the modern era (1960) and the first to do so in any game since Warren Moon did it in 1990. No QB since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970 had ever completed three 50+ yard passes in a game. And just for good measure, Tebow also ran for 50 yards and a TD. Tebow’s 97.3 QBR (out of 100) was the highest ever recorded in a single game. The QBR is a relatively new stat created by ESPN that shows total game efficiency that factors in a number of categories. They use it almost exclusively now in determining a QB’s overall proficiency.

Nah…Tebow can’t play QB in the NFL.

The only number that seems to be irrelevant for Tebow is his career completion percentage of 47.9%. Let me ask you something. Would you prefer a guy like Alex Smith who will go 18-for-21 for 120 yards, dinking, dunking and checking down? Or a guy like Tebow who goes 10-for-21 and throws for 316 yards and goes balls out for the first down or TD, completion percentage be damned?! Anyone can complete a 2 yard pass on 3rd and 12 to pad his stats. Also, Tebow never slides short of the sticks (first down marker).

To further address the question of completion percentage, I called the Elias Sports bureau to find out Tebow’s completion to TD ratio, relative to a few other QB’s. My theory is that while Tebow completes a far fewer percentage of his passes than your average NFL QB, those completions are far more meaningful. And while his total number of career completions rank well below the others I inquired about — it does prove my point.

Here’s the career passing completion percentage that go for TD’s (includes playoffs).

Tebow — 9.9%

Aaron Rogers 9.6%

Peyton Manning 8.7%

Mark Sanchez 6.9%

Alex Smith 6.8%

All Chris Carter may have done was catch TD’s — well, all Tebow does is throw them. The numbers never lie.

So, what do these stats, that AFC Division Title and record-setting playoff perfomance earn Mr. Tebow? In the off-season, Denver signed perennial Pro-Bowler Peyton Manning and immediately traded Tim to the New York Jets. Despite woeful performances from the two other QB’s on their roster, the Jets never allowed Tebow to start or log any meaningful playing time. He was cut at the end of the season and picked up by the New England Patriots, who then released him the week before the season opener.

New England is a curious place for Tebow’s career to have been shut down, even with the great Tom Brady firmly entrenched as their QB. But if you have to back-up someone, who better to learn from than “The Golden Boy?”

Pats Owner Bob Kraft, a man with extremely high moral character and intelligence, and one of the few Owners I respect a great deal, said he wished Tebow could have made the team. Right or wrong, he put the onus on Head Coach Bill Belichick, who is a very good friend of arguably Tebow’s biggest supporter, current Ohio State State Head Coach and Tebow’s college coach, Urban Meyer.

Josh McDaniels, the man who drafted Tebow in the first round while Head Coach with Denver, is the Offensive Coordinator for the Patriots. Many people say the drafting of Tebow was the reason McDaniels was fired in Denver. I counter that McDaniels got fired because he never played Tebow! Sticking with another QB (Orton) proved to be his real downfall. Who knows what would have happened if Tebow was named the starter on day one in Denver. It’s possible both he and McDaniels would still be there. If McDaniels ever gets another shot at being an NFL Head Coach, you wonder if he’ll give Tebow another one as well.

So, why has no other NFL team shown interest since? Why does no NFL team want Tim Tebow on their team? And forget just having him on the team, why doesn’t any team want Tebow to be their starting QB?!

Tebow doesn’t fit your system? Change your system.

Tebow doesn’t practice well? I’ll be the first to admit practice is extremely important. With that said, nobody won any Championships in “practice.”

Tebow brings too much attention. Hello! You’re in the business of entertainment and attention getting! Eyeballs and Butts In The Seats, right?

Tebow’s faith is disruptive. To whom? ISIS?

By all accounts, Tebow lives an exemplary lifestyle, which is more than can be said for so many employed in the NFL. No drugs. No drunk driving. No public intoxication. No assault or domestic violence charges. No rape accusations. No accidental bullets fired. No dog killing. No leaked sexting pictures. No “misrepresented” photos that show him fondling strippers in a Dallas area “restaurant.” It’s possible, Tebow’s just too good for this League.

