God’s Will–Fuzzy before Clarity

In Acts 9, Paul is threatening the church, and gets letters so that he has legal permission to arrest these new followers of the way and bring them bound to Jerusalem. He is on a self-righteous crusade against what he feels is a threat to Judaism.

Then, on the way to Damascus, BAM! He is stopped in his tracks. He is surrounded by light. Light is a great symbol in the Bible, and even to this day. When someone learns something, it is said that they are enlightened. In cartoons, when a character has an idea, a lightbulb turns on. Light was a symbol of good in the darkness, and direction in the darkness, and new ideas. Continue reading

500 Years of Reforming- Worship Resources

October 31, 2017 marks a monumental moment for the church and the world. It was on that day 500 years ago that Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses to door at Wittenberg.  This is typically noted as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. It was a moment that sparked a movement that continues to influence not only the Christian faith but also daily life.

To celebrate, I am planning to do a whole month of worship and preaching around Martin Luther. They are not perfect or in their final form, and I am sure the will take a little different shape by the time October comes around, but I thought I would offer them to others as a starting point for celebrating this important date.

You can click HERE or the picture below for the document. Please adapt it and use it, and I would love to hear what you do with it.

 

Why Feeling Unworthy can be Good and Important

In Isaiah 6, Isaiah is taken in a vision into the throne room of God. His reaction—“Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” He panics. He is unworthy of God’s presence. He has said bad things, and his people have said bad things.

But an angel comes over and touches his lips with a coal from the altar. He is declared to be atoned for and without guilt. Then, when God asks who God can send, Isaiah responds, “Here am I; Send me.”

We often feel unworthy when God calls us to things. And we think because we feel unworthy that we must be unworthy. Why would God use us? How could God use us? We have made to many mistakes. We are not holy. We are not the most talented.

But let me tell you a paradoxical truth. While we think feeling unworthy makes us unworthy, feeling unworthy is actually the first step on the path to being worthy. Think about it this way—what makes you truly unworthy is thinking you are worthy. If God calls you to do something and you say, “Yep, I got this,” then we have a problem. There is no space in a big head for God’s leading. Our pride and arrogance constricts the Holy Spirit.

We must confess that we are unworthy so that God can use us. We must walk through saying “Woe is me” so that we can be ready to say, “Here I am. Send me.”

You think you are not worthy? Good. You are not worthy. I am not worthy. But when we admit that we are not worthy, we actually become ready. Ready for God’s grace and ready for God’s sending. I am not arguing for some kind of negative self-view, but rather for a self-view that comes from God’s view.

You say, “Woe is me. I am not worthy. I am not able.”

God responds, “Good. You admit it. Now, let’s get to work.