Ginrich's Devotional Blog

August 20, 2019

Our Whole Heart

Filed under: Church,encouragement,God,heart,praise,song,Uncategorized,worship — by ginrich @ 7:01 pm

Psalms 100:2 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. (NIV)

.I love the praise and worship time in music at church (or anywhere else).  But I am hearing less and less of worship.  Worship is to and about God.  It is offering Him our thanks and praises and love for Who He is.  So many of the songs we sing are about us, what we want, what we need.  These are songs of intercession.  There is nothing wrong with these songs.  They definitely have their place in our service.  My problem is the imbalance of the songs.  I think the worship songs should outweigh the songs of intercession.  We are gathering together mostly to worship.  We also gather together for encouragement for that is so very necessary but let us first worship with our who heart and being.  That means singing the songs of worship to God, not about God.  That means when the worship leader repeats the song over and over we don’t go into rote in our singing and let our minds wander.  We continue to pay attention to the words and make them real in our hearts and minds.  I’ve shared this before but it bears repeating.  One day as I was enjoying worshiping the Lord with about 500 other worshipers, I heard God say, “Do you know who’s worship is the loveliest.”  Since was a professional singer I started to get puffed up.  Then I heard Him say the man standing right next to me.  I looked.  He had his eyes closed, his hands up and was singing notes that didn’t even exist in a rhythm that didn’t really match any known rhythm but he was totally unaware of anyone else being around.  He was totally focused on worshiping Hid Father God.  Oh what a lesson I learned.  Worship is totally from the heart and is not for others to think you sound really good.  Let us worship with our whole hearts and not be concerned with what others around us might think.  Their focus should be on worshiping God, not on what others are doing.

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August 19, 2019

Gathering Together

Filed under: body,Christ,Church,encouragement,Uncategorized,worship — by ginrich @ 7:07 pm

Hebrews 10:23-25 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIV)

I like how the Message interprets these verses. So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out.  Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going.  He always keeps his word.  Let’s see ow inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.   I especially like the part of being inventive.  So very often, in most of our churches, the order of worship and the things said are the same week after week.  This probably has a part in why the overall attendance in churches is steadily declining.  People are bored and see no advantage in gathering together for worship.  In the church where I am currently attending, we have to stay on our toes so to speak.  The order for worship varies from week to week.  That means we can’t worship as an automatic reflex.  We must think about what we are doing and saying.  We have a time of updating each other on prayer needs and encouraging one another in our various walks.  We can’t be a true part of the body of Christ if we avoid being with the other parts of His body.  In other words, if we aren’t fully involved in a local church group, we are not functioning in the body of Christ.  We are not meant and cannot do it alone.  If you aren’t already involved in a local church group, find a church that believes and practices the message of the Holy Bible and become a real and active part that the part of His body you are can function with the other parts of His body and become whole.

August 11, 2019

All Parts Needed

Filed under: body,Christ,Church,God,Holy Spirit,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:59 pm

Ephesians 4:16  From Him the whole body is fitted and held together by ever supporting ligament.  The pr9per working of each individual part produces the body’s growth, for building itself up in love. (Tree of Life Version)

So often we have the attitude, “Let someone else do it.”  In our local churches we expect the church staff to do all the work.  We might think we aren’t very important in the scheme of things.  No believer is insignificant in the Body of Christ.  Each member is a very important and integral part in the working of God’s Kingdom on earth.  Just like our physical body, if one arm isn’t working the body is handicapped.  The same is true with the Body of Christ – the entire group of believers.  You, reader, are very important to the entire working for the glory of God.  Your function may change from time to time, but you are uniquely equipped by God through the Holy Spirit to function in a particular way for the building of God’s family.  For a time it may be to pass out bulletins to people as the enter for worship on Sunday.  You may be the first person that greets them with a smile and a loving word.  It was a lady’s smile that brought me into God’s family.  I think of that precious lady often.  To the casual observer, she was just an elderly lady sitting quietly in the congregation.  To me she was a life saver.  Don’t ever think that who you are an what you do or say isn’t as important as the most famous expounder of the word of God.  All parts of the body are needed in each of their unique ways.

July 28, 2019

Hated

Filed under: Bible,Christian,Church,faith,God,Jesus,love,sin,trust,Uncategorized,Word — by ginrich @ 7:20 pm

Mark 13:13 13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.  (NIV)

I was asked why Christians are so hated and persecuted around the world today.  Jesus told us.  His world hated Him.  Evil hates the righteous.  Sin desires the company of sin and cannot stand the light of love.  We will be hated as long as we reach out in God’s love to others because evil fears the love of God.  That we are hated and persecuted should be no surprise but Jesus tells us what to do about it.  We are to stand firm in our belief, faith and trust in God and continue to reach out in love of all mankind as Jesus instructed.  Love doesn’t hate.  We hate the sin but pray for the one who is led astray.  There is so much deception created by Satan and his fellow deceivers.  The deception is even infiltrating the Christian churches.  That is why it is so extremely important for us to really study and know what is in the written word of God, the Holy Bible.  Let us not fall into deception as so many have.  Let us stand firm to the end.

