Worship Rejects All Competing Loves!

-It Impacts Your Life Like That!

According to the Apostle Paul’s urging,  to the Church of Rome,  when your worship is genuine it will impact your life, in such a dynamic way, that God will use it to produce perpetual change in you— “…I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual worship…” Romans 12:1.  As we worship God, He is redeeming our lives—as we intentionally present them to Him—to “remake” them into the image for which we were created before sin ruined it all! That’s why Paul wrote the Church of Corinth, “Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body” 1 Corinthians 6:19,20.

-You’re Not Your Own!

Don’t you know, Paul asked, that if you’ve accepted Jesus, as your Savior, that you’re NOT your own! He BOUGHT you—that word carries the idea of “redemption.” He redeemed you! He reclaimed you! He’s in the process of restoring you by sanctification! So, we must intentionally present our bodies to Him as a “living sacrifice” to glorify God with our bodies! But, there’s a 2nd point, that Paul ties to our worship, in the next verse—“Do not be conformed to this age”; or, this “world” as some translations render it! (Romans 12:2) I like how the Philips Translation puts it—“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold…

-Only 2 World Views!

In other words, “worshiping” God involves an intentional rejection of the world’s demand to conform! There are really only 2 “world views” or philosophies. There is the philosophy of the world that is self-centered, self-pleasing, and self-indulgent! It’s promoted in advertising, books, movies, video games and most social media. It’s constantly pinching us & squeezing us into it’s mold—“If you don’t conform, you’re out of touch,” the world says!  The opposing “world view” submits to Creator God & His word! Paul continues, “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” Worship transforms & renews your mind!

-Intentional Transformation!

Genuine worship includes an “intentional transformation” of the mind to think like God thinks—those thoughts that are “…good, pleasing, and perfect…” and align with God’s will! What a contrast, Paul presents, between being conformed & pressed into the world’s mold; or, being transformed with a renewed mind—all within the “context” of worship! Worship is way bigger then singing songs to Jesus for 20 minutes on a Sunday morning.  This passage paints a picture, of worship, that’s all about God doing a work in us! As we humble ourselves, in brokenness, before Him; and, intentionally offer our bodies back to Him, He begins to change us in ways that make us more & more usable for His Kingdom’s purposes! He is re-making us to be what we were meant to be; and, His Spirit works with our spirit by transforming our minds!

 

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A Biblical Case For Social Media!

Social Media Is Here To Stay

Like it, or not, Social Media is hard-wired into our culture. Some social experts predict that in less than 10 years it will be nearly impossible to interact in the culture without being engaged in social media. In a practical sense, what does that mean for us as followers of Jesus?

The Gospel Requires Us To Interact With People

If we’re unable to interact with our culture, we’ll be unable to share the Gospel! If we can’t share the Gospel we’ll be incapable of fulfilling Jesus’ commission to His Church! That’s how serious it is!

Adapting To Our Culture!

When Hudson Taylor went to China, as a missionary, he was a pioneer when it came to cultural adaptation. At the time, the Church criticized him for adapting Chinese dress & for eating Chinese food with Chinese instruments & for living in Chinese housing & for observing the local customs and etiquette. Those methods seem only natural to us today, don’t they? We assume that a missionary will adapt to the culture; and, use every non-sinful method necessary to disciple people for Christ. But, what about our own context here in America? Should we respond any different to our own culture? Or, is that just for foreign missionaries? No! It’s not! We enter the “Mission Field” every time we leave our homes; and, every time we leave our churches! We have the same Biblical responsibility that Hudson Taylor had to embrace the non-sinful elements of our culture with the goal of winning as many as possible to Jesus.

Outdated & Irrelevant

When we’re “outdated” we become culturally irrelevant; and, an impediment to Gospel penetration in our society! The stakes are too high to reject the current culture just because it’s unfamiliar or uncomfortable to us! The “principle” from Scripture is quite clear—God values the sharing of the Gospel above cultural distinctives! If social media offers me a wider platform for sharing the Gospel, in the current culture, than I’m “enslaved” to do so! See the Apostle Paul!

Paul’s Heavy Words

Here’s what Paul says about cultural relevance: “I have made myself a slave to everyone, in order to win more people. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews; to those under the law, like one under the law—though I myself am not under the law—to win those under the law. To those who are without that law, like one without the law—not being without God’s law but within Christ’s law—to win those without the law. To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by every possible means save some. Now I do all this because of the gospel” -1 Corinthians 9:19-23