Today’s Thoughts… Praise God!?
By Pastor Lee Hemen
April 11, 2010
Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. – (Matthew 5:19-20, NIV)
Recently I have begun to notice that today’s church has become like the Pharisees of old. Now you may think I mean judgmental and narrow-minded, but I do not mean this at all. The church today, like the Pharisees, has become spiritually myopic. We think everything is about “praising Jesus.” In fact, we have begun to think that this means that anything we do, “praises Jesus.” Now do not get me wrong here and you will need to read this with some spiritual insight. I am not saying we should not praise Jesus with everything we do, but that Christians today have become spiritually myopic like the Pharisees.
The Pharisees were all about “praising God.” In fact, they did it so much that they sought to praise God in every area of their lives, including by tithing the very spices in their cupboards! (Matthew 23:23) They continually lived in the holy moment. They continually sought a miracle moment with God. For some Christians, we do the very same thing. We have replaced serving God and giving ourselves daily to him with trying to stuff ourselves with praise and worship. We have become so sated with our own need for a miracle moment that nothing else matters to us except our daily or weekend fix.
The Pharisee’s praise of God made them blind to the call of God and the needs of sin-stained world. And that is exactly what has occurred in the Christian church today. We allow others to do the ministry God has called us to, we think that mission is a vacation instead of a lifelong calling, and we run to the altar of praise and worship in order to have our spiritual cup filled again and again. We are living for the holy moment instead of being the sacrifice God has called us to be. We have forgotten the very same thing the Pharisees did, that the praise of God comes from a life totally given over to him, not through doing things to please ourselves.
Dear child of God, praise God today by giving yourself completely away for his use in his kingdom.
Pastor Lee Hemen has been the outspoken pastor of the same church for 25 years in Vancouver, WA. He writes regularly on spirituality and conservative causes and maintains several web blogs. This article is copyrighted © 2010 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission. You now have my permission…