The power to live a Godly life: Love for Christ

Still totally digging Bryan Chappell’s “Christ Centered Worship” — in it he has a chapter on “Christ Centered Sermons” which I’ll probably go back to about 103 times.

Some good nuggets this AM, but here is one thought that really stuck out —

…people are not tempted by what they have no desire to do. The only reason that sin has any power in our life is because we love it. If the sin had no attraction for us, it would have no power over us.  When love for Christ dominates our affections, sin loses its allure and consequently loses its power. Love for Christ is the power of obedience. Preaching that floods the heart with affection for the Savior simultaneously loosen the hold of false idols on our hearts, chokes the appeal of sin, nourishes the desire for holiness, and stimulates zeal for kingdom purposes.

When love for Chirst is preeminent, doing his will is our greatest compulsion and joy.

Thus the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10)

As Piper says then – “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in him”  – AMEN!

Calculated Efforts

I ran across this in “Christ-Centered Worship” by Bryan Chappell this morning…needless to say this will be making it’s way into a worship service very soon, but I wanted to share it with you for your meditation, I hope it convicts you as much as it did me:

You asked me for my hands, that you might use them for your purpose.  I gave them for a moment, then withdrew them, for the work was hard.
You asked for my mouth to speak out against injustice. I gave you a whisper that I might not be accursed.
You asked for my eyes to see the pain of poverty. I closed them, for I did not want to see.
You asked for my life that you might work through me. I gave a small part, that I might not get too involved.
Lord, forgive my calculated efforts to serve you – only when it is convenient for me to do so,
only in those places where it is safe to do so
and only with those who make it easy to do so.
Father, forgive me, renew me, send me out as a usable instrument,
that I might take seriously the meaning of your cross.

(a contemporary confession of sin from the Worship Sourcebook #35, p.98)

Gospel Consistent Worship

I’m reading thru “Christ Centered Worship, Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice” by Bryan Chappell – LOVING this book.

Here is a nugget that I highlighted and wrote “WOW” in the margin –

The consistent message of all the liturgies studied so far is the gospel re-presented.

The worship of the church honors the gospel. The worship of the church communicates the gospel. And, the gospel shapes the worship of the church. We cannot honor the gospel and, at the same time, worship in ways that distort it. This would necessarily be the case of we praised God for his holiness but did not acknowledge our sin, or if we acknowledged our sin but did not mention his mercy. To ignore essential elements of the gospel necessarily damages it.

Where the church remains true to the gospel, her worship reflects the truths she holds most dear. Where the gospel is lost, worship becomes reflective of a dead tradition or an evolving heresy. There are two  immediate implications (1) when the gospel is distorted, then the worship of the church will be distorted; and (2) when the worship of the church does not reflect the gospel, then the gospel itself is in danger. The goal for our worship should not simply be to honor tradition, or naively to assume there are no abiding truths to guide us, but rather to recognize that God has set an agenda for our worship that takes precedence over human tradition or preference. That agenda can have many variations, but it cannot vary from re-presenting the gospel without ultimately doing damage to the church.

Where the worship of the church continues to re-present the gospel, God maintains the testimony of his truth in his church despite all her weaknesses, frailties, and sin. Through gospel-consistent worship, God communicates his grace thru the ages and beyond human limitations.

I don’t really have anything to add to that except: “AMEN.”