July 26, 2019

Two or Three

Filed under: Christ,Church,Jesus,prayer,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:24 pm

Matthew 18:20 0 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (NIV)

When in a church service and the pastor or other leader offers the prayer sometimes our minds wander.  The prayer might be long and when our eyes are closed it is hard to keep our mins on what is being said.  I’ve learned to repeat in my mind what is being said but to turn it around to make it personal.  When the generic phrase is used like “be with those who are sick or hurting,” I put in the names of some I know who are sick or hurting.  When the generic phrase of “forgive us for our sins,” I specify some of my sins for which I have been trying to stop.  There are many different ways we can really plug into the prayer that is being said.  Why is this so important?  Because if we aren’t really in tune with the prayer that is being said, we are not together in the name of Jesus.  Jesus wasn’t referring to two or three gathered in His name in a particular place.  He was referring to two or three standing actively in faith and worship.  Let us no fool ourselves thinking we’re so good for being in church physically.  Let us also be in church mentally, spiritually and emotionally.  Let us really gather together with other believers in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

July 10, 2019

James and the Church Family

James 1:1 1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
Greetings. (NIV)

I like the introduction to James in “The Message” translation of the Holy Bible.  James was a half-brother of Jesus.  He grew up with Him.  As per normal human behavior, we tend to think more critically of those closest to us even though we love them.  James grew up not believing Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.  Jesus showed Himself to James after His resurrection.  We all must believe in the resurrected Jesus to be a Christian believer.

When Christian belivers gather in churches, everything that can go wrong sooner or later does.  Outsiders, and labels them a such, the church collects sinners. Many of the people outside the hospital are every bit as sick as the ones inside, but their illnesses are either undiagnosed or disguised.  It’s simiar with sinners outside the church. (The Message Bible)

James deals with the various problems pastors have in discerning, confronting and dealing with the normal problems of sin in the body of believers.  Each of us, from time to time, are part of those problems.  Let us look to our own words and actions rather than judging the words and actions of others in our church family.  Let us be an active participant in the gathering together for worship which includes encouraging others and helping others rather than judging and criticizing.

July 4, 2019

Speak Slow

Filed under: body,Christ,Church,denomination,Family,God,Holy Spirit,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:15 pm

Ephesians 4:4 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called;  (NIV)

Just as there are different circles of family groups: the immediate, the 3 generational, the clan of relatives, yet they are all family, there are different circles of the family of God.  We call them local church, denominations and the entire body of Christ.  We always don’t act like a living family.  Sometimes we act like we’re in competition with one another.  When we read on in Ephesians and throughout the written word of God, the Holy Bible, we are told over and over to bear with one another, to get along with one another.  It’s hard for some immediate families to do this and seems even harder for the Family of God to do this.  It starts with just one person who is determined to choose love, patience and the grace of God to swallow the sin of pride and self-righteousness and determine to get along with all of God’s children.  Let us each be that one.  The Family of God will be much more inviting for others to come into our family if they could only see more love, patience and grace actually practiced in our family.

March 4, 2019

Definitions

Filed under: Christ,Church,denomination,God,Jesus,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 8:31 pm

Revelation 22:18-19 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. (NIV)

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever (NIV)

There are a few protestant denominations trying to change the word of God.  When they find that difficult they try to change the definition of the word they don’t like.  It appears they aren’t concerned with following the commands of God.  The want to appeal to the present day culture.  I’m so glad the apostles were more concerned with obeying and walking with our Lord than fitting in with their present-day culture.  God knows what is best for us to live an abundant life.  He doesn’t command things to ruin our fun and pleasure.  He is protecting us for troubles we can’t see on down the road.  I hope, if you’re in one of the denominations trying to change God’s commands or the definition of words used for centuries you will speak up and be counted.  Jesus had no problem correcting the religious leaders of His day and we should do the same.  No matter what some try to do, God’s word will endure forever.

February 5, 2019

Greed

Filed under: Church,Father,God,Jesus,love,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 6:30 pm

Luke 12:15 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (NIV)

Greed encompasses more than money.  Greed includes the greed for power, fame, material possessions and so on.  Greed is a lust and desire to have the most of what ever it is we are desiring and seeking.  We see greed displayed in the news every day.  Commercials even entice us to greed.  We are told we aren’t living right if we don’t have a particular product.  We are encouraged to accumulate as much of a product as we can.  Unfortunately, some churches are even preaching a financial prosperity message.  This can lead us into greed for money and for the things money can buy.  The Bible says for us to be content with what we have.  We are not to covet what other people have.  We are not to compare ourselves with others.  We are to compare ourselves with Christ.  He didn’t ever own or rent His own home.  He didn’t have a big wardrobe.  He didn’t stockpile supplies.  He looked to His Father to provide His needs while He served His Father.  When we leave this earth, everything we have accumulated stays on this earth.  We must ask ourselves if, when we leave this earth we will be remembered only for the possessions we leave behind or remembered for the love of God we have shared with others.

January 22, 2019

Extra Rules

Matthew 15:8-9 8 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules. (NIV)

Jesus is quoting from the prophet Isaiah.  So many churches even today have added to scripture making their own rules that people are supposed to follow.  Many churches even split because of the man-made rules.  In our human nature we want to be better than others and tell others to be like us.  We want others to worship the same way we do, eat what we eat, dislike what we dislike and on and on.  Jesus said we are to be one in Him and in each other.  Being one means to love as God loves.  It doesn’t mean we must do everything alike.  Some worship on their knees, some standing.  What counts is worship from the heart.  Let us stop criticizing others for doing things differently from us.  Let us not agree with those who would require people follow man-made rules.  Let us follow the commands of God and love one another and worship God with our entire heart and mind in whatever way the Holy Spirit leads us.

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