Worship

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Between My Ears


As I was praying this morning, I thought, “What should I do when I want more of God in my life?” As this rolled around inside me, I realized it was easier than I thought.

If I eat an apple, I bring it into me, and its substance feeds my body, contributing to my health. If I read the Bible, I am bringing Jesus, the Word of God (John 1:14), into me. God’s Word brings spiritual health to me, giving me more of Him in my life.

“Consuming” God’s Word renews my mind which then transforms me. Or, to quote God’s Word, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. ” (Romans 12:2)


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a pic full of rocks with a question mark painted on one of them

Between My Ears



33 Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him [Jesus] and told him what she had done. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.

 Mark 5:33–34 NLT

Do you have a need so great that your knees buckle from their weight? As I read Mark 5:33–34 today, I was reminded of imperatives. We pray about many things, and these are sincere prayers, but there are also imperative prayers, urgent and crucial prayers. This woman prayed an imperative prayer.

This woman had a crushing weight from her condition, and it compelled her to bow before Jesus and tell Him about her act of faith – prayers come in many ways.

Do you have a need that buckles your knees and compels you to bow before Jesus and ask Him to do the impossible? If so, then I have good news. When we ask Jesus to do what no one can, He often declares, “Your suffering is over.” He does this because He loves us and honors our faith. I find great comfort in Jesus; I pray that you also do.


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a pic full of rocks with a question mark painted on one of them

Between My Ears


As we head into warmer temperatures, I’m reminded of the value of shade. On a hot summer day, we seek out a shadow. It may be found under a tree or a beach umbrella or even on the shaded side of a building. When we find it, we know it. We are instantly refreshed.

One of the things about shadows on a hot day is that we have to be in them to be refreshed, it’s not enough to just be near them. God created shade, and He makes His shadow available to His children. Just as a shadow from the sun, we must be in God’s shadow to be refreshed.

The thing about a shadow is that we need to be close to its source to receive the most refreshment. The Holy Spirit inspired the Psalmist to use the characteristic of a shadow as a way to open our hearts and see that in this hot desert of a world, God offers us refreshment, safety, and peace, if we come close to Him. If we live close to Jesus, our Savior, our lives will be in His shadow, in His protection.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalms 91:1

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a pic full of rocks with a question mark painted on one of them

Between My Ears


For our sake he [God] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him [Jesus] we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21

Notice in this verse that, by placing our faith in Jesus we receive perfect righteousness. Jesus is the actual, perfect righteousness of God. When we receive Jesus as our Savior, it’s like He pulls off a piece of Himself and puts it in you and me. Now, when God the Father looks at us, He truly sees the righteousness of His beloved Son instead of our “Swiss Cheese” righteousness.


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a pic full of rocks with a question mark painted on one of them

Between My Ears


Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers.

Psalm 39:12

Sometimes we need to lean back in our chairs, look off into the distance, and think about God, His Word, and His way in the world. We need to zoom out and see the bigger picture. Psalms 39:12 does that for us.

To sojourn means to “live short” to temporarily live in a foreign place. David explains the urgency of his prayer by saying that he recognizes his life is brief; he is but a guest in this world, just like his fathers. And like his fathers, his time will soon pass, so he pleads for God to answer his prayer based on his brief time in this world.

It’s good for us to audit ourselves, to see if we are “living short” in this world, to remember that we are guests in God’s creation. Guests come, and then they go.


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a pic full of rocks with a question mark painted on one of them

Between My Ears


And those men said to him, “We are unclean through touching a dead body. Why are we kept from bringing the Lord’s offering at its appointed time among the people of Israel?” 8 And Moses said to them, “Wait, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you.”

Numbers 9:7–8

This passage is surprising to me. As Christians, we’ve come to expect instant answers – Google it, Reddit, Quora it, etc. There remains little doubt that we can find the answer we want if we search for it on these platforms. But that’s not the mindset we see in Moses. He said, “Hang on, let me check with God.” That’s amazing!

