I don’t know about you but music is so important in my Christian faith. It is a means by which I get my encouragement. I am certainly encouraged by the Word of God, but music comes in a close second.
Right now our church is without a worship leader. We have had a series of musicians and artists come through each Sunday to lead us for that day. We have our regular praise singers and the praise band. And I am very thankful for them. They are a very talented group of individuals that have been able to follow our ‘guest’ artist without flaw. Among those who have come through to lead us, I have enjoyed them all and some I have really enjoyed. I have also heard from a few other people that say they liked some better than others. But it doesn’t matter who is leading on Sunday morning, my worship is every day. I don’t wait for Sunday morning to get my praise on. I have church every day with my iPad and the hundreds of songs in my play list. So if the songs at worship were a little off or not inspiring me, I have my own worship every day to encourage me.
And oh how I love iTunes radio and the different stations. I can enjoy the Praise and Worship station or the Gospel Choir station and the Christian R&B station. They are different styles of music but each station offers great music.
I listen to my music in the morning getting ready for work. And at work I have my ear buds in just worshipping and praising the Lord. I work in an office that has an open concept. We are in workstations – cubicles. But I am swaying and praising God (literally) throughout the day.
We all should have church every day.
Psalm 100 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He, who made us, and we are His; we are His people the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 34:1 I will extol the Lord at all time; His praise will always be on my lips.
This is graduation season. Thousands of high school and college students across the country will embark on new journeys to make their mark on the world. And to that I say Congratulations. But I also say if you don’t know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior stop and accept Him into your heart right now. Let His marks, the stripes inflicted upon Him when he was beaten and died on the cross, be your mark on the world.
He died for the sins of man – yours and mine. And He will direct your path so you can make a mark on the world. But first acknowledge His marks.
Proverbs 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.
I am learning more and more about how much God loves me. I’ve been reading the Old Testament and the more I know about the hard-headed people of Israel the more I know how God gives grace and mercy for me.
I have always but jokingly said, “God when you’re talking to me you need to shout because I’m a little hard-headed.” But reading Old Testament scripture I think how much my hard headedness gets me into situations, trials and tribulations much like the people of Israel. I can’t blame anyone but myself. It is always easier to see that someone else should avoid temptation but I know I have to check myself with God speaking quietly to the Holy Spirit in me. And I know there is a way to flee.
We know that God made a covenant with the people of Israel. He established a few rules but it took no time for the people to forget about what God had brought them through and they broke those few rules. He showed mercy – held back what they deserved and extended grace – gave them what they did not deserve – on more than one occasion.
How else can I explain that when I do something I know I shouldn’t. I believe it was Paul who confessed that “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.” (Romans 7:15-17)
And oh the people of Israel were truly a hardheaded group of people that I can identify with.
But the good news – the gospel of Christ is that He provides a way to flee temptation and receives me back again, and again, and again.
I am dealing with an issue of life – one that has been and continues to be a hard lesson to learn. But I thank God that He rescues me chance after chance, after chance to get it right. He receives me back again.
Paul also said “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (I Corinthians 10:14)
Praise God for His grace and mercy.