Wednesday, November 30, 2011

+DEV+ False Messages

Date: November 30, 2011 12:14 AM
Topic: +DEV+ False Messages

False Messages

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (JOHN 1:14)
Scripture Focus: John 5:19-30

Have you ever received a message with contradictions and falsehoods? What a mess it created! The more you tried to address it, the more confused you became. Eventually, you had to get back to the beginning to figure out the truth in order to correct what went wrong.

Incorrect messages come to us on many different levels, and it is one of the most subtle and damaging tactics Satan uses on us spiritually and emotionally. He gives us just enough truth to make his lies seem plausible, making sin look acceptable, and other people and things worth worshiping. And if we are not prepared, we march right in accepting his deceptive messages as truth. It can happen to any one of us, at any time.

How do we guard against responding to his false messages? We must first understand and acknowledge how inclined our hearts are towards sin, how very frail we are. Then we must guard our hearts by knowing God, His Word, and His Son. When the truth of Jesus Christ grips our lives, false messages vanish.

Insight: The First False Message Was Delivered By Satan In The Garden, And Eve Fell For His Deception. Now We Must Keep Our Eyes On The Truth - Jesus.

Monday, November 28, 2011

+DEV+ The Year of the Lord's Favor

Date: November 28, 2011 8:34 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The Year of the Lord's Favor

The Year of the Lord's Favor

"He has sent proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn..." (Isaiah 61:1-2)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 61:1-3

The year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance are like two sides of the same coin. When God extends grace, or favor, to the oppressed, it of necessity means some level of judgement to the oppressor. Consider early America's period of slavery in the 1800s. When the slaves of Southern plantations were emancipated, their freedom came at the price of a war that cost the lives of thousands and eventually meant higher costs of labor to plantation owners. Both favor and vengeance came rolling out through the Civil War.

The ultimate vengeance of our God was taken out on the Son of God in order to allow for the year of the Lord's favor and grace to us. Our battle has been fought and won! Victory is ours through Jesus. The price of God's grace to us was the death of the Jesus on the cross so that through Him we have been justified and declared righteous. God, in His justice, made His Son the object of His wrath on our behalf so that the year of the Lord's favor would reign in our hearts.

Insight: While God's grace is free to us, it is not without great cost. Jesus took on the vengeance of God on our behalf.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

+DEV Thanksgiving in Worship

Date: November 27, 2011 9:02 PM
Topic: +DEV Thanksgiving in Worship

Thanksgiving in Worship

"Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits." (PSALM 103:2)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 103

Giving thanks is a pretty common element of our everyday experience. We thank our spouse for doing the dishes. We thank the check-out person at the supermarket for his or her work. We thank our coworkers for doing their part to get the job done.

If thanksgiving is such a natural part of our earthly experience, how much more ought it characterize our relationship with our Creator and Redeemer? Interestingly, when Paul wants to sum up the posture of the unbelieving heart towards God, he doesn't single out sins like murder or adultery; rather, he points to a lack of thanksgiving (Romans 1:21). Ingratitude can either manifest itself as a sense of self-satisfaction, believing that all one has is a result of human effort, or an intense bitterness that is never satisfied. But when God applies the work of Christ to us, the Holy Spirit moves our heart's ingratitude to overflowing thanksgiving. This new heart recognizes God as the giver of all good gifts: both the good things we enjoy in this life, and especially the eternal gifts Christ has won for us.

Insight: Do You Give Thanks In Your Prayers And Worship? If Your Worship Is Faltering, Listen To The Psalmist And "Forget Not All His Benefits"!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

+DEV+ The Harvest

Date: November 23, 2011 1:18 AM
Topic: +DEV+ The Harvest

The Harvest

"Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field'" (Matthew 9:37-38).
Scripture Focus: Matthew 9:35-38

The beginning of the New Year is always a time of renewal and resolution. For me it's a reminder of a spiritual field ripe for harvest...many are waiting to hear and accept Jesus and His love. First century Christians were consumed with thoughts of the harvest and exhibited an intense passion for Christ and for serving Him with their lives. What is it that consumes Christians today? Probably not bringing our neighbors the news of the gospel. The fields are still ripe, but the granaries are yet to be filled. And there is no absence of harvesting equipment: churches, radio, literature, missions that span the world. Yet, while we focus on bigger buildings and even more dollars to build them, it would seem that the very cutting blades of Christendom are either missing or are so dull that little is being harvested.

Let our prayer be that in this world - confused and tormented as it is - we experience a freshness of God's wind and fire to strengthen and energize us, and to bring many people to the Savior.