Moses was chosen by God and is perhaps the most outstanding servant in the Bible, other than Jesus. Yet, Moses had the wisdom to not dole some instant-ramen chicken soup. He left the men standing while he went into the holy-of-holies and enquired of God. I pray that we have the wisdom to say, “Hang on, let me check with Jesus, my Savior.”



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a pic full of rocks with a question mark painted on one of them

Between My Ears


I nearly always read and meditate on BibleGateway’s “Verse of the Day.” Today’s verse is a prophecy about Jesus, the Messiah:

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Isaiah 53:3-4:

I shouldn’t have been, but I was surprised by this verse. Does God grieve? We often forget that He does. Later in Isaiah, we find: “But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit1….” And the in shortest verse in the Bible, we see: “Jesus wept2“. And, of course, we have today’s verse.

Why does God grieve? He grieves because He loves us. It’s because of His love that He is grieved by us. Why else would God be grieved by us? No one grieves the loss of something they don’t care about. But God’s Word tells us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son3.”

Let’s live to be a joy to God and not a person that grieves Him.


1: Isaiah 63:10
2: John 11:35
3: John 3:16


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a pic full of rocks with a question mark painted on one of them

Between My Ears


There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.

George Orwell

Today, as I was reading in the 15th chapter of Matthew, I came across a familiar passage of Scripture. I read it was fresh eyes because I was using the New Living Translation of the Bible instead of my go-to translation. Here’s what Jesus said to the Pharisees:

7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, 8 ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’

Matthew 15:7-9

Our nation is full of stupid ideas. Many preachers preach man-made ideas. Youth leaders teach man-made ideas. Whole denominations declare their man-made ideas as doctrine. I could extend this list, but you know who they are. These false doctrines and crazy ideas come from people that have forgotten:

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.Psalm 111:10

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

If we all followed the truth of these verses, our society would be a much better place to live.


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a pic full of rocks with a question mark painted on one of them

Between My Ears


55 “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers—James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. 56 All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all these things?” 57 And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Matthew 13:55-57

When I read this passage today, I knew I needed to comment on it.

The people of Jesus’ hometown would not accept that someone from their town could be anything more than everyone else. The people’s pride and jealousy blinded them from seeing Jesus as “God with us.” This is a problem we may have. Too often, we measure God by the yardstick of man. That never works.

Can you imagine trying to measure air with a teaspoon? That’s just silly, but that’s what we do when we try to measure God by the things we know. We may look at someone we grew up with and say, “We know his mom and his brothers and sisters; we can’t believe God is using him to plant a church in the southside of Chicago; what does he know about street gangs?”

You may feel constrained by your family and the people you grew up with. You may be like the Apostle Peter and take your eyes off of Jesus to look at the waves. Reject those thoughts. God has a purpose for you, and you are accountable to Him for what you do with your calling. God desires to use you beyond what you can ask or think. Remember, you can’t pull your mama in when Jesus judges you. She can’t help you.

Trust your Lord (owner) and depend upon Him. If you do that then, when you appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ 2 Corinthians 5:10, you will hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:23)


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a pic full of rocks with a question mark painted on one of them

Between My Ears


As I was reading the book of Matthew, chapter ten, I realized that our fear belongs to God (Matthew 10:28). It is the root of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). Godly fear is a “saving” fear. If we walk through the woods and spot a mama bear with her cubs, we experience a “saving” fear. It triggers our fight-or-flight nature. Fear that comes from domestic abuse is a “saving” fear. It tells us to get out and seek refuge. And when the Holy Spirit confronts a lost person with his or her sin, that person’s fear may lead them to repentance and salvation in Jesus. That is a “saving” fear.

However, the fear we experience after making our own decisions instead of exercising faith in God and using godly reason is sinful fear. This sinful fear “has to do with punishment” (1 John 4:18).

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

God has blessed us with the ability to fear. His intent is for our fear to always be a “saving” fear. “So don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 10:31) When we yield our gift of fear to anyone or anything other than God, we are headed for trouble.


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