Monthly Archives: April 2014

Water for a Thirsty Soul

water_fallMatt Laurer recently interviewed Bill O’Reilly  on the Today Show concerning O’Reilly’s book, “The Last Days of Jesus”.  Matt Laurer was pushing back on the idea of teaching the historical facts about Jesus in the public schools.  At one point Matt Laurer says, “I grew up in a secular home…. so I didn’t get it there [the story of Jesus]. But I found a way to fill the void in other ways in my life.”  (http://www.today.com/books/bill-oreilly-revisits-last-days-jesus-younger-readers-2D79506022)

What amazed me is that Matt Laurer admitted to having a void and looking for ways to fill it.  All human beings are born with a void. Born with a thirsty soul. Not just our bodies, but also our souls get thirsty.  Thirsty for soul satisfaction.  Thirsty for a spiritual encounter. Thirsty for God.  David wrote in Psalm 42:1- 2:

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

The soul is thirsty. Thirsty for God.  No one else but Him can satisfy the soul.

Tempted to worship Idols!

American_idols_2By Syd McCrorey

The TV show “American Idol” has experienced some decline in popularity recently.  According to some media news reports, ratings for the show are down 25% per cent in 2014. (http://shar.es/TWTQ8)

Yet idols are alive and well.  We all have a tendency to have idols in our hearts.  Something or someone we depend on, cling to for life.

Martin Luther says: Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God.

Until a couple of years ago, I could never figure out why the last verse in the book of I John closes with “My little children, keep yourselves from idols” (I john 5:21).  It seems like John is completely changing the subject with his last sentence about idols.  What do idols have to do with anything John talks about in his letter?

Then, with help, I looked a little closer.  Before John’s last sentence are many statements about how life is only found in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life… We know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

What is an idol?  Anything you are depending on to give you life and happiness. Depend  only on Jesus Christ for life. He is the one true God.  Nothing else. Isn’t it amazing how many things we easily cling to for life?  Whatever our heart says we must have in order to enjoy life is our idol.  It could be more money, success, or getting our own way in relationships.  Maybe discouragement happens because something we think we must have for life isn’t happening.

Martin Luther is right:  Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God.

Little children, guard yourselves from idols.  What idols are alive and well in your heart?

Does your Heart Worship Idols?

Does your Heart Worship Idols?
Watch out for Idols in your heart!

by Syd McCrorey

The TV show “American Idol” has experienced some decline in popularity recently.  According to some media news reports, ratings for the show are down 25% per cent in 2014. (http://shar.es/TWTQ8)

Yet idols are alive and well.  We all have a tendency to have idols in our hearts.  Something or someone we depend on, cling to for life. Martin Luther says: Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God.

Until a couple of years ago, I could never figure out why the last verse in the book of I John closes with “My little children, keep yourselves from idols” (I john 5:21).  It seems like John is completely changing the subject with his last sentence about idols.  What do idols have to do with anything John talks about in his letter?

Then, with help, I looked a little closer.  Before John’s last sentence are many statements about how life is only found in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life… We know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

What is an idol?  Anything you are depending on to give you life and happiness.  Depend only on Jesus Christ for life. He is the one true God.  Nothing else. Isn’t it amazing how many things we easily cling to for life?  Whatever our heart says we must have in order to enjoy life is our idol.  It could be more money, success, or getting our own way in relationships.  Maybe discouragement happens because something we think we must have for life isn’t happening.

Martin Luther is right:  Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God.

Little children, guard yourselves from idols.  What are the idols in your heart?

Lord, We want your Church to Grow!

God Values the Small Church
God Values the Small Church and He longs for it grow!

One of the fun things in life for me is playing with my two grandchildren, Asher (age 4) and Cayden (age 1). This is a fun stage. At least for Grandpa and Grandma. We can just play with them and go home, leaving all the work behind!

However, God’s will is that they do not stay  in this stage forever. They will grow! They will grow and change!  We want them to change.   God has put it in their DNA to grow and change.  Hopefully, not just grow and change physically, but also grow emotionally and spiritually. It is God’s plan that all living things grow. Not stay the same, but grow. The same is true for churches.  It is a living organism, dwelt by the living Christ. He wants his church to grow.  The question is….  Why are so many churches NOT growing?  In what way does Jesus Christ want  his church to grow?

Myriads and myriads of books exist seeking answers to questions. You probably have some thoughts of your own.   For now,  I find it interesting to look at a few of the scriptures on growing:

“…speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.” [Eph 4:15 NASB].

“… grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” [2Pe 3:18 NASB]

“… the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.” [Act 12:24 NASB]

“The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem”  [Act 6:7 NASB]

Lord, just like you, we want your church to grow!

What is God’s will for me?

gods-willWhen I was in high school, I remember asking a missionary visiting our church, “What is God’s will for me”?  He said the first step is to discover your spiritual gift. God’s will is for you to use the gifts he has given you.  That statement helped stir my heart toward Christian ministry.

Of course, his response does not answer all of the questions we have about finding God’s will.  Who does God want me to marry? Does he want me to marry?  Where does he want me to work? Where does he want me to live? What kind of car should I buy.  All kinds of decisions, questions about the details of our lives.  Is there a way to know what God intends for me in those every day decisions?

A good friend of mine, in one of his recent sermons, really has me thinking about my perspective on these kinds of questions.  Perhaps we are deceiving ourselves  to what is really important in life.  God’s will is not, “What?” or “Where?” but rather “Who and “How”?

If listen to what Jesus Christ tells us about the priorities of life.  The number one passion of our life is LOVE:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’. (Mat. 22:37-39)

So instead of first asking ‘what should I do?’ and ‘where should I do it’  begin by asking:

Who are the people God has placed in my life? How should I love them?”

I never though to ask that question when I was in High School.  Never thought to pray   “Lord, help me see the people you have placed in my life.  Please show me how to            love them for your sake”.

God’s will?  Relationships! Relating well to God and to the people around me.   It’s time to go searching and praying for God’s will.   Perhaps this kind of prayer is the kind that God always answers.

It’s not “What” and “Where’ , rather it is ‘Who’ and ‘How’?

Jesus Loves His Church

Ephesians 5:25:  Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her

Phil Keaggy sings a great song, “Jesus Loves His Church”.  A good reminder that Jesus Christ loves his church, even when we are not doing such a great job of loving each other.

Jesus loves his church so much He gave himself up for her. Jesus loves his bride.  How awesome that we should be called the bride of Christ.  Forever attached to him, intimately connected to him. Forever!  Someday in a new, perfect world.