I found this interesting little article this morning in my news reader from churchleaders.com
The Top Five Most Misused Verses in the Bible
What is at the top of your list of most misused Bible verse?
The Bible is a sharp, double-edged sword — able to piece the heart. However, when portions of the Bible are used in the wrong context, it’s like trying to fight with the butt of the weapon instead of the blade. It’s just not effective.
His Top Five: Phil 4:13; Jer 29:11; Matt 18:20; Rom 8:28; and Prov 29:18.
Proverbs 29:18 would be on my list of the top five. My son James picks Jeremiah 29:11. How about you? What verses are on your list?
June 2, 2013
Second Sunday After Pentecost
1 Kings 18:20-39; Psalm 96; Galatians 1:1-12; Luke 7:1-10
1 Sing a new song to the Lord!
Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
2 Sing to the Lord; praise his name.
Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
3 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
4 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
He is to be feared above all gods.
5 The gods of other nations are mere idols,
but the Lord made the heavens!
6 Honor and majesty surround him;
strength and beauty fill his sanctuary.
7 O nations of the world, recognize the Lord;
recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.
8 Give to the Lord the glory he deserves!
Bring your offering and come into his courts.
9 Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.
Let all the earth tremble before him.
10 Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.
He will judge all peoples fairly.
11 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
12 Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise
13 before the Lord, for he is coming!
He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
and the nations with his truth.
Today, I challenge you to read slowly through this psalm. It’s a pretty amazing piece of scripture. As I read through it, I catch bits and pieces of various songs and hymns that we have sung over the years.
A couple of them are:
- O Zion Haste (Publish Glad Tidings)
- The Trees of the Field
- Great is the Lord
Just to name a few. This psalm speaks greatly to the work that God’s people are called to do. I love this quote from John Piper that I heard many years ago, back while I was still at Indiana Wesleyan.
“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t.”
This psalm speaks a great deal to this quote. If God’s people are engaged in worship. Evangelism and the spreading of the Gospel is a natural outpouring of worship. When we worship God, especially through singing, we sing of God’s character – we sing about God’s love for us – we sing about how Jesus came to earth; how he lived; how he died; that his blood was shed for our sins; how he rose again; how Jesus is coming back again – we sing about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives – we testify to the work that God, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit has changed our lives in so many ways. When we do that, people can’t help but notice and in turn begin to seek after this God who can change and transform them as well.
I think this psalm also speaks to the fact that song and worship should be a part of our live every hour and every day. Worship is a lifestyle and so should the songs we sing.
Great article from Ed Stetzer about church music conflicts. We think that “worship wars” are a new thing, but church music has been changing as long as the church has been around. I loved this article.
Ed Stetzer – Church Music Conflicts: Have We Really Always Done It “That Way”?.
This past spring Dale and I were at the local Christian book store and found the book “Gods at War” by Kyle Idleman. This is a book that focuses on the gods that we as humans fight every day of our lives. Kyle starts the book talking about the people who come in to his office with problems. Many of them have problems – for most of those, it turns out they dealing with one of the many gods he talks about in this books.
The Old Testament is a story Israel’s history. They were not able to withstand the pressure of worshiping the gods from the other nations around them. It is easy for us to say, “We are nothing like that – we don’t bow down before paper or bronze or any other material idol.” Maybe we do. Before we stand up and judge the children of Israel for their idols, we need to look in the mirror and see the idols in our lives. Kyle tells a story about a missionary who ministered in India. When he came to the church he showed pictures of a family shrine that they had in their home and made a big deal how we in the United States do not have idols in our lives. This made Kyle think. Then he thought about the people who have a room that painted with their favorite team colors and full of sports memorabilia, a room just for their electric trains, Elvis memorabilia, and even Hummel figures. What are the gods that written about in this book? The gods of pleasure: (food, sex, entertainment), gods of power: (success, money, achievement), gods of the temple of love: (romance, family, me). This book will make you make you think and take a good look at what may be idols in your life.
Everyone has a part in this play. Every believer is a necessary part of the drama that God is producing, the drama of salvation history. We are on a stage together, pastors and people alike. There is no longer a select, professional union of actors…The debilitating class distinction between clergy and laity is dashed. The pastor no longer plays all the parts, but like a director draws out the hidden talents of a myriad actors and encourages them to perform according to their skills.
Greg Ogen, The New Reformation: Returning the Ministry to the People of God (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990) 19
Ogden deducts that the clergy-laity distinction is dashed “as we rediscover the church as a living organism, the body of Christ, church members have been called out of the audience to become players on the stage. Everyone has a part in this play…In the body of Christ, all the “actors” have a direction connection to the Producer, the Creator, and the Choreographer of History.
For as the eye by nature seeks light and sight and our body instinctively craves food and drink, so our mind nurtures a desire, which is natural and proper, to know the Truth of God and to learn the causes of things –
Origen, First Principles
Today is Memorial Day. This is the day that we set aside as citizens of these United States of America to honor those who have served and died in service to their country. One of the things that I love about living in a small city is some of the local events that are held here. Probably my favorite event each year is the Memorial Day Service at Gypsy Hill Park. We have been fortunate to attend 3 of the 4 years that we have lived here so far. It is a simple and yet powerful service. I got chill bumps several times during the service this morning. Once while listening to the National Anthem and then while Taps was being played. The service features the Stonewall Brigade Band – the oldest continually operating community band in the nation. Here is a short clip of the concert before the service.
Today we honor those who have served our country and those who have died in service to our country to give us the freedoms that we have. Here is just a short slide show of some pictures I took at the service.
[We sang this song in our service yesterday. It is one of Pam’s favorite because of its connection to the military. I love the Trinitarian nature of this hymn. Each week, I have been highlighting some of the backgrounds of the songs that we sing in worship. The information for today’s hymn comes from DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY — NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND.]
The song known to United States Navy men and women as the “Navy Hymn,” is a musical benediction that long has had a special appeal to seafaring men, particularly in the American Navy and the Royal Navies of the British Commonwealth and which, in more recent years, has become a part of French naval tradition.
The original words were written as a hymn by a schoolmaster and clergyman of the Church of England, the Rev. William Whiting. Rev. Whiting (1825-1878) resided on the English coast near the sea and had once survived a furious storm in the Mediterranean. His experiences inspired him to pen the ode, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save.” In the following year, 1861, the words were adapted to music by another English clergyman, the Rev. John B. Dykes (1823-1876) , who had originally written the music as “Melita” (ancient name for the Mediterranean island of Malta). Rev. Dykes’ name may be recognized as that of the composer given credit for the music to many other well-known hymns, including “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “Lead, Kindly Light,” “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” and “Nearer, My God to Thee.”
When Pam originally told me the title of yesterday’s sermon, this is the song that came to mind.
Today we remember those who gave their lives fighting for the freedoms that we have in our country. We salute thank and remember you!