RSS

Monthly Archives: February 2014

Are We Creating a Church Full of Liars? #praiseandworship

Music SmokeFirst, let me say that I feel privileged that the Lord has me living in this period of history.  We’re at such an exciting time in the body of Christ.  It’s my desire to be at the cutting edge of what the Lord’s doing in His people.

One of the areas I see this, is in praise and worship.  This generation has given rise to worship leaders who reached new heights in their songs and choruses.  Singing some of these new songs opens up my spirit to the deeper work of God in me.

That being said, there’s a negative aspect to this as well.  I’ve found that marginal, shallow believers, singing those same songs, have replaced singing for experience.

Just because I sing, “Jesus, You are everything,” doesn’t necessarily means that it’s true in my life.  The Lord saw this as a problem in Israel.

“What do you think?  There was a man who had two sons.  He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
“‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing.  He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
“Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
“The first,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.  For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did.  And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.”
Matthew 21:28-32

The Pharisees that Jesus was talking to looked like they were serving God, but in truth they were after their own agenda.  They needed to be shocked back to reality.

Please understand; I realize that in many instances we need to sing and praise “higher” than our current level.  In our hearts we’re aspiring to a deeper walk in Christ and these songs push us to press in to the manifestation of it.  I have no problem with that.

My concern is over the Christians who are in denial.  They’re living for themselves and think that singing about a powerful walk with God is the same as experiencing it.

Somehow, like in Christ’s ministry, we need to communicate the difference to our people.  This needs to be done with love, sensitivity, and respect.  Then we’ll see the affects that these songs should truly be working in all of God’s people.

Question: What are some praise and worship songs that have caused you to grow in Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 5, 2014 in Ministry, Music, The Church

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Discipleship – The Cost and the Glory #discipleship

Jet Plane to NowhereI’ve been posting about discipleship.  How far are you willing to go to follow Christ?  The Lord doesn’t make it sound very convenient.

In my last post we saw that Christ said it involved picking up your cross and following Him.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 14:26

Most people get tripped up by this verse because they don’t understand the usage of the word hate in the Scripture.  This word has no emotional attachment to it.  It’s just like the word agape, used to convey the idea of love.  Hate is a choice rather than an emotion.

This word hate means a choice to not participate with.  There are times when being a disciple of Christ means that you choose not to participate in every family event.  Maybe it’s a baby shower or a graduation party that’s held on a Sunday morning.

Christ is saying that if you choose to participate with your family over the Lord, then it shows that you’re not a disciple.  You might be a believer who loves God.  But you have yet to choose the high road of discipleship.

Following Christ can be very inconvenient at times.  However, if you want the same results as Christ, you must live as He does.

Jesus also makes the point that we must count the cost of discipleship.

“In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 14:33

If you find your Christian walk to be easy, then you’re not yet a disciple.  The closer you follow to Christ, the harder your choices will become.  But there is a bright side.  The longer you serve the Lord, the easier it will be to make those choices.

It’s all about cultivating an attitude – I am nothing else but a disciple.  It may sound like a tough road, but in the end it’s worth it.

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
John 15:7-8

The way of discipleship leads to a fulfilled life.  There’s a manifestation of the power of God working through you.  When you live at this level it becomes obvious to all those around you.  Your life shows the fruit of the spirit.

It’s apparent that you couldn’t produce the blessings that you’re walking in.  God is at work in you.  That’s the ultimate goal.  Living as a disciple shows God’s glory.

It’s that glory that will draw others to Christ.  This is what the Christian walk is all about.

Question: How much is the glory of God worth to you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Power of God, Revival

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,