As a group, NFL Owners have long been known for their conservative rule and public policies. NFL Owners do not take risks, at least not anymore. And while they’ve successfully created billion dollar businesses, and often profess to be “all about winning”, they’re also clearly interested in making even more money…i.e. now charging entertainers to play the Super Bowl halftime show. Which is why their collective decision to ignore and dismiss a man who’s aptly proven he’s capable of delivering both so improbable and illogical. It just doesn’t make any sense or cents! Where is the risk with Tebow?!

Tebow’s games, as both a College and NFL starter, were among the highest rated on TV. That Steelers playoff game drew a 31.6 rating and 42.4 million viewers, the second most watched TV event in the calendar year, behind only the Super Bowl. An ESPN poll at the time named him the most popular athlete in the world. Tebow was more popular than Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and every other NFL player. Heading into 2010, Tebow sat comfortably at number 1 in NFL jersey sales despite being a rookie on a team with no immediate plans to start him. In 2011, the act of “Tebowing”, going down on one knee to pray, became a world-wide phenomenan.

By last check, @TimTebow has 2.69 million Twitter followers — more than every single TEAM in the league…by a large margin. The Patriots lead the NFL with 912,000 followers. The Cowboys are second @ 879,000. Last among the 32 franchises? The Arizona Cardinals @ 112,000. To keep things in perspective, Tebow is no Lady Gaga or Biebs. The Queen of Twitter has 42 million “Little Monsters” following her and the bratty King from Canada has 54.2 million trollers. I hear ‘ya, but can either of them play QB?

So, with all these numbers and accomplishments, Why is Tebow seemingly being black-balled from the NFL? And why isn’t the right question being asked to the right people?

Urban Meyer, doesn’t understand it. Neither does Super Bowl winning Coach Jon Gruden, a vocal Tebow advocate. ESPN’s Skip Bayless, who first led the media charge to “unleash Tebow” doesn’t get it. Hall of Famer Steve Young begged to see Tebow given a real chance to play QB.

I’m tired of hearing from the traditional sheep herding NFL Coaches and General Managers as to why Tebow can’t make it in the NFL; even though he’s already proven he can. I’m done listening to TV analysts breakdown his faulty mechanics or cite his overall deficiencies as a Quarterback; when the reality is, no other man with Tebow’s significant raw talents and leadership skills have been given less time to develop into a better player. It’s time to hear from those whose voice matters most.

32 individuals sign the checks in today’s NFL. 32 people who can unilaterally hire and fire among NFL teams. Because no one in the national media seems eager to engage anymore in the topic, I decided to personally ask each of the 32 NFL owners the same basic question — ‘Why don’t you want Tim Tebow on your team?’

I emailed the request through the appropriate channels, contacting each team’s Senior PR/Communications executive. I let them know that each of their fellow Owners would be receiving the same exact question. All I wanted in return was an honest, candid answer to a question even a child could address. Surely, a group of adult billionaires, from America’s highest profile sport, who pledge the holy trinity of ethics, family values and character would be able to answer such a simple question. Below are the 32 responses I received (or didn’t) from each team’s PR rep….

New England Patriots: “I (Robert Kraft) understand that you are reaching out to all NFL teams, but the question might be a little too generic, as I don’t think it applies to the Patriots. If you recall, we did want him on our team. We signed him. We brought him to training camp. We gave him a chance to compete and to earn a spot on our roster. I was hoping that he would make our team. Clearly, he has enjoyed a lot of success as a football player. He is a great ambassador for our game, both on and off the field. I enjoyed getting to know Tim and felt like we shared a number of core values.”

Worth mentioning — this was the most complete and dignified answer from any team. And that doesn’t surprise me at all. The Patriots are a first class organization. I also have no reason to believe this is not a sincere and genuine comment from Mr. Kraft. As I previously stated, I’m a long-time admirer of the Patriots owner, which is why it’s so disappointing he couldn’t tell his football decision makers just this once — “This one’s on me. I want the kid on our team.”

Carolina Panthers: “He (Jerry Richardson) never comments on player evaluations, including this one.”

Why the silence? Why Jerry? Why? Is it because you have confidence in Cam Newton? Let me remind you Cam used to back up Tebow at Florida and was later booted from the team and the school for stealing laptops. But since you’ve given him millions of dollars, he can probably afford to buy his own computer equipment now. Gator and Alabama fans refer to him as “Scam.” One last thing, Tebow’s also got more NFL playoffs wins than Newton.

