The past couple weeks we have seen many different testimonies that have been pointing out who Jesus is. The testimonies of John the Baptist and the first few disciples all show that Jesus is the Christ and God in flesh. I ended last week by making urging you to reach out to someone if you do not know who Jesus is. This week we see what it means to find salvation. We get the first real teaching Jesus offers in the Gospel. Continue reading “The Gospel of John: John 3”
I was recently listening to a pastor speak and he used the phrase “my life verse is…” and it got me thinking, what exactly is a life verse and why does it matter? Admittedly, this is not the first time I have ever heard the concept as I have had one of my own for a few years. Yet the question still bugged me as a Christian peculiarity that I wanted to learn where it came from. Continue reading “What is a “Life Verse?””
Last week we took a look at the beginning chapter of John’s Gospel. We talked about how Jesus is the reason for Creation and how John shows people pointing the way for others to reach Christ. I ended by encouraging you to reach out to a non-believer, and hopefully, you have had the time to do that this week. This week, the testimonies continue but they are not coming from others, rather they come from the actions of Jesus. His own actions become proof that he is who he claims to be. Continue reading “The Gospel of John: John 2”
The Bible begins at the beginning of everything. Genesis opens with words that are very commonly known. I’m fairly certain that they might be so well known that most anyone could tell you it starts, “In the beginning.” This phrase lets us know where the story of God begins. It is not in some period that exists after a previous period. It is the beginning. Nothing before it. Everything that has ever happened is after. In this opening chapter of the Gospel of John, we find the same phrase. Where Genesis shows that God created, the beginning of the Gospel of John shows us that Jesus was at the beginning, participating with God in the act of creation. Continue reading “The Gospel of John: John 1”
So this being the first post for Christian living in the new format I thought it would be interesting to try and understand what it means to live as a Christian today. The world has certainly changed over time, which means the way we interact with it is different than Christians before us. It is certainly beneficial for us to study how previous Christians practice their faith, and we might do that sometime. However, today the concern is for us to look at life today as Christians, so I have made a list of some (I think) interesting ways in which you can practice your faith. Continue reading “What Does it Mean to Live Like a Christian Today?”
Worship is an incredibly important activity in the life of a Christian. There are thousands of books, articles, and blog posts written on the subject. Yet, no matter this truth, I find that in most churches it is simply meant to be the “music time” of the service. It does not matter if your church is “traditional” or “contemporary,” this truth is ubiquitous. I think that worship leaders can help this feeling. Often times we say “join me in worship” and “now it is time for the message.” Is it not true that the entire service is worship? Why do we section it out like this?
“I wonder if there was ever a time when true spiritual worship was at a lower ebb. To great sections of the church, the art of worship has been lost entirely, and in its place has come that strange and foreign thing called the ‘program.’ This word has been borrowed from the stage and applied with sad wisdom to the public services which now passes for worship among us.”
— A.W. Tozer
I think there is something in our minds where we do not recognize that preaching is just as spiritual an activity as singing praises to God is. We expect the pastor to tell us what the Bible says, never mind the fact that understanding the whole Bible takes faith in God and the action of the Holy Spirit. Any good pastor knows that it is not their own minds that create the words that they speak to us on Sunday morning, but rather, it is the Holy Spirit influencing them to interact with us. Essentially this does segment our services, but not as worship/speaking blocks but rather “us talking to God” then “God talking to us” blocks. This is where we show God the honor and praise He deserves and then He tells us what He wants from us. Sometimes preaching is rough, but that does not make it any less of a worshipful experience.
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing on another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
— Colossians 3:16, NASB
This month my worship team is focusing Colossians 3:16. I love the way Paul put this together. He asks us to let Christ be within us, have wise teaching, and sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. This is what a worship service should be. We pray that God is with us, we have teaching that is inspired by God, and we sing songs that let God know how great He is. It is all worship. Not some lecture where we happen to also worship in song. I think this is where lots of Christians (including me) have failed. We forget that if we are participating in worship, that includes being present with the sermon. It’s not enough for us to sing and say “okay, I worshipped!” Worshipping includes listening to the Word preached.
Songs this Week
The most major component I find in my spiritual life is the discipline of Bible Study. While I do this both professionally and academically, there is a need for it to be done for a personal purpose. No matter how you study the Bible, as Christians we must remember that our goal is ultimately to learn more of God. After all, we claim to have a relationship with God, how can we say that if we are not paying attention to the actual words we have of Him. Because of this, I believe it is foundational here at the HMB that we have fairly regular Bible studies. Starting today we will begin our study of the Gospel of John. This week will be an overview of the Gospel and some general ideas. Starting next week we will be working through the book a chapter at a time, week-by-week. Continue reading “Intro to John”
So I told you earlier that I was going to get this blog up and running again. I’ve done a lot of work on the back end with planning and prep, but haven’t gotten around to writing much. I made the post about Reckless Love because I observed quite a bit of controversy and felt I needed to write about it before I introduced it to my home church. The point of this post is to let you know what to expect in this new format of the HMB. I thought it was important to give a bit of an explanation of content plans both to let you know what is coming and to help keep me accountable. This plan is definitely very optimistic. I have a lot going on, so if you notice a lull do not worry. I will be back shortly as a lot of my posts are loaded up and ready to publish. Continue reading “Alright! Here We Go”