Our Sunday morning service normally starts with music as we begin our worship service. But in this morning, there was no music, no singing. I am in the praise band and I choose to use music in my personal worship time. But as our pastor, Jon Porter, pointed out this morning, music or singing are not required for us to worship. To listen to Jon’s message, click here.
Jon opened this morning with a scripture reading. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Psalm 139: 23-24
After the reading, he asked us to stay there for a moment and ask God to search us.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51: 10
To be honest, it really put the focus on God because all of my attention was on the words from those 2 Psalms and what they meant. That was preparing us for today’s message…
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.Philippians 1: 27-30
We are living in turbulent times and as we return to our church buildings, it’s a time that we need to hit ‘reset’. Has the way we’ve been doing things been working or do we need to make some changes? It’s a good time to step back and put our focus on God.
Where are we getting our direction from? How about our news for the day? What are we letting form us?
What sits on the throne of our lives? What drives us and defines us?
If we take our eyes off of the throne, it’s easy to get side tracked. We may not even realize it. We pick up junk in our lives that allows the world to pull us and mold us, but we have to remember what the label “Christian” means. When we call ourselves “Christians” are we living up to the name or do we come up short?
Paul, the writer of Philippians, wants us to have the courage to stand firm against those who try to intimidate them for their faith and beliefs. We should be bold as Christians. Don’t let fear keep you from all that God has for you. He is constantly moving and doing something new.
These are new times that we are moving into and we need to be able to adapt and move as God moves. Don’t settle for the way things have always been just because that’s what you’re used to.
When we lose our focus on the gospel of Jesus Christ, we lose the joy we should have. We know how the story goes. We need to boldly share our hope with others. Our response to the changes we face in the future due to our circumstances now, will be less than Christ-like if our focus is not singe-minded on the gospel of Jesus. So, keep your eyes on Jesus.
Don’t let division be created that drives a wedge between you and your brothers and sisters. We must realize that we can’t just preach the gospel and think that’s going to make everything okay. Just like you can’t say you’re a “Christian” and then live your life as if you aren’t. Your actions speak louder than your words!
- We are called to bring Christ to the people and places where he isn’t already.
- People care less about what we preach. They’re watching how we live.
- We are called to a life of worthiness.
- We are called to unity. One spirit. One mind. Don’t get tripped up by the political affiliation, religious affiliation, gender, or race. Don’t let the issues distract you from your focus.
As Christians, we need to want to restore in the name of Jesus Christ. We are called to be citizens of God on earth.
Our relationships should look like heaven. Pray for reconciliation and courage to lead the charge!
God’s on the move, let’s not be left behind!
Be sure to watch the sermon to get Jon’s complete message. I don’t want you to miss out on the importance here. He gives great points that I can’t put all of it in a blog post. I just really felt a pull toward God today. A focus that I needed to pull back to. It’s been difficult to keep focused with all that’s going on in the world, but this is the time to reset for a better tomorrow.