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July 20, 2020

Ep.1135: Are Praise and Worship Necessary To Be a Faithful Christian?

Understanding the roles and differences of praise and worship

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CHAPTERS

[00:11:07]
Jesus directly taught worship only once. What can we learn?


[00:24:59]
How can we have connected and worthy worship that pleases God?


[00:44:10]
How does praise fit in to a life of worship?


[01:02:30]
How can we be sure our praise gives God glory?


Theme Scripture: John 4:23

Christian praise and worship. As with many things subject to interpretation, you will find different applications of these things within the Christian community. For some, praise and worship are expressed in music. This drives their gatherings and feeds positive emotions towards God. For others, they include music and inspiration. They play a significant role in their gatherings as a focusing element for being open to God’s word. Others still have praise and worship in a smaller role. Who is right? Does it matter? Are these two parts of the same thing or are they entirely different? How do I know if I am paying enough attention to praising God? Am I living a life that expresses an attitude of worship?

Continue Reading

So, what is worship anyway?

Is it reverently focusing on God while attending a service? Does worship thrive on emotions drawn from hymns and psalms being sung and recited with others? Is it a state of mind or a state of being? If you want to understand true Christian worship, you’d probably open your Bible to see what Jesus said about it. Surprisingly, when it comes to worship, Jesus never even mentioned it his followers. Not once! In fact, the only time he taught about worship was to a Samaritan woman while having a conversation at a well about what Jesus called “living water.”

In spirit and in truth

The Samaritan woman brings up the traditions of Samaritan worship of God in the mountain and the Jewish practice of worshipping God in Jerusalem.  Jesus’ response is surprising to her and revealing to us. He tells her God’s true worshippers will now worship Him "in spirit and in truth." Jesus is saying that true connected worship of God will no longer be bound to any location. Because Jesus was here, worshiping God will now be different.  After this conversation, Jesus never again teaches specifically about worship.

What are we supposed to do with this? Learn! The whole concept of worship is much bigger than many of us might think. While the Greek word means "to bow low," the New Testament application of this action applies to how we live.  Understanding this will also give us a better sense of what it means to praise God.

Praise is another huge part of this conversation. While it is a deeply important aspect of our Christian lives, it too has a different look and feel than what we see in the Old Testament. Check out our July 20,2020 podcast, “Are Praise and Worship Necessary To Be a Faithful Christian?” for more. We set the firm foundation of what worship means on a daily basis to the Christian and then consider the role of praise. We address the similarities and differences of Old and New Testament praise and focus on its power in our lives. Our worship and praise can lift and encourage others while focusing us on fulfilling God’s will daily. Most important, our worship and praise can honor God. What’s better than that?

 

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November 08, 2021

Ep.1203: Why Aren’t My Prayers Being Answered?

Uncovering the dynamics of what makes a prayer work or fail

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CHAPTERS

[00:11:25]
Can our prayers really change the lives of others?


[00:32:09]
How can we get our prayers heard?


[00:48:45]
What kinds of prayers are inappropriate?


Theme Scripture: James 5:16

We always say that prayer changes things - and it does. Jesus was emphatic about this and even gave us an example of how to pray in what is known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” With prayer, as with so many parts of Christian doctrine, the core value of what the Bible teaches easily gets lost in the interpretive value of our own human perspective. Because of the imperfect human part of the equation we create many questions. What about those circumstances where someone prays for what they need, and they simply don’t get it? Is the problem that God is not listening or that He doesn’t want them to have what they need? Is the problem that this person not praying appropriately? How does this lifeline to God really work?

Continue Reading

Who gets such direct access to God?

The first question to address has to do with accessibility. Does anyone have the ability to communicate with God at any time they desire? Should it be a general human expectation to be able to ask God for what we feel we need or for what we want? If this entitlement were true, then we would have several apparent conclusions to recognize. Our observation is that the overwhelming majority of us see their prayers as unanswered. This would then mean that God either does not hear all that well or He is completely uncaring. A quick look at the Bible confirms that neither of these conclusions is true.

