Thursday, March 1, 2012

THE PSALMS




As you read the Psalms, what is the one thing that is a constant throughout this amazing collection of songs?

Here it is! God is sovereign! The central focus of the entire collection of songs (all one-hundred and fifty) of them is that God is supreme---the drama, the narrative, the script is all about God.

God is viewed as out-side of ourselves---it is God who is acknowledged as the one who can help us, deliver us, save us, and restore us to Himself.

Christian friend---take the time to reorient your spiritual life and make God's rule and sovereignty the one thing that you desire and pursue.

 This pursuit proves to be so difficult since our churches have turned Christianity up-side down---Christianity has become all about US, our NEEDS, our FULFILLMENT, and our reaching our full POTENTIAL---see the teachings of Joel Osteen et al.



Two dangers that I see in our church today:

1. The danger of the old heresy of Gnosticism---Let me quote from Michael Horton's book a "Christless Christianity."

 Gnosticism identified God with the inner self, but [Biblical] Christianity has focused all of its resources on God outside of us, who creates, rules, judges, and saves us in our complete personal and corporate existence. It stands to reason that in the Gnostic scheme the inner self could stand above (even over against) not only the external church but its external ministry of preaching and sacrament, discipline, and order, catechesis and communion. After all, it is not the public, historical, visible, and messy world that concerns the Gnostics but the private, spiritual, invisible, and manageable world of the inner spirit (p. 186).


In summation, when we do not look to God as outside of ourselves we risk the danger of developing a spirituality that assimilates God to our own experiences, felt needs, and aspirations---remember the Jesus genie from a previous post.





2. The danger of the "doing church"--- Michael Horton defines the "doing church" as the church that creates the ethos that you come to church to "do something."


The preaching concentrates on principles and steps to live a better life, with a constant stream of exhortations: be more committed. Read your Bible more. Pray More. Witness more. Give more. Get involved in this cause or that movement to save the world.... [Most of the sheep] are malnourished because of a ministry defined by personal charisma and motivational skills rather than by knowledge and godliness, these same sheep are expected to be shepherds themselves (p. 190).


In summation, when the emphasis of the church is on doing and being busy etc, the church again takes away from our looking at God's work and grace; and the church creates a bunch of tired and worn out people. Remember what the Apostle Paul said to the Galatians who began their Christian lives in the Spirit---he admonishes them for turning back to using performance in order to be "right" with God.



Psalm 144: 3 ..."what is man that you regard him."


Father help us to look to you. Father help us to live in grace and in the rest that Your Son Jesus provided for us. Father help us to come to the gathering of Your people to worship You and receive Your life and grace through the means that You have provided. Father help  us to understand that we live in a driven, performance culture---help us not to allow ourselves to be measured by how busy we are in our churches-Amen           

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