Dallas Cowboys: Did not respond

Another Jerry (Jones) — Another no answer. We all know JJ loves the spotlight (and strippers), yet he’s never once publically considered Tebow, aside from the drunken response he gave a fan back in 2010. Well, they do still have Tony Romo, who’s entering his 12th year, yet has won just once in the playoffs — just like Tebow.

Atlanta Falcons: “Steve – Hope you are having a terrific Labor Day. We are going to pass on this request. Thx.”

At least they were pleasant about it. As for their franchise QB, Matty “Ice” Ryan? He’s 1–4 in the post season.

San Francisco 49ers: “Sorry Steve. We are going to pass on this request.”

Surely Tebow seems a better back-up to Colin Kaepernick than Blaine Gabbert?! How does a QB who miserably failed to make it as a starter with one of the worst teams in the league become a back-up to one of the best?

Green Bay Packers: “Steve, thanks for the opportunity but we’ll respectfully decline. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to work on something in the future.”

Well, they do have Aaron Rodgers. Also, the Packers are a public company, so technically they have thousands of owners. It would be difficult to get a comment from each of them. On the other hand, maybe I should poll every one of the 352,427 shareholders. I wonder how many of them are a Tebow Twitter followers.

Miami Dolphins: “Steve, Thanks for the e-mail and hope all is well. We will politely decline this request as we only discuss players on our roster. Thanks.”

I wonder if I asked a question about Dan Marino if I’d get the same response. After all, he’s not on their current roster.

Houston Texans: Did not respond

Keep in mind, current Texans Owner Bob McNair believes in allowing his QB time to develop. He gave David Carr 75 career starts, where he ended up 22–53. 75 Starts for David Carr?! And Bob McNair won’t give Tebow one. Instead, he just traded for Ryan Mallett.

Cincinnati Bengals: Did not respond

The team’s PR exec did get back to me and said he tried to get a comment from Owner Mike Brown, but he declined the request. So, the Bengals have Andy Dalton at QB. Sure, he’s guided the team to the playoffs in each of his first 3 years, but he’s also lost all 3 post-season games. In those contests, Dalton has thrown 1 TD against 6 INT’s. For those winning ways, Owner Mike Brown handed Dalton a 6-year $96 million extension, with $17 million gauranteed. Journeyman QB Jason Campbell is the back-up. In 79 career regular season starts, Campbell’s fumbled 51 times and amassed zero playoff appearances.

Baltimore Ravens: “Here would be Steve’s (Stephen Bisciotti) reply: ‘I depend on our football evaluators to evaluate players.’”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: “Thanks for reaching out regarding your request. I believe we will need to take a pass on this as our standard policy is to defer to our player personnel department when it comes to evaluations of players.”

I find it difficult to believe any Owner, of any business, who cuts the checks, has no say in personnel. Besides, both these teams missed the point of my question. I wasn’t asking for an “evaluation” of Tebow’s talent. My question was, “Why don’t you want Tebow on your team?”

Speaking of team’s player evaluators, the Philadephia Eagles General Manager is a University of Florida graduate. Guess he never learned the Gator spirit song, ‘We are the Boys’ that contains the line “In all kinds of weather, we’ll all stick together…”

Philadelphia Eagles: Did not respond

Indianapolis Colts: Did not respond

The Colts no response may have something to do with their owner Jim Irsay unavailable because he’s on suspension for a drunk driving offense and possession of illegal prescription drugs.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Did not respond

Apparently, back in 2010, prior to current owner Shahid Khan buying the team, he told, then Owner and friend Wayne Weaver, he should draft Tebow. The Jags were also reported to be in the running, along with the Jets, to trade with Denver for Tebow; but of course, that didn’t happen. Khan’s past interest in Tebow seems like lip service now because his General Manager David Caldwell told reporters on the day he took the job, the team has no interest in Tebow. They did however have interest in Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne. Gabbert’s now backing up in Oakland and starter Henne is on less 2014 ESPN Fantasy Football squads than Tebow. And yes, there’s still plenty of tickets available for any Jaguars game you wish to attend. Did I mention the Jags play in Tebow’s hometown, Jacksonville? If you didn’t know, Jacksonville’s in Florida, where Tebow grew up and went to College. Just saying.