There are many scriptures that describe God as “with the contrite and lowly of spirit” (Isaiah 57:15) or “hearing the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29). These texts are teaching us that God is a willing listener but only in some circumstances. Righteousness and humility always come to the top of the list when understanding who God will respond to. Whenever righteousness is a qualification for anything in Scripture, we know it specifically means being right before God. While our own good standing in our worldly environment is good, it lacks the godly reverence needed for God to hear us.

Who really benefits?

What about those whose prayers God does hear? Do their petitions really make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others? This is a hard question to answer. The Bible does give us many examples of those who bring matters to God seeking His intervention. These examples do indicate that God is listening and responding. So if that is the case, then exactly how does this work? If our petitions to God do bring results and changes to those we are praying about, does that mean if we don’t ask then God won’t help them?

Check out our November 8, 2021 podcast, “Why Aren’t My Prayers Being Answered?” for more. We dig into what the whole communicating-with-God equation is built upon and look into how the Bible says it works. This is a fascinating journey into an important, very popular and yet sorely misunderstood subject. Understanding prayer and following its scriptural guidelines is a life changer! Don’t miss it!

 

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(1)

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July 05, 2021

Ep.1185: What Are the True Reasons for Jesus’ Return to Earth?

Uncovering the remarkable and inspiring mission of Jesus’ return

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CHAPTERS

[00:13:41]
Does the return of Jesus bring Armegeddon?


[00:27:17]
Does the return of Jesus create a showdown with Satan?


[00:45:22]
What one word sums up the core reason for the return of Jesus?


Theme Scripture: Revelation 3:20

Jesus changed the world when he came to earth as a man over 2.000 years ago. His character, teaching, miracles and wisdom were and still are unmatched anywhere and anytime. As impactful as his first coming to earth was, he was very specific to let his followers know he would be returning again. Many who look at the prophecies of the second coming see them as foretelling a time of calamity and trouble. While these expectations do carry elements of truth, is the return of Jesus to earth for the purpose of mayhem and destruction? We believe the answer to this question to be an unequivocal no! Further, we believe the reasons for his return are wrapped up in the carrying out of God’s loving plan for all humanity.

Continue Reading

The plan of God

Every Christian will tell you that God has a plan and Jesus is the centerpiece of that plan. Yet, most of us look at Jesus’ return to earth as a wholesale destruction of those who did not accept him as their savior. Let’s evaluate this for a minute. Jesus’ first coming was to save the world. He offered his life as payment for sin. Since then, MOST of the world has not heard of Jesus, and therefore have no path to salvation. So, his coming to save the world was a failure for most of humanity. Does this sound right?  Further, many of us see his second coming as the final destruction for that mostly-failed first coming. There is obviously something very wrong with this approach.

Is the presence of Jesus in both timeframes two parts of the same mission?

What if we look at both advents on earth as two parts of the same mission? What if we looked more deeply into the Scriptures and found that everything Jesus did 2,000 years ago was connected to his return in our day? Let’s consider just one “what if” example. Jesus paid the price for Adam’s sin when he came the first time. Romans 5:18 clearly states that all humanity suffered the condemnation of Adam’s sin. They would, therefore, ALL be given justification because of Jesus’ sacrifice. What if Jesus’ second presence was for the purpose of applying that justification to all those who are not his called-out ones? What if the trouble that accompanies Jesus’ return was to destroy the satanic influences in the world - and not the people?

Whether this approach sounds intriguing or outrageous to you, please check out our July 5th, 2021 podcast, “What Are the True Reasons for Jesus’ Return?” for more. We look at several specifics of the mission of Jesus from two centuries ago. We examine:

  • the price he paid
  • the healing he did
  • the salvation he offered to Israel
  • the calling out of a people for his name

We trace how the Bible shows us each part of his ministry - as a precursor of or a preparation for - his return. Seeing Jesus’ second advent in this scriptural light changes everything. Join us and watch as God’s plan for all humanity unfolds!

 

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June 21, 2021

Ep.1183: Who Successfully Challenged Jesus?

Fitting the tenacity of a woman into the principled teaching of Jesus

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

CHAPTERS

[00:12:11]
How did the Syrophoenician woman challenge Jesus?