Insight: In Our Highly Competitive Culture, We Christians Must Stand Out With A Positive Influence That Comes From Being Fully Devoted Followers Of Christ.

Monday, November 21, 2011

+DEV+ Worship in a Minor Key

Date: November 21, 2011 9:01 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Worship in a Minor Key

Worship in a Minor Key

"For my soul is full of trouble and my life draws near the grave." (PSALMS 88:3)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 88

I've often heard worship leaders encourage congregations to leave their troubles and cares behind when they enter the sanctuary to worship. While I can understand the sentiment, statements like these seem to suggest either that worship is somehow disconnected from our everyday struggles or that worship is not an appropriate place for emotions like grief or sadness.

Yet Scripture suggests just the opposite. First, our worship is intimately connected to our everyday life because the God we worship is one who acts in history - in our everyday lives. He forgives real sins, defeats real enemies, and saves real people like you and me. Secondly, grief and sadness are entirely appropriate emotions in worship. Our reading for today is a supreme example of a real believer struggling with real problems, bringing his complaint to the Lord. What father would not want to hear from his children when they are troubled? Yet we resist ending with lament. For Jesus, the true voice in this psalm, has finally defeated our ultimate enemy, turning our mourning into joy.

Insight: "His Anger Lasts Only A Moment, But His Favor Lasts A Lifetime; Weeping May Remain For A Night, But Rejoicing Comes In The Morning." (Psalm 30:5)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

+DEV+ Worship: Our Ultimate Destination

Date: November 20, 2011 10:27 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Worship: Our Ultimate Destination

Worship: Our Ultimate Destination

"They worshiped God, Saying: 'Amen! Praise And Glory And Wisdom And Thanks And Honor And Power And Strength Be To Our God For Ever And Ever. Amen!'" (Romans 6:11)
Scripture Focus: Revelation 7

One Of The Most Helpful Inventions In Recent Years Has Been The GPS Navigation System For Our Automobiles. It Has Revolutionized The Way We Drive And, At Least In Theory, May Have Put An End To The Proverbial Arguments Between Spouses About Whether To Stop For Directions. The Best Part About Them Is That They Redirect Us When We Steer Off Course In An Unfamiliar City, Ensuring That We Arrive At Our Destination (Albeit Via A Longer Route).

Something Similar Happens Each Week When We Gather To Worship. During The Week, We Tend To Get Off Course. We Forget Where We're Headed And Instead Aimlessly Wander In A Spiritual Wilderness. Yet In Worship God Redirects Our Spiritual Bearings. He Exposes Our Sinful Misdirection. He Reminds Us Of The Humble Yet Unfailing Power Of Our Loving Guide. And He Gives Us A Taste Of The Eternal Worship That Is Our Destination. He Does All This To Ensure That His Children Make It Home For The Wedding Supper He Has Planned For Those Who Love Him And Are Called According To His Purpose.

Insight: Have You Steered Off Course Spiritually? Have You Forgotten Where You're Headed? Come And Worship, And God Will Renew You By His Grace.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

+DEV+ Children and Worship

Date: November 17, 2011 11:39 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Children and Worship

Children and Worship

"He said to them, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.'" (MARK 10:14)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 8, Mark 10:13-16

Picture the scene: Jesus is teaching the crowds, healing the sick, and preparing His disciples for the events that would soon follow when they arrived in Jerusalem. And into the fray walk several proud parents, bringing their infants to Jesus, requesting He bless them. Now, the disciples aren't too pleased with this. What are you thinking bringing your children to such an important man? We've got important business to attend to here! Don't you know who this is? The Messiah doesn't have time for children!

Yet Jesus' response is telling. "Let the little children come to me, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Like us often, the disciples misunderstood the kind of kingdom Jesus had come to inaugurate. To them, the things of God were "adult business" - too complex and weighty for kids. But Jesus' words remind them (and us) that this kingdom is for those the world considers weak, unimportant, outcast, and humble, not the strong and influential. May the Lord lead our children to worship, and lead us to worship more like children.

Insight: Children Rightly Approach God Without Anything To Offer. Do You Worship God Like A Child Or Do You Bring Something In Your Hands?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

+DEV+ Approach to God

Date: November 16, 2011 9:12 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Approach to God

Approach to God

"For our God is a consuming fire." (HEBREWS 12:29)
Scripture Focus: Leviticus 10:1-3, Hebrews 12:28-29

Our Leviticus reading today tells an admittedly haunting story. Two men with apparently good intentions offer "unauthorized" or "strange" fire to the Lord that is "contrary to his command" and pay for it with their own lives. If nothing else, this story teaches us that God takes worship seriously because His own reputation is at stake (see vs.3).