Denver Broncos: Did not respond

No surprise the Broncos have no further comment. Owner Pat Bowlen stepped down a couple of months ago due to his on-going battle with Alzheimer’s disease. In fairness to him, he may not even remember the positive impact Tebow had on his franchise. But I bet President John Elway and Coach John Fox do — along with thousands of Tebow supporters still going to Broncos games. If you’re wondering who those two men prefer to back-up Peyton Manning, instead of Tebow, it’s Brock Osweiler.

New York Giants: Did not respond

Owner Steve Tisch talked to TMZ last year about Tebow and said something to the effect of the Jets killed his career. You can see the actual interview here. Can you imagine Tebow returning to the Big Apple? Apparently, neither can Tisch’s QB struggling Giants. While Eli and the Giants offense continue to be offensive, back-up QB Ryan Nassib, a 2nd year pro out of Syracuse, is ready to jump in and spark the team.

Oakland Raiders: Did not respond

Give the Raiders credit for choosing rookie QB Derek Carr as their starter over Matt Schaub this week. It’s the first time in Raiders history they’ve gone with a rookie QB in his first game. It’s also the 4th different starter in a row for Oakland in Week 1. Maybe the 4th time’s the charm. When the Raiders show no interest in a guy the rest of the league shuns, then you know something is amuck. Guess Tebow is the wrong kind of “bad boy” to wear the Silver and Black. And while we’re guessing here, which team do you think had the worst attendance in the league last year, both in number and in percentage of capacity? Said team also wants a new stadium. Hint — They play in Oakland.

San Diego Chargers: Did not respond

Tebow’s previous Offensive coordinator in Denver, Mike McCoy, is now the Head Coach in San Diego. But we also know, Chargers Owner Alex Spanos doesn’t like to spend money. Wait — what’s that? You can sign Tebow for the league minimum? 9-year journeyman Kellen Clemons, with 15 career passing TD’s, 20 INT’s and a 8–13 record as a starter, backs up veteran Philip Rivers.

Washington Redskins: Did not respond

After employing Rex Grosman, Steve Spurrier, Shane Matthews and Danny Wuerffel I guess Owner Daniel Snyder has had his fill of Florida QB’s. He’s also got that whole Redskins name controversy on his plate too.

New Orleans Saints: Did not respond

Drew Brees. Yes, I get it. Owner Tom Benson cried this past Tuesday when a 13.5 foot, 1,500 pound bronze statue was dedicated to him outside the Superdome. Are you sure those weren’t tears over back-up QB Luke McCown? With 5 different teams over 11 NFL seasons, McCown has thrown 9 TD’s and 14 INT’s. By the way, Tebow has a big statue too outside his stadium too. And the only time he cries is when he loses.

Minnesota Vikings: Did not respond

Due to construction of a new stadium, the Vikings will play this year in a college stadium at the University of Minnesota. I thought College was the perfect place for Tebow, right?! Instead of bringing in Tebow, veteran Matt Cassel gets the nod over rookie Teddy Bridgewater. Tebow has more playoff wins than both of them, combined.

New York Jets: Did not respond

Did you really expect them to?

Tennesse Titans: Did not respond

Actually, the team’s PR exec did respond by informing me he was unable to get a comment from his Owner. The Titans are one of the few NFL teams who are run by ladies and carry 3 QB’s. And here I thought all women liked Tebow. The QB’s here are Jake Locker, Charlie Whitehurst and Zach Mettenberger. Guess how many combined playoff wins they have?

Cleveland Browns: Did not respond

Best of luck with Brian Hoyer and Johnny Football.

Chicago Bears: Steve, I’m happy to pass along (to George McCaskey) but it seems you’re working on a general assumption…

Yes. I am. I generally assume you don’t want Tebow on your team. Otherwise, he would be. A Billionaire can pretty much get anything he wants. The Bears went to a Super Bowl with a former Florida QB in Rex Grossman, so you think they’d have a certain affinity for another Gator signal caller. The problem with Rexy is that fans hated him. Ex-Coach Lovie Smith infuriated the faithful by stubbornly repeating the same thing at press conferences, “Rex is my QB.” — until he wasn’t two years later. Chicago ownership has decided to stake their future on Jay Cutler — a veteran guy with a rocket arm and 104 career NFL starts. In those games, he’s amassed a rather pedestrian 56–48 regular season record and a 1–1 playoff record. In just 14 NFL starts, Tebow is also 1–1 in the playoffs.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Did not respond

More than 10 years ago, long time Steelers Owner Art Rooney helped create the “Rooney Rule” which forced teams to consider and interview qualified African-American candidates for open NFL Head Coaching positions. Maybe his son, Dan, who’s now running things, should consider the “Tebow Rule.” Thou shall not disrespect a player who single handedly beat you. Despite being torched repeatedly in the playoffs by Tebow and his record setting passing performance, current Steelers Safety and freshly crowned Captain, Troy Polamalu still insists Tebow can’t throw.

