Friday, March 31, 2017

EmmDev 2017-03-31 [Lent2017] Lent Worship Lifestyle 2/5 (Attitude)

Lent Worship Lifestyle 2/5 (Attitude)

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.      (Colossians3:15-16)
We come to our second watering-can to nurture a life of worship which is the desired outcome for Lent.

The picture on the second watering-can is of Snoopy dancing in the rain. In the "Peanuts" comic strip, Snoopy belongs to Charlie Brown and is his owner's attitudinal opposite, being optimistic and energetic where Charlie Brown is melancholic and lethargic. In various comic strips Snoopy will cheer up an angry Lucy with a kiss, lift Linus' spirits by dancing in the rain and make Charlie Brown feel loved and valued even when things go wrong.

They say that attitude determines altitude and that attitude is about not being defined by the weather. In Colossians 3, a chapter that talks of a life of worship, Paul indicates that those who walk near to God can bring their own weather with them:

  • They choose to let the peace of Christ rule in their hearts by entrusting the outcomes of life's challenges to God. This is possible when we understand that God is greater than any earthly power and that He loves us more than we can even think or imagine.
  • They make gratitude a way of life. Paul uses a present imperative for "be" and "eucharisto" as the adjective. This word "eucharist" became one of the ways of describing Holy Communion - as a meal of worship and thanksgiving. Thus we are ever thankful for what Jesus did on the cross.
  • They root their lives in the truths of Scripture and let it influence their life interactions. They choose to live by principle instead of responding reactively.
  • They sing psalms, hymns and songs with gratitude! To sing is to translate the hope, joy and peace that is deep within and make it audible and visible. It is the embodiment of gratitude, hope and trust - even when we sing a song of mourning we are expressing it to God and affirming that we are not alone. We sing because we know that God is listening.

Today our media has brought us bad news. Our leaders have taken bad decisions that hammer our economy, further corruption and create a climate of fear, anger and doubt. It will be easy to be dominated by attitudes of pessimism, scepticism and negativity...
Let us apply Paul's challenges:

  • Who really rules? Our president or our victorious death-defeating Christ? This doesn't mean that our problems will disappear, but we choose to see a bigger picture.
  • What blessings do you still have even in the midst of the doom and gloom? What are the lasting benefits and gifts that we can treasure as we face temporal setbacks?? Do you have kids to hug? Good health? A loving family? Count up your blessings!
  • What are the firm Biblical guidelines we are called to? Trust God, Forgive others, Pray for Leaders, and Love your neighbour. What about 1Thes4:11-12?? -> "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."
  • Are you singing? Switch the news off for a while, put on some praise music - and sing it out:
    Though Satan may buffet, if trials should come,
    Let this blessed assurance control
    That Christ has regarded my helpless estate
    And has shed His own blood for my soul
    It is well, it is well, it is well with my soul!


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