[00:26:04]
Was Jesus condescending or encouraging to her?


[00:41:36]
What pattern of blessing is revealed for us in the account of this unnamed woman?


Theme Scripture: Matthew 15:25

To “challenge” Jesus and succeed is not something you hear about every day, so let’s clarify what we are talking about. Jesus was a speaker of God’s word and a doer of God’s will. Inevitably, challenging this would be a futile effort. When we say “challenge” we mean not following an expected pattern. There were a few instances in the ministry of Jesus where someone did not exactly follow Jesus’ set patterns regarding healing and they were blessed anyway. On this episode, we investigate another unnamed woman of the Bible. The Syrophoenician woman spoken of in Matthew 15 and Mark 7 was one of these people. This unnamed Gentile woman did not accept a seeming denial from Jesus when she asked for her daughter to be healed. Jesus complied with her insistence and she was blessed.  What was her secret and what can we learn?

Continue Reading

Jesus was her only hope

Jesus had ventured into the non-Jewish territory of Tyre and Sidon to rest. After he entered a house in which to find that rest, a loud and emotional woman showed up, begging and yelling to see Jesus. Her daughter was demon-possessed and she was at her wits end. She knew Jesus unexpectedly coming to her hometown was the one chance she had to rid her child of this evil experience. She wasted no time and expended all of her desperate energy to get his attention.  He just had to help!

But it wasn't the time for the Gentiles

There was a significant challenge that stood between this woman’s pleading desire and her daughter being healed. They were Gentiles. Jesus came to be the Messiah of the Jewish nation. He came to fulfill the Jewish Law and be the deliverer of the Jewish people. The woman and her daughter were not scheduled to receive the Messiah’s blessings just yet.

So, what happens next? Several things of great impact. The woman does get to talk to Jesus and he does heal her daughter, though it was not a simple path to get to that resolution. Who is the real hero in this exchange? That depends on who you talk to  We believe the woman showed heroic faith in Jesus, and he rewarded it with heroic and miraculous healing. Some say it is just the woman who was the hero because she “straightened Jesus out.” They say that Jesus showed bias against her, even racism.

Who is right? Was Jesus bigoted in his approach to her? Why would anyone even say such a thing? Check out our June 21, 2021 podcast, “Who Successfully Challenged Jesus?” for answers. We look at the entire account in its context. Then we follow this woman’s hysterical introduction and observe how she responded to Jesus with extraordinary faith and conviction. We learn why Jesus said the things he said to her. This is much more than a story of somebody being healed by Jesus. It is a practical lesson that teaches us how to take our own raw desperation before our Lord to find the answers and comfort we seek.

 

 

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May 24, 2021

Ep.1179: Can Humility Keep Me From Success?

Jesus uses competing for status to teach us about true success

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CHAPTERS

[00:14:21]
What does the Parable of the Feast teach us?


[00:29:59]
What if we aren't getting the recognition we deserve?


[00:45:08]
How can we be successful in the working world but maintain our Christian principles?


Theme Scripture: Luke 14:11

It is a competitive world out there! I need to focus and to stop at nothing to make my mark. I will apply myself to get the job I want, the life I desire and the status I deserve, while engaging in the leisure and entertainment I crave. Wow! While this description can be of someone who is truly success-motivated and has specific goals, it can also be a warning for us. As Christians, we should applaud motivation. But at the same time, we are alert to fend off the destructive poisons of pride and ego. How do we do both and still have a chance at succeeding in this world? Is it our Christian destiny to be continuously overlooked for that promotion, that opportunity or that position? As usual, applying the Christian principle of humility in this world is bewildering and can be discouraging as well. However, once we get our arms around how Jesus handled this, the whole confusing matter becomes clear!

Continue Reading

Where did the sick guy come from? Hmmm.....