Detroit Lions: Did not respond

As great an arm as current signal caller Matthew Stafford has, his career NFL record is a paultry 24–38. Stafford is a perfect example of how the NFL misses the skills that matter most at the QB position. One of the Lions other former mediocre QB’s (they’ve had a plethora) was Scott Mitchell. Scott now weighs 366 pounds and is starring on NBC’s TV show, ‘The Biggest Loser.” Take care of yourself Scott — you are not the biggest loser to come out of the Motor City. That honor belongs to deceased Lions Owner William Clay Sr, who passed away in March. Not to kick a man when he’s down for good, but Mr. Clay’s Lions won as many playoff games in 50 seasons as Tebow did in 3. Clay’s wife, Martha, still owns the club, while their son, William Jr, runs the day to day operations. Hey, if Stafford continues to not work out, the Lions can always turn to Kellen Moore or 9 year NFL career back-up Dan Orlovsky.

Arizona Cardinals: Did not respond

The Cardinals are sticking with 11-year veteran QB Carson Palmer, 7 year back-up Drew Stanton and Rookie Logan Thomas. Returning starter Palmer holds a career 64–73 record, and that was after posting a 10–6 mark a year ago. So, at 34 years old, he’s finally turning the corner. Sorry to be a downer here, and dare I repeat myself, but Tebow has more playoff wins than all 3 current Cardinals QB combined.

Kansas City Chiefs: Did not respond

Former Urban Meyer protege and displaced 49er, Alex Smith, is the main man in Kansas City. He may have a fantastic career winning and completion percentage, but he’s Tebow-lite to many of us. A couple of former SEC QB’s back him up, Chase Daniel and Aaron Murray. Under the Hunt family ownership how many playoff wins do you think the Chiefs have amassed since 1995? — Here’s a hint — not as many as Tebow has.

St. Louis Rams: Did not respond

The Rams should know better, as they plucked their former Super Bowl winning QB out of a grocery store. Kurt Warner went from bagging groceries to 2-time NFL MVP. So, what did they do when mediocre high priced starter Sam Bradford was lost for the season last week? They went out and signed Texans QB Case Keenum, who was waived by the equally mediocre Texans this week. Keenum joins Shaun Hill and Austin Davis at the QB position in St. Louis. In case you’re wondering how many playoff wins the Rams have since Warner left in 2004, the answer is – you guessed it — not as many as Tebow’s had. In fact, the Rams haven’t even sniffed the post-season since Warner’s departure. Maybe, Billionaire Owner Stan Kroenke is the one who should start bagging groceries.

Seattle Seahawks: Did not respond

The defending Super Bowl champs won it all without Tebow. Their Billionaire Owner, Paul Allen, gets a pass — not for ignoring my question, but for winning a Championship without Tebow on his team. However, his Head Coach Pete Carroll does not get such a free ride. Carroll called Tebow a “distraction” when he was apparently distracting Carroll’s former USC QB Mark Sanchez from completing passes while with the Jets.

Not only do the current crop of NFL owners not want Tebow on their team, none of them have the courage to tell us exactly why. It’s no wonder so many of them see their teams lose more often than they win – year after year, after year. No guts. No glory. Why are people with more money than they know what to do with so afraid to speak their mind?

And finally, I told you earlier not to forget the easily forgettable Kyle Orton, another mediocre journeyman QB with a career 500 winning percentage. In 70 NFL starts, Orton’s gone 35–35, yet the Buffalo Bills just signed him this week for $5 million after he quit the Cowboys and said he was retiring. Retiring and quitting are the same thing by the way. This is the same Kyle Orton who lost his job to Tim Tebow, not once; but twice in Denver. And just for good measure, guess how many playoff wins Orton has in his 9 years in the NFL? I’ll give you a hint. It’s not as many as Tebow. I’m not suprised the Buffalo Bills ownership (Mary Wilson) declined to respond to my inquiry. She found her man! The good news is the Bills are up for sale, so we’ll have a brand new NFL owner next season to ask the Tebow question to.

