Sometimes You Just Need to Shake the Dust Off Your Feet and Move On
I had a gentleman call the church asking to “talk about the Bible.” He asked a question that let me know he was from the Watchtower Society–the Jehovah’s Witnesses (no, I won’t link to them). He asked me a question that’s common coming from this cult: “How can you say that Jesus is eternal if He died?” When I tried to develop my thoughts to answer this question, he kept interrupting. When it was clear there was no conversation to be had, only an argument, I told him that we were not going to agree and that I would end the conversation. His response? “Why are you running away?”
Friends, there will be conversations where someone will call or engage you that does not want to really hear your side but simply wants to win. Don’t allow your pride to keep you engaging in that regard. Matthew 7:6 says, ““Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” Some will not receive the gospel message. So, you plant the seed and move on.
Now, this gentleman got elevated. That’s how I knew it was time to move on. This is not about wins and losses. It’s about planting gospel seeds, praying the soil is ready.
Oh, how would I have answered him? Well, it seems that from their own Scriptures the deity of Christ is on display. You can read about it here.
Why Do We Worship Together Every Single Week? ARBC Worship Ramp-Up for 1.23.2022
There’s a good reason to worship every week together!
Is Your Worship of Christ a Waste? Devotional for January 20, 2022
Today’s Bible reading from the Five Day Bible Reading Plan: Genesis 35-37; Psalm 12, Mark 14
Is your worship of Christ a waste? Sadly, the majority of our world would say, “Yes!” Worshiping One you cannot see, who lived 2000 years ago as a carpenter, who succumbed to the brutality of the Roman crucifixion? Many conclude that the way we worship Christ is a waste of time and resources.
This is nothing new. In Mark 14:3-9, a woman came in “with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head” (v. 3). This ointment was worth “three hundred denarii,” approximately the cost of a car today. This was no small offering. And this was not lost on the disciples.
One of the disciples (identified as Judas Iscariot in another gospel) basically asked, “Why this waste?” They feigned interest in helping the poor, but really, Judas was lining his pockets with the proceeds (read John 12:1-8). Yet, Christ asks a question in response:
“Why do you trouble her?” This anointing was preparation for burial–an act that every gospel would record. Jesus would only be with them for a short time, so they were to take care of the proper acts of worship while He was around.
As was said at the beginning, you will have people believe that using your time and resources is a waste of time. Remember, worship is ascribing worth to something or someone. For us, we ascribe worth to Someone — Jesus Christ. For this woman, this cost was minimal in comparison to His worth.
No wonder Jesus said, “And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her” (Mark 14:9).
It’s no waste to worship Him!
Alignment: Four Things That Should Fuel Our Ministry (Colossians 1:24-2:3): ARBC Worship (1.2.2022)
The word for the morning (maybe for our year) is alignment. We use this word in many other areas of life. For instance, what if your car is out of alignment? You’ll find out should you let go of the wheel and find yourself in a ditch because of the car pulling! Or if a Congressman or -woman votes against the position of their political party? In music, to be misaligned means to be out of tune with the other instruments or to sing off-key. Even if we aren’t musicians, we know something is … off. I could pull out this little piece of cloth as another example of our lack of alignment as a culture. We could go on and on.
Alignment in our Christian walk and amongst each other as a body of believers is necessary as well. A body of believers needs alignment with Christ and with each other. The leaders in the church need to be on the same page as well as they partner to care for the body and to connect with the community in which they live.
We are in 2022, in case you hadn’t heard. Right on the heels of 2020 and 2021–both years left us frazzled, frayed, frustrated, fearful, and fatigued. We have hope of a better 2022 but there are no guarantees. So rather than work to align ourselves on what we think or hope will be in this culture, we must align ourselves with Christ and His Word.
For more information about our ministry, go to http://www.arbc.net.
The Weary World Rejoices: TGC Advent Concert 2021
A follow-up to the one from last year. May this help you celebrate the season of the Incarnation.
Worship Is Not a List of Tasks–It is Life Itself: Good Morning Devotional for 11.12.2021
Good morning! While this verse (Micah 6:8) is well-known, this verse comes at the end of this splendid paragraph:
“With what shall I come before the Lord,Micah 6:6-8
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
This paragraph serves as a concise instruction of worship. How easy it is for us as followers of Jesus to do Jesus’ work by relegating this to a mere list of tasks to perform. “I went to Sunday School! I attended Sunday morning worship! I gave an offering! I serve on a team!” How easy it is for us to “do church” without seeking or even considering Jesus and His Word.
Worship is not a list of tasks or a service one attends. Worship has an object to whom worth is given–for us, that is Jesus Christ alone! And as we worship Christ, that affects our love for those whom He made and those whom He came to rescue. Worship is a lifestyle given over to the treasure of all that Christ is and all that He aims to work in and through us.
He has told us what is good–will we pursue that which He calls good?
ARBC Worship Ramp-Up (9.12.2021): The Best of Books in His Hand
There is no shortage of books to give pastors and Christians ideas on how to “do church.” But let’s not forget about the “best of books.”
Good Morning Devo for 9.10.2021: The Folly of Approaching God in “Your Truth”
Good morning! How astonishing it is that the transcendent God of heaven is near to all who call on him in truth. What a reason for praise and thanksgiving! As we pursue Him in His Word and in prayer, we recognize more and more of His righteous ways (Psalm 145:17) and thus our prayers are tailored to His revealed ways.
When Jesus approached the Samaritan woman, He told her the nature of worship:
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.Jesus in John 4:23-24
Too many in our culture invoke God’s name based upon, as Oprah Winfrey coined, “their truth.” “Well, I believe God is like….” Beware! You are not only violating the Third Commandment, you are replacing God’s truth with yours. And as Paul noted in Romans:
But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”The Apostle Paul in Romans 9:20
Approach God in the truth of His Word and you will find Him near!
Matthew Perry, Ph.D., is Lead Pastor of Arapahoe Road Baptist Church in Centennial, CO.