Before I get into the music portion, I wanted to share with you a challenge from Shane Claiborne. If you’re wondering who that is, Claiborne is in Philadelphia leading a radical ministry working among those in need. In his book, Irresistible Revolution, he writes, “What if Jesus really meant the things He said?”
His challenge brings to the forefront of our minds the question of, would our lives be different if we really took Jesus at His word? For instance, what if we believed Jesus really meant what He said in Luke 3:11, “Whoever has two shirts is to share with the one who has none, and the one who has food is to do likewise.” – If we believed Jesus was calling us to do this, would we do it?
Believe me, I’m not trying to press anyone’s buttons. I am simply putting this question out there as it was presented to me. And it is so good for us to think about as Christians so that we can honestly follow Christ instead of a watered down version of Christ. For that matter, we must know why we believe what we believe. But not just when it comes to passages like Luke 3:11, this is great to think about in regards to Jesus’ promises. For instance, Jesus says in John 7:37, “Whoever believes in me… out of his heart will flow fountains of living water.” – There is great power in believing such a statement.
What would happen if we simply believed what Jesus said and followed it, mimicking the life of service He lived, would our lives be different? I encourage you to share your thoughts on the matter.
Jan Hus was burned to death for his courage to fight for truth. In the beginning of the 1400’s men simply didn’t stand against the Catholic church. But being one of the first voices for reformation in the Catholic Church, Hus stood for biblical doctrine and against the injustices of some men holding high church offices. Hus had great impact through his preaching and writing on the big names of the reformation such as Luther and Calvin. But one of the most amazing things that came out of his death was that it spurred further revival in his country.
May the same happen in our lives. What else about our lives will matter in all eternity but that which we did for Christ? Let us live as Hus did. Let us live for Christ. Let us fight for Him. Let us pour our lives our loving for Him. Let us die for Him if we must. Jesus! Jesus! It’s all for Jesus.
Are you worshiping Jesus with your life today? Is He at the forefront of all that you think, say, and do?
I ask these questions not to illicit guilt. For Christ was never about guilt. I ask because His Spirit breathes fullness of life in us when our lives revolve around Him. The whole of the Christian calling can be summed up in two words, “Follow me.” (Mark 2:14). If we will obey this simple call of our King, worship will be our life.
At the center of growing intimate with God is becoming increasingly convinced that Christ is worth more than anything else.
In Matthew 13:44 Jesus proclaims, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
In America, we have so much and it’s so easy to fall in love with all that comfort can give. For some of us, our families are most important. For others, it’s our job that is regarded above all else. But whatever false-alters we are prone to worship at, the Bible is clear that God and His priorities must become our everything.
So the question is, what about Jesus makes Him greater, more attractive, and worth more than all else to you?
I challenge you to make a list of those things that would remind you of Christ being the treasure worth selling everything for. After you make the list, put it somewhere that is visual so you can be reminded often of who you are living for and why He’s worth more.
This may also have the side affect of reminding you why spending time seeking Him in His Word is one of the most valuable things you get to do today.
Bob Kaufman wrote an incredible book for those who lead worship music. The book is called, Worship Matters, and one of the interesting factoids Kaufman passed on through his writing was, “If you were born after 1980, you probably don’t remember when the term worship leader didn’t exist. But that designation really didn’t emerge until the early 1970’s.”
I found it interesting that having specific “worship leaders” wasn’t really a designation found in churches until about forty years ago because now, having a worship band or team to lead the church in “worship” is so important to church life. So how did they “worship” before they designated a person or persons to lead the church?
Well, what if worshiping God has less to do with a song and more to do with… okay, so I don’t want to spoil the fun… What do you think it means to worship God? I would love to hear from you. What do you think?
Could it be that it took us nearly 2000 years (until the 1970’s) for Christians to figure out what worship is? OR, over the last forty years, has at least a part of the Christian world pigeon-holed the term “worship” into a song?
I recently heard an evangelist talk about one of the ways he teaches the gospel to his son. He said that almost every evening he has a wrestling match with his son. It always ends the same way. He gets his son in a wrestling hold that he can’t get out of, and then he says, “Son, I could crush you right now.” (when I heard this I was kind of shocked and thought it was harsh… but hang in there it gets better.)
Then he tells his son, “But I won’t. You know why?”
His son says, “Because you love me.”
Evangelist responds, “Jesus could crush us all, but He doesn’t. You know why?”
His son replies, “Because He loves us.”
Though I still think the evangelist is a little harsh… I mean geesh, let the kid win every once in a while… I love what he teaches his son through this. The point is that God loves His children so much that He will not crush us. This may seem ridiculous and obvious to some. But if we knew how much sin He has forgiven us from, and how much wrath He has saved us from (that would crush us), we would see Him as infinitely merciful and great in His love for us. And we would fall down in worship!
If I made a copy of an original document with a copy machine, the copy would look a lot like the original. But if I made a copy of a copy, and then a copy of the second copy, and then a copy of the third… the farther I got from the original document the less like the original the copies would be.
Many generations removed from Christ, it is our tendency to copy the discipleship model of the generation before us (copying a copy) instead of copying Christ (the Original).
But what if we rebooted?
If we went back and simply copied the Original, all copies would look like the Original again.
The point I’m trying to make is, as a disciple, we are to be a copy of the Original, not a copy of a copy. Meaning, let us follow Christ above all else, even when our leaders or everyone else would do otherwise – let’s follow Christ. It is the difference between life and death that we look to Christ to define Christianity for us above any leader or philosophy of Christianity that is taught to us.
He is the Original; there is no one else worth copying.