But we ought not to let this story leave us trembling with dread before the Lord. Instead, let it challenge our belief that we may approach God on our terms. Let it drive us to approach God where He has come to meet us: in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Approaching God on our own, dressed in our own merits and good works, will only be met with His consuming fire. Yet Jesus, being sinless in every way, endured the fire that our sins deserved and paved an eternal and sure way of entrance into God's presence for all who trust in Him. He is the way and the truth and the life, the very means of coming to the Father. So let us approach the Father with boldness in the name of the Son!

Insight: How Might This Story Also Impact How We Worship?

Keep Your Fork

Date: November 16, 2011 12:15 AM
Topic: Keep Your Fork

Keep Your Fork

There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things 'in order,' she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

'There's one more thing,' she said excitedly..

'What's that?' came the Pastor's reply.

'This is very important,' the young woman continued. 'I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.'

The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

That surprises you, doesn't it?' the young woman asked.

'Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request,' said the Pastor.

The young woman explained. 'My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!'

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them: 'Keep your fork ..the best is yet to come.'

The Pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the Pastor heard the question, 'What's with the fork?' And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the Pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come. Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. Cherish the time you have, and the memories you share.Being friends with someone is not an opportunity, but a sweet responsibility.

Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND...and I'll bet this will be an Email they do remember, every time they pick up a fork!
And just remember...keep your fork!

Monday, November 14, 2011

+DEV+ Evangelism and Worship

Date: November 14, 2011 9:33 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Evangelism and Worship

Evangelism and Worship

"So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, 'God is really among you!'" (1 CORINTHIANS 14:25)
Scripture Focus: 1 Corinthians 14:20-25, Romans 10:5-21

If you're like most Christians, you probably struggle at some level with the task of evangelism. You desire and pray for your non-Christian family members and friends to come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior, but speaking about spiritual matters (especially in our current culture) is often difficult. How, then, can we bring our friends into an encounter with God?

While our first reading for today is not without complexities, one clear truth emerges that helps us answer that question. Paul says that if an unbeliever enters the gathered worship service of the church and hears "everyone prophesying" (i.e., speaking the Word of God), he will be convinced he is a sinner and will acknowledge God's presence among His church. Of course, this doesn't always happen, but this passage does encourage us that God meets us in worship, and those who enter will hear His voice. While a humble church service may not be the place we would expect God to meet with sinners and convert them, God does have a habit of doing the unexpected.

Insight: A Pastor Recently Told Me That The Worship Service Was The Best Place For Our Unbelieving Friends To Be. Whom Might You Invite This Week?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

+DEV+ Missions and Worship

Date: November 13, 2011 9:45 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Missions and Worship

Missions and Worship

"May the nations be glad and sing for joy." (PSALM 67:4)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 67, Matthew 28

"Missions exists because worship doesn't," writes John Piper in his treatise on missions, Let the Nations Be Glad! Piper makes a point here we ought not to miss. Often we are tempted to think that the goal of the church is to do missions, as if mission work itself were the objective. But Piper reminds us that the reason we do mission work is because our God is not yet receiving the praise and thanksgiving He so wonderfully deserves.

You see, friends, our God is so great, so magnificent, so awesome (in the true sense of that word), so loving, so wise, so powerful, and so holy that all the nations of this world ought to bring Him praise. Just as Jesus came to this world as a humble servant in order to redeem us from false worship unto true worship, so He sends us into the world - humble and broken though we are - to bring other sinners to His feet. May the world's lack of worship be the motivation in our missions. And may our worship cause the name of Jesus to be lifted high at home and abroad.

Insight: Think About Two Non-Christians You Know And Pray That God Would Use You To Bring Them To Truly Worship God.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

+DEV+ Baptism and Worship

Date: November 10, 2011 11:06 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Baptism and Worship

Baptism and Worship

"We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that we, too may live a new life." (ROMANS 6:4)
Scripture Focus: Matthew 28, Romans 6:1-14

Regardless of which church you attend, baptism, in some form or another, is a regular aspect of the public worship services. Unfortunately, the controversies that have surrounded baptism for the last 500 years - For whom? How? When? - have significantly hampered most Christians' ability to truly enjoy the blessing our Lord intended when He instituted this practice in His church.

