Tag Archives: Attitude

The Golden Rule

We live in a world which is becoming more and more selfish by the day. Whatever happened to others we want our convenience. At the expense of others we want to progress. We are willing to forego principles for profit. We go for short cuts even though we know it is wrong. We try to explain away our wrong doings saying everybody does that today, or, the system is like that and we cannot escape it.

Are we becoming more and more self-centred? We expect others to respect us when we don’t show any respect to others. We want everyone to listen to us when we are not willing to listen to anyone. We want to be served first in the queue though we know we are not first. We want the best part of everything when we are not willing to let others have their choice. We don’t want to give way to other traffic when we expect everyone else to give us way.

Jesus said, “Do for others what you want them to do for you….” (Mat.7:12 GNT) If you want others to respect you, learn to respect others. If you want others to be kind to you, learn to be kind to others. If you want others to listen to you, learn to listen to others. If you want your neighbours to be good to you, then learn to be a good neighbour to them. In essence, we are to develop the character quality of our Master Lord Jesus Christ. This we ought to do in spite of how others behave. Let our words and deeds prove that we treat others the way we want them to treat us.

Tradition often leads to hypocrisy

Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat. He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?

 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone. (Mt. 15:1-20)

Tradition often leads to hypocrisy and legalism. This was the problem the Pharisees of Jesus’ day had. This can happen to anyone. Traditions become meaningless without an awareness of their origin and purpose. This was the reason the Old Testament instructed the Israelites to explain the reasons behind their practices, like festivals, sacrifices and so on, to their children.  

Tradition is outwardly
It focuses on the external appearance and performance. Obeying God is always above observing traditions. Pharisees tried to escape from obeying the Law by observing traditions, so they created traditions of convenience. They gave an impression that their external performances were the signs of faithfully keeping the Law. Jesus confronted the Pharisees who questioned him on this.

Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents. And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition. (Mt.15: 3-6 NLT)

Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah (Isa. 29:13) who foretold about the hypocritical attitude of people.

Obedience is inwardly
It springs from the submissive attitude within. It demands commitment, and being faithful to it. It is always above traditions and rituals. It is to please God than men. In 1 Samuel 15:22 we read prophet Samuel’s reminder to king Saul. Obedience originates from trust. Without faith or trust it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6).

Attitudes of a Christian

Jesus turned and asked the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of Moses, “Is it right to heal on the Sabbath?”

…If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored. (Lk.14:3,11 CEV)

Religious people are often legalistic and judgmental in their attitudes towards others. They like to define rules and explain commandments to others than following it themselves. Pharisees of Jesus’ time did the same thing. Jesus rebuked them.

Don’t be Legalistic

Jesus being invited for dinner by the prominent Pharisee was under their keen observation. When the man with swollen limbs stood before Him He realized that and asked them whether it was permissible to heal on the Sabbath according to the Law. The Jewish Law forbid them from doing any work on the Sabbath day as it was a day set apart for their God. They could not answer Jesus and he went ahead and healed the man. Jesus nailed it on the legalistic Pharisee’s head when He asked whether they would try to save their child or animal that fell into a pit on the Sabbath day. Sabbath was in honor of the Lord and honor God through whatever you do on that day.

Don’t be Selfish

The guests at the dinner were vying for the best seating positions that would make them look prominent and important. Jesus tells them not to aim at high positions which are beyond themselves. They may be humiliated if they are asked to give room for someone else. But if the host feels that you deserve a better place and invites you to move up it will be an honor.

There are people who deliberately employ this principle with selfish motive. They act humble and polite with the intention that others will notice it. But their actual aim is to grab the position without being labeled cunning or crooked. This is worse than the former. Let God honor you and not people because people’s honor is temporary while God’s reward is eternal.

Get back on the track

In the eighteenth year of his reign, after he had purified the land and the Temple, Josiah appointed Shaphan son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the governor of Jerusalem, and Joah son of Joahaz, the royal historian, to repair the Temple of the Lord his God….

While they were bringing out the money collected at the Lord’s Temple, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord that was written by Moses. (2Chr.34:1-18 NLB)

The Christian communities around the world have slipped into a kind of sluggishness. Many have lost the joy of their salvation, struggling to cope up with the world. Several have succumbed to the temptation of following the crowd. The demarcation between them and the world has faded away. The Church has been compromising on the teachings of the Word of God to satisfy those who are trying to satisfy their own flesh. There is more of mammon worship than worship of the true God. (But, glory be to God, there is a remnant spread all over the world, that still honor God and follow His Word.)

There is only one way to experience the joy of the Lord-get back into the fellowship. That is why there is a constant call from God to His wayward children to return to Him. Some of the ancient rulers reinforced this in their kingdom. One of such was king Josiah of Judah. He ascended the throne as an eight year old lad but he desired to follow the Lord like his forefather David. So he destroyed everything in his life and the life of the nation that was an abomination to the Lord.

