Holy Land Day 3 – True or False

imageI had the best of intentions to post each day on our trip to the Holy Land, but REALLY bad internet connections, and super busy days seemed to win out.  Since it was such a valuable experience I’ve decided to go back and post a few quick articles to summarize the trip.  I might blend a couple together but I want to share the experience and encourage those who may consider a trip someday to definitely do so.

Each day has held a theme and today’s theme was true or false worship.  There are many people that are very sincere in their worship; the problem is they are sincerely wrong.  What is the difference between something that is true and something false?

God has given His people very specific guidelines for true worship.  Believers must worship in Spirit and in Truth, so it is imperative that worship is done according to God’s plan not our own, no matter how that “feels”.

God has provided His word, the Bible, as the guide for how we are to worship.

If your church gathering is more concerned about pleasing people than it is about preaching with authority the word of God you may want to dig deeper into what is true worship.

When Jesus took his disciples up to Caesarea Philippi to reveal Himself to them, He took them to the center of pagan worship, the place pagan’s believed a cave was the entrance to the gates of hell.  Jesus shows His disciples He is the source of true worship.

Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

Matthew 16:15-16 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”  Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.  And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

In ancient times and in modern times, those that depart from God’s commands for worship are either punished or chastened, having worship done correctly is a matter of life and death and Jesus took them to this region to show them the difference.


Holy Land – Day 1 – I have no control…

In the past 24 hours I’ve been reminded, how little I control in my life.  Although I sometimes think I have control, I realized what a mirage that is for me.  I’ve faced the reality I have no control over the weather, I have no control over where I’m going to go when I go through an airport, and I certainly realize I can’t control a car service to pickup us up on our schedule.

As we flew across the Atlantic yesterday and I had time to think about how massive this planet is, and yet it is not even a pin drop in comparison to the magnitude of God’s awesome power and control.   As much as I sometimes enjoy the charade I play with my mind, it’s really not my call.

James 4:13-14 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

This is fresh for me today as I consider I’m very small.  Yet God is very big and for those of us that have an intimate relationship with Him, through Jesus Christ, we matter to Him.  He desires that we enjoy the good gifts He provides and sometimes those gifts come through the realization, we are just little bitty creatures that have no control.

He has provided us an opportunity to visit the land He chose to walk as the God/Man.  Of the entire place on this earth, this is the place where our Lord chose to be born, to live, to minister, to suffer, to die and to rise again.  What an awesome reality.   How humbling that is.

So today, when you think you have control or you feel out of control; consider that if you are in Christ, no matter what the outcome it’s all in God’s plan.

Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.

I hope to keep you updated as best I can with short little posts and pictures from this beautiful country of Israel.  Please feel free to follow me on Facebook for photos and posts.