How, then, should baptism be a blessing for us? To put it briefly, when someone is baptized in our church, we ought to take that opportunity to be reminded of all that the water symbolizes about the work of Christ for us. Remember that the blood of Christ has washed you clean from your sins (Titus 3:5). Remember that your old, sinful self died when Christ died, and you received a new life like His (Romans 6:4). Remember that you now have the power of Christ living within you uniting you to Him (Galatians 3:27). Remember that you have been given a new heart, one that is now growing in a desire and ability to live for God (Ezekiel 36:25).

Insight: Baptism is taken seriously by scripture and should therefore be taken seriously by us. Do you know the importance of baptism in worship?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

+DEV+ Prayer in Worship

Date: November 9, 2011 10:55 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Prayer in Worship

Prayer in Worship

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." (COLOSSIANS 4:2)
Scripture Focus: Hebrews 4:14-16, Colossians 1:3-14

Prayer is that one aspect of worship we all know we should do more of yet often struggle to find the motivation to carry out. Thankfully, God knows all our weaknesses, and so He has filled His Word with many encouragements and motivators to help us become a more prayerful people. When I say "encouragements," I don't just mean "commandments." I mean truths about what God is like and what God has done that spur us on to pray.

Perhaps the greatest of those is the access we have to God in prayer under the Gospel. Scripture presents the Christian's access to God as unlimited because we come to Him in the name of the Son with whom the Father is well pleased. God throws open the doors of access so widely in order to compel us to come to Him with any and every concern we may have, with the assurance that He will hear our prayer. Unlike the many leaders of this world who are sequestered behind bodyguards, security fences and darkly tinted windows, our God is accessible through Jesus Christ.

Insight: Do You Find It Difficult To Pray? Consider The Unlimited Access To The Father Won For You By Jesus And Ask For Boldness In Prayer.

+DEV+ A Permanent Priest

Date: November 9, 2011 1:29 AM
Topic: +DEV+ A Permanent Priest

A Permanent Priest

"The former priests were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently." (HEBREWS 7:23-24 ESV)
Scripture Focus: Leviticus 16, Hebrews 7:11-28

I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to be an Old Testament Israelite. Clearly, there are the obvious drawbacks that come from living in a pre-industrial age: no refrigeration, no automobiles, no healthcare, etc. But perhaps the biggest downside that does not often come to mind is having to worship God through impermanent priests. Think about it. The one in charge of representing you before God could never guarantee he would be there tomorrow, or the next day, or the next, when you might have really needed him. His mortality made him ultimately unreliable.

But things have changed. A permanent priest who will never fail to represent His people perfectly in God's presence has replaced the impermanent priests. When we sin, His blood always intercedes. When we pray, He always hears. When we are tempted, He always helps. And, best of all, He will never die, because He already has died and received an indestructible life in return. In a world that is passing, Jesus gives us permanence.

Insight: "Before The Throne My Surety Stands/Before The Throne My Surety Stands/My Name Is Written On His Hands!" (Charles Wesley, 1707-1788)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

+DEV+ Worship and the Cross

Date: November 8, 2011 12:19 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Worship and the Cross

Worship and the Cross

"Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: 'Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me.'" (HEBREWS 10:5)
Scripture Focus: Luke 23:26-49, Hebrews 10:1-10

It didn't look much like a church service. In fact, the lonely, windswept hill of Golgotha outside the city gates of Jerusalem was the last place we might expect anything of religious significance to take place. Yet despite all appearances to the contrary, it was there that the most significant act of worship in the history of the world took place. For it was there that the Messiah offered His body as a sacrifice.

It may have appeared to some that Jesus was taken to the cross against His will - that somehow the Romans and the Jews had gotten the better of Him. But that was certainly not the case. In fact, Jesus was doing exactly what He had come to do. He was taking the body His Father had prepared for Him and laying it down as a substitute for sinners. And, friends, it is from that act of worship that all of our worship must flow. His worship on the cross qualifies and inspires our worship in the church. Your church may have a cross on its wall or in its decor somewhere. When you see it, remember how Christ came into this world to redeem us.

Insight: "When I survey the wondrous cross/on which the prince of glory died/my richest gain I count but loss/and pour contempt on all my pride." (ISAAC WATTS, 1707)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

+DEV+ Let Us Sing to the Lord

Date: November 6, 2011 6:47 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Let Us Sing to the Lord

Let Us Sing to the Lord

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." (COLOSSIANS 3:16)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 95, Colossians 3:1-17

Often when I think of singing in worship, I think of the words I sing as primarily being my words - my response to what God has done. While there is certainly good reason to see our singing in that way, the Apostle Paul, in our reading from Colossians for today, provides a somewhat different perspective of singing in worship.