Get rid of whatever is detesting to the Lord

It is not a literal instruction to the Church today. This does not mean that you go around destroying others’ property, attack religious places or cause inconvenience to others. We need to understand the principle. How do we decide? Go to His Word. As you read and meditate the Spirit will convince you of things in your own life that need to be thrown out or destroyed. Just obey. There is nothing more pleasing to God than to see His children obey Him, because obedience comes out of trust. Josiah did just that. A cleansing is required before the joy of the Lord can reclaim our lives.

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. (1Cor.3:16-17 NIV)

Repair and Restore the Temple

The temple of God represents the worship of God. The worship of God has been interrupted, lost its meaning or perhaps stopped in your life. This needs immediate attention, repair and restoration. When the worship of the Lord is restored the glory of the Lord will continue to descend up on the temple in such a way that others would see it.

Seek the Law of the Lord

The restoration of worship will naturally lead to the rediscovery of God’s book of Law, the Bible. The high priest discovered the book of the Law and introduced it to the  king and officials. That revolutionized the lives of the people. Though it did not last for long before the king died and people slipped back into sin, the principle for restoration and spiritual growth remains the same.

Rid your life of every sin. Don’t try to define your actions or justify them. The simple formula is to keep away from whatever that raises a doubt or question in your mind. Read the Bible, meditate on it. Follow the Law of the Lord. And when you fall, gather yourself up and get back on the track as early as possible.

The Product Power

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times;…. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome. I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Rom.1:8-12; 14-17)

Paul sets and example for all servants of God to follow, concerning their occupation and attitude.

Occupation of a Servant of God

The primary occupation of a servant of God is praying and preaching – praying for God’s people and God’s work. Whether they are directly involved in the action or not they should be offering thanks for what God is doing in the lives of people. As we browse through various posts, read mission news, or hear encouraging reports, praise and thanks to God should emerge from our hearts and lips. We should also be proclaiming the Gospel to people irrespective of their background or response.

Attitude of a Servant of God

Preachers and pastors who are involved in teaching the Bible may feel it humiliating to admit that they too need fellowship and encouragement. Still worse is the thought that young believers and lay people can teach them a lesson or two and encourage them in faith. We need to be humble enough to accept encouragement and support from ordinary people. We should also feel proud of the message that we preach, because it is the message from Almighty God. It is packed with the power from God to convict the sinner and lead him to salvation through Christ Jesus.

The Product Power

Marketing staff of a company are most effective when they are motivated by the quality and effectiveness of the product they promote. This is when they feel proud to be associated with a product that has a perfect and proven track record. Apostle Paul was aware of this truth that we have the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the unfailing product of the God of heaven, that is the ‘dynamite’ of God. We don’t need to worry about convincing the listener or satisfying him. Whether listeners agree with you or not your product is still the unfailing dynamite of God. No wonder, Paul was proud (not ashamed) about it.

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Worship

At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads.

They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Rev.4:2-4, 10-11)

The concept and meaning of Worship differs from religion to religion and from person to person. It comes with a whole lot of rituals and ceremonies for some, while it is pure appreciation for some others. Christian worship is not meant to be a ritual or ceremony but an attitude that one wears all the time. Worship is to be reflected in the person, his being, his reactions, his relationships, his conduct and his communication.

The Background

Here, in the book of Revelation, we have a glimpse of God’s throne room. Worship is all that happens there, all the time. This should have implications for our worship of the same God now here on earth as the Church. The background for true worship can be seen as the awesome Holiness of God and the righteous position of the believer justified by faith. God’s holiness is beyond desription. The believer receives the righteousness of Jesus Christ, freely given to him as he placed his faith solely on Christ. The believer has been lifted to the position of reigning with Christ (Rev.20:4, 6), seated on thrones, garbed in His righteousness, crowned with honour for their faith and endurance (2Tim.4:8; Jam.1:12).

The Focus

The focus of Christian worship is the absolute, awesome Holiness of our God. He is clothed in splendor and glory that can never be approached by the sinful humans. It is being continuously announced by the creatures around His throne, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Rev.4:8). There can be no other focus for Christian worship, any other focus will render it as idolatry.

The Content

Worship is nothing but “ascribing worth” to our God, which He fully deserves. It is appreciating who God is and what He is doing, by laying down all pretentions and pride, in utter humility, acknowledging our helplessness and total depravity. Worship is consciously placing God where He ought to be, the prime place in our lives and affairs. Our worship services should not contain any ingredient that does not ascribe all honour, glory, credit, thanks and praise to God.

The Frequency

Christian Worship is not controlled by the celestial bodies or the clock as some may have it. There is no special time divinely ordained for worship because it is an attitude that one should be wearing all the time. It is a Christian’s identity. He can not be an angel at the worship service and a devil at the work spot. The heavenly model is a non-stop service. “Day and night” refers to the unceasing nature of worship. You can not take a break. You are a 24/7 Christian.

The Attitude

The attitude of worship is that of humility. I see myself as worthless as the dirt the ground at the realization of God’s glorious worth. All that I consider of any value, all that I have received from God, all that is earthly, is fit only to be placed at the feet of the Almighty God. I should never glory in any of those things or people, but glory in the greatness of my God. Then is it real worship.