Maybe the problem lies with Tebow’s agent, Jimmy Sexton — the same agent he’s had since he turned pro and the very same agent who also represents Rex Ryan — the Coach who transformed Tebow into an NFL leper. Maybe it’s time for a new agent, Timmy.

Speculation aside, I’ve been sure of one thing for awhile now. An enterprise that has no interest in employing Tim Tebow is no business I wish to do business with. After nearly 40 years, I no longer follow the NFL. I don’t watch games, highlights or play Fantasy Football. If I had a billion dollars, I’d buy the Buffalo Bills, or any other team that’s for sale, and name Tebow my starting QB the same day.

In lieu of any follow-up questions from me just to receive more non-answers from the 32 NFL Owners, perhaps our time, and their’s, would be better off spent watching this superb video recap on Tim Tebow produced by the NFL’s production arm, NFL Films.
Keep the faith Tim, as I know you will. One day, you will get your chance to rise again, just as my all-time favorite fictional character, The Natural’s Roy Hobbs, did. Like him, the prime of your career has been taken away for no good reason. And maybe, the next time you exit the game, people everywhere will recall one of the greatest American sports figures, and rightfully say, “There goes Tim Tebow, the best there ever was.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Life

Wolves At The Gate: Dust to Dust

Wolves At The Gate will be dropping a new album, “V x V”, on June 10th, 2014. They released this song today, “Dust to Dust”, as sampler of their new album coming out! It’s a heavy and the lyrics are rock solid!

 www.wolvesatthegate.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Life

7 Things We Regularly Get Wrong About Worship by Dr. Joe McKeever

Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name (Psalm 29:2).

It’s Sunday around noonish. As the congregation files out of the sanctuary heading toward the parking lot, listen closely and you will hear it.It’s a common refrain voiced near the exit doors of churches all across this land.

“I didn’t get anything out of that today.” “I didn’t get anything out of the sermon.” “I didn’t get anything out of that service.” “I guess her song was all right, but I didn’t get anything out of it.”

Sound familiar? Not only have I heard it countless times over these near-fifty years in the ministry, I probably have said it a few times myself.This is like dry rot in a congregation. Like a termite infestation in the building. Like an epidemic afflicting the people of the Lord, one which we seem helpless to stop. But let’s try. Let’s see if we can make a little difference where you and I live, in the churches where we serve and worship. We might not be able to help all of them, but if we bless one or two, it will have been time well spent.

1. You are Not Supposed to ‘Get Anything Out of the Service’

Worship is not about you and me. Not about “getting our needs met.” Not about a performance from the pastor and singer and choir and musicians. Not in the least.

2. Worship is About the Lord

“Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name.” That Psalms 29:2 verse atop our article today is found also in 1 Chronicles 16:29 and Psalms 96:8. It deserves being looked at closely.

a) We are in church to give. Not to get.

Now, if I am going somewhere to “get,” but find out on arriving, I am expected to “give,” I am one frustrated fellow. And that is what is happening in the typical church service. People walk out the door frustrated because they didn’t “get.” The reason they didn’t is that they were not there to “get,” but to “give.”

Someone should have told them.

b) We are giving glory to God. Not to man.

We know that. At least we say we do. How many times have we recited, “…for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory”? And how often have we sung, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow…”?

c) We do so because glory is His right. He is “worthy of worship.”

This is the theme of the final book of the Bible.

  • “Who is worthy?” (Rev. 5:2)
  • “You are worthy…for you were slain, and have redeemed us” (Rev. 5:9).
  • “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain” (Rev. 5:12).

3. Self-centeredness Destroys All Worship

If my focus is on myself when I enter the church–getting my needs met, learning something, hearing a lesson that blesses me, being lifted by the singing–then Christ has no part in it. He becomes my servant, and the pastor (and all the other so-called performers) are there only for me. It’s all about me. We have strayed so far from the biblical concept of worship–giving God His due in all the ways He has commanded–it’s a wonder we keep going to church. And it’s an even greater wonder that our leaders keep trying to get us to worship.

