Category Archives: Worship

Worshipers make Martyrs

American Christian:

It is harder to deal with pride, repentance & the darkness of your own heart than to want to be the martyr you’ll probably never be called to be.  Let’s stop making audacious and hardcore claims and get busy with our own worst enemies, us.  Those who die daily are the best kind of martyr.  Be like the King, who did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing (Philippians 2:6).

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Filed under Repentance, sanctification, Theology, Worship

A Tree Fell on my House…Believe and Repent!

No this is not an idiomatic expression from a far off land…this literally happened.  Friday morning at 1:30 am, right after the softball sized hail came down, we heard what sounded like really high winds and a loud crash.  As it turns out, an entire tree was laying on my house with a branch through the front porch!  Everyone was ok.  The two eldest were away for their first slumber party (and they did great!), and the baby got a good scare out of it.  Me and the wife just laughed.  At first we thought it was just a branch.  But after I went out and checked from the front (underneath a Transformers Umbrella), I came back in and gave her the news, and we laughed harder.  It was a fun night.  It cost us nothing to repair as we are no longer the home owners, and from what I understand, they will be getting a brand new roof out of the deal, which is nice.  In addition, we got to say things like “we have a tree house” and respond to statements like “it looks like you guys got a little bit of wind last night” from the long stream of customers coming to our garage sale.

Here is the article from the Ft Worth Star Telegram.  We are famous! 

Looking at the size of the tree, which of course is not that big, but still much larger than me, I could not help but think about how powerful a God who controls the winds and the waves must be.  I wasn’t there when Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves in Mark 4:35-41, so that passage has not hit me very hard in the past.  I think its difficult for any of us who don’t experience natural disasters to get the full force of the significance of these kinds of miracles.  Not to mention the fact that most of us live in a world that doesn’t readily believe such things to begin with.  But after witnessing just a tiny smidgeon of the power of nature, I gained some inkling of insight into the way we should respond when we read about stuff like this. 

Worship God for His power and strength.  Either God does or doesn’t have authority over nature.  Saying that He does is just as provable as saying that He exists.  There might be some logical reasoning that can point to it, but at the end of the day, we simply believe as our starting point.  On the flip side, to say that He doesn’t have authority (or exist), is just as much an act of faith.  I, of course, believe that He does.  And when I see a giant tree laying across my house, along with the time and effort it took to clear it off, and the damage done, I realize how powerless I am, and how powerful God is.  Christ’s rebuke of the wind and the waves was a power move in the truest sense, a display of authority unmatched by anything we can come up with. 

Believe and Repent!  If He does have authority over nature, we must realize that the world He controls is under a curse from sin, and that living in this world is dangerous business, always under the constant threat of death.  And being part of the creation, this curse extends to us.  We have been disjointed from the life that God created us for.  Physical and spiritual disaster are bound together under the heading of the curse.  God’s solution to that curse is in the person of Jesus Christ, who lived, died, and in the ultimate power move was raised from the grave to conquer this curse.  Through Christ, both man and nature (Romans 8:18-24) will be redeemed, and so likewise under Him we have the hope of both physical and spiritual restoration to look forward to.  Natural disasters (or minor ones like the one mentioned here) are a constant reminder of our need, not only of someone to protect us, but of the reason we need protection in the first place, and that our ultimate hope is in a world that can only be restored by Christ.  Either we trust in His solution for sin’s curse by believing and repenting, or we face its unthinkable consequences.  Either way, our choices will extend far beyond this life.  God doesn’t promise to spare us from disaster in the here and now, but he does promise to give us true life to live through it, or barring that, to dwell in His presence forevermore. 

In looking at the power of nature, we only have two options.  1.  God has authority.  2.  God doesn’t have authority.  Many feel that to select the first option is to convict God of the apparent problems that come from natural disasters.  If God is powerful enough to stop them, and He didn’t, then He is not good.  If God wanted to stop them, but He couldn’t, then He is not powerful.  But the Gospel offers a third way.  God deals with the problem in the person of His Son.  The cause of natural disasters is the curse that comes from sin.  The world has been subjected to futility because of sin.  God dealt with that at the cross, where His campaign to destroy evil was brought into reality, and continues on through the work of His Body, the Church.  The end of natural disasters will be in the future when sin is no longer allowed to breathe, when Jesus comes back to collect on the work done at Calvary.  In the meantime, we believe and repent, and relish the privelege of working under God to bring about His kingdom.   

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Filed under Family, God, Repentance, sanctification, The Gospel, Worship