Unrelated to anything except excitement about things seen and done today.
We went to a church this morning (New Life Fellowship) that had an absolutely positively outstanding worship service. The songs were all new to me so I didn't know the words at all, but from the very first beat something in me just jumped up and said "YES". I was in a crowd that was worshipping and worshipping openly.
Several people began just moving to the front of the church or out of their pews to worship God from the open area between platform and chairs. One woman was actually dancing in the Spirit and it's been a very very long time since I have seen that.
People were even dressed up for church, but it was obviously not a legalistic church issue since a good percentage (including the pastor) didn't dress up. I know, I know, people think it's not supposed to matter and yes, I've been lax myself sometimes as well, but it's awfully nice to see people dressed as though they were going someplace important. (Not that I don't understand extenuating circumstances, but I'm pretty sure there aren't any extenuating circumstances that involve showing up in shorts and flip flops.)
Feel free to comment your disagreement, I completely understand your point - God cares about the inside not the outside. Got that. I even agree.
The sermon was almost the exact opposite of the wonderful awesomeness of the worship service. And apparently I didn't mask it well, because half-way through the sermon a note was passed down to me "Jeanette has a big frown on her face." (It's not nice to make people laugh during church.) :)
But I find it amazing how easily the devil can tell you something that is close to true, but not. Not at all true. It's worrisome.
People tend to listen without thinking more often than not. We're a television society; listen, laugh, say amen, shake the pastors hand. If the pastor got excited, he must have done a good job so you tell yourself it was a good sermon, it was a right sermon, it was truth - because why on earth wouldn't your pastor tell you the truth about the Gospel and the ways of salvation, or how to walk uprightly? Why on earth would a pastor lie about that?
So you say amen, and walk out the door thinking how great it is that you don't have to worry about sin. In fact, if the subject of sin comes up, it's probably of the devil so instead of agreeing with the devil that there is sin in your life you should just praise God for the good stuff.
And that's the easiest path in the world... to hell.
Preachers, please preach the gospel. Please tell your people how they can grow. Please tell them not to be lax concerning their intent to grow closer to God, to learn the deeper ways of faith, to be willing to accept Gods challenge for them to walk in new paths and trust God to teach them as they go. Covet God yourself, spending time praying, praying in the Spirit, and reading your Bible. (And I believe I wrote those in order of importance - feel free to comment your opinion on that, I'd like to hear it.) But grow as well, talk about growing and learning and hungering and being filled so often they start to covet it as well.
If your people have been drinking milk for 10 years, there is a reason - they've rejected meat or no one has ever given it to them, and they were too lazy to seek it out themselves. But milk is not proper sustenance for a mature Christian. They need more. Search the depths of the Bible, as you grow you will be able to find more meat. It will always happen.
God is good. I'm energized and joyful over todays worship service. It could have lasted longer, sang 20 more songs, and I would have been content. Worship is a beautiful, awesome, powerful thing. Incredible. Simply incredible.
Worship Him- faith will grow, for love He will show when we steadfastly worship Him.
Our God is an awesome God.