Singing, according to this passage, is one of the ways in which we "let the word of Christ dwell in [us] richly." There are a few things worth noticing here. First, it is the Word of Christ that is to dwell richly within us through our singing. Singing is one way God draws us closer to Christ and His Word. Second, the "you" in the passage quoted at the top of the page is plural. (We would say "y'all" in Texas!) This means God has designed our singing as a way not only to let His Word dwell within us, but as a way we can help that same Word to take root in our fellow Christians. What a tremendous privilege! God's gracious and many-faceted gift of music allows us to sing out in praise and awe of Him.

Insight: What Is Your Favorite Hymn Or Spiritual Song? What Aspect Of The Work Of Christ Does It Center Upon? If You Can, Sing It Now!

Friday, November 4, 2011

+DEV+ Daily Worship

Date: November 4, 2011 2:33 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Daily Worship

Daily Worship

"Impress [my commandments] on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." (DEUTERONOMY 6:7)
Scripture Focus: Deuteronomy 6, Daniel 6

One of my favorite stories about daily worship is in Daniel 6. A conspiracy is hatched to kill 80-year-old Daniel, a Jewish exile from the Promised Land. The political leaders of Babylon figure that the best way to catch Daniel who was known as a worshiper of Yahweh is to establish a law against worshiping anyone but the king. According to the injunction, anyone caught worshiping or praying to another god would be thrown to the lions.

When news of the injunction reached Daniel, Scripture tells us that he "got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before" (Daniel 6:10). Daniel worshiped daily. Not even the threat of being fed to the lions would keep Daniel from showing devotion to his God!

Where did such courage come from? Was Daniel just a spiritual Superhero? No. Daniel simply knew his hope did not lie in the present evil age, but in the God who held his future. His confidence in the God of promise fanned his devotion in the midst of great threat.

Insight: The Prophets Were Actually Serving Us Through Their Writings
(1 Peter 1:10-12). Does The Reason Behind Daniel's Persistence In Daily Worship Encourage You?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

+DEV+ Confession in Worship

Date: November 2, 2011 11:40 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Confession in Worship

Confession in Worship

"I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the LORD' - and you forgave the guilt of my sin." (PSALM 32:5)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 32, Mark 2:1-12

Confession is not an easy thing to do. When we have sinned and we know it, rationalizations begin to flood our minds as to why hiding this sin from the Lord and from others would be far better than coming clean. "No one will ever know." "It didn't really hurt anyone." "I won't do it again." The list goes on.

But while hiding our sin may seem like the easiest road at the time, spiritual subterfuge will ultimately kill our ability to worship. Confession, on the other hand, has the power to ignite the most fervent worship we've ever known. Our reading today is a prime example. When David hid his sin, he wasted away (vs. 3). Yet when he acknowledged it to the Lord, he and his companions were able to rejoice and shout for joy again (v. 11).

We can only enjoy the freedom of confession when we know God will forgive us, and when we bring our sins to Him. So, Christian, hear the words of Jesus, your Lord: "My son, your sins are forgiven" (Mark 2:5). Let those words of comfort soak in.

Insight: Our Reading Of Scripture Should Always Lead Us To Confession At Some Level. Where Is God Leading You To Confess Today?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

+DEV+ Giving as Worship

Date: November 1, 2011 9:01 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Giving as Worship

Giving as Worship

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich." (2 CORINTHIANS 8:9)
Scripture Focus: Acts 2:42-4:37, 2 Corinthians 8-9

Since its inception, the church has, in some form or another, taken up an offering. In our day, however, while the practice has not died, the rich, theological meaning behind why we give as an act of worship has fallen on hard times. Often writing a check for the offering basket is done in the same perfunctory manner with which we write a check at the grocery store.

But giving financially to our churches - both in times of abundance but especially in times of economic need - is one of the most practical ways in which the Gospel impacts our life. At its heart, the Gospel is a gift from God: the gift of Jesus Christ to us that secures us an eternal home which our money could never buy. It is a gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17) that secures our favorable status before God. To the extent that our worship services draw our minds and our hearts to the magnitude and worth of that inexpressible gift, our hearts will be compelled to give as an act of worship to the great Giver, the one who has given us eternal life.

Insight: Do You Ever Think Of Your Money As Something Without Much Spiritual Importance? How Does The Gospel Change Your Perspective On Giving?