We know Jesus was a humble man. We also know he was bold. How do those two characteristics work together?  The context of Jesus’ parable about the guests at a wedding was a good example. Jesus was invited to the home of a very influential Pharisee for a Sabbath dinner. While this was an elegant occasion, Luke tells us the Pharisees in attendance “watched Jesus closely.” This meant they were planning on testing him. Jesus handled this test by healing a sick man who “just happened to be there” on the Sabbath while simultaneously silencing his Pharisee observers. Jesus showed them humility by doing what God wanted him to. He showed them boldness by confronting their challenge.

Larger lessons

These actions were the beginning of larger lessons on success through humility. As Jesus observed the Pharisees jockeying for the seats of highest honor at this meal, he unfolded the parable. His lesson was simple. Stop presenting yourselves to your peers with a self-proclaimed splendor and instead take a seat of humility. Allow your value to be recognized by others on its own merit. In the end, it will be God who exalts those who are humble - and that is the most important thing.

What can this simple parable of Jesus teach us today about success and humility? If we are willing to look, there are many profoundly practical lessons we can learn. First and foremost is the simple lesson of self-awareness. Know and focus on who we are, and not on what we would like others to think we are. While the concept is simple, executing it in a world full of peer pressure and instant communication is another story.

Check out our May 24, 2021 podcast, “Can Humility Keep Me From Success?” for more. We build on the practicality of knowing who we are and examine current day examples of how to apply it. We explore several other aspects of biblical humility from Jesus’ parable and find surprising practicality for today. Join us to see how success and humility can lead us to living a fulfilled Christian life.

 

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VIDEO: Can Humility Keep Me From Success?

The answer partially depends on how you define “success. ”Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

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Ep.1165: How Vital Are My Vows of Marriage?

Examining what a marriage covenant is and how to make it work

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CHAPTERS

[00:15:40]
Just how serious of a commitment does God view marriage?


[00:35:53]
How do we manage the tragedy of losing our spouse?


[00:55:45]
What does the Bible say we should do to keep our marriage strong?


Theme Scripture: Mark 10:9

...And they lived happily ever after! This is such a promising and bliss-filled ending that is sought after and hoped for by so many. Who wouldn’t want the prospect of happiness and contentment as a recipe for their married life in all their coming days? The truth of the matter is that at the rate present-day society is going, this dream - even for a Christian marriage - is a mere fantasy for most married couples. I know this sounds harsh, but the reality is, there are two things about marriage that most of us do not understand. First and foremost, it is not a love-driven relationship, but a commitment-driven relationship that is fed by love. Secondly, it is a lot of work. Though it sounds hard, even daunting, it is profoundly worth the effort! So, how hard should we be willing to keep this commitment? How unbreakable and important are the “’til death do us part” vows we took?

Continue Reading

The Bible is filled with all kinds of promises

Some are between God and humanity, or between God and individuals. Others are between nations, and others are between families or individuals.  These promises can vary in sacredness according to how the parties make them. Rest assured, whenever God makes a promise, it is more solemn than anything we can imagine. So, what about the promises we make to one another?

Sacred promises in the Bible are called covenants

The word comes from an ancient ritual having to do with walking between the two halves of a slaughtered animal to seal the agreement.  Afterwards, the animal was eaten in a feast symbolizing the unity of the agreement. Marriage is not only called a covenant in Scripture, it is called a “covenant of God.” This means that God was invited to witness the making of the agreement. It is written in Genesis regarding the union of Adam and Eve that the man and woman became one flesh. Jesus later adds that what God has joined together, let no man separate.

These details make it clear that the Bible defines marriage as the highest and most sacred promise two human beings can make.  Sound a bit scary? It should! What are we supposed to do now that we know this? If we are struggling with marriage, what does God expect? What if we have done sinful things to dismantle our marriage, is there a specific path we should take? What do we do if we have lost our spouse? How do we handle the sacredness of what we had?

Check out our February 15, 2021 podcast, “How Vital Are My Vows of Marriage?” for more on Christian marriage. We address all these questions with scriptural principles. We also review the sacredness of several of God’s own promises to model the kind of focus we should have with our covenants. Finally, we look into the depths of what we can do to keep any marriage strong and growing.  Marriage is no small task. It challenges you, presses you and changes you. It also can bless you in ways you never thought possible. Find out how!

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