The poor preacher! Trying to cater to the insatiable hungers of his people, even the best and most godly among them, is an impossible task. One week he gets it right and eats up the accolades. Then, about the time he thinks he has it figured out, the congregation walks out grumbling that they got nothing out of the meal he served today. The typical congregation in the average church today really does think the service is all about them–getting people saved, learning the Word, receiving inspiration to last another week, having their sins forgiven, taking an offering to provision the Lord’s work throughout the world.

Anything wrong with those things? Absolutely not. But if we go to church to do those things, we can do them. But we will not have worshiped.

Warren Wiersbe says, “If you worship because it pays, it will not pay.”

4. Evangelism & Discipleship, Giving & Praying, Grow Out of Worship; Not the Other Way Around

The disciples were worshiping on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit filled them and drove them into the streets to bear a witness to the living Christ (Acts 2). Isaiah was in the Temple worshiping when God appeared to him, forgave his sins, and called him as a prophet to the people (Isaiah 6). It was in the act of worship that the two distraught disciples had their eyes opened to recognize Jesus at their table (Luke 24).

5. We are to Give Him Worship and Glory in the Ways Scripture Commands

“Give to the Lord the glory due His name and bring an offering.” So commands I Chronicles 16:29 and Psalm 96:8.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart–these, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)

Singing, praise, rejoicing. Praying, offering, humbling, loving. All these are commanded in worship at various places in Scripture. The Lord Jesus told the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, “Those who worship God must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). That is, with their inner being, the totality of themselves, their spirit, not just their lips or their bodies going through the motions. And in truth–the revealed truth of how God has prescribed worship to take place. He is not pleased with “just anything” that we claim as worship.

We must balance our worship between spirit (the subjective part: body, soul, emotions) and truth (the objective aspect: all that God has revealed in His word).

6. We Are the Ones Who Decide Whether We Worship upon Entering the House of the Lord

Don’t blame the preacher if you don’t worship. He can’t do it for you. No one else can eat my food for me, love my cherished ones in my place, or do my worshiping for me. No pastor can decide or dictate whether we will worship by the quality of his leadership or the power of his sermon. Whether I worship in today’s service has absolutely nothing to do with how well he does his job.

I am in charge of this decision. I decide whether I will worship.

When Mary sat before the Lord Jesus, clearly worshiping, He informed a disgruntled Martha that her sister had “chosen the good part,” something that “will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42). That something special was time spent in worship. Such moments or hours are eternal. Lest someone point out that Martha could have worshiped in her kitchen by her service for Christ, we do not argue, but simply point out that she was not doing so that day.

7. Remember: Worship is a Verb

And it’s an active verb at that. Worship is something we do, not something done to us.

In the worst of circumstances, I can still worship my God. In the Philippians prison, while their backs were still oozing blood from the beating they’d received, Paul and Silas worshiped (Acts 16:25).

Even if a church has no pastor and has to make do with a stuttering layman or some inept fill-in, I can still bow before the Lord, offer Him my praise, and give Him my all. I can humble before Him and I can bring my offering.

What I cannot do is leave church blaming my failure to worship on the poor singing, the boring sermon, or the noise from the children in the next pew. I am in charge of the decision whether I will worship, and no one else.

Someone has pointed out that ours is the only nation on earth where church members feel they have to have “worshipful architecture” before they can adequately honor the Lord. Millions of Christians across the world seem to worship just fine without any kind of building. Believers in Malawi meet under mango trees, according to retired missionary Mike Canady, and their worship is as anointed as anyone’s anywhere. (What? No stained glass!)

Our insistence on worshipful music, worship settings, and worshipful everything are all signs of our disgusting self-centeredness. It’s disgusting because I see it in myself, and do not like it. No one enjoys a great choir more than I. I love to hear a soloist transport us all into the Throneroom by his/her vocal offering in the service. A great testimony of God’s grace and power thrills me. And of course, being a preacher, I delight in hearing a sermon that you feel is direct from the heart of God. But if I require any one or all of those before I can worship, something is vastly wrong with me.

My friends, something is vastly wrong with us today.

Dr. Joe McKeever is a Preacher, Cartoonist, and the Director of Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans.

Visit him at joemckeever.com/mt.

http://www.crosswalk.com/church/worship/7-things-we-regularly-get-wrong-about-worship.html?ps=0

*I do not agree 100% with this article but I think it is headed in the right direction.

Leave a comment

Filed under Church Life